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Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 February 6, 1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer, and editor widely regarded as one of the medium’s major innovators and one of its most prolific and influential creators.

Kirby grew up in New York City, and learned to draw cartoon figures by tracing characters from comic strips and editorial cartoons. He entered the nascent comics industry in the 1930s, drawing various comics features under different pen names, including Jack Curtiss, before ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. During the 1940s, Kirby, generally teamed with Simon, created numerous characters for that company and for National Comics, later to become DC Comics.

After serving in World War II, Kirby produced work for a number of publishers, including DC, Harvey Comics, Hillman Periodicals. At Crestwood Publications he and Simon created the genre of romance comics and later founded their own short-lived comic company, Mainline Publications. Ultimately, Kirby found himself at Timely’s 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, which in the next decade became Marvel. There, in the 1960s, Kirby and writer-editor Stan Lee co-created many of the company's major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Hulk

Kriby and Lee also introduced the first Black super hero The Black Panther, who first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966, and well as Vykin the Black, Walter "Flippa Dippa" Johnson and Black Racer, who were introduced in the early 70's.

The Lee-Kirby titles garnered high sales and critical acclaim, but in 1970, feeling he had been treated unfairly, Kirby left the company for rival DC.

By Susan Skaar - Kirby Museum website, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28809659

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