He may not have the high profile of the Fantastic Four or the future big-screen potential of the Fourth World characters, but Kamandi and his post-apcalyptic world of talking animals and mutants remains one of Jack Kirby's most fascinating comic book creations.
It also happens to have great potential to attract young fans. In the right hands, the story of a young man alone against a scary new world, rowing past the ruins of New York City, could be a massive hit in a medium other than comics. Kamandi fans know this ... and legendary animator Bruce Timm is one of them.
Years ago, after hitting animation paydirt several times over with Batman, Superman and Justice League, Timm approached WB Kids with the idea to do an animated series based on Kirby's Kamandi comics. He made it as far as a pitch, but in the end there were some disagreements over the concept. As Timm explained on the Toon Zone forums back in 2005:
"...it was pretty much an off-the-cuff verbal pitch, with color blow-ups of Kirby comic art .... the lady from WB Kids seemed very confused while looking at the art: 'I kinda like the premise, but, um ... you want it to look like THAT?!' ...also, they wanted to add a strong female supporting character, and since there really AREN'T any in the original comics, and I wanted to stay as faithful to the comics as possible, we reached a quick impasse, they lost interest .... it would have been WAY too violent for them, anyway, I think, it's probably best it didn't happen ..."
Timm might be right about the violence, and while there are female characters who joined the Kamandi cast eventually, I guess this particular good idea just wasn't meant to be.
At least, not back then. Kamandi is getting renewed comic book attention today, so maybe there's still hope for other mediums to take notice.