Friday, January 13, 2012

Kirby Kovers #19

First up in this week's Kirby Kovers feature is the cover of Love Romances #106! It's sometimes all too easy to forget, given how much Kirby is thought of for his superheroes and cosmic comics, that he and Joe Simon pioneered the romance comic! I wonder if Stan assigned Jack to do this cover to see if the Kirby magic would raise sales on this title? I know that (Charlton aside) romance comics were already dying out, and would be all but gone by the early 70s (again, aside from Charlton). Anyway, Kirby's certainly using his ability for the dramatic well here... there's no doubt what's going on in the minds of all three characters here!

Next, the cover of Thor #163! You know, the more of these I do, the more I have to remind myself how many really great Thor covers Jack drew (when it comes to Marvel, I'm guilty of associating him primarily with the Fantastic Four). Who else but Kirby would dare to put Thor and Sif (the protagonists) at the very edges of the cover, barely seen, while focusing on the threat? Who else could make a bald guy in a trenchcoat look so menacing? (of course having said that, I'd bet that the bald guy is Pluto, God of the Underworld, or someone like that, eh?) Kirby makes good use of the logo placement, Thor, Sif, and Kirby Krackle to frame the image.

Nobody could do space tech like Kirby, right? Well, here's the cover of Eternals #1, and the tech is entirely with the Celestial here (even if he's not identified as such). Looking at this cover, there's something vaguely familiar about it, that helps you accept the overall design (something that can be said about many of his tech drawings). It's been pointed out elsewhere that Kirby would sneak in familiar items, but oriented at an unusual angle, as the basis for stuff, and maybe he's done that here, too. Looking at this, it almost looks like a lot of the structure is kind of a deconstructed microscope combined with scuba gear!

Here's another mid-70s Kirby Marvel #1, Machine Man, long one of my favorite second banana Marvel characters! I've always felt that this was a great concept, and one that would make a very fun animated series -- it would make a great action figure line, too... his various functions would lend themselves well to variations like the manufacturers like to make!

Here's another Thor cover, this one Thor #145! Now, I have to admit that I'm not as up on Thor as I'd like to be, especially the Kirby years stuff... but this cover tells me that once again, Odin has decided to take Thor's powers away from him and leave him suck on Midgard! Of course, this always seems to happen just as some major menace appears that the power of Thor is needed to battle! What's kind of odd about this cover is, there's winds blowing, red Kirby crackle in the skies, the people around Thor are reacting to something... and Thor's just sort of standing there with an expression of, "Well... crap."

And finally, we have the cover for Sandman #4... this was a title that Kirby's ability to draw the odd certainly worked well for, even if the book didn't last all that long!

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