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Jack Kirby

Everybody knows the name Stan Lee. He was bigger than life right? With the Marvel movies being as big as they are, he is synonymous with the characters that we all know and love. Hey, the man created my childhood and if we’re being real most of my adulthood as well. But, How many of you out there know the name Jacob Kurtzberg? Never heard of him? How about his pen name, Jack Kirby? Still drawing a blank I bet, that is unless you’re an unapologetic geek like me. Stan Lee, as great as he was, did not create all those wonderful characters alone. Jack was right there beside him at his drawing board banging out issue after issue of exciting adventures for Marvel Comics through the late 50, 60’s and 70’s.

Now, Jack Kirby had been drawing comics for years but it wasn’t until teaming up with Stan Lee on The Fantastic Four #1 (November 1961) that his comic god-hood was forever cemented in history. Yes, it was that Fantastic Four that you saw in the movies starring future Captain America Chris Evans. Those movies, although not perfect, started life on a drawing table, with a pencil, fueled by coffee and Jack Kirby’s ever present cigar. Over the years, more innovative stories and characters would follow. The Mighty Thor, the Hulk, the X-Men, and of course, The now immortal Black Panther. His achievements are too numerous to go into in this one article so I’m not even going to attempt it. Each one should be analyzed thoroughly to give them their proper due but to give you a more complete picture of the man I’m including a video below that does the man justice.

Jack Kirby through his incredible body of work has inspired generations of artists including all the mooks that work here. The things and techniques that he developed have become comic mainstays in the superhero comic book industry he helped create. In short, we’ve all learned from the master. One of the visual cues he created was a graphic way of depicting power or great amounts of flowing energy. This has now become known as “Kirby Crackle”. Every aspiring or professional comic book artist I know has come to embrace this technique. It’s so perfect it’s as if it always existed, but it didn’t. It all started with Jack “King” Kirby. Here’s an example it below.

Now, with a single stroke you can create the Kirby Crackle effect in a matter of seconds. Want that 70’s comic book feel in your designs? Maybe you’re making a comic yourself. Save time and energy with this tool. Never get the same look twice because each stroke is randomized so you don’t gat that mechanical look. Check it out in action below.

Check out the Space Crackle Brush here.

We’re currently working on a full set of vector tools for comic creators and illustrators so make sure you sign up for our mailing list. Members will get coupon codes, special offers and freebies as they become available. OK, shameless plug over. Forgive me, I have artist to feed!

Until next time true believers! Nope, I’m not gonna say it… aw crap… Excelsior! – Miss you Stan and Jack.

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