Archive for New Gods

R.I.P. Shel Dorf, Comic-Con Founder

Posted in Comics, Jack Kirby with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 5th November, 2009 by Adam Redsell
You will be missed.

Sheldon "Shel" Dorf (July 5, 1933 – November 3, 2009)

Sheldon “Shel” Dorf, founder of the San Diego Comic Convention, died on Tuesday 3rd November in a San Diego hospital, where he was being treated for diabetes this year.  A funeral service was held for Shel on Wednesday.

Since its inception in 1970, the San Diego Comic-Con International has grown from 300 attendees to over 125,000 comic book fans from across the world.

David Glanzer, a convention spokesman, had this to say about the man:

“Shel had notable foresight in not only believing these people needed some public acknowledgment, but that this truly was an American art form that Americans knew very little about.”

During his time as a letterer, freelance artist, and convention organiser, Shel befriended many creative figures in the industry, not least of which was Jack Kirby.  According to comics historian (and Kirby’s closest friend) Mark Evanier, Shel claims the rare honour of being made into a Kirby character, namely Himon, inventor of the Mother Box and Mister Miracle’s mentor in his landmark New Gods series.  He also made appearances as well-meaning football player “Thudd Shelley” in Steve Canyon, a comic strip which he lettered for twelve years.  He was also responsible for publishing ninety-nine issues of Dick Tracy in 1984, later collecting them as twenty-four graphic novels.

We at Bat-Shark Repellent salute Shel Dorf for his contribution to Comics.  Legions of comics fans and creators alike are forever in your debt.  Thank you.

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My Tribute to Jack Kirby, King of Comics

Posted in Comics, Jack Kirby with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2nd September, 2009 by Adam Redsell

So this week I was assigned Kirby’s Dream Land 3 for review on EveryGame. Problem was, Scott had already written a stellar creepy gangster story about Kirby for Kirby Superstar, which was gonna be my angle (not so much the street-level storytelling, more the Kirby-as-creepy-Dream-Eater-type vibe). So what did I do? I decided to write about comics legend Jack Kirby instead. Not once do I reference the videogame, aside from a name drop and the obligatory screenshot, like this one:

Those of you unfamiliar with the name Jack Kirby will no doubt be familiar with his work. If you’re a fan of the Manhunter, the Challengers of the Unknown, the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, the X-Men, Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Magneto, the Inhumans, Black Panther, the New Gods, Mister Miracle, Darkseid, Kamandi, The Demon, and the Eternals – you have Jack Kirby to thank, because he created all of them.

Despite the flippancy of the subject change, I hope you find it a fitting tribute to the King of Comics. Inspired by Mark Evanier’s touching eulogy, I wrote it from the perspective of an old friend:

Let me tell ya ’bout a kid called Kirby. Wasn’t the name his mother gave him, but that’s what he settled on, so that’s what we called him, got it? Weren’t too long before we’d have another name for him: The King. “The King of Comics” we called him. Let me tell you ’bout ol’ King Kirby.

Indeed, having been energised by so many of his characters and stories, he really does feel like an old friend to me. I must confess to shedding the occasional tear whenever I read a first-hand account of a chance meeting with the guy, or even reading a comic book dedicated to him that I know he would have smiled at.

So, Jack Kirby – King of Comics – this is for you. I hope you like it.

We’ve really gotta stop calling these things reviews.