Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Abraham Lincoln by Jack Kirby (or not)

Highlights from the Lives of 48 Famous Americans!

I came across this interesting comic book on ebay and decided to look up more about it. A small-sized J.C. Penney store giveaway, the comic was described by the ebay seller as having been produced by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (and I see that is how the issue is generally credited.). I would have no problem believing that the above Abraham Lincoln page was pencilled by Mr. Kirby; over here you can see additional pages highlighting Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.

But it turns out there is a latter-day controversy surrounding this comic. Longtime Friend of the Hayfamzone Harry Mendryk met with and had many discussions with Joe Simon a decade ago and Mr. Simon exclaimed one time to Harry that 48 Famous Americans was entirely by him and that Mr. Kirby had played no role in its production. Whoa! I encourage you to read Harry's detailed write-up over here.


At 1:19 PM, Anonymous John S said...

Hi Brian - from the images I see reproduced here and in the linked article, I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Mendryk - this is almost certainly not Kirby. After a lifetime (53 years) of looking at S&K you just get a sense about it, and this doesn't have the Kirby stamp. One other thing I'll mention here because the comments are closed over at Harry's post: He was dubious about the inclusion of Jack Dempsey in the ranks of "famous americans," thinking Simon may have done it because The Manassa Mauler was a fellow Coast Guard member. In 1948Dempsey was as well known and loved as Muhammad Ali is today. Just two years later the Sportwriters of America voted his 1923 fight with Luis Firpo the greatest sporting event of the previous half century. There's no favoritism - it just reflects the incredible impact Dempsey had on the culture during the 20's.


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