[comics] My Marvel Years — Jonathan Lethem on growing up in the 1970’s with Marvel Comics and Jack Kirby … ‘Kirby hadn’t been inactive in the interlude between his classic 1960s work for Marvel and his mid-1970s return. He’d been in exile at DC, Marvel’s older, more august and squarer rival. In his DC work and the return to Marvel, where he unveiled two new venues, The Eternals and 2001, Kirby gradually turned into an autistic primitivist genius, disdained as incompetent by much of his audience, but revered by a cult of aficionados in the manner of an ‘outsider artist’. As his work spun off into abstraction, his human bodies becoming more and more machine-like, his machines more and more molecular and atomic (when they didn’t resemble vast sculptures of mouse-gnawed cheese), Kirby became great/awful, a kind of disastrous genius uncontainable in the form he himself had innovated. It’s as though Picasso had, after 1950, become Adolf Adolf Wölfli, or John Ford had ended up as John Cassavetes. Or if Robert Crumb had turned into his obsessive mad-genius brother, Charles Crumb.’ [via Pete Ashton]

Jonathan Lethem — Growing Up in the 70s with Marvel and Kirby

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 29th, 2004 at 7:43 am and is filed under Comics.

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