Kirby

I have three original Jack Kirby pages that hang over me while I write.  Kirby is a great inspiration to me.  I find in his aesthetic a celebration of technological possibility that is without cynicism, that is totally joyful, without being imperial.

From Sandman 1

One of my pages is from Sandman 1, another is from one of his late independent projects, and one page is from Omac 5. The Sandman is interesting in part because it reveals how completely Gaiman transformed the comic when he revised it.

A Panel from Omac

Omac is one of the comics Kirby did for DC, and like most of the brilliant work he did then it was quickly killed, presumably by some suit — or else by Kirby running off to another project.  Omac is not deliriously exuberant, like New Gods or Demon, but then in terms of plot it is downright bizarre.  It comes off as a kind of invertedly-Kafkaesque science fiction, in which a pleasant but perhaps clinical world is defended by literally faceless U.N. police.  The disarming thing about it is that Kirby does not criticize the seemingly dystopian elements of his story, so that the faceless police and their ominious panoptic artificial intelligence (“Brother Eye”) are treated as normal, if not proper.  A nearly-psychedelic SF experience.

 

Moebius is dead. Long live Moebius.

I think of the 70s as a time when two visionaries created transcendent visions in comix.  One was Jack Kirby, who made technology numinous.  The other was Moebius, who somehow made whole worlds — cities, deserts, forests, seas — particular, concrete, and so believable.

World comes that Jean Giraud died yesterday.  His worlds will be missed.