My first piece for the TLS was about Fighting Fantasy. My second piece is about Jack Kirby, on the occasion of his centenary. This, my marketing team would tell me, if I had a marketing team, is me remaining firmly on brand. After I went through the taste-acquiring phase that many people seem to have with his work, and after I read his Fourth World saga, Kirby became one of my greatest heroes. He should be one of yours too.

I’ll be writing more about Kirby and his comics in the not-too-distant, on this very website. In the meantime, here’s a thought from my TLS article:

No one can match Kirby, and, in a sense, no one should try. According to his biographer and friend, Mark Evanier, Kirby didn’t have much sympathy for artists who hoped to continue comic-book titles in his tradition. ‘The Kirby tradition’, he would say, ‘is to create a new comic.’ That is how he ought to be remembered, 100 hundred years after his birth: as an artist who always wanted to go beyond.

Or you can just read it all.

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What do you get if you mix my favourite comics publication with one of London’s loveliest, slightly tucked-away galleries? The answers are contained within my Spectator review of the Cartoon Museum’s Future Shock: 40 Years of 2000AD exhibition, although I’ll give you the short version here: the whole thing is a delight, even if don’t know your Absalom from your Kano. As I say in my review:

Some of the exhibition’s finest moments are almost accidental. Most of the artworks have speech bubbles, captions and corrections literally pasted on to them — because that is how comics are made. But only one has a crisps logo (KP Griddles) glued to its top, along with the promise of a free packet for those who follow the instructions later in the issue. It’s a reminder that 2000AD is a publishing operation. This is art for newsstand sales’ sake.

Ch-check it out.

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