cover image Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

Tom Scioli. Ten Speed, $28.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-984856-90-6

Scioli (the Gødland series) injects oomph into the already-energetic life story of the “King of Comics” through sweeping narrative and Scioli’s trademark detailed page layouts. Told from the point of view of Kirby (1917–1994), the biography also acts as a history of the comics industry, from early strips to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Beginning with Kirby’s hardscrabble upbringing in Manhattan’s Lower East Side (remarkably similar to the back history he later gave the Thing, one of his most endearing creations), Scioli extensively documents the artist’s career and personal life through a chummy and casual first-person narrative. Scioli recreates many of Kirby’s panels from superhero, war, crime, and romance comics—threaded through Kirby’s own experiences as a soldier and in love, for example—while his pompadour-adorned, wide-eyed figure of Kirby seems to pop from the page among a more realistically drawn supporting cast, just as his own heroes stood out as larger than life. Fans of Kirby’s most famous Marvel comics will especially enjoy recollections of his collaboration with Stan Lee, which established the Marvel Universe in the 1960s. This is a must-read for Kirby fans, and beyond—it captures the mythos of the of the 20th century comic industry’s golden age. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Creative Book Services. (July)