Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Career of Jack Kirby, One Month at a Time

As I write this, one of my auctions on ebay is for 1948's Detective Comics #136. I always look up details on The Grand Comic Database to include in my item description, and that site indicated that the Batman story in that issue was by the great Dick Sprang and that the Boy Commandos story was by Jack Kirby. Hm.

As I looked at the panels of the Boy Commandos, I was doubtful. A hand here, a face there, the artwork just didn't shout "Jack Kirby" to me. Both Curt Swan and Louis Cazaneuve drew many stories in a Kirby style and I felt this story may have been by one of them. I have found errors previously in the GCD (and corrected them), and I wrote this off as another one of those mistakes.

But the matter kept nagging at me and I felt the need to dig deeper and double-check. I remembered that a few years back I had stumbled across a website that listed what comic books featured Jack Kirby artwork for every single month of the gentleman's career. I had tried and failed to relocate that website over the years, but I'm pleased to say I had no difficulty whatsoever pinpointing it this time.

Jack Kirby - A By-the-Month Chronology is the name of the website. Click right here, and if you scroll down to 1948 you see that Detective Comics #136 is listed. Jack Kirby did indeed draw the 12-page "Tale of Two Brooklyns." But let's look at what other information is provided, and this is what makes the Chronology so much fun for me. Mr. Kirby drew a total of 39 pages that month; the cover of Charlie Chan #1 that I show above and the cover and stories for Headline Comics #30 are listed.

What a wonderful resource Jack Kirby - A By-the-Month Chronology is! I will study it and enjoy it and refer to it over and over again in the future.


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