Saturday, August 10, 2013
I gleefully gathered up a copy of DC's latest Jack Kirby reprint In the Days of the Mob, this one capturing at long last some of Kirby's most personal and idiosyncratic work. When Kirby first sprinted to DC after his fall out with Stan Lee and "The House of Ideas" he briefly believed that he would be at long last respected for his creative drive and be given control of a bevy of books, not all of which would be drawn by him. He had big ideas for mini-series and for other formats for comics, very exciting ideas. But alas they were ahead of their time, because DC reverted to timidity after boldly landing "The King" in their stable.
Kirby's "Speak-Out Series" was a move to escape the Comics Code and create magazine-sized comics which would have a broader more adult appeal. It was a good idea, but only two magazines were published. One was Spirit World, reprinted by DC a few years ago along with those stories which constituted its unpublished but prepared second issue. For more see here.
The other was In The Days of the Mob, an update of the classic crime comic, a genre close to Kirby's own roots in the slums of New York City. I remember seeing this singular magazine when I was a boy just discovering The New Gods, Mister Miracle, and The Forever People on the newsstands. But alas it was on a shelf well beyond my ten-year old grasp. But the allure remained with me for many years and finally I was able to track down a copy. I've held it dear for some decades, and with the internet have become aware of the other stories Kirby did for an unpublished second issue.
Now at long last I have a great copy of the classic original and those unpublished stories at long last get to hit the stands as they deserved to do so very long ago. This is a very slim volume, and only a hard-core Kirby fan will want to shell out the requested forty bucks. But for me it was well worth it, and I treasure having Kirby's complete "Speak-Out Series" at long last in my mitts.
Time warp back to 1971, when a young boy was searching the racks for adventure and enlightenment.