Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Book of Kirby

Here's something to be adored: It turns out that Jack Kirby talks exactly like the Bible. Not the way Stan Lee thinks the Bible sounds, not full of "thee"s and thou"s, but like an actual Genesis, with every event preceded by the thought that created it, every short sentence beginning with "And..."
Just watch this glorious interview with the creator of the Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Silver Surfer, etc. etc. - hear him declaim what's transcribed below, and imagine what those comics would have been like if he'd been allowed to fill his own speech bubbles.

I see that story first.
I feel that story first.
I know those people first.
When I put them down they’ve already lived
And I put them down as I’d like them to live on those pages.
My stories are very sincere.
My stories are people stories.

My inspirations were the fact that I had to make sales
And I had to come up with characters that were no longer stereotypes.
In other words I couldn’t depend on gangsters, I had to get something new.
And of course for some reason I went to the Bible.
I came up with Galactus.

And there I was in front of this tremendous figure
Who I knew very well
Because I’ve always felt him.

And I remember in my first story I had to back away from him
To resolve that story.
And of course the Silver Surfer is a fallen angel.
And when Galactus relegated him to Earth
He stayed on Earth.
And that was the beginning of his adventures.

And they were figures that had never before been used in comics.
They were above mythic figures.
And of course they were the First Gods.

And I began thinking along those lines.
And the New Gods evolved from those lines.
And I began to ask myself:
“Everybody else had their Gods. What are ours?
What is the shape of our society, in the form of myth and legend?
Who are our Gods? Who are our Evil Gods?
And who are our Good ones?”
And I tried to resolve them in the New Gods.

And I came up with some very, very interesting characters.
And very good sales
Which satisfied me immensely.

Now I didn’t resolve the questions.
I’m a guy who lives with a lot of questions.
I say: “What’s out there?”
And I try to resolve that.
And I never can.
I don’t think anybody can.
Who’s got the answers?
I sure would like to hear the ultimate one.
But I haven’t yet.
And so I live with a lot of questions.
And I find that entertaining.

I find that entertaining.
And if my life were to end tomorrow
It would be fulfilled in that manner.

I would say: “The questions have been terrific.”

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