Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Great Jack Kirby Mystery

Somewhere back in the dawn of time when I started this blog I was deliriously ecstatic by finally being able to get a 2x up Kirby FF page to add to the my collection. I still am ecstatic about it, and have not had the thing put into the frame as I like to pull it out and look at it up close. There is something very visceral about large art of that sort. It takes over the drawing board and is very physical to handle. Inking something that large involves your entire fore arm, not just a wrist. I like to imagine jack working vigoriously away on these pages at night.

But there is something interesting about the piece that has been bugging me. and I thought that I'd put it out to the assembled internet-land:
the liner notes on the page are wrong.

Below is the piece that I picked up: FF #20, page 14. Scanned off of the essential FF book as it's too damn big for my scanner. Now, thanks to the Jack Kirby collector, we've been fortunate enough to see pages and pages of stats of Jack's pencils, and we've been able to see many of Jack's liner notes that he did for Stan. Even more, much of the artwork that exists out in collectorville and dealerland all have the notes still on them. jack typically wrote in a strong, all caps style, examples of which you can see in the first illustation at the top of this post, and below this paragraph:

page 14, on the other had only has two liner notes, both in a tight scribble. Both are scanned here. The first is from just below jack's sig:

and the second to the left of panel 3:

So the question remains: why is the handwriting so different? Why no liner notes on the rest of the page? Any guesses anyone?

I'd love, if anyone has any further information about where this page has been before ending up in my hands, to know about it as well.

Edited to note: I fired off this info to Mark Evanier to ask his opinion and here is what he said:

I don't know who did that Jack Kirby signature but it wasn't Jack Kirby.

The other handwriting you noted on the margins of the F.F. page looks
like Stan's to me but I'd have to see it in person to be sure. Perhaps
he rewrote a Kirby marginal note just as a note to himself. The margins
of pages from that era are full of editorial notes from Stan and from
Sol Brodsky.
I'll follow this up with any more data that I can find on Lee's handwriting or Sol Brodsky's.

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