Pg. 10; "Prisoner of the Reds!" Jack Kirby pencils, Dick Ayers inks; 1962; 18" x 24"
Jon Berk CollectionThere are probably not many better ways a comicbook collector can impress their friends than by stating, "Would you like to see my original Jack Kirby artwork?" No other artist in the history of the form is so synonymous, so instantly recognizable, and so incredibly prolific than "the King". This page from Journey into Mystery #87 is a breathtaking example of the master at work. Encompassing several of Kirby's classic techniques, from the highly expressive faces to the strange technological devices, the stylized depictions of motion and the powerful use of silhouette, this is a joyous piece of art by a legendary artist. Taken from the "Prisoner of the Reds" feature, starring current box-office superstar and Thunder God, Thor, this is just one humdinger of a collectible comic page.
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Jack Kirby is called 'The King of Comics' for a reason, during his career that spanned six decades he gave us many of the most iconic characters the medium would ever see. From his introduction of Captain America at the height of World War II it was clear he wasn't your ordinary comics artist. But it was his creative explosion at Marvel Comics in the 1960's that cemented his legacy, over a short period of time Kirby would give us The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, The Hulk, The X-Men, Thor, Ant-Man and Nick Fury just to name a few. Kirby would then go to DC and create his Fourth World, introducing Darkseid, Mister Miracle, The New Gods and a host of cosmic supporting players. Long live The King.
Richard "Dick" Ayers was an American comic book artist and cartoonist best known for his work as one of the main inkers during the late-1950's and 1960's Silver Age of Comics, including some of the earliest issues of Marvel Comics' including Jack Kirby's The Fantastic Four. He is the signature penciler of Marvel's World War II comic Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos, drawing it for a 10-year run, and he co-created Magazine Enterprises' 1950s Western-horror character the Ghost Rider, a version of which he would draw for Marvel in the 1960s. His career would span 7 decades until his death in 2014.