This year, Jack "King" Kirby -- arguably the greatest creator in the history of the comics medium -- would have turned 100 years old. Comics fans, creators and publishers have all devoted the year to celebrating Kirby in their own ways, from essays to variant covers to new reprints and even new projects like DC's Kamandi Challenge series. If you work in comics or read comics regularly, it's hard to miss the Kirby tributes, but what about the world beyond comic books? What about showing Kirby's influence and importance to as many people as possible?
Disney's gotten the ball rolling on that front, announcing that Kirby will be named a "Disney Legend" at this year's D23, but now a campaign among Kirby fans has begun to give the King a place of honor in one of the most seen places on the planet: the Google homepage.
This week, author and cartoonist "Calamity" Jon Morris (Jeremy, The League of Regrettable Superheroes) launched a campaign aimed at getting a Google Doodle (the daily redesign of the Google homepage in tribute to a person, event or cultural landmark) in honor of Kirby on August 28, what would have been his 100th birthday. Here's the petition Morris crafted for easy sharing around the web:
Obviously, a Google Doodle is a relatively small thing compared to credit many fans feel Kirby is still owed in the world of comics alone, but the Doodle would be seen by millions of people who are just starting their day. For some, it would simply be a reminder that they love Kirby, and maybe they'll pull out their old Fourth World anthologies for a re-read that day. For others, it'll be a reminder that they loved Kirby's work as kids, and by the end of the day they'll be hunting down old Fantastic Four issues. For still others, the site of a crazy Kirby Machine on the Google homepage will spark curiosity. Whose visual style is that? What kind of imagination could birth those images? Then, upon investigation, they'll discover the joys of the King of Comics. Sure, those people would be in the minority, but any new Kirby fan is a good thing.
Jack Kirby worked in comics for more than five decades. He poured his life into page after page of unparalleled adventure, giving us everything from Ben Grimm to OMAC to Darkseid to romance comics. He's not just one of the greatest comics creators in history. He's one of the greatest creators, full stop. So splashing his name and his work all over the front page of the internet for just a single day kinda feels like the least we can do.
Check out those instructions above one more time, and join the #doodleforjack campaign.