Category Archives: Comic-Con International

The CCI Kirby Museum Booth, plus What I’m Doing at CCI

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I’d like to crow about what I’m doing at Comic-Con International: San Diego this weekend, but more importantly, I want to talk about the Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center.

The Kirby Museum is the epicenter of grassroots Kirbydom, a champion of comics and Kirby scholarship, and an incredible repository of images and history. It’s also the work of a great and generous team.

They will be at Comic-Con International: San Diego this weekend, of course, telling the world about Jack Kirby and his art. Showing his art, in fact, and inviting everyone to share in the project of Kirby studies. All convention long, the Museum will be displaying 2100 images from Kirby’s original art—a stunning exhibition of Kirbyana. What’s more, their booth will play host to artists and commentators like Mark Badger, Ray Wyman, and the great Kirby collaborator Mike Royer—all part of a concerted celebration of Jack’s centenary.

As if Comic-Con’s exciting slate of Kirby centennial and Will Eisner centennial events weren’t enough, the Kirby Museum team will make its booth the very HQ of Kirby studies right on the exhibit hall floor! That’s Booth #5520, in the Gold and Silver Pavilion, just across, as usual, from the TwoMorrows booth (where of course there will also be a wealth of Kirbyana, including issues of The Jack Kirby Collector and the new Kirby100 book, courtesy of the great John Morrow and co.). You really should visit that Pavilion.

Signing and selling: Thanks to the Kirby Museum’s generosity, I get to spend some time signing and selling my Kirby studies books at the Museum’s booth. Copies of the Eisner-winning Hand of Fire (2011) and the Comic Book Apocalypse exhibition catalog (2015) will be available, and a cut of the proceeds will go to the Kirby Museum! Look for me on:

  • Thursday, July 20, 3:30-6:00pm
  • Friday, July 21, 3:00-4:00pm
  • Saturday, July 22, 2:00-5:00pm

I look forward to talking with anyone and everyone with an interest in the King!


Biographical and Autobiographical Comics: Besides reveling in Kirbyana this weekend, I have the honor of moderating a panel on nonfiction comics with four great cartoonists: Box Brown (Andre the Giant; Tetris), Sarah Glidden (Rolling Blackouts; How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less), Sonny Liew (The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye; The Shadow Hero) and Mimi Pond (The Customer Is Always Wrong; Over Easy). We’ll be discussing the slippery relationship between fiction and nonfiction, with reference to their wonderful books. That’s Biographical and Autobiographical Comics, on Friday morning, July 21, from 10:00 to 11:00 am, in Room 28DE. You couldn’t ask for a stronger set of creators in one panel!

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Join the Kirby and Eisner Celebrations at Comic-Con 2017!

CCI Surfer and Toucan

With apologies to Rick Geary, Jack Kirby, and Joe Sinnott!

Wow. This is a year to be at Comic-Con International: San Diego. It’s the centenary of Jack Kirby (1917-1994) and the centenary of Will Eisner (1917-2005), two comics greats who improbably crossed paths early on and improbably kept innovating and nudging comics forward throughout their long careers. The two men eventually developed very different reputations in comics studies, but both were seminal, inspiring, and frankly astounding narrative artists who carried comics a long way. Both left their mark on Comic-Con too, becoming household saints of that great convention. Both are honored yearly for that. But this year is something special, as Comic-Con is observing the centennial of both men with a special series of panels and events throughout the weekend. See below for a full listing of those CCI events that appear to be Kirby and/or Eisner-related (clicking on an event’s title should take you to its official place in the online CCI schedule).

I will be lucky enough to take in part of the weekend. Though I won’t be able to attend all of the events listed below (who could?), I will be at several, and man am I grateful for that! Both Eisner and Kirby have meant a lot to me as a comics reader and scholar, and I’m sure that this is going to be one long nostalgiathon!

NOTE: I have the good fortune to spend part of the Con signing and selling books at the Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center’s booth (#5520), as detailed in this separate post. The Booth is going to be amazing, so come check it out!

Kirby and Eisner.png
Eisner and Kirby, 1982. Photo by Alan Light.

 

Kirby and Eisner Shop Talk

(The following blurbs come direct from the CCI program, with minimal editing:)

Jack Kirby’s Consciousness, Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light, Barry Ira Geller, and the Real Argo

Thursday, July 20 • 10:00am – 11:00am • Room 5AB

Finally, the fascinating truth about the real CIA Argo mission! Hear how Jack Kirby and Barry Ira Geller’s script and production designs for Lord of Light made the actual Argo mission successful, as recently testified to by the “Sons of the Iranian Revolution.” The Kirby/Geller work, though not mentioned in the Oscar-winning film, rests in the International Spy Museum forever. Discover the unbelievable awareness and consciousness of Jack Kirby as remembered by Barry Ira Geller, one of the last people to have creatively partnered with Jack. Kirby was the Rembrandt of comic art, the Einstein of superhero visions, and the creator of the modern romance genre. Hear Mike Royer, arguably the best Silver Age inker–certainly Jack Kirby’s favorite–give the real story behind the inking of these fantastic series!

Spotlight on Mike Royer

Thursday, July 20 • 11:30am – 12:30pm • Room 4

As part of this year’s gala Jack Kirby Centennial, here’s an hour-long chat with Jack’s favorite inker of his work, the man who worked with him on the Fourth World comics, Kamandi, The Demon, and many others. But Mike Royer was so much more than just Jack Kirby’s inker. He worked with Russ Manning on the Tarzan comic books and newspaper strip and again with Russ on the Star Wars newspaper strip. He drew for Creepy, Eerie, and Vampirella and worked on the ’60s Marvel superhero cartoons and for Gold Key Comics and had a multi-decade career working for Disney on things as un-Kirbylike as Winnie the Pooh. Come hear him be interviewed by his friend and colleague, Mark Evanier.

Cartoon Art Museum Workshop: Mastering the Art of Jack Kirby

Thursday, July 20 • 2:00-3:00pm • Room 2

Ever wondered how the legendary Jack Kirby created his signature style? Now you can learn the tricks of his trade and those he collaborated with to draw Captain America, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men among many other iconic characters. Celebrate Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday with Kirby fan and cartoonist Mark Badger (Batman, Just Draw) leading this workshop, with guidance from the Jack Kirby Museum. Supplies provided by Sakura.

Why Will Eisner Still Matters at 100

Thursday, July 20 • 3:00-4:00pm • Room 9

Born 100 years ago, Will Eisner not only recognized the future potential of comics at an early age but also worked his whole life to help achieve those goals. But how could Will Eisner still be relevant to us today? Join Paul Levitz (former president of DC Comics, author of Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel, educator, comics historian), Jackie Estrada (administrator, Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards), Paul Dini (Harley Quinn co-creator, writer, producer), Maggie Thompson (writer, editor, comics historian), and maybe a surprise special guest to discover why.

Graphic Novel Creator Richard Kyle’s Legacy

Thursday, July 20 • 8:30-9:30pm • Room 8

Richard Kyle published the first graphic novel, Beyond Time and Again by George Metzger, as well as Graphic Story World and Argosy magazines. Mr. Kyle’s publishing work and the future of graphic novels will be discussed by a panel of experts: Mike Royer (artist, writer, Jack Kirby’s inker), Denis Kitchen (artist, writer, publisher, creator of Kitchen Sink Press), Ron Turner(writer, publisher, founder of Last Gasp), Jamie Coville (writer, comics historian), Phil Yeh(cartoonist, publisher of Uncle Jam), Greg Koudoulian (early SDCC film program contributor), David G. Brown (cartoonist, winner of the 2009 NAACP Image Award), and Maggie Thompson(writer, comics historian, co-editor of the Comics Buyer’s Guide).

Will Eisner: Portrait of a Sequential Artist

Thursday, July 20 • 9:00-10:30pm • Room 9

This feature-length documentary about Will Eisner premiered at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The film includes interviews with Stan Lee, Jules Feiffer, Jack Kirby, Art Spiegelman, Frank Miller, Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Chabon, Gil Kane, and many other famous writers and cartoonists who knew and worked with Will Eisner. The showing will be introduced by Danny Fingeroth (comics historian, Spider-Man group editor) with a brand-new videotape introduction from the film’s director/producer Andrew D. Cooke and writer/producer Jon B. Cooke.

Spotlight on John Morrow

Friday, July 21 • 11:00am – 12:00pm • Room 4

Comic-Con special guest John Morrow (publisher at TwoMorrows) presents a sequential image, stereophonic, multimedia extravaganza: “Jack Kirby: Yesterday, Today, and TwoMorrows!” Join John on a comics history road trip that explores how Kirby’s career was inexplicably intertwined with John’s own life, long before he published Jack Kirby Collector #1 in 1994, and continues to permeate TwoMorrows Publishing today. You’ll see rare Kirby artwork, video and audio of Jack himself, rare photos, and the debut of John’s new book, KIRBY100, an all-star celebration of Jack’s 100th birthday! The video presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with details of other new TwoMorrows titles, including their Reed Crandall biography and GROOVY, which documents how flower power affected comics and pop culture.

Comic Arts Conference #6: Comics Auteurs: Kirby and Eisner at 100

Friday, July 21 • 11:30am – 1:00pm • Room 26AB

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the births of comics masters Jack Kirby and Will Eisner, whose contributions to comic books and graphic novels cannot be overstated. Marc Greenberg (Golden Gate University School of Law) discusses how copyright law partially helped the Jack Kirby and Jerry Siegel estates get a second bite at the apple in renegotiating publishing deals. Kim Munson (From Panels to Frames: Comic Art in Museums) looks at how recent art shows contribute to the constant rediscovery and reevaluation of Eisner and Kirby’s work. Jennifer Willms (University of Koblenz-Landau) delves into the Eisner’s comic compendium of Jewish American history and the immigrant experience.

Will Eisner: Mentor, Partner, Friend

Friday, July 21 • 12:30-1:30pm • Room 8

Comic-Con special guest Denis Kitchen looks back on his 35-year relationship with Will Eisner, from the unlikely friendship that formed between a scruffy underground comix publisher and a buttoned-down businessman to the creative and publishing partnership that brought The Spirit to a new generation and helped give birth to the graphic novel.

Jack Kirby: Friends and Family

Friday, July 21 • 1:30-2:30pm • Room 8

If Jack Kirby were as immortal as his work, he’d be 100 years old next month . . . and he’s still here in spirit and impact. Today a group of his family members and closest friends will talk about the man they knew, the man whose genius revolutionized the comic book industry again and again, and they’ll even tell you what he liked on his pizza. Your moderator is former Kirby assistant Mark Evanier (author, Kirby: King of Comics).

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

Friday, July 21 • 8:00-10:30pm • Indigo Ballroom, Hilton San Diego Bayfront

The 29th annual Eisner Awards (the “Oscars” of the comics industry) honor comics creators and works in 30 categories… Other prestigious awards to be given out include the Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award, the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award, and the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comics Writing.

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This is a great comic!

This is the 13th year for presentation of the Bill Finger Award… The 2017 recipients are William Messner-Loebs (Superman, the Flash, Aquaman, Mr. Monster, Hawkman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Dr. Fate, Jonny Quest, Spider-Man,Thor, Journey) and… Jack Kirby! …The awards will be presented by Mark Evanier. 

Comics Greats on Will Eisner’s The Spirit

Saturday, July 22 • 11:00am – 12:00pm • Room 4

Originally a syndicated Sunday newspaper comic insert, Will Eisner’s The Spirit is still acclaimed for its great artwork, imaginative splash pages, unforgettable characters, and attention-grabbing storytelling. Hear Danny Fingeroth (Spider-Man group editor, comics historian), Denis Kitchen (publisher, writer, comix cartoonist), Jeff Smith (cartoonist, Bone,RASL), Joe Staton (cartoonist, Dick Tracy) and, on videotape, Jules Feiffer (Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning cartoonist and screenwriter) talk about the impact of The Spirit on their own careers. Hear about their favorite Spirit adventures and learn why Will Eisner’s original Spiritstories are still in print today with new comics appearing monthly.

Jack Kirby’s 100th Birthday Celebration with IDW!

Saturday, July 22 • 1:00-2:00pm • Room 25ABC

Featuring an impressive library of more than 1,300 pages of Kirby original DC and Marvel artwork — the largest showing ever! IDW president Greg Goldstein hosts this stellar birthday tribute with a groundbreaking slide show, featuring art from eight different Artist’s Editions plus some surprises. The panel features superstar creators Walter Simonson and Kevin Eastman, who will share their Kirby remembrances and influences, along with senior editor Scott Dunbier and creative director at IDW PDX Dirk Wood. Everyone who attends will receive a “birthday” gift! One lucky fan will go home with an Artist’s Edition!

The Centennial of the King of Comics, Jack Kirby

Saturday, July 22 • 2:00-3:00pm • Room 29AB

 Illustrator and comic book historian Arlen Schumer (The Silver Age of Comic Book Art) marks the centennial of Kirby’s birth with a multimedia retrospective about how a first-American generation son of European Jewish immigrants growing up in the Lower East Side of New York City named Ya’akov Kurtzberg became acknowledged by both professionals and fans alike as the single greatest artist and storyteller in the history of comic books, Jack “King” Kirby.

The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel

Sunday, July 23 • 10:00-11:15am • Room 4

Continuing the celebration of the Kirby Centennial, this is the annual panel about Comic-Con’s first superstar guest, the man they call “The King of Comics,” Jack Kirby. Jack left us in 1994, but his influence on comics, film, and this convention has never been greater. Discussing the man and his work this year are Jim Chadwick (editor at DC Comics), Paul Levitz (former president at DC Comics), Mike Royer (Kirby’s favorite inker), attorney Paul S. Levine, and several highly surprising surprise guests. Naturally, it’s moderated by former Kirby assistant Mark Evanier.

Will Eisner at 100: The Real World of Publishing Comics

Sunday, July 23 • 2:45-3:45pm • Room 5AB

Andrea Colvin (Lion Forge), Gina Gagliano (First Second), Kurt Hassler (Yen Press), Heidi MacDonald (The Beat), and Filip Sablik (BOOM! Studios) talk about the challenges and opportunities of selling graphic novels into traditional book markets. Moderated by John Shableski (Will Eisner Studios and Udon Entertainment).

Shnobble

With apologies to Rick Geary and Will Eisner!

BIG NEWS: Comic Book Apocalypse, a Jack Kirby Exhibition in Los Angeles!

Splash from Silver Surfer #18 (Sept. 1970), by Kirby & Herb Trimpe, adapted by Louis Solis

From Silver Surfer #18 (Sept. 1970), by Kirby and Herb Trimpe (RIP), adapted by Louis Solis

A major Jack Kirby exhibition in Los Angeles, curated by Charles Hatfield, the author of Hand of Fire!

California State University, Northridge Art Galleries

August 24 to October 10, 2015

Public reception:
Saturday, Aug. 29, 4-7pm

Curator talk:
Monday, Aug. 31, 10am

Panel discussion:
Saturday, Sept. 26, 1pm

ONE OF THE BIGGEST EXHIBITIONS OF KIRBY’S WORK EVER!

I’m proud to announce that the CSU Northridge Art Galleries will be presenting, this Fall semester, the exhibition Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby. This show will consist of roughly a hundred original artworks by the King, with a focus on his comics in the late 1960s and in the 70s (but also including works from the 1940s-50s and the 80s). Curating this show has been a dream come true.

Comic Book Apocalypse will highlight Jack’s penchant for superheroes, myth fantasy, and science fiction, along with his visions of the cosmic, the primitive, and the futuristic—and of course dazzling examples of “Kirbytech.” From The Fantastic Four and Thor to The Fourth World, Kamandi, 2001, and Silver Star, this show will capture some of Jack’s grandest themes and images. The exhibition will include two complete comic book stories, a great many more comic book pages and spreads, a handful of Jack’s signature collages, and a couple of images never published in his lifetime.

To celebrate this show, we at CSUN will hold three special events within the Gallery. First will be an opening reception on Saturday evening, August 29—a chance to see and chat about the show in the company of other fans! Then I’ll give a gallery talk two days later, on Monday morning, Aug. 31. Finally, we’ll hold a panel discussion with artists and scholars on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 26. All these events are free and open to the public!

Comic Book Apocalypse will be the first solo Kirby exhibition at a university, and one of the largest Kirby shows yet assembled (comparable in scale to the Words & Pictures Museum show in 1994, and exceeded only by the Fumetto show in Switzerland in 2010). In fact it may be the biggest Kirby exhibition yet mounted in the US—and I hope it will inspire other shows and tributes to Jack over these next couple of years, leading up to his centennial (2017).

Curating this show has been, again, a waking dream for me, both a sequel to Hand of Fire and a plunge into a new way of working. It couldn’t have happened without the support of CSU Northridge’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication, the CSUN College of Humanities, and the CSUN Art Galleries program, the help of Mark Evanier and the Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center, and the generosity of many Kirby collectors.

Comic Book Apocalypse opens in time for the launch of the Fall 2015 semester at CSUN, and will be up for seven weeks. It will include a Kirby collage by Geoff (Jetpack Jr.) Grogan , and will be accompanied by a lavishly illustrated catalog featuring some twenty essays about Jack’s work, co-edited by me and Prof. Ben Saunders of the University of Oregon. This companion book will feature a once-in-a-lifetime mix of comics creators, media professionals, and scholars! (Check back here in the weeks ahead for more details about the catalog.)

This exhibition will kick off a year of comics studies events at CSU Northridge, including a conference in Spring 2016. For a decade now, CSUN has run a very popular course on comics that I founded, and I believe now is the time to trumpet (and expand) our commitment to this vibrant, fast-growing field of study!

I can’t think of a better way of doing that than exhibiting the work of the great Jack Kirby. Readers, I hope you can come out and see the show!

NOTE:

If you’re attending Comic-Con International in San Diego this week, do come to the Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel assembled and moderated by Mark Evanier. That’s happening on Sunday morning, July 12, from 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. in Room 5AB. It’s a great tradition. I’ll be announcing Comic Book Apocalypse there! Also, drop by the booth of the Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center—that’s by Lobby B1 in the main Exhibit Hall, in the Gold and Silver Pavilion (see this map). I may see you there.

Hand of Fire, again, goes to San Diego!

They do still talk about comics at CCI

News! Once again the Pop tribes are gathering on San Diego Bay for the adrenaline-fueled whirlwind, the mad four-and-a-half-day spree, that is Comic-Con International! Once again I (Charles Hatfield) and most of my family will be there, and again I’ll be signing copies of Hand of Fire at the Jack Kirby Museum booth!

That’s Booth 5520, the Comic-Con HQ of the Jack Kirby Museum and Research Center. It’ll be along the wall in the Golden and Silver Age Pavilion (near Convention Center Lobby B1), just a few steps away from the TwoMorrows booth, TwoMorrows being the publisher of The Jack Kirby Collector and many other fine magazines and books. Thanks to Kirby Museum trustee and tireless Kirby scholar Rand Hoppe—with of course thanks to his fellow trustees Tom Kraft, John Morrow, and David Schwartz as well—I’ll be there at Booth 5520 signing and personalizing the Eisner-winning Hand of Fire and encouraging visitors to join the Museum.

I’ll be there at the following times (which Rand has kindly posted at the Kirby Museum site as well):

  • Thursday, 12:00-1:00pm
  • Friday, 3:30-4:30pm
  • Saturday, 12:30-1:30pm
  • Sunday 11:30am-12:45pm (immediately after the Kirby Tribute Panel)

I hope many of you will drop by and chat, and show the Museum some love and support—perhaps even donate toward the Museum’s goal of establishing a lasting brick-and-mortar presence. I’m proud to do anything associated with the Kirby Museum, and, once again, grateful that they’re hosting my signings!

The Superhero ReaderNote that I’ll also be premiering my brand-new book, The Superhero Reader, co-edited with friends and colleagues Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester! And I will have some copies of it to sign and sell. So, anyone, everyone, with an interest in Jack Kirby or in the history and criticism of the superhero, seek out the guy at the Kirby Museum booth with the fiery red pen. Give the Museum your support! And, whatever you do, don’t miss the following splendid event:

The (Annual) Jack Kirby Tribute Panel
Sunday, July 21, 10:00 to 11:15am, Room 5AB

Official copy: Each year, we set aside time to talk about Comic-Con’s first superstar guest and the man they call The King of the Comics, Jack Kirby. Jack left us in 1994, but his influence on comics, film, and this convention has never been greater. Discussing the man and his work this year are Neil Gaiman, Tony Isabella, and Kirby family attorney Paul S. Levine. And of course, it’s moderated by Mark Evanier.
Unofficial response: Neil Gaiman? It will need that double room!

Jack Kirby signing at Comic-Con, 1976, courtesy of The Jack Kirby Museum

One last thing: New to CCI, or in need of a refresher course? Tom Spurgeon has a wonderful set of tips for the Comic-Con goer, well worth checking out! Some of those tips have already passed their sell-by date (getting registered for the Con, finding a hotel room, etc.). But many others are still relevant and wise. Enjoy, and take care!

2013 Eisner Award Nominees Announced!

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards

I’m proud and happy to have served as a judge for this year’s Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards. The nominees have just been announced!

I have more information about the judging process, as well as the full list of nominees, at my other blog, See Hatfield. Check it out!

The Eisner Awards will be given out at Comic-Con International  in San Diego on Friday, July 19, 2013. Hope to see you there!