"The mass production of instruments of comfort - all revolutionary, according to the publicity handouts - has given the most unsophisticated of people the right to express an opinion on the marvels of technological innovation in a tone as blase as the hand they stick in their pants. The first landing on Mars will pass unnoticed at Disneyland."
(Panel by Jack Kirby, Mike Royer et al, from OMAC #1, 1975)
“The mass production of instruments of comfort - all revolutionary, according to the publicity handouts - has given the most unsophisticated of people the right to express an opinion on the marvels of technological innovation in a tone as blase as the hand they stick in their pants. The first landing on Mars will pass unnoticed at Disneyland.”
(Panel by Jack Kirby, Mike Royer et al, from (OMAC #1, 1975)
What the man said.
Here’s the “mission plan” from the project:
For the next three weeks, 4CP is going to be all Kirby, all Seventies. It’s an area we’ve hardly touched until now, because Kirby mostly abandoned the traditional comic book detail in the Seventies, and at 4CP we generally scan very tiny areas of the printed comic book page.
Scanning Kirby this month, we’ve concluded that:
- If he wanted to put a lot of stuff into a frame, he drew it as two-page spread.
- Frames of normal size often bear a resemblance to enlarged details from Kirby’s earlier work. It is as though Kirby were cropping and magnifying his work in advance, going deeper into the comic book page to find his essential composition and images.
- Kirby’s illustrative style had itself become a magnified exaggeration of the techniques and textures that characterized details in his earlier work. His blacks became denser and more expressionistic, and “detail” often took the form of bleedy, blobby, stylized texture, as if he had zoomed in on the black lines and shading of an old comic book page.
In the Seventies, Kirby drew less, but he drew it larger, and as he did this, his style increasingly became the content.
Sure, I’m over-generalizing, but when I went looking for isolated images that define what is particular about Kirby in the Seventies, that’s how it felt to me. In purely practical terms, I had to scan larger areas of the frames to capture recognizable illustration. When you isolate one square inch in a Seventies Kirby comic, the result will often be pure abstraction. In his Sixties work, “frames within frames” abounded.
Compare and Contrast - Jack Kirby and Paul Pope
Jack Kirby’s O.M.A.C.
Paul Pope’s O.M.A.C.
Don’t ask about the woman in the box.
If and when I write a forward for a DEMON collection, I will tell how Jack created that entire comic in—this is not an exaggeration, it’s what was happening at that moment—the time it takes to get a hot turkey sandwich at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. Asked earlier that day to come up with a macabre hero, Jack went to dinner with his family and friends (I was a friend) and he ordered, then sat there very quietly at the table, figuring out all the essentials of his next comic while he waited for the waitress to deliver his meal.