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Okay--I almost feel like I want to fix this for Jack. The foreground figure that's being carried is misproportioned. The arms of the victim are way too short. His arms should reach to the bottom of the page.
What I noticed first was the fingers on that arm. They're flat.
Yeah--don'tcha know?--that's "flat fingers Finnegan"
Here's hoping "In the Days of the Mob" is around the corner and that they publish the stuff that was unpublished in both publications. That would be sweet.
According Amazon pre-order, it'll be 108 pgs and it'll cost $26.
108 pages, eh? the original publication wasn't 108 pages was it? That has to be added material. Could it be the unpublished stuff finally getting printed?
"Amazon lists it as 108 pages long. Since it was a 52 page magazine, I'm guessing the stories that were prepared for later issues (and then used in DC's "mystery" books) will be included."
I don't have the original magazine, so it'll be a great opportunity to discover the published and unpublished stuff for first time...
Thanks for the heads up, Ferran.
This release is only Spirit World so no In the Days of the Mob. I hope they publish a similar book for the 2 issues of ITDOTM.
If the Spirit World book includes both issues and they are 52 pages this makes sense. DC published issue 1 inked by Colletta. Issue 2 was produced but never fully published. Some stories as you mentioned were in DC comics like Weird Mystery Tales and The Forbidden Tales of Dark Mansion. These were inked by Mike Royer and in the case of The Psychic Blood-Hound story, laid out by Kirby and penciled and inked by Royer. There were other stories that I don't think were ever published. Again I assume these would complete the second issue's 52 page count. Can't wait to see it and find out but a long wait...April of 2012! And I preordered :)
I recall Mark Evanier saying, a couple comicons backs, that eventually EVERYTHING Jack ever did for DC will see print. So, Mob, Dingbats, Divorce you name it! Only a matter of time.
And the sooner the better! Because even those unfinished books are pure gold!!
...but you guys are way off. The proportions and perspective are deliberately distorted in this picture to suit the composition. Even the hands holding the legs in the foreground are a little too big -- but it just doesn't matter. Jack is subverting EVERYTHING here to suit the composition and TELL THE STORY -- WITH MAXIMUM DRAMATIC IMPACT. And it works like crazy! Just look at the RAW POWER of this illo! What was your reaction when you first laid eyes on this page? I know what mine was: "WOW!" Well, I can pretty much guarantee that was the reaction Kirby was after! And he achieved that reaction without sacrificing his storytelling one iota! And Tom, you're being critical because Jack drew some flat fingers?! Come on, when did he NOT draw flat fingers?? Sorry guys, this page is friggin' amazing. FIVE STARS all the way!
That SPIRIT WORLD reprint should be awesome! Let's hope they do MOB as well, with both issues included. I'd also LOVE to see a romance edition with TRUE DIVORCE CASES and SOUL LOVE reprinted in their entirety. I know most of those stories aren't finished, but that doesn't matter. They could get someone to finish them in a style similar to the work that's already been done, or just print them as is. Jack's uninked pencils are so gorgeous, I think a lot of people would buy the stuff even if the stories weren't inked!
...they could get Tom Kraft to re-create the unfinished pages and have guys like Mike Royer and Frank Fosco finish 'em off!
Alright John. I have no problem with the foreshortening and perspective or the flat fingers--that's Jack.My first reaction when I saw this page was, those arms are wrong. Unless the guy was being lifted up by the crook of the elbows, which he's not, then I would go along with you. As is, the crook of the arm/elbow when dangling down like that should be at the top of the head. This guys elbows start at his shoulders, he has no biceps. And that same dynamic that is there still could have been achieved if the arms were done right. I could show you if you want me to? Simple as sending me an e-mail through this site and I would get back to you.
That would be too good to be true.
Printing these days is so good that to see the stuff in graphite would be pretty sweet. Jack's pencils are a treat to behold.
John, I completely agree that Kirby used composition not anatomy to do his incredible storytelling. My first reaction was WOW when I saw this page. The museum had a printout. While I was looking at the museum's printout someone mentioned the fingers and I say hmmm thats true but what a great splash!
Anyway if you want to contact anyone through this site the person to contact will need to have that option checked in their profile. Its turned off automatically for privacy reasons. Simple to do, go under edit and Contact Settings and click the Personal contact form option.
Just because the arms aren't right doesn't mean I don't like it. Jack wasn't one to do a lot of erasing. It looks to me he had an idea in mind but then went in a different direction. Like he was meaning to have this guy lifted by the crook of his arms, inside his elbows--then there would have to of been another guys legs drawn in lifting this guy by the arms. That would have blocked out the car with the open trunk compromising the storytelling. Looks like that hand to the left was put in there just so we know somebody else is lifting this guy.
I see what you're saying about the arms, Frank, but if his right arm was hanging down as far as you proposed, it would have blocked out an important storytelling element -- the open trunk of the car -- almost as much as if there were someone's legs in there. And as Tom mentioned, Kirby's storytelling relies on composition more than perfectly accurate drawing. Jack is showing us the entire dead, dangling form of the gangster because he wants us to feel the full impact of the situation with our emotions, not dissect it with our minds.
I said that about the composition and the storytelling. If the arms were done the way (I think) they were meant to be, the car with the open trunk could have slid left and the storytelling would have stayed intact. But Jack didn't like erasing so he left it as is. It wasn't a matter of dissecting as much as when something is wrong it can be jarring. And I dare to say, I wonder if this makes the cut before publishing time--or if it is rejected--even by Jack. He has been known to redraw a page a time or two.
Hmmm...I doubt if it would have been rejected. Jack was his own editor at DC and I think if he was gonna reject one of his own pages he did it in the pencil stage, not after it was inked, because he would have had to pay Mike for an unused page. The only times I'm aware of any inked pages getting rejected were for page-count reasons, like that single page from DEMON #1 or that OMAC double-page spread. And since this page achieved the storytelling and dramatic heights that Kirby always aimed for, it's very unlikely he would have cast it aside because of a few minor (in my opinion) problems with the drawing. Also, it's unlikely that DC would have rejected it, since Infantino didn't reject any of Jack's interior pages that I'm aware of -- only covers. Of course, he did reject the ENTIRE ISSUE of TRUE DIVORCE CASES, but that was because he had a religious objection to divorce, not because of any quality issues. Too bad, too, because judging from what I've seen of TRUE DIVORCE, it was phenomenally good material. If anyone was offended by THAT, just imagine what they'd say about the stuff that's coming out NOW--!
I've never understood the controversy with Kirby's abstracted anatomy. As his style progressed, his human figures were rendered progressively more and more like architecture - so what? He always said in interviews he was working on making the most powerful storytelling images possible. What's more powerful than the sweeps and curves of architecture? I was just reading Kick Ass 2 and noticed that JR Jr. is moving in the same direction with presumably the same purpose... squared off fingers and all.
What he did with the anatomy is dynamic--but he still worked within parameters. His forced perspectives and foreshortening were groundbreaking--but still within reason. I dig the square fingers, the blocky kneecaps, squiggles and all. Jack is my favorite comic book artist and my work is very much influenced by him.
Here's a link to show what I was talking about.
Feel free to pile on.
I completely agree with you on this one.
Under close scrutiny, Kirby's figure anatomy, and proportions don't hold-up.
But as whole, his composition and dynamism are unparallelled!
Friggin' amazing, indeed.
...I dunno, Frank. No offense, but I'm still not convinced. In Jack's picture, it looks like the guy's arms are being pulled up by his jacket and shirt, towards the viewer, before bending downward at the elbows -- hence the shorter-looking arms. That also accounts for the somewhat oversized hands -- because they're closer to the viewer in such a radically foreshortened shot. In yours, where the arms just hang straight down--with the upper arms not coming forward to move the forearms closer to the viewer--the hands look too big for the rest of the figure. And that's really the whole problem with making these kinds of adjustments on Kirby's stuff. Once you start changing things that drastically, it throws other stuff out of whack. So then you have to make more changes...which throws something else out of whack. And then you have to make more changes...and where does it stop, you see what I mean? So I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, 'cause I honestly think Royer had the best idea here: just ink it as is.
No offense taken, Johnny. I'm not convinced Jack pulled off the arms properly. I think it's more about fudging something so another part of the pic doesn't get blocked out. Jack didn't like erasing so he manipulated the picture. The way you describe the arms positioning still doesn't work. The way the arms are portrayed here, this guy doesn't have a top part of the arm. The whole length of his arm is from his elbow to his wrist.
What I did to the pic was lengthen the arms to make it look more natural and move the car with the open trunk to keep the storytelling intact. And where the right hand is in front of the gangster to the left, I think actually gives more depth of field. Hand size and all because of the point of view of the reader is okay. Nothing else needs to be altered whacky or not. Let's face it, the pic is whacky with all it's distortion and perspective. Don't get me wrong, I do like it.
...at least we can both agree that it's a powerful image...!
I agree that the left arm should be where Mr. Fosco moved it. Looks the right length now and I like the negative space in his version more. The right arm, however, I think should be shorter. Maybe not where Kirby drew it but half way between these two.
Sorry I been taking so long to respond John. I've been caught up in the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. So I haven't been ignoring you.
I gotta school you John G. So you're saying on the right arm instead of the way it was, the length in Jack's being no top part of the arm, just elbow to wrist, it should be bicep to elbow to wrist, but no shoulder now? That's what you propose by saying half way between both. The length of both arms seeing how their dangling down like that should be comparable in length. They are in Jack's version and by me making the adjustment are also in my version.
...I hope you're enjoying the convention. Wish I could be there myself!
I'm a bit worried about ol' Krackles, though. Ever since I chided him for not spelling "Yancy Street" correctly, we haven't seen hide nor hair of him -- even though Tom has been posting some great F.F. pages lately. Come on back, Krackles, I was only joking!
You're both wrong then!!
Kirby's is too short. With the twist of the body I think it would look better in the middle. Maybe not best proportions, but foreshortening has to play in there a little--the right arm is on the other side of the body so the whole thing would be slightly smaller in every proportion--the arms would be the same if they were hanging off the same side of the guy's body.
Dang, you're having problems with all the Johns on here, huh? It was nice chatting with you while I looked at your stacks of comics pages at the Chicago Comic convention. Every page was great, and I liked your new and upcoming projects a lot. I hear there is a C2E2 (hope I have the right droid there) in April or so. You go to that, too? I think I was talked into showing up for that one.
I don't have any problem with all you Johns--(there's only two of you, and we're friends here) it's fine by me if you both want to be wrong. Lol.
It was nice seeing and talking with you John G. at the convention. Thanks for the nice comments about my work.
That's a killer page (no pun intended, I swear!)! Jack did things like that all the time. It's funny, the more you actually know about correct anatomy and perspective the harder it is to draw like him. Being too realistic just holds you back. That's why Neal Adams, who Jack called an "illustrator" couldn't do what Jack (a self-professed "cartoonist") could. Somehow in Kirby's world it all just works. It's hard to explain how he gets away with it, but he does. Not to be contentious, though; I do see your point about the arms, and you make a good, valid one. I guess I just let it all wash over me and dig the intent of the page, what the images tell me as a story, and how Jack pushes reality all over the place in order to make his dramatic points as powerfully as possible. What a guy!
Who Cares, Jack Kirby is still the best comic book artist to ever walk the face of the Earth!!
I've been waiting on In The Days Of The Mob forever, especially issue #2 with the far superior Mike Royer inking!
I think it's some of Jacks very best work. Kirby inspired me to become a cartoonist, when I saw his jaw dropping artwork for the first time, it was a done deal, I was and am hooked for life!
What really amazes me is that no one has made a movie based on the New Gods? I mean how can Hollywood be sleeping on this fantastic and amazing cast of characters?
If I was a wealthy man, I would fund the movie myself! I would absolutely love to see some Kirby characters done like Pixar did the Incredibles.
Just can't believe no one has jumped on all of the DC Kirby characters?
They did make a New Gods movie. It's called Star Wars
I totally agree about a 3D animated New Gods movie. I've been saying the same thing for years. Did you guys see the recent Tintin movie? Imagine that level of sophistication applied with a Kirbyesque art style and all the pageantry and poetry the Fourth World has to offer. It would be phenomenal!
There was talk a few years back of a possible Demon movie that Neil Gaiman was going to write and Guillermo del Toro was going to direct. What the Hell happened to that? Another potentially great film project that never got off the ground.
And how about that Kamandi cartoon series we almost got TWICE...but which STILL hasn't materialized? What could be a more sure-fire success than that?
So get with the program, DC! As much as I love Superman and Batman, there's a lot more to your roster of characters than just those two. There's a whole KIRBYVERSE of wonders just waiting to be explored!
With some Fantastic Four in there too.
What is the full story on why #2 has not ever been released ?
I did an _IMAGES_ search on Google and saw pretty much the whole issue; but did not read.
SRY if I missed this thread before; I have NOT been here forever
Was issue #1 a 'First Issue Special' like Marvel liked to do (Manhunter; Sandman etc) or s a stand alone issue?
KC, number two wasn't released because number one didn't sell spit. And number one didn't sell spit because most of the copies never even made it out of the distributor's warehouse. And even the ones that did make it out weren't properly promoted by the distributor or the regional wholesalers or adequately displayed by most retailers. So basically, MOB and its sister mag, SPIRIT WORLD, were doomed right out of the gate...which is too bad, because there's some amazing material there.
And no, they weren't related to FIRST ISSUE SPECIAL. That was a standard-format DC comic that came out a few years later. MOB and SPIRIT WORLD were 8-1/2 X 11" black-and-white magazines.
Just to add a word or two to this post (which was spot on btw) -- you all may not know that Mainland Distribution or whatever the heck it was called - was really just a "fake company" so-to-speak, because DC was too embarrassed to put their logo on both Spirit World and ITDOTM. That's how little faith they had in the material. Which brings me to to one of those questions I will forever scratch my head about: So Jack leaves Marvel...works out an agreement with Carmin Infantino (on a napkin no less) to do work for DC. Ok fine. But how difficult would it have been -- considering that Carmin physically met with Jack in California - for Jack to actually hammer out some details during those meetings in addition to page-rate and # of pages produced. It's easy to see in retrospect that Carmin gave Jack a certain amount of flexibility (i.e "we'll keep publishing whatever you produce as long it sells") but it was within distinct perimeters that Jack was not necessarily cognisant of. At the end of the day it's unfortunate because jack was producing some of his best work ever and he received very little support from DC's top brass. Somene (maybe it was Mark Evanier) once stated that in the span of 4 years at DC, Jack went from being the highly regarded artist who co-created all of Marvel's hits, to "just" a guy who was pumping stuff out to meet his page obligations.
While it's true that Kirby never received a huge amount of support from DC's top brass, it's tough to say what the real reasons were for his perceived fade-out at the end of his DC tenure without actually seeing his contract. As far as I'm aware, it was pretty much the same agreement that he received when he switched back to Marvel in '75: to write and pencil fifteen pages a week and to be his own editor. Remember, when he was first going to introduce THE DEMON and KAMANDI, he wanted to have other people write and pencil those books, while he continued on with NEW GODS and FOREVER PEOPLE. It was only when the latter two titles were cancelled out from under him that he had to switch over to writing and pencilling the former two books himself. But I doubt if he ever seriously considered giving up scripting and pencilling, because it would have cut into his paycheck way too much. And as you mentioned, if DC's attitude was "We'll keep publishing whatever you produce as long as it sells," well, that's really not a bad deal, is it? The reality is that most of Jack's books probably didn't sell all that great at the time, so they were discontinued. And that's certainly not a reflection on the quality of the books; it's more a reflection of the tastes of the times -- which, for example, also led to KAMANDI becoming Jack's most commercially successful title of the period. I suspect that towards the end of his seventies DC run he was a bit disheartened by the lackluster sales and was looking forward to his new gig at Marvel, so he just did whatever he had to do to fulfill the terms of his contract before departing.
I think the criticisms of this page are indicative of a broader misapprehension of Jack's work and of the aims of art in general. I mean, opinions are fine, but unfortunately Kirby was forced to deal with people who had power over him that forced him to change things like this, personal approaches to any given page or story that not only worked well but were great work of his, forever ruined by people who didn't understand the value of what he was doing. This type of criticism is something I usually see from fans who prefer their Kirby corrupted by the banal overwriting and pointless corrections of Stan Lee. If you want the exact reproduction of "reality" then look at photographs. Kirby's expressive distortions are about a deeper understanding of movement, space and psychology, of bodies in stress taken far past their limitations. He was able to draw in this way because he'd been there, he'd felt these things. The second issue of In the Days of the Mob is absolutely incredible, it is Kirby working at his apex of artfully interlocking text and art and doing work for a more adult audience which I seriously wish he had had more opportunities to do----and Royer inking at his best. Nitpicking as if some sort of "correct" anatomy is relevant on any level is absurd.
Hey, James--where were you 2 years ago about this? We could have used your wisdom then to put us straight and than maybe all these comments and opinions could have been squelched. This has nothing to do with looking at a photograph for realism. Even with Jack's representations of anatomy he was usually within the realm of reason. This being a splash makes it more obvious something is off--where the top of the head is in juxtaposition of the arms. To me Jack fudged this to make it work for the background elements and he is within his right to do that. If you want to put Jack up as some untouchable deity go ahead. I am very much influenced by Jack's work and think he is the greatest comics has ever seen but do not think he is beyond reproach.
This is also disingenuous on your part James seeing you're an excellent artist in your own right. Looking at this piece can you not discern how Jack put this together? As cool as this piece is, what would have made it even better is if it were done right and not fudged to make the background work. As is, the dead guy has no shoulders or biceps and his elbows start at the armpits. What you call nitpicking I observed as a flawed piece of work fudged purposely. And who's to say if this would have saw print if issue 2 of ITDOTM would have been published. This could have been one of those many unused pages of Jack's.
2 years ago I didn't notice this thread and I didn't have the 2nd issue in my hands thanks to the new DC hardcover. Who said anything about a deity? Kirby's a great cartoonist--one of the greatest ever. In that light, I don't give a fig for the "realm of reason" regarding anatomy. Screw reason, these are cartoons. As for Kirby being "beyond reproach"....um Kirby draws better and more interestingly than anyone else in comics, and most in fine art too, then and now. And whoops, he violates the "aesthetic sanctity" of the
splash? You mean a full page drawing? ----oh dear, I bet you must be teddibly upset about the panels with oversized female breasts that the Speak-Out series books were riddled with---and good lord, on one page is a drawing of a man eating a salami hero---from the side! Everyone knows you can't eat a sandwich that way!
So--can I not bring an opinion on a piece that's questionable? I made an observation on a piece that looks purposely fudged to me and you call it nitpicking. And yeah--"splash" "full page spread"--speaking of nitpicking. I've worked in the comic biz for some years too. If I misspoke on a splash so what? Surely you can overlook that. Oops--but I'm not Jack Kirby.
I totally agree with what you have to say about Jack. "Kirby's a great cartoonist--one of the greatest ever."
I put the word "deity" out there and maybe that's a bit much. But when someone comes on here acting like how dare we question what Jack did and that won't be tolerated, well...it seems we may be getting upset about nonsense. Perhaps I fall into that category too.
Don't get me started on this first panel. Lol