Day of Omega, or Day of Alpha?

Splash from Silver Surfer #18 (Kirby/Trimpe), adapted by Louis Solis

Today is the last day of the Comic Book Apocalypse exhibition at the CSU Northridge Art Galleries—we’re open from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.! Join us for the big sendoff, eh?

While today marks the end of this particular exhibition, I confidently predict future Kirby exhibitions and further developments in Kirby studies, not to mention further comic art events at CSU Northridge! Watch this space—things will be happening. :)

Five More Days of Apocalypse; plus, Book News

Saturday, Sept. 26, in the Gallery (catalog signing day). Why, yes, that is Diana Schutz, foreground right!

Saturday, Sept. 26, in the Gallery (catalog signing day). Why, yes, that is Diana Schutz, foreground right!

The Apocalypse has reached its final week!

The exhibition Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby will be up for just FIVE more days, through Saturday, Oct. 10, at the CSU Northridge Art Galleries. This is the largest-ever US exhibit of Kirby’s work, and the fulfillment of a dream decades in the making. If you’re a Kirby fan or comics history buff anywhere within range of Los Angeles, I hope you can come see it!

Check out this terrific writeup on the exhibition by artist, curator, and critic Doug Harvey, at The Comics Journal.

And now some news about the exhibition catalog:


Thanks to all of you who have contacted me or the CSUN Art Galleries asking about the catalog. It is an unusual, and beautiful, full-color book, designed by Randy Dahlk, edited by Ben Saunders and me, and co-published by IDW Publishing and CSUN. It runs 168 pages in roughly 8 x 11 inch softcover form, and lists for $39.99. Further details about the book can be found at the bottom of this post.

Q: Where is the catalog???

A: Coming soon! Thanks, everyone, for your patience as we work to make this long-promised book available! The Gallery has seen a huge show of interest in the catalog; since the exhibition opened in August, we have taken down hundreds of names from visitors interesting in buying it. We received an initial shipment of 150 copies by express freight in time for our panel and signing on Sept. 26, but that supply ran out almost immediately. We await a corrected second printing from the printer, which should arrive in late October or early November (a misprint in the first printing did not deter sales!). Please accept our apologies for the further delay of the book—we are waiting breathlessly for that second shipment.

Those of you who have already contacted the Gallery about buying the book, you do not need to do anything else at this point. Once we receive our shipment, you’ll be getting an email from us with a link to purchase the book, which will include a place for you to add your full shipping address. Once payment has been received we will ship the book to you ASAP.

For those who have not contacted the Gallery about the book, rest assured, there will be a page on the CSUN Art Galleries site where the book can be purchased (and I’ll be making announcements here and on social media). Also, IDW expects to make the book available to comic book shops via Diamond Comic Distributors in January—which means that Diamond should be soliciting orders for the book in the next month or so (ask your local shop if the catalog is listed in the November Previews).

image image image

Q: What exactly is this catalog like?

A: Here are the specs: again, the catalog is a 168-page color softcover, at 8 x 11 inches. It lists at $39.99. However, when ordering it from CSUN you must add $5.00 for shipping. California residents must also add an in-state tax of 9%.

The catalog contains over 120 images, including more than seventy shot from Kirby’s original art as well as several previously unpublished photos of Jack at work in his studio (taken by David Folkman in the 1970s). It also includes the complete exhibition checklist and some twenty essays, short and long, totaling about 40K words, written by nineteen different creators, storytellers, and scholars:

  • Mark Badger
  • Scott Bukatman
  • Howard Chaykin
  • Brian Cremins
  • Ramzi Fawaz
  • Craig Fischer
  • Glen David Gold
  • Doug Harvey
  • Charles Hatfield
  • Adam McGovern
  • Carla Speed McNeil
  • Andrei Molotiu
  • Dan Nadel
  • Adilifu Nama
  • Ann Nocenti
  • Tony Puryear
  • James Romberger
  • Ben Saunders
  • Diana Schutz

Topics run the gamut, from superheroes, romance, and SF comics, to The Fantastic Four, The Fourth World, and Kamandi, to Kirby’s collages, the power of his visual storytelling, and the impact of his war experiences. Whether your interest is “Toxl the World Killer” or “Big Barda and Her Female Furies” or simply how and why Jack drew so many double-page spreads, this book has something for you.

I’ll let you know when it’s available!

Nine More Days of Apocalypse!

The exhibition I’ve curated, Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby, will be up for NINE MORE DAYS at the CSU Northridge Art Galleries—that is, through Saturday, October 10. Readers, I hope you can make it!

This past Saturday, Sept. 26, the Galleries hosted a jam-packed panel discussion of Kirby at CSUN’s Noski Auditorium, followed by a well-attended catalog signing in the Main Gallery itself, amidst all that Kirby art!

(More photos to come!)

On the panel were six Kirby experts, all catalog contributors and/or lenders to the exhibition: Scott Bukatman, Doug Harvey, Adam McGovern, Andrei Molotiu, Steve Roden, and Ben Saunders. I had the pleasure of moderating. Also in attendance were catalog contributors Mark Badger, Glen David Gold, and Diana Schutz.

CBA signing, 26 Sept 2015

Catalog signing, CSUN Main Gallery, 26 Sept. 2015. In the center, Diana Schutz signs, and Adam McGovern makes conversation. At the edges, a bunch of the rest of us are sort of visible.


Again with the catalog signing. You probably can’t quite see from the photo, but, from left, we are CH, Ben Saunders, Mark Badger, Adam McGovern, Diana Schutz, and Andrei Molotiu. (Is Scott Bukatman visible on the end? He should be!)

Many of us joined together to create an impromptu signing line in the Gallery—and so it was that our long-expected exhibition catalog, a beautiful tome co-published by IDW Publishing and the CSUN Art Galleries, finally made its public debut!

CBA final cover


Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, from Gallery Director Jim Sweeters and his hardworking team to IDW’s Scott Dunbier, to all of our contributing writers, panelists, and lenders.

Dream of a lifetime, folks—happily fulfilled at my school, Cal State Northridge!

If you haven’t been able to see Comic Book Apocalypse yet, please pay a visit by October 10!

Kirby Panel Discussion This Saturday, Sept. 26, plus other news

Norton of New York, from 2001: A Space Odyssey #5

This is a busy time for comics and Kirby studies here at my school, CSU Northridge!

Last night I joined Prof. Jon Stahl, Chair of the Department of Cinema and Television Arts, for an on-stage conversation with Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television and longtime screenwriter, producer, and comic book writer. This lively, well-attended event kicked off the annual Commerce of Creativity series at CSUN.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 26, at 1:00 p.m., I join panelists Scott Bukatman, Doug Harvey, Adam McGovern, Andrei Molotiu, Steve Roden, and Ben Saunders for an intense discussion of the art of Jack Kirby, tied to the Comic Book Apocalypse exhibition. We’ll talk at the Noski Auditorium, right across the street from the Gallery, then troop over to the Gallery afterward to visit (or revisit) the exhibition itself! Many catalog contributors will be on hand for this, the last big public event tied to the show. Hope you can make it! More information is available at the brand-new Comics@CSUN website, here:

Finally, this coming Monday, Sept. 28, Comics@CSUN launches its Comics on Screen film series with a screening and discussion of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), adapted from Bryan Lee O’Malley’s generation-defining graphic novel series. More details here:

All of these events are FREE and open to the public. Again, hope you can join us!

Talking Kirby at Rose City!


I’m delighted to announce that tomorrow, Sept. 19, I’ll be talking Kirby at the Rose City Comic Con! That means I’ll be joining the thousands thronging at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland this weekend.

Thanks to my friend and colleague (and Comic Book Apocalypse catalog co-editor) Ben Saunders, of the University of Oregon, I’ll be taking part in a jam-packed panel on Kirby, as follows:

Jack Kirby’s Greatest Comics: An All-Star Tribute to The King

Room: Panel Room 7
Time: 3:00PM – 3:50PM

Captain America. The Fantastic Four. The Incredible Hulk. The Mighty Thor. The Avengers. The Silver Surfer. The Inhumans. Mr. Miracle. The New Gods. The Eternals. All these iconic creations and titles — and many more besides — were first brought to life on the comic book page by Jack Kirby. But although he is without doubt one of the greatest American comic book artists in the history of the medium, the full range of Kirby’s achievement is less than fully understood by many fans today. In a forty-year career, he drew every genre of comics — Romance, Western, War, Horror, and Crime titles as well as superheroes — and his powerful, kinetic style would pass through three distinct phases, from the 1940s through the Silver Age and into the 1970s. Join a panel of creators and academic experts for a gallop through some career highlights from this master of the form, and find out why Kirby is still the King!

Among the stars gathered for this panel (besides moderator Ben) are Mike Allred, Kurt Busiek, Glen David Gold, Joe Keatinge, Gary Phillips, and Diana Schutz—good company! (Ben, Glen, Diana, and I all contributed essays to the soon-to-be-released CBA catalog.)

Rose Citygoers, I hope you can make it! Talking Kirby with a room full of smart and creative people is my favorite kind of gig.