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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

DC in the 80's Talks to Tom Scioli About His Brilliant Jack Kirby Comic

Comics would not exist as we know them today if Jack Kirby hadn't done what he did. Maybe there would have been some form of comic books, but Jack Kirby contributed immensely to the mythology of superhero comics in the forties, sixties, seventies and still into the eighties. The DC comics of the eighties used so much of what he created and even wove it into the fabric of the DC Universe (ex: Mister Miracle and Big Barda in Justice League International, Darkseid, Apokolips, and the New Gods in SupermanEtrigan the Demon in Swamp Thing, Kamandi in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the New Gods/Apokolips characters who appear in Kenner's Super Powers Collection toy line.)  

New Gods Mister Miracle and Metron in Justice League International.

One of Jack Kirby's biggest fans is Tom Scioli, who put together an AMAZING illustrated biography of the King, which is available right now. You can also find some of his work in the Super Powers backup story in Gerard Way's Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, published from 2016 to 2017 by the DC Comic's imprint Young Animal.  

One of the best illustrated biographies ever.


Mark Belkin asked Tom Scioli if we could ask him five questions about the book, and he obliged! Without further ado, here is our socially distant interview about his amazing Jack Kirby: The Epic Life of the King of Comics

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Mark Belkin: Question #1What was the first Jack Kirby book you ever read? How did it make you feel after reading it?

Tom Scioli: Thor Treasury with the Mangog story. I loved it. I felt smarter just for reading it with all the 'thees' and 'thous' and the 'billion, billion beings'. It was thrilling. I assumed it was business as usual. I hadn’t read very many comics at that point and I assumed that most comics were that good.

Action!!!

Mark: Question #2: If you could travel back in time and be the boss of any of the comic companies Jack Kirby worked for, what's one thing you would absolutely change in how he was treated?

Tom: Profit participation and creative control. That’s all he was asking for. If he were writing novels instead of making comics, it would’ve been standard.


Mark: Question #3: Of all of Kirby's DC creations after leaving Marvel, which was your favorite?

Tom: I love New Gods. I was fascinated with Darkseid when I first saw him on the Super Powers show. When I later learned that he had a son other than Kalibak who was the main character of a whole other super hero mythology I was blown away. Orion is such an amazing character and he flies under the radar.

The 80's reprints of the New God's series, with some additional parts.


Mark: Question #4: How was it working on your Super Powers back up in Young Animal? What did you read or look at to prepare for it? Did you ever collect the action figures, and if you did, which was your favorite?

Tom: I looked at all sorts of stuff. The cartoon, the old comics. Kirby’s super powers and Ramona Fradon’s SuperFriends comics. When I was told I wouldn’t have access to the new gods or the JLA/Super Friends, I started digging deep into obscure Kirby DC stuff like In The Days of the Mob and his 50’s stuff. I loved the action figures. I was excited when those and the Marvel Secret Wars toys came out. Prior to that there was just the mego super hero’s which seemed old fashioned. It was cool having Star Wars figure sized super hero toys. My favorite was Superman. I got the Lexor 7 mainly for the kryptonite.

The King in all his glory.

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Tom Scioli's Super Power's backup. 


Mark: Question #5: There was so much emotion in your Jack Kirby book. From his time in World War 2, to his relationship with Roz Kirby, to how he was treated by major publishers (i.e., inkers, editors, night time hosts, etc...) Obviously you have a love and admiration for Jack. Was there any part of the story where you felt "This is really hard to read about and illustrate!"?

Tom: All the stuff you named. I really wanted to get it right. His illness and death were emotionally challenging for me to write and illustrate.

Mark: Thank you for talking with us, Tom!

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I highly recommend the Jack Kirby book. I learned so much I did not know, and it made me cry a few times. It's powerful work about a powerful man. You can order it directly at:

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/608042/jack-kirby-by-tom-scioli/?pdivflag

Tom Scioli has a lot of great work that he has done over the years (I am particularly partial to Godland and Transformers vs. G.I. Joe). You can find him on:

Twitter @tomscioli

Instagram @tom_scioli

His Patreon link: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=44878299

His websites: tomscioli.com and ambarb.com

His YouTube channel, which is called 'Total Recall Show': https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC06b4W-wdvMDkilT-hAVxmQ


 More Tom Scioli Super Powers!

1 comment:

  1. Scioli is one of the underrated geniuses of comics. His books are exciting and original in a way that I think will be valued and appreciated in the years to come.

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