[The following editorial appears in Hidden Years #12, New Blood #16, and Wavedancers #3. --MK]
We'll miss you, Jack.
You, reading these words, do you know who Jack Kirby was?
If it weren't for Jack Kirby, and for more reasons than I care to go into right now, you wouldn't be reading these words. You wouldn't be reading Elfquest at all. You might not be reading comics as we know them.
Wendy wrote the following tribute to appear in one of the comics magazines, and I'd like to share it here:
"If I ever catch you in comics, I'll spank you!" Jack Kirby told me in 1970. The intended compliment stung a bit. In the same breath he said, "You're too good for comics" and, "Face it, kid, it's a boys' club."
The company way was the only way Jack had known up 'til that point. He was surprised by and admiring of the rise of the alternative press. During his last two decades the Ben Grimm in him came out. it was "clobberin' time." He really spoke up for himself and others. That took more guts than today's young fanboys-turned-pro can imagine.
Jack was the product of a different time. His story-telling came from his life experiences, not from reading comics. This family man and World War II veteran helped create the greatest pantheon of super beings the comics industry can boast, knowing nothing of creator's rights. But he always knew about human rights and, ultimately, human emotion. That's why his chunky, over-the-top style could appeal to women as well as to men. His was a truly mythic soul.
Let the Yancy Streeters now arrogantly "updating" his primal gods and heroes past recognition, perhaps even past recovery, remember: he was there first and best. He'll always be there. We all owe him - big time!
I don't have much to add to that. My introduction to comics came in the form of THE FANTASTIC FOUR, back when I had no trouble believing it was indeed "The World's Greatest Comics Magazine." Jack Kirby's impossibly dynamic, endearingly cosmic storytelling was like a drug. It hooked me. It showed me what comics had not been, and could be. Jack Kirby the man was a gentleman with Hell's Kitchen sensibilities: he spoke from the hip and shared from the heart. And I pray and push every day so that some of what he brought to the comic book medium - vitality, sincerity, love, outrageousness - shows through in what we do here at Warp.
February 23, 1994.
Outside the window, this winter's thirteenth snowstorm is dumping "from four to eight inches" onto the streets. The house is nearly hidden by six-foot-high bulwarks of dirty snow lining the driveway and the yard; the city snowplows have done a masterful job of piling it higher and higher. There is a permanent ice skating rink at the bottom of the driveway, where the street is depressed. I know how it feels. Poughkeepsie has not seen a winter like this, the newspapers say, since 1982. What's really irritating is a news item I heard to the effect that the previous dozen mild years were a meteorological aberration, and that the current wild weather is actually the norm.
There's a little island off the coast of Sumatra called Palau Pini. I have no idea what "palau" means in the local language, although I strongly suspect that it translates to "island" - since every other dot of ocean-bound land on the map is "Palau this" or "Palau that." It seems to me, given the crappy weather outside, and given that the government of Indonesia has already extended the courtesy of naming an island for us, that I ought to just move lock, stock and barrel to somewhere around the Equator and longitude 100 degrees east. I'll bet they don't get much snow there. But publishing comics would probably be a real bear of a task. I guess we'll stay here. I like the time zone.
[TRANSCRIBER NOTE: A photo of Feisty in a play-pen (and with a serious photoflash "red-eye" effect) appears here --MK]
Remember when we introduced Feisty back in ORIGINAL ELFQUEST #13 in 1982? Well, she's still with us, and has become the office mascot, a.k.a. the Demon Dog From Hell. "Beware, humans!" Thought you'd like the update.
And that, I think, is where I will leave this on a strange, snowy February day.
Richard A Pini