Friday, October 21, 2005

Tales to Astonish, by Ronin Ro

Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and the American Comic Book Revolution, by Ronin Ro

This is a biography of Jack Kirby, one of the most influential comic book artists in America. I knew that a lot of the pioneers of the heroes we know today got screwed by the publishers but not many of the details. When I got into comics as a kid, Kirby was one of the names spoken in hushed tones in the shops. Yeah, we were geeks. Anyway, this book details the life of Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, and the original X-Men to name just a few. If you recognize a character from Marvel Comics there is a good chance that Kirby drew him or her if not having a hand in the actual creation. Kirby created art at an amazing rate: ten hours a day, seven day a week. Today’s artists make a lot of their money by selling their original art, but much of the art Kirby created was stolen or misplaced by Marvel. There was a period where Kirby and Marvel weren’t even speaking; amazing considering the obvious influence he had on the company. Imagine Chrysler not welcoming Lee Iacocca or Microsoft ignoring Bill Gates. In the background of all this drama, the comic book industry is unfolding into what we see today. If you enjoy comics, you’ll be fascinated by this story.

First Sentence:
Jacob Kurtzberg was tired of being poor.

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