Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Fourth World Cometh!

The upcoming months promise much for Fourth World fans. The Jack Kirby Collector, the longtime chronicler of all things Kirby is coming out with an issue dedicated to Kirby's DC work in particular his New Gods stuff. I'm eager to get my mitts on this as the Fourth World (as I've said many times) is my absolute favorite Kirby work. It rocked my teenage world. Below is the solicitation.

"Winter 2014 - 100-page FULL-COLOR magazine NOW IN FULL-COLOR! JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #62 is a deluxe, 100-page full-color DC ISSUE! Believe it or not, Kirby actually worked longer for DC than Marvel over the years, so here’s a celebration of his best work for the company. (With full-color, you’ll see the Fourth World covered like never before!) There’s a feature-length Kirby interview, MARK EVANIER and our other regular columnists, an updated “X-Numbers” list of Kirby’s DC assignments (revealing some surprises), JERRY BOYD’s insights on Kirby’s work, a look at key 1970s events in Kirby’s life and career, galleries of pencil art including FOREVER PEOPLE, OMAC, THE DEMON, and more, plus a new Orion cover inked by MIKE ROYER! Edited by John Morrow."

I'm eager to read this issue, very eager.

And here's some more big news for Jack Kirby fans.

"Jack Kirby's New Gods Artist's Edition will be released in March and feature five complete issues of Kirby's inaugural Fourth World book. Kirby, often called the "King of Comics", is arguably the most important and influential comics creator of all time. His work on New Gods, which he wrote as well as drew, clearly reinforces that notion. Filled with amazing imagery and giant concepts, this book will measure 12 x 17 inches."

I'm very much looking forward to this book from IDW Publishing. I notice that it doesn't specify which five issues of The New Gods, so I suspect it's not the first five, but while I've seen these pages doubtlessly in The Jack Kirby Collector and elsewhere it will be nice to see them assembled as they ought to be read. Also I will nitpick and say that while it was the flagship book in the Fourth World line, it was not the "inaugural" one. That honor goes to either Jimmy Olsen or The Forever People, both of which brought Fourth World concepts to the masses before the arrival of Orion. I also notice that I haven't seen a price for this product yet, so I suspect the sticker shock will be pretty impressive.

Here's a description of the package.

"WHAT IS AN ARTIST'S EDITION? AN ARTIST'S EDITION PRESENTS COMPLETE STORIES WITH EACH PAGE SCANNED FROM THE ACTUAL ORIGINAL ART. While appearing to be in black and white, each page was scanned in color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art-for instance, corrections and blue pencils. Each page is printed the same size as drawn, and the paper selected is as close as possible to the original art board."

To have this material in nearly the same format Kirby created it is no small thing. That might be worth some serious coin.

There's no doubt in my mind that The New Gods along with the other Fourth World books are the pinnacle of Jack "King" Kirby's impressive career, and while I own the stories many times over, this rendition will quite a treat.  Looking forward to it, if I can afford it.

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  1. The IDW book will contain issues 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8, those last four containing some of the best stuff, in my opinion.

    1. I have a real hankering for the early Colletta-inked issues, but I'd have to agree that "The Pact" is maybe the single best thing Kirby wrote and drew. "The Glory Boat" and "The Death Wish of Terrible Turpin" are among his most successful stories ever.

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