Alexi Worth on Jack Kirby

Born Jacob Kurtzberg on the (then) squalid streets of New York’s Lower East Side, Kirby was a James Cagney-ish figure—a short, tough, talented kid who never finished high school. In his early 20s, Kirby turned bitter memories of ethnic street fights into the idealistic anti-Nazi pugilism of Captain America, his first comic book success.4 Only a few years later, he was drafted and sent to battle actual Nazis in France. After the war, Kirby weathered the ups and downs of the comics industry, finally triumphing in the glory years of the early 1960s, when he and writer/editor Stan Lee created a string of wildly imaginative characters and plots—the Marvel superhero universe.

Genius in a Box by Alexi Worth (Art in America, January 2016)

Check out examples of Kirby artwork below the fold:

19-avengers-151-jack-kirby-145938c_lgbigmarvelmaniadevil-dinosaur-05-3hulkpencil2mister-miracle-jack-kirby-scans063New-Gods-02-16omac-jack-kirby-scans024thor-132-cover-kirby-original-art