Jack Kirby Collector #75 Presents: Kirby & Lee: Stuf’ Said!
The Complex Genesis of the Marvel Universe, in Its Creators’ Own Words
Review by KC Carlson
John Morrow has to be one of the most prominent (if not THE) Jack Kirby scholars on the planet. His Jack Kirby Collector magazine has been published regularly and faithfully since 1994. The earliest issues were published in limited quantities in B&W and are now almost impossible to find. (Good thing John later reprinted them as paperback collections.) These early issues were also fairly limited in scope and few in actual pages.
The magazine has come a long way since then. Recently, John published Jack Kirby Collector #75. It’s 160 pages, full color with dozens and dozens of graphics (many in color). You can’t call this issue a magazine — it’s a full-fledged book, much larger than an average issue and even having its own title! It’s an oral history about the origins of the Marvel comic universe, covering from 1940 to 1994, with the meat of the content focusing on the 60s.
Stuf’ Said! has so much stuff to look at and pour over that I’m having a tough time finishing it. (Mostly because I want to read it slow.) It’s incredibly detailed. Casual readers might be overwhelmed with so much material, but dedicated fans will find it full of important moments. Morrow can’t resist including his own speculation as well, marked by a salt shaker icon.
Interesting aside: This book was originally scheduled to be published in 2014, but that didn’t happen. Not because the book wasn’t finished, but because the court battle between Kirby’s family and Marvel was finally resolved and John “decided we’d all had enough, and to let the matter rest, at least for a while.” That was a most excellent decision.
This is a wonderful book, wonderfully designed and presented with great care and detail. There are hundreds of photos and artwork, and even the typesetting is fascinating! Much of it is multi-colored with multiple fonts in use to help the reader differentiate between statements by all the main figures in the story/trial. Besides Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Joe Simon, Wally Wood, Roy Thomas, and Kirby assistants Steve Sherman & Mark Evanier are involved in the narrative. You can see sample pages at the publisher’s website. (The publisher provided a review copy.)
Here’s to a long life for both the magazine and its Publisher/Editor!