Book Review: Kirby: King of Comics

Kirby: King of Comics

Jack Kirby, King of Comics. It's a prestigious title certainly befitting for someone who created or co-created some of the most popular comic characters like Captain America, The X-Men, Fantastic Four and many others whose stories are still running in the comics today.

This book is the biography of Jack Kirby's career in comics, written by Mark Evanier who had worked as his assistant in 1969.

Kirby learned his drawings from newspaper comic strips and movies, doodling incessantly whenever possible. Kirby started poor and was constantly worried about his family's finance. Dropped out of school at 12th grade, he tried to get a job selling his art. Times were really tough, which makes us appreciate his work even more after reading.

The book details his career, from drawing newspaper comic strips, moving on to work with Will Eisner, then Joe Simon, Marvel, DC and other people. Along the way, he created lots of great characters but unfortunately didn't translate to good money for him. Sometimes he would have nightmares of running out of money to support his family. The story of his struggle is very humbling.

Included are many illustrations collected by the author from the many fans. This includes personal sketches, photos and comics, some drawn under different names. All these from a talented hardworking man who puts in 60-hour weeks.

Kirby's story is one of dedication and passion. This book is highly recommended to all fans of his work.

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