Animation work in the spotlight in latest Jack Kirby Collector, art on offer on ComicLink

Jack Kirby Collector #85, published by TwoMorrows Publishing

Jack Kirby Collector #85, published by TwoMorrows Publishing, brings to life “Kirby: Animated”, detailing how Kirby and his concepts leaped from celluloid, to paper, and back again.

From his 1930s start on Popeye and Betty Boop and his work being used on the 1960s Marvel Super-Heroes show, to Fantastic Four (in both 1967 and 1978), Super Friends/Super Powers, Scooby-Doo, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Ruby-Spears Productions: it’s the ultimate look at Jack’s work in, and influence on, animation.

Plus, comics and animation’s Evan Dorkin talks about his Kirby inspirations and an abandoned Kamandi animated series. All this, and the magazine’s regular columnists, too, a gallery of Jack’s pencil art, and an unpublished Kirby animation cel cover inked by Evan Dorkin. Edited by John Morrow.

Buy Jack Kirby Collector #85 from Forbidden Planet here (Affiliate Link, help support downthetubes, thank you)

Jack Kirby and Ruby-Spears Productions

Ruby-Spears Productions, co-founded by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, the co-creators of Scooby-Doo, hired Kirby in 1980 to work on the series Thundaar the Barbarian. Joe Ruby then asked Kirby to create visuals for original TV series concepts he wanted to seek funding for. Over eight years, Kirby took the ideas of Joe Ruby and turned them into characters, vehicles, gadgets and spaceships.

Ruby-Spears concept art, pencilled by Jack Kirby and Gil Kane. Image: Ruby-Spears Productions
Ruby-Spears concept art, pencilled by Jack Kirby and Gil Kane. Image: Ruby-Spears Productions
Country Lion, another Kirby cartoon that never made it to our TV screens. “I think that must be his girlfriend,” suggests comic archivist Paul Gravett in a Facebook post, “maybe 'City Mouse' with her heart-shaped tail! Love these Ruby-Spears concept artworks and Jack's energised pencils! We so need a complete book of these animation artworks from the 1980s.”
Country Lion, another Kirby cartoon that never made it to our TV screens. “I think that must be his girlfriend,” suggests comic archivist Paul Gravett in a Facebook post, “maybe ‘City Mouse’ with her heart-shaped tail! Love these Ruby-Spears concept artworks and Jack’s energised pencils! We so need a complete book of these animation artworks from the 1980s.”

Art from that archive has been offered at auction since 2021 on ComicLink, including, currently, concept art for an unmade show, Country Lion and Future Twins.

A Ruby-Spears Revived project, offering art from the archive as NFTs, was launched in 2021, the Twitter account still live, but the associated web site is inactive and the project appears to be on hold, although other aspects, including a Discord group, are still online.

On many works now being sold, Kirby was responsible for the pencils; other artists were employed to ink and colour some of the pieces.

Details and preview of Jack Kirby Collector #85 here | Diamond Comic Distributors Order Code: AUG221932 | Buy it from Forbidden Planet here (Affiliate Link – help support downthetubes, thank you)

Subscribe to Jack Kirby Collector here

Jack Kirby Art on ComicLink

Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center

The Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center is organized exclusively for educational purposes; more specifically, to promote and encourage the study, understanding, preservation and appreciation of the work of Jack Kirby

With thanks to Paul Gravett

The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek Magazine) and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of "Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies" for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.



Categories: Animation, Art and Illustration, downthetubes News, Magazines, Other Worlds

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