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Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby
Jack Kirby

August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994

Jack Kirby was one of comic's greatest artists, writers, and innovators, co-creating Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Black Panther, the Avengers, and the X-Men, among others. His prolific output and explosive, mind-bending visual style earned him the title “King of Comics.”

Born Jacob Kurtzberg in New York City, Kirby started his career illustrating for newspaper comic strips in 1935. The next year, he began working for Fleischer Studios on Popeye cartoons. Kirby entered the comic book realm in 1941 when he co-created Captain America with Joe Simon for Timely Comics, which would eventually become Marvel Comics.

His comics career was put on hold with WWII, however, while Kirby served as combat infantryman for three years. After he returned home, he worked as a freelance comics artist in many genres including westerns, crime, and war stories. He and Simon launched the romance comics industry with Young Romance (1947–1963; 1971–1975).

Starting in the early 1960s, he turned almost entirely to superheroes. With Marvel's new director, Stan Lee, Kirby co-created the Fantastic Four. Kirby mainly worked for Marvel Comics, although in 1970 he moved to DC Comics for five years where he worked on The Forever People, New Gods, and Superman among others. During his time at Marvel, Kirby helped design and draw numerous key characters including The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Spiderman, Iron Man, The Avengers, Dr. Doom, The Silver Surfer, and the X-Men.

Selected Bibliography

Captain America (1941)
Fantastic Four (1961)
Hulk (1962)
Thor (1962)
X-Men (1963)
Silver Surfer (1966)