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Kirby Unleashed 

November 16, 2016

Back in the good old days of 1970, the San Diego Comic Con had just begun its first year and Kirby fans were already clamoring for his artwork. More conventions in other states followed, and Jack’s son Neal, who was in marketing, came up with a few ideas to sell his dad’s work at the shows.

Together with Jack himself, Mark Evanier and Steve Sherman (Jack’s personal assistants) they came up with the “Kirby Unleashed” portfolios, and the “Jack Kirby Gods” portfolio under their Communicators Unlimited banner. 

The first release in 1971 was just titled “Kirby” and was a 16 page 8 1/2″ x 11″ glossy black and white magazine style book. It was the first of its kind to feature any extensive information on Jack Kirby, and sold out very quickly.

Soon to follow was a much larger and more extensive color portfolio called “A “King” Kirby Portfolio”, otherwise known as “Kirby Unleashed”. This larger 11″ x 14″ edition featured some of the same information included in the first release, but now with glorious full color plates printed on a four color press.

The cover price for this large Rolling Stone magazine style format book was a whopping four dollars back in 1971 ($23.77 in today’s dollars) and only 5000 were printed at a cost of $2.00 per. 

By the next year, 1972, Jack realized fans wanted more poster type prints so he came up with the idea for the “Gods” portfolio. It contained re-designed versions of the Norse gods he did prior to leaving Marvel. 1000 copies of the 4 characters were made and sold for $2.95 ($17.53 today). Printed on high quality paper, these 11 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ prints came in a specially designed Kirby mailing envelope as well. 

Jumping ahead to 1982 comes “Battle For A Three Dimensional World “, The one and only 3-D comic book done by Jack Kirby printed by 3-D Cosmic Publications. This new Kirby creation featured new characters named Stereon, Videora, Cyclops and Circe. Even at the age of 65 Jack was still creating new and interesting characters and concepts for fans to enjoy. 

Also released at the same time was an 11″ x 17″ 3-D poster, both coming with generic and specially printed 3-D glasses featuring Jack’s art. 


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