Thursday, July 2, 2015

147 Essex Street...


I've got to admit, I wasn't a Jack Kirby fan growing up. Maybe it's because I was at my most impressionable at a time in comics when the medium was dominated by guys like Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and Rob Liefeld. A time where the "Image Style" as it became known by was so big and loud that there wasn't room for anything else in my little 12 year old world.

It wasn't until I matured that I came to understand, appreciate and ultimately become obsessed with the work of Jack Kirby. Specifically the action and power that filled every one of his pages. I often think how my own approach to my work would have changed had I been exposed to Jack's work earlier in my life. Thing is, I wasn't ready. It took, as Neal Adams once said "An education" to finally understand what Jack was doing. It wasn't just blocky figures and weird swiggles here and there. Everything served a purpose, and that purpose was to craft an exciting reading experience.

Today I had the opportunity to visit 147 Essex Street in NYC. The birthplace of Jack Kirby. To say that it was surreal to stand and walk where Kirby did all those years ago is an understatement. There really wasn't a specific reason for the visit. It was something that I wanted to do. What wound up happening is that I saw first hand the humble beginnings of the man who is responsible for creating a mythology that will out last us all.

And it inspired the hell outta me.

Thank you Jack. For everything.