Fantastic Four, Issue 55, Cover


Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | September 14, 2010


Does someone really own this piece?! WOW!! This one whould be hanged at a museum...

At this point, this pair of artists were at top of the game, and this cover is a sample of this!

Again, allow me to show my gratitude to Tom Kraft for allowing us to enjoy a piece with this quality and history through a scan so large and with so much quality.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | September 14, 2010

Yes it's Incredible

This is truly a special piece and a highlight of this site and the Jack Kirby Museum's Digital Original Art Archive. We were recently allowed to scan it for the archives and presented here for all to enjoy.

Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | September 14, 2010

Was it showed at a museum?

Do you know if it was showed at an exhibition? It rings some bells...

Mike Cagle's picture
Posted by: Mike Cagle (not verified) | May 21, 2012

Yep, I saw it!

Yes, it was in the "Masters of American Comics" exhibit in 2006, which was shown in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Newark. Whoever owns it loaned it for the exhibit. I saw the exhibit at the art museum in Milwaukee, so I saw this piece in person there. A beautiful thing to see. (I also remember seeing the actual comic on the rack as a kid, and being struck by it!) And right next to it, the original art for the "This Man, This Monster" splash page. Wow. There were a couple of other great later Kirby pieces - the psychedelic dream monster double-page image from Devil Dinosaur, and a nice double-page spread from Black Panther. If there was other Kirby original art, I don't recall it; there were some printed comics with Kirby art. And, of course, a lot of art (some really good) by the other 14 featured cartoonists. The selection of artists (and art) was a bit idiosyncratic, but overall, it was a great show. I was glad I went all the way to Milwaukee to see it. But yeah - whoever owns it is a lucky individual! I'm glad they consented to putting it in that show, and also to scanning it for this site.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | September 14, 2010

It May Have Been

It may have been but I'm not aware of any showing in a museum. A private collector graciously allowed it to be scanned so others can enjoy this incredible Kirby cover on WiK and the Kirby Museum Websites.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 19, 2010

Incredible but weird

I second Ferran… It's almost unbelievable that someone could own this piece !
But somehow l always find this cover a bit weird because of the Silver Surfer's position on the board.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | September 23, 2010

Weird too

The interesting thing is the distortions on this cover. The Silver Surfer's position on the board as you mention but also the muscles in the Surfer's right arm. If they were true they the arm would be jelly because it couldn't function. But from a design point of view it works and is believable. To me its Kirby placing design and composition first over accurate anatomy to achieve a dramatic effect.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. (not verified) | February 27, 2011


The Surfer's position on the board was probably based on the position of an actual surfer descending the front of a wave. In the early Silver Surfer appearances, it looked as though Jack was basing some of the poses on photos of real surfers riding on the water--a very cool idea which he seemed to abandon after a short time. And you're right, Tom, about the Surfer's arm. It doesn't matter that the anatomy is not 100% realistic; it's the overall effect which is important. I mean, if you wanted to, you could also criticize the way the Thing's head is bent so far back that it almost looks like it's broken off his body. But it just doesn't matter. As with so many Kirby drawings, you can nitpick the details all you want, but the overall effect of the picture will still be as powerful as ever.

Bill Kruse's picture
Posted by: Bill Kruse (not verified) | August 11, 2011

Remember, Kirby didn't draw

Remember, Kirby didn't draw muscles, he drew what looked like muscles. It isn't intended to be anatomically correct, it's intended to convey an impression. Remember, Kirby was a storyteller, not a photographer.


patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | August 11, 2011

Good Points

Tom and a number of others make an excellent point on this one. If that Surfer figure were exactly as drawn only dressed in a Barman costume many fans would be gnashing their teeth and bemoaning how distorted the drawing is.
Kirby moved towards abstraction in his work, and that was a sign of artistic sophistication.
There is a nice video where Neal Adams talks about Kirby's stylizations.
There are a number of people who do a very good "Neal Adams." Adams himself was doing "Stan Drake." There is no one who does a decent Kirby.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | August 11, 2011

Re: Good Points

Actually, Patrick, I always thought Adams was kind of doing a riff on both Stan Drake and Lou Fine -- with a few others thrown into the mix to create his own unique style. And I think there IS one guy who does a decent Kirby: Tom Scioli.

Ferran Delgado's picture
Posted by: Ferran Delgado | August 12, 2011

Don't forget...

...Steve Rude.
Check out his reinterpretation of the Demon #1 cover:
I can't think of someone else more skilled to be proclaimed Kirby heir.

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