Jack Kirby

Jack KirbyJack Kirby was born Jacob Kurtzberg on August 28th, 1917. The son of Austrian immigrants, he grew up in the less than hospitable Lower East Side of New York City. At an early age, it became apparent that Jack had a knack for drawing. In 1939, he left his work that he was doing on the POPEYE cartoons as well as the syndicated newspaper strips, and collaborated with a young Jos Simon as the both joined the fast growing art medium called comic books. Their partnership lasted the better part of two decades as they created some of the most well known characters in comic books. Their first and perhaps biggest creation was Captain America, created at Timely Comics in 1940. From there, Jack co-created literally hundreds of characters from BOY COMMANDOS, CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN, FIGHTING AMERICAN, MANHUNTER, NEWSBOY LEGION, and SANDMAN. But it wasn't until 1961 that Jack Kirby truly began to lay the foundations of what was to become his legacy. He created, co- created, and or revamped such characters as the AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA, the FANTASTIC FOUR, the HULK, SGT. FURY & his HOWLING COMMANDOS, SILVER SURFER, THOR, AND the X-MEN. In 1970, Jack Kirby returned to DC Comics and continued his master influence by creating such characters as NEW GODS, FOREVER PEOPLE, MISTER MIRACLE, OUR FIGHTING FORCES, and KAMANDI. Jack returned to Marvel in 1975, and worked on CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK PANTHER, DEVIL DINOSAUR, and the ETERNALS. But Jack began to slow down, and soon left Marvel and did work for some animation studios, but still found time to create and pencil another creation, CAPTAIN VICTORY. Poor health forced Jack Kirby to retire for good in 1987, and he passed away on February 6th, 1994. In the 1960s, it was Stan Lee who gave the nickname, 'the King' to Jack Kirby, and the moniker stuck, even to this day. Whenever a comic book afficionado says 'the King', everyone knows that it is in reference to Jack Kirby. His art has steadily gained interest, even before his passing, and it could be said that his comic book art is the art of a true master, nay, a King.

*Thanks to writer Hal Hilden for the bio!

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