1991: The Jack Kirby Treasury

The Jack Kirby Treasury (1991) by Greg Theakston.

Volume one of this series of books had been published by Theakston’s publishing company, Pure Imagination, almost ten years earlier, and somehow it was now time for the second volume.

That’s Joe Simon, Roz Kirby and Jack Kirby, left to right. While this book is about Kirby, Simon and Kirby’s stories are very intertwined: They were partners for a couple of decades, and much of the time this volume covers.

Theakston provides a Kirby biography, but it’s heavily centred on the comics, and not Kirby’s personal life. We get some mentions of children being born and stuff, but Theakston admirably keeps the focus on what matters: Comics.

So we get page after page of example splash pages from the period the text talks about.

Which is an understandable choice: These splash pages look awesome, even when reduced in size like this. However, it’s a shame that we get very little normal comics pages. These splash pages and covers tell us nothing about Kirby’s storytelling chops and how that develops.

Wowza. That’s some spread.

Only one comics story is reproduced, and Theakston says that it “may be the best two page comic story ever produced”.

Here it is.

Well… I think Theakston may have overstated it a bit.

A BIT.

We also get some sketches and quite a lot of half-finished, abandoned or never-published stuff, which is nice.

The book ends on a cliffhanger. What’s going to happen in 1961!!!

As far as I’m able to tell, that volume was never published.

And then we get a checklist.

Hmm… Huh. Theakston was apparently in a dispute with the Kirby Museum… Perhaps that explains why volume three never happened? Hm… no, that’s a couple of decades later.

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