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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!

Monday, February 1, 2021

DC in the 80s '8k Twitter followers' contest

Our Twitter account just hit 8,000 followers, and to celebrate we're having a contest!

All you need to do to enter is send us an original illustration (via e-mail [dcinthe80s@gmail.com]) of your favorite DC character(s) from the 1980s.

You could win:

  1. A secret DC comics-themed prize,
  2. Your illustration published in our NEXT fanzine, AND
  3. A FREE copy of our NEXT fanzine!

Contest rules:

  • Illustration MUST be Safe for Work (i.e. no nudity, excessive sexuality or gore)
  • Illustration must NOT be political (i.e. no Trump or Biden gags, please)
  • Illustration must NOT be religious-themed or contain any hate-themed content (self-explanatory)
  • Your illustration MUST be an original, and NOT be a swipe of someone else's work (i.e. no tracing Frank Miller's splash page from DKR. We're good at spotting this stuff -- we'll know.)
  • Illustration must fit within 8.5" x 5.5" page (because that's how big our 'zine pages are)
  • We primarily print in black and white. If you decide to send us a color illustration, be sure to also include a black and white version that will look good in print.
  • Please send the illustration as a .TIF or high-resolution JPEG (300 dpi) file. This is the optimal DPI that our printers use.
  • By entering this contest, you grant us (DC in the 80s) permission to display your art on our Facebook, Twitter and any other social media feeds we use.


Previously submitted fan art from years past:

'Very 80s Justice League' by John Gagliano


'Hip-Hop Darkseid' by Brennan Bova



Blue Devil by Dan Hammond

FAQ:

Q: I don't have those fancy artist pens that professional comic book artists use. Can I still participate?

A: Absolutely. Use ballpoint pens, crayons, coloring pencils, oil paints, water colors, mechanical pencils, pastels, sharpies, charcoal or chalk for all we care. Hey, you can even go totally digital on this one and use Photoshop (or even MS paint). All we care is that it's original work, and that it will look good in black and white, and that it will fit nicely on a 8.5" x 5.5" page.

Q: I don't live in North America. Can I still participate?

A: Sure! Just keep in mind that, if you win, we'll be sending out your prize via standard mail in a regular envelope -- so it might take a while to arrive.

Q: Do I need to send you the original art?

A: No, just the high-resolution digital scan in .TIF or .JPEG format will be fine.

Q: I can't draw for the life of me, can I get my brother/sister/cousin/friend to do it?

A: Sure. As long as they realize that we will be printing it in our fanzine if they are the winner.

Q: Can I commission someone to do the illustration for me?

A: Sure, but remember that the DC comics-themed prize and the fanzine is probably worth about $10 USD in total. You're really playing for bragging rights and have your illustration shown to a wide audience of DC comics-loving fans.

Q: So... how many people will see the winning contest entry?

A: Without going into specifics, we have a reach of about 27k+ monthly viewers/readers (and these are the months that we aren't at comic book conventions /events distributing our fanzines). So, we'll let you do the math on that one. ;)

Q: Can I submit more than one illustration?

A: Yes, yes you can.

Q: Can I submit art I commissioned from a professional artist several years ago?

A: We'd rather not. Let's keep it fresh and new.

Q: Is there an age limit to this contest?

A: No, we'll accept entries from newborn babies all the way up until 180 year olds. If you're under eighteen, we'd like your parents' or legal guardians' permission that you may enter, however./

Q: I'm a professional artist. May I enter this contest?

A: Yes, you may.

Q: Does it have to be one (1) character in the illustration?

A: You can draw all 30+ members of the Legion of Super-Heroes for all we care, as long as it all fits on one 8.5" x 5.5" page and looks good (we're NOT doing double-page splashes, so please don't ask.)

Q: Do the characters have to be posing in a 'team shot'?

A: No, you can do whatever you'd like: New Teen Titans fighting Darkseid, Infinity Inc in a ping-pong tournament, Batman and Robin making breakfast in the kitchen... we really have no restrictions.

Q: Can I add some Marvel [or other comic book] characters in the illustration?

A: No, we'd prefer you stick to a theme: DC comics characters who appeared in the comic books during the 1980s (let's say from 1978 to 1992).

Q: Can I add my own creator-made character(s) in the illustration?

A: No. Again, we'd prefer you to stick to a theme. See answer above.

Q: I don't really do illustrations. I'm more of a 'one-page comic strip' person. Can I submit one of those?

A: Words with pictures? Yes, you can.

Q: I actually meant more like a 'MAD Magazine humor article' type-of-thing.

A: Does it fit onto a 8.5" x 5.5" page? Is it high-resolution? Does it look good in black and white? If you answered yes to all of the above, go for it.

Q: I wrote it and my friend drew it. Do we each get a prize if we win?

A: No. If you guys win, we'll send you the prize package and you guys can figure out how you guys want to split it up.

Q: Can I send a short story, written prose or poetry instead?

A: No, it's got to have illustrations. It can have words AND illustrations, but NOT just words.

Q: Can I send in a collage?

A: We appreciate almost all visual artistic forms, so sure. As long as it: fits onto a 8.5" x 5.5" page, is sent as a high-resolution scan, and looks good in black and white.

Q: I decided to illustrate/paint my submission on an oversized canvas. Rather than scan it (which won't work for obvious reasons), can I just take a picture and send that instead?

A: The problem with photos is that there is a lot of glare or -- worse yet -- when you print a photo of a painting in a fanzine it looks like a photo of a painting. If you can take a high-resolution photo of your creation in such a way so that it DOESN'T look like a photo, then yes -- if we chose your work of art -- you'd be eligible to win.

Q: How will the winner be chosen?

A: A winner will be chosen by DC in the 80s editor-in-chief, Justin Francoeur, and DC in the 80s co-editor, Mark Belkin. We will most likely have an additional 'celebrity judge' because sometimes Justin and Mark can't agree and need a tie-breaker. We're not actually sure what we're looking for, we'll just know it when we see it. Try to 'wow' us.

Q: Will there be prizes for runner-ups?

A: That remains to be seen on 1) how many submissions we get and 2) how many submissions 'wow' us.

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This contest will be open until April 3rd, 2021 12:00. No purchase necessary.