As artists, we sometimes find ourselves in need of a little inspiration. I find that this is especially true during those moments when our art or our personal lives (or even both) just aren’t clicking. In one such moment last week, I found myself searching for a little guidance and I found it on youtube.com.
As much as I would like to think that youtube is a couch potato’s dream realized, I also believe that it serves as a preservation device. It preserves those things (thoughts, words, and ideas) that might have been lost had a forum like this not been created. But, getting back to the basis behind this blog… ah yes.. inspiration. Well, I searched youtube.com for thoughts and words from an artist that I really admired, the late great Jack Kirby (who better for a comic artist to hear from right?). I really didn’t know what I would find, considering Jack Kirby had passed away in 1994. But, to my surprise, I found quite a bit on him… and not just some interviews, but also a documentary, and some personal memories shared by other great artists and writers in the comic book field.
As much as people like to throw his name around and idolize him (as I do), I don’t think people ever really get a chance to get into the mind of the man who helped to forge this industry and learn what he really believed. They never really understand that Jack Kirby was a no nonsense guy who saw comic books not only as art, but as a business. It is a business that he excelled in as a storyteller, using his talents to provide for his family (while leaving the rest of us with a wonderful legacy).
Jack Kirby came from a different era where he was both artist and salesman, and he used his self knowledge of this to make himself invaluable in the field. He had street smarts and book smarts, and he was both tough and gentle at the same time. He was definitely a genius, but he was humble as well, seeing himself as he saw the rest of society. He could see the flaws in himself, and in humanity, but he still believed in the best of himself, and in the best of us. That is what he put down on paper every day he drew… and what he created was something far above what comic book fans could imagine at that time. Even still, he believed that we could all do the same if we strove to do the best we could. So without further wait, I have posted a couple of the videos that I watched below. Some of these are in several parts, and I only posted the first ones of each, so you will just have to leapfrog along to get to the rest. But I have a feeling, that once you start watching, you will get hooked.
JACK KIRBY Documentary – Part 1 of 5
JACK KIRBY Interview – Part I
The Experience Is Everything!