Sunday, September 03, 2006
New York - Jack Kirby - a small story
Mid 1990's and i'm working for Defiant comics, Jim shooter's company after being outsted at Valiant Comics. We have a fun crew to work with, an interesting collection of folks both neophyte and old school. One of the last Big Apple Con's takes place, and we are all out in force trying to make magic happen for the second time for Shooter: set the world afire with titles like Dark Dominion, Good Guys, Warriors of Plasm, Wardance.
Jack has just died a week or two before I believe, and there was a real sense of the passing of the greatest generation before us, even though at that time Julie Schwartz and Will Eisner would not pass on for many years.
As we all went out to dinner after the con at Arriba Arriba, a mexican on 8th Avenue, Alan Weiss stood up with his glass of scotch and proposed that we all name our favorite Kirby issue. I still remember his, of course: "Mother Delilah" [BOYS' RANCH #3; February, 1951]. My pick was FF #15 "This Man This Monster". Round the table we went, penicllers, inkers, letterers, editors. At the end, Alan again raised his glass, and solemnly said in his best voice of god voice: "To jack."
Not only did our table in the center of the restaurant raise its glasses to echo the toast, but we could hear the murmur of assent from other voices all around us. "To jack." in any other city in the USA we would have been met with silence, but the people of New York knew their trailblazing son, a Jewish child of the lower east side and surely had read the Times obituary, respected for the creative genius he was.
All around us: "To jack." "To jack."
While years have passed since he left us, I see his influence all around us, in ways that would probably confound and delight him.