Sunday, 4 August 2013


I remember trying to read the Fantastic Four starting from issue #1 several years ago and managed to read about four before I tired of the style.  I felt that Stan Lee was too wordy and the illustrations by Kirby felt outdated.  I think if I were to try reading FF again I might make it a little further, but not much.

Charles Hatfield goes a long way in showing the importance that Kirby had on the superhero genre in the 60s and 70s.  Kirby's importance should not be understated, his ability to pencil over three issues worth of comics a month is staggering, and his explosive genius on the page is mind-boggling.  Kirby was prolific for several decades, and should be remembered as foundational for the Marvel universe and for the core of the DC universe.

I liked most how Hatfield set up his talk of Kirby with an underlying theory and method that would inform his approach to Kirby's art and narrative techniques.  Though I became bored when he began talking about Kirby's work.  Hatfield mentions it, and I must admit to it, that I never really found Kirby's art style to be beautiful or pleasing.  I am not alone in this regard, but the work he produced is heavily influential on modern comics and for that it should be studied.  I just find it hard to read those early comics which feel so outdated compared to modern iterations of the same characters.  Apparently late period Kirby (1977-85) was also criticized by his fans for being outdated even as he was working on characters that he had created decades earlier.  I appreciate Kirby for all of the ideas he brought to the genre, I just find it difficult to enjoy his work.