Each Panel a Firecracker

Kirby’s zany explosive power is so barely contained by the panel grids that they function more as prison bars, a girdle on a fat lady. His line has muscle; his characters look as if they have fuses up their butts, or were just shot out of a cannon. His art is at once scrappy and cosmic, each panel a firecracker, as if he was searching for a new frontier to bust out of, while exciting the eyes. There is a madness, a madness of needing more space; Kirby really should have been a mural painter filling the vast interior domes of cathedrals with manic figurations.

Ann Nocenti on Kirby, part of a series of appreciation posts at HiLoBrow

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3 Comments on “Each Panel a Firecracker”

  1. Nathan Says:

    Ah, Unus The Untouchable.

    I think I may have mentioned this to you before, but Kirby’s X-Men is really not his best work–I used to have a re-colored collection of the first ten issues and even then you can tell he would often draw characters (particularly Angel) off-model. And then, of course, there were the yellow and blue costumes…

    It’s definitely (like Silver Surfer) more of a Stan book.

  2. Greg Says:

    I can’t really argue, but part of the appeal of Nocenti’s piece for me was learning that a sort of sub-standard Lee/Kirby comic still provided a point of entry into greater Marveldom that she hadn’t found before

  3. Nathan Says:

    I’m just fascinated by the fact that she started writing comics after answering an ad in the Voice–that door to comics has certainly been shut for a while.


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