Jack Kirby would be 103 years old today if he were alive, and the comics community -- fans, pros, publishers, and more -- are turning out on social media to celebrate his genius. Kirby was born on August 28, 1917, and was responsible, either wholly or in part, for the creations of hundreds of comic book characters, many of whom are still in publication today. Kirby was a key part of the creation of the Marvel Universe, as well as creating characters like the New Gods and Kamandi at DC Comics. Kirby passed away on February 6, 1994, but comics have continued to celebrate his legacy since.
Today, as with every birthday for years, some artists have taken to the drawing tables to Wake Up and Draw Kirby. Others, like Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen, are sharing glimpses at their own Kirby collections. And still others are just out there banging the drum for Kirby to get more recognition, after decades in the shadow of Stan Lee, who marketed himself as the face of all things Marvel.
"Jack Kirby is the single most important figure, the greatest singular talent that the comic book world has ever experienced. There will never ever be anyone with the magnitude of his magnificent impact in any medium, ever again," Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld told ComicBook.com on Kirby's hundredth birthday.
"I love almost everything Jack ever did," iconic Superman artist Jon Bogdanove added. "I especially love Thor, Captain America, The New Gods, The Forever People, Kamandi, The Demon, and Jack's super-weird, 70s version of Sandman. My favorite Kirby creations were, and continue to be his very personal family action-sitcoms,The Fantastic Four and Mr. Miracle. Jack was a family man, and for me, his best work always centered around the antics and conflicts of characters who love each other — families."
You can check out some of today's tributes below!
Happy Birthday to my grandfather, Jack Kirby. He would have been 103 years old today. May he remind us to keep creating, keep dreaming, keep inspiring others to do better and be better! pic.twitter.com/B80S98woPA— Jeremy Kirby (@jackkirbycomics) August 28, 2020
Today is also Jack Kirby's birthday. Without Kirby's storytelling genius, there probably wouldn't be a comic book business today—and all of us who toil in the fields of imagination owe him an incalculable debt. Happy Birthday, Jack...wherever in this crackling cosmos you are! pic.twitter.com/fRec3uQrQj— J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) August 28, 2020
Happy Birthday Jack Kirby!!! pic.twitter.com/5hWespB4vn— Richard Pace (@rpace) August 28, 2020
It's Jack Kirby's birthday--so I thought I'd share a few favorites from my collection. pic.twitter.com/JTto933g88— Erik Larsen (@ErikJLarsen) August 28, 2020
Thank you for some of my favorite comic book pages, Jack Kirby pic.twitter.com/ww8hNGhL9E— Michel Fiffe (@MichelFiffe) August 28, 2020
Years ago I met Jack Kirby [ for a second time ] and while speaking with him I was trying to buy some snacks at a con. He handed me $23.00 [ all the money in his wallet ] and said "eat up kid!" then said goodbye almost before I could thank him!— Dan Panosian (@urbanbarbarian) August 28, 2020
Happy Birthday, Jack Kirby. pic.twitter.com/wgwJ8afz3m— Al Ewing Writes Comics (@Al_Ewing) August 28, 2020
Happy 103rd Birthday to Jack Kirby pic.twitter.com/Nuk65HNv8n— Paul Harding (@HardingArt) August 28, 2020
Happy 103rd birthday, Jack Kirby!
Thank you. pic.twitter.com/l5rjvHBsME— Mitch Gerads (@MitchGerads) August 28, 2020
What I'm really trying to say is, on his birthday, get to know Jack Kirby. The reason Stan Lee gets dinged is bc of the hype and bullshit he, Marvel, the press and many circles of fandom perpetuated at the expense of others.
Sure, Stan was the Man.
But Kirby was the King. #is— Evan Dorkin (@evandorkin) August 28, 2020