Jack Kirby would have turned 100 this August, which means comics fans and publishers will be celebrating the King's centennial throughout the year. We've already seen new comics like The Kamandi Challenge, a host of variant covers, a posthumous Disney Legend award and a campaign to get comics' greatest creator his own Google Doodle. Now, with San Diego Comic-Con just weeks away, we're learning about even more Kirby fun.
The latest centennial tribute news comes from IDW Publishing, a company that's produced more than half a dozen beautiful volumes in their Artist's Edition line celebrating Kirby's career. To further honor Kirby's original art in all its glory, the publisher has announced a massive SDCC panel and art show featuring more than 1,300 -- yes, 1,300 -- pages of original Kirby art from throughout his incredible career at Marvel and DC Comics. The pieces will include work seen throughout the Kirby Artist's Editions, as well new Kirby work never reproduced in this format before, and IDW is promising the images are "printed so clearly that the whiteout, eraser marks, and blue-line notes are all visible, giving a behind-the-scenes look at some of Kirby’s biggest hits."
“One of the things that IDW is most committed to as a company is the preservation and proper display of classic comics, and we could not be more excited and proud to show off these original pages in celebration of all that Kirby accomplished,” IDW President Greg Goldstein said. “We’re grateful to our partners at Marvel and DC, and of course to the Kirby family, for the opportunity to publish these beautiful and important books.”
In addition to the art show, IDW will also host a Kirby panel including Goldstein, Walt Simonson (a comics legend who, through his work on Thor and Orion, established himself as one of Kirby's greatest heirs), Kevin Eastman (legendary co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), IDW PDX Creative Director Dirk Wood and IDW Director of Special Projects Scott Dunbier, the editor behind the Artist's Editions. Plus, the publisher is promising a giveaway of two Artist's Edition books during the event, as well as a "special gift" for all attendees.
Seating for the event is, of course, limited, so if you're a major Kirbyhead and you're hitting up Comic-Con this year you might want to go ahead and make plans for this one. The IDW Jack Kirby tribute will be held Saturday, July 22, from 1-2 p.m. in Room 25ABC, so mark your calendars and get ready to see the King's pencils up close. There's nothing quite like getting lost in that elaborate cosmic imagination.