Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ditko's original cover of Amazing Spider-Man #35, modified by Kirby

Jack Kirby was incredibly fast with the pencils and often, when he was working for Marvel Comics, he would draw or modify covers of series assigned to other artists.

In 1966 The Amazing Spider-Man was still drawn by Steve Ditko, who will quit with #38. This is the cover Ditko prepared for #35, as published in Italy in L'Uomo Ragno #29.

However, this is not the cover published in USA. Someone at Marvel did not like the -let's say "peculiar"- pose of spidey, and asked Jack Kirby to correct it. The final cover, as published in AMS #35 is this

I have to admit that I like more the modified cover (even if Spidey has two left feet ;) ). Here a comparison side by side of the two

If you look closely you will notice that Kirby also modified Molten's costume. Maybe the one drawn by Ditko was too small ;)

Here is the detail of the costume, in red Kirby's retouched version

Dario Bressanini

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The original cover of Captain America's Bicentennial battles

I loved Jack Kirby. By now you know that. When he left Marvel Comics I was strongly disappointed since he stopped drawing my favorite comic book ever: the Fantastic Four. In 1975 he came back to Marvel but, apart a few covers, he did not return to work on the book I loved so much. Instead he asked to do the Black Panther, Captain America and some new stuff like The Eternals.

In 1976, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.A.’s Declaration of Independence, he wrote and penciled an oversized book featuring Captain America named Bicentennial battles. The cover is quite famous and the story has been recently reprinted here in Italy.

However, once again, this was not the cover Kirby had in mind. At the Jack Kirby museum you can see the original pencils

in December 1977 the Italian publisher Editoriale Corno published the Bicentennial battles in the comic book magazine Capitan America. Marvel comics along with the interior pages sent this cover

Wow! It’s the original Kirby cover! So it was inked after all, photographed and archived, before someone at Marvel asked to modify it.

Captain America fighting in the lower left corner has been substituted with colonial soldiers while in the upper right corner the spaceship in the crater has been moved upward to make space for Cap's body laying on the ground.

At the Albert Bryan Bigley Archives I found a picture of the supposedly production cover

On the left side of the cover, it is possible to see that the soldiers have been pasted over the original Cap figure. On the lower right side the piece of pasted paper with “A Jack Kirby king-size spectacular!” is missing but we can clearly see the yellowed glued paper.

On the upper right side there should be a pasted piece of paper with Captain America but again it has been lost and the yellowed original drawing is shown.

Finally, Kirby’s Signature was erased from the printed cover.

Here, with a little Photoshop, is what has been pasted over

And here is what has been covered

Dario Bressanini