August 28, 2015 would have been Jack Kirby’s 98th birthday. The man was a legend in American comics; no, not just American comics, but in the international world of comics, period. He created not just beloved characters who today anchor multi-billion-dollar movie franchises and whose images grace practically everything from pyjamas to purses to posters to yes, the occasional comic book. Earlier this week I was trying to figure out how to best explain the impact that Jack Kirby had on comic books to someone who was unfamiliar with the medium, and I realized that outside of comics, there’s really no-one to compare him to. The best that I could come up with was that he was like the movie director John Ford, a skilled craftsman and genius who worked hard and was interested in the bottom line almost as he was at making something creative. Except imagine that in addition to the 140 movies that John Ford actually made, he’d also made Citizen Kane, Casablanca, City Lights, Sunset Boulevard, Singin’ in the Rain, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Lawrence of Arabia, Bonnie and Clyde, and about a dozen more award-winners, as well as created the movie romance. Oh, and worked as director, writer, producer, cinematographer, key grip, and craft services for most of the movies.
It’s a clumsy analogy, but that’s because it’s hard to overstate the man’s impact on the comic book medium (and also because the clumsy analogy is practically one of my trademarks). Jack Kirby stands astride the comic book medium like a colossus, and though there are other creators who can boast of a prolific creative output, or an influential storytelling technique, or a dynamic visual style, none of them really rival Jack. It’s why he’s called The King, after all.
Well, that was a big gap. I thought for sure that I was going to take a two week break from the column while I was away on my trip to Ireland and Scotland, and then come back and get back into the writing habit. But somehow that extended into eight weeks. Eight weeks! Summer vacation brain, what can I say? There's a lot of stuff to catch up on, and there's really no way to effectively catch up on literally everything that I want to tell people about for the column. So instead of using this space to talk about two or...
Hello and good Friday, pop culture fans! This has been one hectic week in the lead-up to the last few days of school, but I have still managed to plough my way through a varied assortment of comics and more. Some of them have been…let’s be kind and say underwhelming, but I’m tossing those ones aside and hunkering down with some of the best things that floated through my consciousness. Submitted for your approval, here they are in no particular order.
Greetings, pop culture lovers! In case anyone is wondering who I am or what I am doing here, I’ll start with a bit of an introduction. My name is Devin R. Bruce, and I’m a speech pathologist, a cappella singer, podcaster, writer, and pop culture fan. Since March of 2014 I have been writing This Column Has Seven Days, a pop culture roundup where I talk about the best or most interesting of my pop culture samplings of the week. When my friends at Variant Edition offered me the opportunity to write for their blog, I jumped at the chance; I packed up my bindle, swallowed my last spoonful of beans, hopped a train to set up shop over here.
In This Column Has Seven Days, I like to share the best of my pop culture week. However, this isn’t just going to be a comics column. In fact, there are probably going to be times where I don’t mention comics at all. I saturate myself in many different pop culture pools: comics, music, movies, books, television, standup comedy, podcasts, and sometimes games and even old time radio programs. If I turn one person on to something they might not have tried, then my efforts have all been worth it. If not…well, then I got to rant and rave about things that I like, so that’s also worth it, really. Now that I have the introductions out of the way: let’s get to the good stuff.