Archive for March 2013

Captain America #7 Death Loads the Bases part 2   2 comments


Kirb Kin Toad #7

Moving on to page seven above, I see what could conceivably be a tighter Kirby layout, although many times it is difficult to tell. However, the placement of figures is fairly strong, particularly the circular arrangement of the group with Cap and Bucky in the last panel. The final drawing and inking appear to be by Avison.
Allow me to digress here and display an example of what a Kirby layout might be. The page below is a rough pencil layout that the King did for a 1966 Daredevil story to be drawn by Johnny Romita.


Daredevil Kirby layout


These are very loose sketches, establishing the plot and pacing of the story and the basic positioning of figures in the panels. A competent artist could use such guides to great advantage and still impose his own style upon the story.
This again begs the question, who is plotting these Captain America stories? My feeling has been that Kirby has predominantly initiated them with rough layouts like these above, later to be tightened by him or another artist, but some have suggested that Simon also did many of the layouts.

Now here below is something else to consider. It is a 1941 page from Pocket Comics #1 by Al Avison, in a story that would have appeared about the same time as Captain America #5.


Avison Red Blazer 2


Looking at the quality of this art, it is my opinion that Al Avison did not do much if any of the layouts for S&K’s Captain America, nor do I think that he provided much in the way of basic structural figure work for the book. I imagine that he was mostly used to tighten up Kirby, Simon or even another artist’s drawings and ink them. This apprentice learning process is how he became the much more accomplished artist that we would see after Simon and Kirby left the series.


Kirb Kin Toad #9
Page eight  (not shown) seems to possess little or no Kirby beyond panel one featuring Captain America. Nine shown above has a slightly better layout and more dynamic figures but some of them are ridiculously awkward, like the pitcher and batter in the last panel. Still, it does have some dynamism and could be the result of rough Kirby art. Page ten below has an even stronger flavor of Kirby kinetics displayed, with its array of leaping panel breaking figures.


Kirb Kin Toad #10

Many thanks to John Morrow and Randolph Hoppe for the original Daredevil artwork.



Posted March 13, 2013 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized

Captain America#7 Death Loads the bases part1   Leave a comment

Kirb Kin Toad #1

Moving on to the second story in Captain America #7, Death Loads the Bases we see a dynamic Kirby drawn and inked splash panel above. The composition again displays Kirby’s signature knack for moving the eye around the panel in the direction that he wishes it to travel. We first see the skeletal umpire on the upper left gesturing towards the sliding figure on the right, whose diagonal position points to the black figure pitching the ball. The pitch brings us to Captain America, whose position brings our eye to the lower left sliding figure and then to the smaller inset second panel.

Kirb Kin Toad #3

Page two, which I do not feature, is a fairly unremarkable layout done either by Joe Simon or Al Avison and finished by Avison perhaps with inker Sid Shores. Page three above probably has the same hands involved.  We are at a baseball game, so there is an opportunity for some dynamic figure work, but it is not primo stuff. We are not getting much Kirby for our money folks. Skipping to page five below, we see a bit of classic Kirby in the layouts and some of the Captain America poses. The nicest bit is the juxtaposition between the action in panels four and five.

Kirb Kin Toad #5

Panel seven, featuring Bucky tackling the Toad is also a nice piece of action.  Kirby uses the back shot with extended leg twice on this page. Yet, even these are not tight Kirby drawings and they are finished by Avison competently, but not with any great display of skill. As usual, one wishes that there was a good deal more Kirby.
Page six below has a weaker layout,  and probably not much is done here by Kirby. Panels one through five have some his fluidity of movement in the figures, but they are not finished well , and the remainder of the page is considerably weaker.

Kirb Kin Toad #6

Posted March 11, 2013 by norris burroughs in Uncategorized