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The New Gods, Issue 1, Page 2

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Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | September 30, 2012

The New Gawdy…

… inks by Colletta.

ken bastard's picture
Posted by: ken bastard | September 30, 2012

Photo Copies

Too bad there aren't any from this period it seems. *sigh*.

kirbyditko's picture
Posted by: kirbyditko | October 3, 2012

Boo-Hoo

Really sad to see these crappy inks, especially since Tom posted scans of two beautiful late period FF pages with great inking on the same day as this one. I'm sure that the pencils under these inks are incredible! Extra sad / bad as New Gods 1 is such a key issue!

http://whatifkirby.com/gallery/comic-art-listings/fantastic-four-issue-8...

http://whatifkirby.com/gallery/comic-art-listings/fantastic-four-issue-8...

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 21, 2012

Inks are fine...

...better than the hack-n-slash treatment he got after Colletta. I think Royer does a far better job now than he did back then. Now there's some delicacy in his line, back then it was just garish and ugly... a big part I think of the eventual failure of the Kirby line. I bought this stuff off the stands at about 10 with no real knowledge of artists, or brand loyalty or nostalgia. Although Kirby was "different", it was OK (except for his words which made his story difficult to understand). When the inking changed to Royer, now the words AND pictures were bad. I just couldn't stand to look at it anymore and stopped buying. Later I tried Kamandi - Berry was worse - not as ugly, but more cartoonish.

A Fourth World inked by Wood and wordsmithed/captioned by Denny O'Neil would have been immortal. It wouldn't have diminished Kirby's role or credit as creator any more than when Welles or Hitchcock used screenplay writers on their stories, and cinematographers to polish their shots. Kirby is as much an artist as Welles and Hitchcock combined. He shouldn't have tried to control the "crafts" like words and inks as well.

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | October 21, 2012

Say What??!!

Gee, Odkin, if you hate Kirby's writing and art that much, why are you even looking at this website??

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 21, 2012

Read what I wrote

I love his pencils, and I love his stories. That doesn't make him a wordsmith or an editor. Inking and caption-writing are crafts. Do you think I can't like a Frank Lloyd Wright house because he didn't lay the carpet himself? Is "Psycho" any less a Hitchcock masterpiece because someone else wrote the words? Welles didn't write Citizen Kane, and it's still HIS movie. Kirby is the creative genius, the driving force. He drew and created great stories. Not scripts, stories. It diminishes him not one iota to say a better wordsmith could have polished the stories, and a better inker, chosen by a better editor, would have made the books look better and sell more. Kirby was hungry for 100% control, even of things he wasn't good at. It's understandable after decades of minimal control. Doesn't mean he started making great business decisions though, and the choice of supporting craftsmen, and objective recognition of weak areas, is a business decision. Would you rather have had 10 years of Kirby stories supported by a more commercial editor, scripter and inker, or the 2-3 years you got of unadulterated extreme and zany Kirby?

John S.'s picture
Posted by: John S. | October 22, 2012

I did read what you wrote

You say you love his pencils, but you don't like the inking of Mike Royer, who inked Kirby's pencils as faithfully as anyone possibly could. Makes no sense at all. If you loved Kirby's pencilling you would love Royer's inking for that very reason.

You also say Kirby's writing was bad. Well, that's just your opinion and one that many people don't share. What you're really saying in terms of both the writing and the inking is that they're done in a style that's DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU WERE USED TO (when you were ten years old), so you labelled them "bad". Seems pretty immature and narrow-minded to me. Was Jack's writing flawless? No, of course not. Could it have benefitted from a strong editorial hand at times? Sure it could. But the writing of people like Stan Lee, Roy Thomas and Denny O'Neil wasn't flawless, either, and could also have benefitted from a strong editorial hand at times. But with Kirby you're completely ignoring all the things about the writing which were good and focusing entirely on the flaws, which shows an inherent prejudice on your part. Do you honestly think someone other than Jack would have been better suited to writing the copy for books like NEW GODS, FOREVER PEOPLE, KAMANDI, THE DEMON, 2001, ETERNALS, et al? I don't -- and neither do a lot of other people. So, to answer your final question: I'd rather have exactly the "zany" material we got than your ill-conceived "solution".

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 27, 2012

Sigh

You're having some difficulty separating the act of writing stories and writing prose. No one claims Lee or Thomas or O'Neil are "flawless". Put they are professional wordsmiths and prose writers, and Kirby was NOT. He was an artist an a storyteller, and his poor use of words diminished the strength, comprehensibility, and commercial appeal of his brilliant stories. You can say "that's just your opinion", but it was clearly the market's opinion as well, or those series would have sold, the decades-late retroactive admiration of a small group of old internet geeks notwithstanding.

As to how I can not like Royer's inking because he essentially traced every Kirby construction line and sketchmark, well, that's just wrong. Why are actual Kirby inks usually good, while I find Royer's inks harsh and brutal? Are you saying Royer is more Kirby than Kirby? Do you not understand that pencils allow subtleties and grays, and that interpreting them into pure black and white requires artistic input and not mimicry of every stray pencil mark? Royer diminished the work by slavishly refusing to embellish it for publication. He turned subtle grays and delicate pencil shading into coloring-book art.

Allen Smith's picture
Posted by: Allen Smith | October 27, 2012

kirby writing

Well, the market's opinion, whatever it was, just reflects personal opinions, so it's all personal opinion. I mean, Thomas and Lee had their commercial failures, also, so I'm not sure what your comment means. To me it means that not everyone likes Kirby's writing, or Stan's, or Roy's. Commercial success isn't an indication of quality, is it? That's what you seem to be arguing. In addition, you seem to make a direct correlation between sales on Kirby titles and the quality of Kirby's writing. I dont', there are various reasons a title fails, of which poor writing might be one, but only one, of many other factors. I mean, we've all had favorite titles that we loved the writing, but that failed. Stan had his share of failed titles, as have most other writers, so I guess most other writers in the field must be bad writers, also. If that's so, I guess Todd McFarlane must be the greatest Spider-Man writer and artist ever, because he sold millions of a Spider-Man title per issue. And, as far as Stan's prose, what's he written that's strictly prose, without the accompanying artist illos? I've said before, and I'll say now, that if Stan Lee were a prose novelist, or poet, or short story writer, I wouldn't read his work for a micro second. It rarely goes beyond commercial writing to me. Kirby's writing, while not as polished, speaks to me in a way that Stan's writing does not. Ditko's writing appeals to me in the same way, not polished, but idiosyncratic and interesting. Stan's writing, a bit smoother, but banal, trite, overblown, obvious, and uninteresting in the vast majority of cases. 'Nuff said, effendi?

Allen Smith's picture
Posted by: Allen Smith | October 30, 2012

Kirby's departure of Marvel in the late sixties

When Kirby left Marvel in the late sixties, I thought he might be retiring, that's how much I associated his name with Marvel. However, I didn't feel hurt by it, by that time, '69, I wasn't so naive as to think that comics was anything other than a business and that Stan's publicity about the Happy Marvel Bullpen was anything other than that, publicity. Later accounts by various artists confirmed my instincts that the myth/fantasy of the happy Marvel bullpen was just that, a fantasy. And, as I'd continued to read numerous comics put out by various companies, not just Marvel, I knew that there was good, and bad, stuff coming from every company, not just Marvel. I knew that artist A was going to put out some good stuff no matter what company he was at, so it was with Kirby, and Ditko, and other artists as they moved from DC to Marvel, Marvel to Charlton, Marvel to DC, etc., it didn't really matter. I enjoyed Marvel greatly, but my tastes changed, for the better, so the period of time I felt that Marvel was the best company lasted for about, oh, half an hour. (Just kidding, but not much longer than that.) I had other interests besides comics, music, science fiction, movies, poetry, and so on, knew what I felt was good, Marvel and Stan's writing didn't stand out as being especially good or anything. It had some good qualities, but not extraordinary qualities with the other things I was following. Kirby's writing was different, and took a little getting used to, but looking back, I think Kirby was the better writer, and his dialogue, so often criticized, very effectively tells the stories he wanted to tell. Stan's writing: shallow and all surface, like someone wanting to make a good impression but who's not very deep.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | October 30, 2012

All Write, Marvel Me!

Stan's dialogues were like "easy listening" music, catchy but shallow while Jack's writing was rocky but deep and rewarding. Lee was an editor with a sure flair for talents, trends and marketing and, certainly, was instrumental in Marvel's success story.

Kirby was the writer.

A creative powerhouse who, along with Steve Ditko and a handful of fellow storytellers, was the essence of what used to be Marvel.

When they quit, they left an empty shell behind and Lee knew it, who, shortly after, gave up "writing" boring materials while Kirby and Ditko continued to marvel us with countless stories of their own.

MXavier's picture
Posted by: MXavier | October 22, 2012

Odkin - I prefer Syd Shores

Odkin -
I prefer Syd Shores inks myself. But, it seems the majority rules and you cannot appreciated his work without agreeing with the majority. I've already said my piece over an completely nasty and unwarranted comment about Marie Severin by people who have never worked a day in the business.

I've found it easier just to enjoy the job Tom is doing getting this together and ignore the comments

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | October 22, 2012

No comment

I, too, ignore your comment… Oh, wait, I just took notice without noticing, damn!

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 27, 2012

Syd Shores

I love Shores overall style, although he got maybe 10% too heavy-handed with re-drawing faces, especially Cap's.

You have to give Lee credit for inker assignment. Sinnott would have been terrible on Thor, maybe OK on Cap. Colletta was terrible on FF and would have been terrible on Cap. Shores MAYBE could have handled Thor, but not FF, and his Cap work was great.

Each strip had a unique and appropriate style of it's own, even though Kirby produced them all.

That's the value a professional editor can add.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | October 28, 2012

Bare necessities

Yes, since he was acting out of necessity, I'd give some credit to Lee for inker assignments but don't try too much to mind read him, though.

Stan, himself, said in several interviews that if he could, he would assign Ditko or Sinnott, or possibly Giacoia.
Unfortunately, they were already quite busy or had some troubles dealing with deadlines in Frank Giacoia's case. Because Lee's main concern was to release (and sell) comics, he had to resort to lesser expendable artists that compensated what they lacked in talent with timely reliable outputs.

Colletta was as terrible as Shores on anything Kirby related because both inkers' style was completely alien to Kirby's pencils. They spent most of their assignments, erasing, redrawing and butchering Kirby's work, leading to a situation where Stan Lee had to remove Shores from the Captain America comic when he failed and dropped below what was required from him.

If this is the kind of Kirby treatment you enjoy, I wonder what you really appreciate… Kirby's or Colletta/Shores' work?

Personally, I can't bear Colletta's or Shores' inks on Kirby. As a kid, it puzzled me with no end that Jack Kirby, arguably the best Marvel artist by a wide margin (in my eyes at least) got so many inkers assigned to ruin his work. How could Lee, who was never shy on praising the King, behave so badly against the King?

Because of necessity!

Besides, from the point out view of an editor faced with a constrained pool of talents, I would guess that maintaining quality across a line of comics is important and trade off acceptable. You wouldn't team up the best penciller with the best inker at the expense of another book if you believe you could maintain them both above a profitable line with average standard.

The reasoning behind Stan's choices was probably along this line : a good inker may save some mediocre pencils while a mediocre inker could never totally ruin some great pencils.

Unfortunately, he was right, no other penciller's work would survive and shine through such bad inking like Jack Kirby's powerful pencils did.

patford's picture
Posted by: patford (not verified) | October 22, 2012

Different Worlds

Kirby not only wrote superb captions and dialogue, he was one of very few writers in comics who did use words in a stylish, intelligent, and original way. The old adage is comic book writing stinks, and that is no doubt true.
Scoot over to Sean Howe's FB page and look at the hundreds of panels and pages he's posted there and it's hard to find anything in the way of dialogue which isn't doggerel. Contrast to Kirby's use of words, his turns of phrase, which are intelligent, witty, inventive, and often times stop in your tracks memorable.
Not being part of the comic book community, and not knowing anyone who reads comic books it's been interesting over the past few years for me to get a look at the common attitudes of fans of Marvel comics. One thing I've noticed over the past few years is it's supposed to be perfectly alright to harshly ridicule Kirby, his writing, his art, his style, his inking, his interviews, his business dealings. That is all fine to the typical Marvel fan. The same people who dump on Kirby constantly are deeply offended at any criticism of Lee, or other creators who sold work to Marvel.
Myself, I'm not even a fan of Marvel. I never was, never read the stuff in the '60s, and by the time I discovered it in the early '70s my sympathies were with Groucho Marx who said he never wanted to join a club which would have him as a member. With Humphrey Bogart and W.C. Fields, with Chaplin, who all distrusted the world of clubs with superior attitudes and closed memberships. The whole Marvel thing, the idea people were Marvel guys was something which seemed kind of creepy to me.

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 27, 2012

Stereotypes

I'm no Marvel fan. I'm more of a DC/EC guy. Kirby's stories at Marvel WERE their pinnacle, however. And that's because all his supporting craftsmen - Lee, Sinnott, Colletta, Shores, Stone, Rosen, Simek, Severin - ADDED value (commercial and artistic) rather than detracted it.

No one can seriously, from either a traditional literary or traditional comicbook viewpoint, claim that Kirby wrote "superb captions and dialogue". The words are stilted, their meaning ambiguous, and their emphasis misplaced. Thank God the visuals carry his stories because the prose is abysmal.

patford's picture
Posted by: patford (not verified) | October 29, 2012

I'm not a Marvel fan in the

I'm not a Marvel fan in the least. and not a DC or EC fan either. The idea a person would be a fan of a company is something I can't equate.
Really? No one can say Kirby wrote superb dialogue and captions? I say it all the time. And I say it with the opinion that comic books are nearly bereft of dialogue and captions which are even tolerable.
It's for that reason that as a fan of Kirby I find the Marvel stories to be dreadful. Then again I find just about all mainstream comic book writing to be dreadful, Kirby is a rare exception.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 28, 2012

KIRBY IS COMING! NOOOOO!!!!!

Okay--before we all pile on Odkin he makes some good valid points. I'm from the era when Jack jumped ship from Marvel to DC. I was a Marvel fan and especially of Jack's work at Marvel. I didn't like DC. So when Jack left Marvel and went to the company I didn't like, DC, it felt like being betrayed--this coming from my 14 year old brain.

I wouldn't get to see anymore Fantastic Four, Thor or Captain America from the best artist in comics. Now I was getting Jimmy Olsen (WHAT?) and the New Gods and it's supporting books. I'm sure I'm not the only one from this time that felt this way. I think fans in general of Jack were having a hard time transitioning from Marvel to DC and weren't quite getting on board with Jack's grandiose sweeping epic and DC was feeling the results from that. It was Jack out of the box and doing his own thing.

As much as we want to say Jack had an intelligent way with his dialogue, it felt stilted and the beats seemed off from what we were accustomed to. We got this 20/20 hindsight thing going on now and appreciate what Jack has done--but at the time, back then, it did seem awkward and a move from Jack that came out of left field when a lot of his fans were not ready for him to make such a drastic move--and the sales of those books proved it. DC got their trump card in pulling Jack away from Marvel but didn't get the sales Jack got at Marvel.

With that being said, if DC hadn't treated Jack like an experiment and put the brakes on his books who knows where the Forth World could have gone. I did get on board with what Jack was doing along with other fans I'm sure, but DC pulled the rug out from under Jack before it could really take hold. Which I suppose if DC hadn't done that we wouldn't have gotten Kamandi, The Demon or Omac and other great Kirby creations.

This is something also to consider and realize. Jack was the old guard and the new guard was coming into their own. Neal Adams, and then Roy Thomas and Barry Smith on Conan and Len Wein and Berni Wrightson on Swamp Thing who were taking comics into a whole new direction. Some stiff competition for Jack at the time and fans taste were changing.

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 28, 2012

Your "Badge" story...

Frank, you've had to deal with the effects of inkers on Kirby-like pencils... how do you feel your "Badge" story turned out for Big Bang?

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | October 28, 2012

Points to Point

Where are those valid points, Frank?
I'm not sure you did point at them in your own post.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 28, 2012

You made the points valid

The points are what you make in your post Krackles. "bare necessities". The editorial part that played a roll in Jack's work. I was explaining the climate of the time and the reaction of the fans of Kirby's defection to the other side. What the fan was accustomed to was what Jack was doing at Marvel and Odkin explains that the writing of Jack was off putting which the majority of fans felt--at that time. Some people don't like change and I guess I fit into that category back then along with a bunch of other fans.

So if it's different inkers such as a Colletta or Shores along with Sinnott and Giacoia that was what we grew up with and loved. Jack's Marvel stuff. Fans of the time didn't like the change and the transition to DC. I was in the thick of the Kirby move and fans weren't exactly on board with it. Just because you don't like Colletta or Shores or some don't like Lee's writing the fact is Kirby had a better go of it at Marvel then he did at DC. I eventually came around and got into the Fourth World stuff especially when Royer took over on inks. Sure Royer was the most true to Jack's pencils but it was all one note and not like the variety he had at Marvel--good or bad.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | October 28, 2012

Point blank

I get your points Frank and I mostly agree with you but still am looking for a valid point in Odkin's post.
He specifically mentioned he wasn't a Marvel fan (more a DC and EC one) so he couldn't possibly have experienced such a "drastic change" the way you did.

Furthermore, he wrote that "craftmen" like Colletta or Shores added *choke* artistic and commercial *double choke* value to Kirby's comics, insinuating that could be what was missing from his DC productions.

Like anybody, I can add 1 to 1 and that's why I'm wondering… What is it that drew Odkin to Kirby's comics? Everybody else from the production line but Kirby himself?

patford's picture
Posted by: patford (not verified) | October 29, 2012

Frank is right

Frank is correct that many (maybe most) Marvel fans were very upset when Kirby left Marvel. I was not in those shoes. I'd never seen a Marvel comic book (as far as I was aware) until shortly after I became aware of Kirby and began reading his work at DC in 1970. Fact is I was not even reading comic books for a period of three to four years prior to 1970, and it was via an interest in CONAN that I began looking at comic books in 1970. I was immediately taken with how radically different Kirby's writing and art were from the other material I began sampling. In very short order I found there weren't writers in the field who captured my interest, and began buying most comic books based on the artwork alone. I'd buy John Buscema based on his art, and it didn't matter if it was Frankenstein, Kazar, or Thor, because none of the stories were more than dross, at least compared to things I was reading; like Dick, Blish, Farmer, Pohl, and Aldiss.
As I was used to prose like Ellison's "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman, KIrby's writing didn't seem stilted to me in the lest. It did stand out as jarringly different from everything else, but in my view that was a very good thing.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 28, 2012

Point taken

I agree that it's kind of strange that Odkin wasn't a Marvel fan but took note of the craft of what was being done to Kirby with the different inkers at Marvel.

Krackles, you said that Odkin wrote".. "craftsmen" like Colletta or Shores added *choke* artistic and commercial *double choke* value to Kirby's comics" the "choke and double choke" added by you, Krackles. Your observation from Odkin's comment is, "insinuating that could be what was missing from his DC productions".

As much as you don't like this point, that could be a valid point. It was for me at the time and I'm sure for lots of other fans too. Let's face it, Jack's initial start at DC wasn't as good as his Marvel stuff. Not when you're use to Kirby/Sinnott FF and to follow that is Jimmy Olsen of all books to go to straight from FF? And then the New Gods which seemed to be a spin off from Thor right from the first page.

So no more Joe Sinnott, very little Frank Giacoia and the inker you can't stand that I liked on Thor was the guy to ink Jack at DC. Why couldn't it have been Joe Sinnott that Jack brings along. After all the combo of those two talents was why I was a Fantastic Four fan. I wasn't crazy about Vinnie's inks on Jack at DC.

BUT...I think it was more about the change to DC then the product. There were Marvel fans and there were DC fans and the twain shall never meet. Jack did the unforgivable. Fans were not ready for Kirby to abandon their favorite characters at Marvel--after all he was a main stay at Marvel for 10 years (or more if you count the Atlas monster books) on these characters that were varying one from the other and not so one noted as the Fourth World books. And fans perceived, like it or not, that Jack had a tin ear for dialogue even though he was a great story teller.

I must add that I did like Stan Lee's writing and him talking to the fan to make them part of the experience. But now I do see it as more like a carnival barker and a bit annoying as I've aged. I've grown to appreciate Jack's writing and see it as his individual voice--unique unto itself.

Jack wasn't going to be boxed in, and he, thank goodness, had more characters to create and share. Back then it hurt...it wound up being a good hurt.

Odkin's picture
Posted by: Odkin (not verified) | October 28, 2012

Colletta to Royer

Not being a Marvel fan, Jimmy Olsen was a whole new experience for me. I had no idea what a "Kirby" was. I liked Pete Costanza and Murphy Anderson. The only Marvel I had ever read was a coverless "giant" with a Ditko Hulk lead story.

When Kirby came on board, I thought it looked very interesting, nothing I had seen before. I guess I was 10. I wanted to understand it better but the language was... obtuse. I liked looking at it, and really tried to follow it, but ultimately stopped buying it a few issues in because the words made no sense.

I picked it up a year or so later, when Royer came in. Now, as a kid, I thought it now looked ugly too. Brutal even. Again, not reacting to the lack of Marvel inkers. I just thought the appeal of the book intrinsically took a turn for the worse from Colletta to Royer. This without knowing what Kirby's Marvel art looked like, and certainly no idea what his pencils looked like. Purely my perspective on the finished product without the cloud of nostalgia or background knowledge. In my case, Kirby's dialogue and Royers inks cost sales, despite the appeal of the drawing underneath, the characters I liked, and the fantastic story.

No artist is perfect - Kirby had idiosyncracies that made his art less commercial. Royer amplified them, which I think, in the end, cost us a few years of the Fourth World.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | October 29, 2012

Perhaps you can become a member Odkin?

Hi Odkin, If you become a member I won't have to approve your posts. It will make my job easier and allow more time to do other things like post new art. Membership is free and allows you to zoom into images to see the tiny detail. Thanks, Tom

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 29, 2012

re:Your "Badge" story...

Sorry Odkin, I would have responded sooner but I'm just now seeing this for the first time.

From Odkin:
Frank, you've had to deal with the effects of inkers on Kirby-like pencils... how do you feel your "Badge" story turned out for Big Bang?

You saw that, eh?

The BADGE- TO SERVE AND PROTECT! "THE ATOMIC PERIL!" Chapter 1.

The inks for that part of the story come off very deliberate and are a bit stiff. Some of the final ink rendering in some spots I would have approached differently. I'd have to see the copies of my pencils to that chapter again and see where my pencils took Bob. But overall I like the Bob Rivard inks in chapter 1.

"IF THE PAST BE ALIVE!" Chapter 3.

Mike Matthew inked my pencils to this chapter. Mike and I go back in the Megaton days in the early 1980s on my character Ethrian. I like Mike's inks in this chapter. He has a little Joe Sinnott to his inks--very slick and polished.

This being a black and white comic, the thing with superhero books is that they work better in color.

I did do a couple of Kirby swipes for the story.

What do you think, Odkin? How do you feel about it? Btw--thanks for noticing.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 30, 2012

Why a Marvel fan?

Patrick you said, "I'm not a Marvel fan in the least. and not a DC or EC fan either. The idea a person would be a fan of a company is something I can't equate".

This was 1966 and I didn't go out of my way and wake up and say, "I think I'll be a Marvel fan." I grew up on the north side of Chicago and the neighborhood kids and I were getting into comic books. At first in my young life my dad would buy a comic or two and I would look at those. The comics my dad bought varied from DC to some Marvel. We lived in a 2 flat apartment building and the girls downstairs brought out onto the front porch a chest full of comic books. It was mostly all marvel comics--this is where I discovered Spider-man by (I didn't know at the time) Steve Ditko.

Then around the apartment I lived in I started seeing these Fantastic Four comics my dad had laying around. At that time I didn't know who Kirby was and didn't realize the FF and Spider-man were from the same company. I really liked the art. Then I found FF 48 laying around, the first issue of the Galactus trilogy. This stuff was better then the comics my sister was looking at like Richie Rich and Casper. It was better then the couple of DC Superman/Lois Lane comics that seemed stodgy in comparison. Marvel was young and appealing, reaching out to the fan with Stan's inviting sidebar banter. What really took me over was a kid from the neighborhood had a rolled up copy of FF 46, "THOSE WHO WOULD DESTROY US!" with the Inhumans. That's when I realized I was really digging the Fantastic Four drawn by this Jack Kirby guy. I became a fan of the FF first and Jack came after. A friend of mine around the corner was liking Daredevil with Gene Colan and we use to aggravate each other over whom we thought the better artist was.

Anyway, how I became a fan of Marvel had more to do with Jack being in the company then anything--and he was doing my favorite comic the FF which was with Marvel. There was another kid who liked DC and couldn't stand Marvel--well that's where the line in the sand was drawn. DC to me seemed stiff and dry with their flagship characters of Superman and Batman from 28 years ago--those guys were old to my 10 year old mind. Marvel had characters that appealed to me more and being the young company they were on an upsurge with exciting new characters art and stories. Although I must say I came into Marvel around late 1965 early 1966 so they been around for 4 years or so. When I discovered the FF it was the Kirby/Sinnott run. Finding back issues of FF with inkers like Ayers and Stone did look dated compared to what Jack and Joe were doing even if it was only a few months to a year ago.

So here's this young kid from 10 through 14 years old loving his FF comics and other Kirby works like Thor and Captain America--I'm plugged in, anticipating any Kirby works from Marvel, especially Fantastic Four, when suddenly, it seemed to me, he's going to WHAT? DC?!! No more FF although it did seem to be losing steam compared to it's earlier years.

The house that Jack built, he was leaving--he made me a Marvel fan, well an FF fan more so--that was the comic I cherished, it just happen to be a part of Marvel and all the other Marvel comics fell into place. So I and a few thousand fans had a problem reconciling that Jack was leaving Marvel to go to DC--it was not a smooth transition for the fan and the beginning months for Jack at DC I imagine weren't smooth for him either. I did follow Jack because I was more a Kirby fan then Marvel fan. It seemed like Jack brought Marvel over to DC. At first it hurt me--but we're richer for it because of the awesome creations Jack did for DC.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | October 30, 2012

No Company Man

Frank, You got past the "hurt" you felt at the time. What amazes me is there are still loads of people who haven't.
The "DC Guy" vs "Marvel Guy" stuff is just bizarre to me. I can see a "who's better Kirby or Colan" discussion between fans, but the idea there were people buying the Dick Ayers Sgt. Fury and not the Joe Kubert Sgt. Rock is beyond my understanding.
Stan Lee could have been the next L.Ron Hubbard.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 30, 2012

No accounting for taste

I did like Marvel better then DC at that time. I didn't buy every comic Marvel produced. Anything Don Heck drew I avoided like the plague. Romita was drawing Spider-man and when Don Heck came on board I dropped the book. Now as I've aged I see Don Heck as the true craftsmen he was. Never came around to Dick Ayers when he was the artist on a comic. Didn't care for Herb Trimpe's work--so I wouldn't go out of my way to buy a Hulk comic. Though I did like Trimpe inked by John Severin on Hulk. I really liked Gene Colan and everything he did. At first I wasn't a big fan of John Busema but I came to my senses with him.

I was a Kirby fan and bought everything he did. For a while there I didn't like Colletta's inks on Thor, not after first being exposed to Kirby and Sinnott on FF--but Kirby still came on strong despite Colletta's inks and the style grew on me for that title. I mean c'mon--it was still Jack.

Who knows what cylinders were firing off in my adolescent skull and why there had to be a competition between Marvel and DC but that's the way the big 2 set themselves up and my 12 cents or quarters were going to Marvel. I was an aspiring artist and wanted to work in comics--I wanted to work for Marvel. To me Marvel's stuff popped more. DC dry and dead, Marvel vibrant and alive.

I didn't know who Joe Kubert was then but you know who brought me to DC?--KIRBY!! Jack brought me to Joe Kubert, Berni Wrightson, Neal Adams and even Nestor Redondo. Nestor inked a story I did for a christian magazine--you talk about a thrill.

As I got older my taste were changing. I went from superhero comics to being a Conan the Barbarian fan. Discovered Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben and one of my favorites when Heavy Metal came out. MOEBIUS!

I grew up some and did start buying DC. Tarzan, Swamp Thing and whatever other artist from DC caught my fancy. I was even getting Warren magazines for a while there--Creepy and Eerie and Vamperilla. I got unstuck on just Marvel.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | October 30, 2012

Heart At Ache

Don't take it too much at heart Frank.

The fact that you were mostly a fan of what Marvel produced doesn't reduce you to being just another Marvel fan and show your good taste!
I was too young to be aware of publishers but I knew what were the characters and comics I enjoyed and, if most of them were published by Marvel, so be it.

I loved the comics done by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, Gil Kane, Ross Andru or George Tuska or Wally Wood and that was enough for me.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 30, 2012

Jack's departure--1970

Although in his heart he may have left in the late sixties.

Allen wrote, "Kirby's writing was different, and took a little getting used to, but looking back, I think Kirby was the better writer, and his dialogue, so often criticized, very effectively tells the stories he wanted to tell. Stan's writing: shallow and all surface, like someone wanting to make a good impression but who's not very deep".

Allen--I'm in total agreement with this.

Frank Fosco's picture
Posted by: Frank Fosco | October 30, 2012

Re: Heart Attachs

Thanks, Krackles--my sentiments exactly.

I wasn't much for Tuska back then, but all those other names you mentioned I was all over.

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