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Author Topic: Inspirations for Kirby's Fourth World  (Read 7097 times)
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Uncle Mxy
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 08:59:09 PM »

Kirby stated that Galactus was God and the Silver Surfer was a fallen angel, and the inspiration was biblical.  Not to say that he didn't reinvent and adapt for the comics, but there's no ambiguity on where they were sourced from.


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« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2007, 12:12:22 AM »

Kirby stated that Galactus was God and the Silver Surfer was a fallen angel, and the inspiration was biblical.  Not to say that he didn't reinvent and adapt for the comics, but there's no ambiguity on where they were sourced from.

The main difference is that Galactus didn't create, he only destroyed.  But I can see the similarity in the quality of their relationship.
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2007, 12:43:30 PM »

Some thoughts on Kirby and sci-fi:

-Kirby stated in numerous interviews that he had been a sci-fi fan since childhood (1920s-30s) reading pulps, watching movies, and continued to be a sci-fan in later life (he was a fan of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon early on as well)

-from his earliest work in comic books and strips, Kirby wrote and drew sci-fi (from 3 Rocketeers to Ant-Man to the Challs to Thundarr to Captain Victory and beyond) --you might almost say it was the genre that dominated his career (superheroes are science fiction, right?)

-the Sky Masters newspaper strip was probably his most sustained "Hard SF" (yeah, I know, not that "hard") effort and required lots of research, even if he wasn't the main writer

-more than anyone else, Kirby introduced, popularized, and even INVENTED many major science fiction concepts in U.S. children's comics

-not only did he do the Lord of Light portfolio, the whole thing was somehow wrapped up in a movie project, if I recall correctly

-having read about his work habits --15-20 hour days, 7 days a week in some cases-- I seriously doubt that Kirby, whose memory got worse as he got older, read either deeply or broadly in any genre, but I'm sure he read for entertainment and was quite familiar with major authors and trends in sci-fi, if he was unclear on the details by the time some aspect of what he'd read found its way into his comics

-I think to draw a simple one-to-one correlation between Kirby's reading sf and his comics (as if he simply regurgitating his reading in comics form, whole cloth) is a misapprehension of Kirby's peculiar genius for filtering and transforming the basic materials of our world --nature, pop culture, myth, religion, science, etc.  In many ways he was a naive folk artist.  Of course he was also a very sophisticated visual artist, businessman, editor and writer/dramatist/satirist....





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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2007, 04:39:00 AM »

...and now WIRED magazine tells us that the Lord of Light project was part of a CIA plot to free the Iran hostages!  They should have just asked Jack to draw them a plan, starring Captain America and the Falcon!

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/15.05/feat_cia.html
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2007, 03:35:18 PM »

I think you make a compelling argument for Kirby's possible inspiration/influence. Certainly, Chariots of the Gods was a huge influence upon pop culture of the time; and definitely inspired the Celestials. it was just everywhere-ingrained in the zeitgeist of the 70's. However, the "mythological beings are really technologically advanced aliens" schtick is nearly as old as sci-fi itself.
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« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2007, 08:09:39 PM »

You know, believe it or not, I see a lot of what would ultimately become "Cyberpunk" present in OMAC: soul-crushing totalitarian/corporate state, consumerism gone crazy.

There was one image from OMAC in particular that always struck me as being especially Cyberpunkish: it was a floating robot head of a girl, saying: "build me and I will be your friend." That's Cyberpunk's greatest fear: the belief that if given the choice between something real and something not real, people will choose the fake thing every time.

I should email Mark Evanier what Kirby thought of BLADE RUNNER. Ten to one he probably thought it was interesting.

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I think you make a compelling argument for Kirby's possible inspiration/influence. Certainly, Chariots of the Gods was a huge influence upon pop culture of the time; and definitely inspired the Celestials. it was just everywhere-ingrained in the zeitgeist of the 70's. However, the "mythological beings are really technologically advanced aliens" schtick is nearly as old as sci-fi itself.

I'd agree with you, if there weren't so many other similarities between LORD OF LIGHT and Kirby's work.

Except for the obsession with Hinduism, every idea in LORD OF LIGHT...yes, EVERY idea, somehow made it into Kirby's work somewhere: electric clone reincarnation (CAPTAIN VICTORY), "demons" having a "true" existence as shapechanging aliens, characters making semi-pretentious philosophical speeches as they fight, the pairing of a trickster/brainiac who fights with his mind and has powers over light with a partner that is a grim, red-clad bruiser with conflicted loyalties, "gods" living above the planet in a floating city because they deign to touch the earth...

It isn't just one concept in that book we see in Kirby's work, it was MANY. And LORD OF LIGHT came first.

I didn't know about the Kirby treatment for LORD OF LIGHT until this thread, or the movie either (it sounds fascinating), but I am not in the least surprised. It's like discovering Steve Gerber, creator of THUNDARR with his wookie and lightsaber, was a big fan of STAR WARS. Gee whiz, you think?
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« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2007, 10:08:02 PM »

I didn't know about the Kirby treatment for LORD OF LIGHT until this thread, or the movie either (it sounds fascinating), but I am not in the least surprised. It's like discovering Steve Gerber, creator of THUNDARR with his wookie and lightsaber, was a big fan of STAR WARS. Gee whiz, you think?

Steve Gerber may have been a fan of Star Wars. However, I read on wikipedia (believe it or not last night) Gerber was saddled with Wookie Ookla by network execs looking to cash in on the Star Wars craze.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thundarr_the_Barbarian

Plus, Alex Toth and Jack Kirby were both involved!

http://www.thundarr.com/media/interview.html

I stumble upon Thundarr on Boomerang. It's on every night @ 3:00am EST. Great show!
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