Kirby is here! Or rather--Kirby is at California State University Northridge Art Galleries in Los Angeles, where Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby opens to the public on Monday, August 24th with a proper opening celebration on Saturday, August 29 at 4 P.M. Curated by my friend and colleague Charles Hatfield, preeminent Kirby expert and author of the best critical evaluation of comics art I know, Hand of Fire: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby; this exhibition has already been touted in the Los Angeles Times as "not to be missed" and is likely to elevate Jack Kirby from "great American comics-artist" status to "great American artist"; no qualification necessary.
Arriving just ahead of what would've been Jack Kirby's one hundredth birthday, the show is sure to inspire both critical re-evaluations of comics, super-heroes and Jack Kirby's monumental contributions to American pop culture, as well as the work of up-and-coming comics artists in this generation and the next. "Not to be missed" is right--and if you love art, love comics, love Jack Kirby, and are anywhere near Los Angeles, I urge you to make a point of seeing this show! Congratulations, Charles! and congratulations as well to Gallery Director James Sweeters and the team at CSUN Art Galleries, who've done such a beautiful installation!
Finally, I'm more than a little thrilled to have made a small contribution to what is sure to be an epic moment in comics exhibitions. Using Jack Kirby's illustrations, I designed the mural of Orion and Darkseid on the right side of the top photo of the show, in honor of Jack Kirby and my own father, who passed away on July 20th and was ill while I worked on this image of a father and son. Dad was certainly not Darkseid, and I'm not Orion--but I couldn't help but have him in my thoughts as I looked to create an image that would both honor and add to an understanding of Jack Kirby's achievement. And to that end, perhaps there's a little of the King's titanic tale of fathers and sons in all of us.