Newly Discovered Hunger Dogs Photocopies

June 3, 2012
Hunger Dogs Photocopies

Last month an ebay auction caught my eye titled: "Hunger Dog Stats from Jack Kirby." It turned out that Jeremy Kirby, Jack Kirby's grandson, was selling 15 pages of not stats, but Jack Kirby's own photocopies. Jack Kirby in the 1970's purchased a photocopier for his home. He would photocopy all his artwork pages in pencil form before sending out for inking. In most cases the 2-page spreads were not photocopied. He would then meticulously store them in manilla folders, jotting down the title and issue number on the outside of the envelope. 

Back to the auction, so I was lucky to win it making them available to this site and the Kirby Museum for viewing and research. The Kirby Museum is building a photocopy digital archive. 

What makes these copies unique is that they were never recorded in the inventory of existing photocopies. In addition, they were most like not taken on Kirby's 11x17 home photocopier since they are full size to the large art Kirby did on this issue, 14 x 20 inches. Another indication of their uniqueness is Kirby's hand writing on 2 of the pages. The writing indicates dialog that differs from the dialog in the copy's panel. His handwriting was the published version.

A Little History
Hunger Dogs, published in 1985, was Jack Kirby's conclusion to the cancelled New Gods series from 1971-1973. It was a combination of part of a story from On the Road to Armagetto, inked by Mike Royer, and new story and pages to complete the DC Graphic Novel, The Hunger Dogs. The new pages of the story were inked by D. Bruce Berry. Dealing with the different inking styles, Greg Theakston retouched/reinked the pages to add consistency. The results were not ideal. The inking so drastically altered the pencils that any resemblance to Kirby's original intention was diminished. That is until now.

Below are 2 pages included as comparisons on WiK. I plan to add 2 more that match up with original art pages from the archive and plan to add to this article with a slideshow of all the pages so stay tuned!

Hunger Dogs, Page 59

Hunger Dogs, Page 11

James Romberger's picture
Posted by: James Romberger (not verified) | July 29, 2012

Tom: I wasn't thinking that

Tom: I wasn't thinking that any of NG reprint #6 had been intended for "On the Road to Armagetto", rather that a few pages from the Hunger Dogs might have been first intended for that original short story. It's only because Mike Royer initially described something not borne out by what we have, and there's something a little strange about the way Jack left the Armagetto story with Orion on the pile of bodies, before he added the extra two pages where Esak regains his face. I can accept that original ending of Armagetto as the "true" ending of the New Gods, as it was Jack's first impulse when given so few pages to end it in, but it is a VERY dark and nihilistic ending. A few more pages coming to light, or even one, might clear up the mystery. Like I say though, otherwise I prefer Armagetto as the end...I trust Jack's first impulse more than anything forced on him by others.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 28, 2012

James, Patrick & Chrissie

James:
All the pencil photocopies for NG6 match up with the printed book so nothing new here. This includes page numbers too.

Patrick:
I've already emailed Jeremy to see if there are any other copies since neither books are complete. No response yet. Rand and I have both offered to stop by his home in LA to scan/archive what he has. Timing has not worked out yet.

Chrissie:
Correct others do exist. This weekend, I'm at Rands home and we're archiving all the thousands of photocopies. There was a folder of HD, NG6 and NG12. Some in pencil form and others in Royer inks. We've scanned all the pencils so it fills in some gaps in what I have but not totally.

As more develops I'll post news here. When I'm back in Boston I'll see what we have and what is missing.

James Romberger's picture
Posted by: James Romberger (not verified) | July 26, 2012

Tom: do any of the

Tom: do any of the photocopies you have now go to explaining a discrepancy between the existing pages of "On the Road to Armagetto" and the account given by Mike Royer in an early issue of TJKC where he claimed that that original short story ended the epic ....in other words are there any indications that other pages that ended up inked by Berry were actually intended for the very abbreviated first version of the story?

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | July 26, 2012

Seeing Double

The fact several pages exist in duplicate points to the possibility of more pages. Maybe Rand and Tom could offer to organize and appraise all Kirby related material Jeremy has on hand.

Chrissie_H's picture
Posted by: Chrissie_H | July 25, 2012

So guess you have pencils to

So guess you have pencils to roughly half of the non-Royer HD pages now? More than we ever expected to see... but it does also point to the others existing, I would think, logically... fabulous regardless! :)

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | July 24, 2012

Half Full

Not quite what I had thought, but still very exciting. I'm hopeful as well there may be more copies which turn up. While it's apparent Jeremy is a busy man I have to wonder if he doesn't have things boxed and stored that he might have forgotten.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 23, 2012

Les photocopies sont arrivées

Photocopies arrived today. A mixed bag of pages including 3 unique pencil pages from the Hunger Dogs and sever duplicates. Also from the Hunger Dogs are about 5 or 6 production pages from the Royer inked story with Kirby pencils on the outsides to add to the larger page format.

In addition to the Hunger Dogs are 15 or so pages from New Gods #6's story Even the Gods Must Die. These are great to look at because it includes the entire page in pencils. The published version cropped some of the art so you can see the complete page in the copies.

In all nothing complete. Hunger Dogs and NG 6 are missing many pages. I'll start archiving the pages and at some point I plan to make a slideshow so all can flip through them...electronically.

Krackles's picture
Posted by: Krackles | July 23, 2012

We are the True Keepers of the Flame

Bummer!
Ain't no respect anymore nowaday.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 17, 2012

Hmmmm

On my way back to Boston without the copies. Jeremy unfortunately was not able to hand them off to his sister so I could get them. He said he'd send them out tomorrow. I gave him my FedEx number for 2-day delivery so I could get them faster and shipping FedEx is more secure... Been a long ride to get these in my hands and it ain't over yet!

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | July 17, 2012

Thumbs UP?

Tom, Pages in hand?

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | July 10, 2012

Sounds Great

That's really good to hear Tom. I was somewhat concerned about the copies being sent through the mail. It's good to take your time getting everything right, my primary concern was seeing them safely in your hands.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 10, 2012

Remaining HD pages have not arrived yet but...

Jeremy's sister will deliver the package to me this week in San Diego. They all have to be scanned and processed before I can post them. Since they are very large photocopies they are scanned in halves and need to be stitched together. So it will be a while before they're here.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | July 5, 2012

Ha, very funny

I was hoping to get them this week but nothing yet. Jeremy sends packages via US Postal service and it can very between a week up to 3 weeks. I'll post here when they arrive so you don't have to keep coming back...though I don't mind the extra hits :)

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | July 3, 2012

No, I'm actually quite relaxed

Very good Tom. I shall continue to watch for their arival calmly, not the least bit anxious really.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_mKwENjf_bVU/TU7RYOkqUJI/AAAAAAAAAaU/qkaMjl9Lzk...

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | June 30, 2012

I'm waiting too Patrick

Jeremy mention last Saturday that he would send the copies out next week (meaning this week) with some other packages he was sending. I was hoping to get them on Friday but nothing yet. If they come today I can scan them and post them before the 4th however if they don't come until Tuesday I won't be able to get them posted until the following week, assuming I'll have time before I leave for comic con... Guess we all have to wait... But it will be my first priority when they arrive.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | June 29, 2012

Checking In

Tom, If the site seems to be getting an unusual amount of hits recently, that's me checking in several times a day looking for a bone.

mdhill's picture
Posted by: mdhill | June 28, 2012

News

Wonderful news, Tom.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | June 28, 2012

Positive Trends

Tom, Just based on what happened to date with The Hunger Dogs, I see the "no comment" as very good news.
If there is not one thing more I'm already thrilled.
I've always felt from the moment I read it THE HUNGER DOGS was my favorite Kirby work of art. And yet I absolutely could not stand the published artwork. It was painful to look at, and yet my favorite Kirby story ever.
The few pencil copies I saw in TJKC were proof the art was as great as the story, but I asked around and for years felt it was a lost cause. The artwork was gone.
There may be only a few people in the world who care, but what you have done means a lot to me. It's just like one of those dreams when you walk into an old store and find a treasure, and then you wake up, except this is a dream come true for me.
I'm not alone:
http://www.savagecritic.com/reviews/the-suppleness-of-shame-jeff-looks-a...

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | June 27, 2012

Re: And another thing...

I did ask what other photocopies he had before but didn't get a response. I can certainly ask again but I'm not sure if I'll get an answer...

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | June 26, 2012

And another thing...

Tom, With this major find in hand while we are waiting for the pages I'm wondering if you have any word from Jeremy about the extent of his photocopy holdings? Any chance he has copies from EVEN GODS MUST DIE? CAPTAIN VICTORY? Those are two instances where there were big gaps in the copies listed in the Jack Kirby Checklist.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | June 25, 2012

Manna from Heaven

Tom, This is the most important development concerning Kirby in many years.

Chrissie_H's picture
Posted by: Chrissie_H | June 25, 2012

Yay. Brilliant work, Tom.

Yay. Brilliant work, Tom.

Tom Kraft's picture
Posted by: Tom Kraft | June 25, 2012

Update on Photocopies

Jeremy contacted me this week about selling the remaining Hunger Dogs copies. I agreed to the price and will soon have his remaining 30 pages of copies. This brings the total to 45 pages. I assume this is all of the new pages for HD since some were repurposed from On the Road to Armagetto.

Once in and I have time, they will be posted for all to see and study.

patrick ford's picture
Posted by: patrick ford | June 3, 2012

HEAVY STUFF! KILLING STUFF!

This is one of the most exciting developments concerning Kirby in the past twenty years. If it turns out Jeremy has the rest of the book and (dare we hope) EVEN GODS MUST DIE I might jump through the roof.

Richard Bensam's picture
Posted by: Richard Bensam (not verified) | June 3, 2012

Wow

I didn't dare hope these photocopies existed, but I always wished they did. I long to see larger scans.

Just purely on a literary level, "The results were not ideal" deserves some kind of award as a masterpiece of bone dry understatement.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
X