Sunday, August 7, 2016

Event: Phoenix's Second Annual Jack Kirby Birthday Celebration!

August marks the birthday of one of comics' founding fathers: the king, Jack Kirby.  Jack co-created Captain America with Joe Simon in 1940, then later co-created many of the characters we love in the Marvel Universe, including the Fantastic Four, Thor, the Hulk, and the X-Men, just to name a few.  Afterward, for DC Comics, Kirby created the Fourth World, the cosmic epic that made Darkseid the Justice League's most formidable cosmic foe -- and this is just a very general summary of Kirby's contributions to comics culture.

Every year, fans celebrate the King's birthday, August 28, and this year Phoenix boasts an event crawl as epic in scope as one of Kirby's stories.

Phoenix Jack Kirby birthday Bonus Round comic books barcade Torch Theatre

Our event starts at noon, at the Torch Theatre in uptown Phoenix, where some of the Valley's best performers will dramatically read an issue of Kirby's seminal New Gods, in the style of a radio play.  At 2 p.m., attendees are invited to adjourn to Bonus Round, a barcade around the corner, which is opening early to host a special Happy Hour in honor of the King, with Kirby-themed cocktails, to boot!  Meanwhile, at All About Books & Comics (just next door), artists Dave Beaty (Batman Incorporated, Flashpoint: Wonder Woman, Red Skirts), the Janimal (Pronto Comics), and I will sketch to benefit the Hero Initiative.  Comics, cocktails, and camaraderie -- does it get any better than that?!

Last year, I organized a gallery show and an open mic here in Phoenix on Kirby's birthday, so performers that don't draw still had a way to express their love of Jack's work.  The open mic ended with a talk from Steve Rude, an amazing artist that studied with Kirby, and I didn't think it could get better than that.  This year, I wanted the same spirit, but with something different -- and I think we've achieved it.  If you're in Phoenix, please join us for a fun, special day!  If you're somewhere else, make one of your own! Nothing would honor Jack Kirby more.

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