Today marks Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday!
For those of you who don’t know, he is the creator and original artist for hundreds of our favorite DC and Marvel super heroes and villains! From Captain America to Darkseid, Jack Kirby brought to life the characters and stories that undoubtedly shaped our own childhood imagination and dreams. From his creative story telling to his artistic vision and style, he helped build both universes and, in essence, establish geek culture as we know it today!
Geek Motivation would like to celebrate his birthday by sharing a story from his past so that we may remember him not only as the King of Comics, but as the humble hero that changed our lives.
The story begins with a 16 year old Scott Dunbier who was mourning his family’s move from New York to Los Angeles. His old friends were gone and he wasn’t “into California” so he spent his days in sunny LA collecting comics. One day, as he approached the counter at Fantasy Castle Comic Shop, with 30 or so Jack Kirby comics in hand, the guy at the counter (who Scott admits changed the course of his life) asked, what seemed to him, a silly question.
“You like Jack Kirby?”
“Yea, sure, of course.”
“Well, you know, Jack Kirby lives around here and he’s got a listed phone number.”
Without a moment’s notice, in that 1970’s fashion, Scott called up the directory assistance at 411 (think of it as someone you would call to google a number for you) and sure enough, Jack Kirby’s number was listed. So, he called him right away which led to Jack and Scott chatting about comics for a good 20 minutes. As they wrapped up their conversation, before Scott could even think to ask for a signed sketch, Jack invited his family to come over on the weekend and even offered to sign his comics!
When Scott arrived at Jack Kirby’s house with his comics in hand, not only did Jack sign the first page of each one, but he also offered him lunch and gave him a copy of The God’s Portfolio with a sketch of Captain America waving and saying “Hi Scott!”
Today, Scott Dunbier is a comic book editor living the dream of that 16-year-old geek who met his friendly neighborhood hero, Jack Kirby.
Scott shared his story at this year’s Jack Kirby’s 100th Birthday Panel at Comic-Con. Check out the rest of the audio from the panel to truly understand why Jack Kirby had such a profound effect in Scott’s life.