Archive for February 2013

Captain America #7 Red Skull Part 3   Leave a comment

Kirb Kin Skull #10


Page nine which I will skip looks like it could be a Joe Simon layout with Avison pencils and inks.  Page ten above seems to have more Kirby in it, with panel one having a strong sense of forced perspective featuring Cap and Bucky crashing through the door. Panel two uses a composition that Greg Theakston dubbed the big O, which is the circular use of figures or objects that bring the eye around the canvas and in this case to the focus on Cap and Bucky.

Panel six has the dynamic jolt of Cap’s right cross to the Skull’s head, with the hero’s back and legs in a pose that could only be initiated by the King. Cap’s figure in panel eight also looks to me like a KIrby drawing. Much of the finished pencils and inking again appear to be Avison’s.


Kirb Kin Skull #11


The first panel of page eleven above is another fantastic Kirby composition, with fighting and flying figures weaving wonderfully across the expanse.There is a cool example of the orange suited figure flying out of the panel and into your lap.

The remainder of the page looks to be JK’s layout, or loose drawing again finished and inked by Avison. Panel three is the only one that looks really clumsily executed and may have been finished from a really loose Kirby sketch, or even drawn by someone else.

Page twelve again looks like something that Kirby had little or anything to do with.  Even the Captain America figures lack his panache, but it looks to me like Avison is involved somewhere.


Kirb Kin Skull #13

Page thirteen above is a trifle better, but panel two is the only one that has much life in its conception. Neither the drawing or the inking look much like the work of Al Avison either. The story doesn’t end with much of a bang, but with a whimper. Movin’ on


Posted February 25, 2013 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized

Captain America #7 Red Skull part 2 by Norris Burroughs   Leave a comment

Kirb Kin Skull #6


Page six of Captain America #7  above carries on with fairly tight Kirby layouts in at least the first three panels, although the corpse in panel one is a bit dodgy. It appears as if Kirby focuses most of his attention on the main characters with tighter drawings and leaves the lesser cast to subordinates. Panel three’s composition with the Skull about to cut a deadly weight loose is a nice use of space, but the Cap and Bucky figures in panel five could have been better rendered. The Skull on the catwalk in panel seven is also strongly composed, but panel eight is sketchy again, so we continue with the typical uneven treatment this series has become known for. Again, it looks like Avison is doing most of the finishes and he or someone else, Simon perhaps is doing some of the layouts. Still, to me the composition of the page mostly says Kirby, with its use of gestures and objects to direct the eye.


Kirb Kin Skull #7


There is a bit more action on page seven above and the poses look Kirby-esque. The transition from the first panel where Cap and Bucky are airborne to the second where the Skull/stagehand is running have that definite sense of animator continuity that Kirby was famous for. Also particularly nice is the roundhouse shield bash in panel five. There are definite Avison finishes here, as seen in details such as Cap’s kneecaps in panels four and five. The last three panels deteriorate artistically, and it almost seems as if Kirby is starting the page with a layout or drawing of the first few panels with some key figures  and leaving the remainder for inbetweeners.


Kirb Kin Skull #8


From this point forward, the story in general grows weaker with what appears to be less and less involvement by the King and more of what is probably Al Avison or someone else. Page #8 above begins with some promise, the first panel featuring an OK shot of the two heroes swinging away and the gloating Skull congratulating himself while unmasking. Panels three and four are strong, but the art in the last four panels is a tad sloppy. The drawing of the Red Skull in panel seven is quite abominable and doesn’t look like Kirby went anywhere near it.

We’ll finish up with this story in the next segment.

Posted February 19, 2013 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized

Captain America #7 Red Skull part 1   4 comments

Due to the overwhelming lack of response, I have decided after a long break to resume this crucial artistic inquiry. Since I have no acceptable reproductions of Captain America #6, I’ve decided to skip the entire issue and carry on with number seven, which is just as well considering that issue six doesn’t particularly inspire me. What I like in particular about issue seven is that my second favorite Captain America artist, Al Avison does a good deal of work on the series beginning more or less with this issue. He did quite a bit earlier on in #4 and 5, but this issue is when it seems to me he really kicks it into high gear.

Kirb Kin Skull #1

The splash page is nearly all Kirby, with a delightfully grotesque symbolically huge figure of the Red Skull, and tiny figures of Cap and Bucky trying to thwart him. It is a fantastic composition and is beautifully colored in lurid Golden Age hues, the like of which will probably never be seen again. There is something about the juxtaposition of the blue violet, red blue and pale green that so powerfully evokes a period.

Kirb Kin Skull #2

Page two above appears to me to be pretty loose Kirby layouts finished mostly by Avison. I particularly enjoy the jagged panel layouts and the transition between panels three and four with the overlapping briefcase leading to the reclining figure in the chair. Jim Vadeboncoeur feels that the layout and art is all Avison, and I have to agree that the first two panels are pretty weak, but I believe it’s all still loose Kirby. For me, details like the thug’s open hand in panel five are a giveaway.

The final panel with the angled drawing of the leering Skull is a beaut, and possibly inked by Kirby. I also see crosshatched inking in the final two panels. Could this be evidence of George Klein’s inking. Again, the colors are wonderful, especially the light violet. I’m so pleased to have these actual scans to work with.

Kirb Kin Skull #3

Page three above is much stronger and opens with some nicely drawn Kirby art, starting with a foreshortened dead body breaking the panel borders and continuing with the clever sequence of a newspaper blowing around for several panels until it lands on Steve Rogers’ pants’ leg. Again, the inking looks to me to be done mostly by Avison.

Skipping page four, we see Bucky and Steve decked out in “Gay Nineties” costumes for the Camp Lehigh play as the plot thickens on page five. This page also seems to be Kirby layouts with Avison inks. There is a nice overlapping of figures going on the the last four panels and a classic butt shot in panel five.

Kirb Kin Skull #5

To be Continued.

Posted February 18, 2013 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized