Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Kirby Kovers #17

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This week's Kirby Kover is the posthumously-published (if I recall correctly) Phantom Force #3, and while Kirby may have pencilled this cover, the printed result looks like a complete mess, no doubt due to McFarlane's inking and the way too much over-the-top coloring special effects! Kirby's art didn't need Photoshop to look fantastic, and I bet that if Kirby had ever played with Photoshop to do comic artwork, what he would've come up with would've made this look especially pathetic by comparison!

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Next, we've got The New Gods #5, and do me a favor -- scroll back up to the first cover, and then back down to this one. This cover does use some coloring effects, but they work a thousand times better here, because it's restrained, and it's Kirby's art that really carries the cover! I really believe that Kirby's art evolved to work with the coloring available at the time, and knowing how limited a palette of colors was available, he made sure that his pencils could carry the story no matter how badly it was colored (I think some of his stuff even looks better in pure black and white, as seen in some of Marvel's Essentials volumes, as well as The Jack Kirby Collector.

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Last time around, I showed you an early Iron Man cover from Tales of Suspense in which I pointed out how difficult it was to do a good, dynamic cover with the original Iron Man armor... this cover, for issue #55, shows how much better the red-and-yellow design worked for comics, even if Kirby wasn't necessarily doing complete pencils (or if the inks are just a trifle bit mismatched, or whatever the situation is here). It doesn't really look entirely like pure Kirby, does it? It's still a great cover, one that would've absolutely sold more comics than the previous one from this series I posted!

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Oh, cool, here's issue #11 of Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, which I think really illustrates my point about how Kirby's artwork was designed to work with the coloring available... definitely the coloring here works way better than the first cover this week... of course, one has to compliment the colorist, too, who could make a great Kirby Kover look even better!

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