Cover date is approximate based on published dates of issue 1 and 2.
Scans of original art are from the Kirby Museum's Original Art Digital Archive.
Scans of pencil art photocopies for the Kirby Museum's Pencil Art Photocopy Archive courtesy of the Kirby Family, with thanks to TwoMorrows Publishing.
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... words cannot describe how much I love this page. I'm so happy it exists as just pencils.
...and suddenly I realize, it's because Kirby came back to the same motif with the second generation Newsboy Legion and the clone army of "Scrapper Troopers" in JIMMY OLSEN. I used to think of the Fourth World books as being something unique and without precedent in comics, but as I see more of Kirby's pre-Marvel work it becomes clear how much of it was the things he'd been doing all along, or things he'd always wanted to do but never had the chance.
The fluidity, skill and confidence with which Kirby laid down this drawing is staggering. Look at that linework. Almost no sketchiness, no erasing, no belaboured working and reworking, no hesitation whatsoever. Just a few light, wispy construction lines and then right to the finished drawing in a single pass. Incredible.
It's nice that we can still see Jack's hand-written dialogue underneath the inked lettering, too. The play-on-words is cleverly conceived, also, in the usual Simon and Kirby fashion. And of course Howard Ferguson did a stellar job on the lettering, as always. It's a damn shame this series didn't get the chance to continue, 'cause I'm sure we would've seen some phenomenal comics if it had!
The construction is so exact and yet it looks effortless like clouds in a sky.