An event to be celebrated is the publication of issue 15 of the Jack Kirby Quarterly, edited by Chrissie Harper and published by Dez Skinn's Quality Communications. Chrissie produced the first issue of JKQ in September 1993 - fifteen years ago, and its present incarnation lives up to its publisher's name - quality. The articles are all deeply fascinating and come from writers including Paul Gravett, Kevin Eastman, Marv Wolfman and many from Chrissie too, including some fantastic interviews with Jack Kirby himself, and quite a moving one with his wife, Roz, not long after Jack's passing. Of course it's stuffed full of 'King' Kirby's effortless-looking artwork, much of it very rare, and photographs too. The whole design of the magazine is lovely.
I'm not hugely familiar with the work of Kirby, though I find his work (and output rate) astonishing. When I was into super-hero comics, aged 11 to 13 or so, I was hooked on DC comics (especially the New Teen Titans), whereas Kirby is mostly connected with Marvel, though he did work for DC, and others, too. Actually, to suggest Kirby 'did work for Marvel' is rather ludicrous - he practically created the Marvel universe!
Today I find super-heroes somewhat ridiculous, though I think that's mainly because they are written into a world that is a bit too realistic for people in skin-tight spandex (especially the female characters, who seem to come from the mind of a drooling 14-year old boy). The super-hero comics of yesterday were of a much larger-than-life 'other world', and worked better for that in all their zany glory, and there is no doubt Kirby was a master - if not the master. Despite my lack of Kirby knowledge, I found JKQ 15 to be hugely absorbing. This is a publication bubbling with positive creativity, celebrating inspiration and imagination - the good stuff of comics, and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Get your copy here.
Yesterday I received the latest issue of The DFC (no.16) . Now, I'm never going to be able to give a fair and unbiased review of this new weekly kids' comic - I've been involved with it for two years - but I really think this is growing and developing into a fantastic title. Whatever your tastes, there will be something in The DFC that you'll enjoy, and there's a bewildering variety of art and story styles on offer, from cartoony and fun to serious and adventure-filled. I've enjoyed a handful of both, and there's always new stories coming, so it's well worth keeping up with.
Friday's issue had a great page with all the covers on... I know it's an advert, but I'm going to reproduce it here anyway. Click the picture for a closer look, and click here to go and see those back issues.