Meanwhile, here's the line art for issue #1's cover:
El Diablo is owned by DC Comics.
Today's art scan is something that's really special for me to talk about. It was a panel from a Jack Kirby issue of Thor that first inspired me to really get into comics, and Kirby's run on Journey Into Mystery and Thor is still one of my very favorite things. I won almost every issue... it's one of the few comics I have sought out like a rabid collector over the years. So, for at least fifteen years, from the time I first started buying original art, I really wanted a Kirby Thor page.
Unfortunately, while there are hundreds of such pages out there, I was somewhat picky. While I accept the the issues inked by the great hack Vincent Colletta are the way they are and there's nothing that can be done about it and I love those books just as they are... I didn't really want that hackery hanging on my wall, staring at me each day. There's quite enough hackery going on in my studio already, thank you very much. Over the years, I saw a lot of Colletta pages from Thor for sale at conventions. I would spy the page from across the room and think, "Wow... that really looks nice. Maybe Vinnie really tried on that one." When I got close to the page, though, it was always the same... blech!
So, I decided to seek out a page by another inker. Several other guys inked issues of Thor here and there, including the great Bill Everett. Only one issue, though, was inked by my favorite Jack Kirby inker, Frank Giacoia.
Giacoia was one of those incredibly talented old-school inkers. Of course, he was a solid artist in his own rights, but his inking is really what made him special. He was always bold, but lively. He strengthened everyone he inked (aside from maybe Neal Adams, on whom Giacoia was a little lost) but, at the same time, he let the penciller shine through. That's what I love about his work over Kirby. The work is more that just pretty tracing (Royer), and he doesn't pretty the stuff up too much, either (Sinnott). Now, don't get me wrong... Royer was great, and Sinnott was perfect for The Fantastic Four. That work isn't as directly Kirby, though, as what Giacoia does. Giacoia is the perfect inker for Kirby (whose work was so strong that it's all but bad inker-proof), in my opinion.
To complicate my art-buying mission, Giacoia only inked one issue of Kirby's Thor. It is actually an issue of Journey Into Mystery... issue #115, to be precise. Still, I was patient, and a page from that issue eventually fell into my hands. Oh, around the same time, about thirteen hundred bucks fell out of my pocket, but that's another story. Not only is this Kirby and Giacoia on Thor, but it also features the first appearance of one of my favorite villains, The Absorbing Man. Nice!
Today I'm posting one of the less exciting panels from the page I own, but I wanted to share this one because it's so rich... so lush. The composition by Kirby is at once complex and clear. The arranging of figures gives the image such depth, and Giacoia is a master at adding to that depth through line weights and textures. Giacoia spots blacks perfectly, but he's also not afraid to hash it up a little, no doubt following the lead of Kirby's pencils.
This is rich, solid work by two of the best ever, and it hangs right behind my chair while I work. It stares down at me, reminding me each and every day how I'm nowhere near as good as... okay, let's not go there. This is a fantastic image. I love that little Thor figure, flying down to lend a hand to these poor little humans.
And... no Matt Fraction, we are not cutting this page up and smoking it. I don't care how many times you ask.
Okay... enough outta me. Enjoy the genius, and come back for more tomorrow!
The comic book version of THOR is owned by Marvel Ent. Group. The god version is owned by history!