Review: COMIC BOOK CREATOR #1 (or how Kirby got screwed by Marvel Comics)

CBC1Final_MEDJust to show that I don’t automatically hate EVERYTHING, I’d like to talk about a great new magazine that has just appeared.  It’s called COMIC BOOK CREATOR and it’s from the great folks at TwoMorrows Publishing (who bring you such other excellent mags as BACK ISSUE, ALTER EGO and the esteemed JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR).  If you care at all about comic books, their history and the people who created them, you need to buy this magazine.

Edited by the unflappable Jon Cooke, CBC is a magazine that is so sorely needed today.  Not only do the articles talk about many of the creative and financial difficulties suffered by these creators but their processes, their lives and their history.  It should be required reading for everyone who reads comics and especially any who write about comics.

This first issue covers many different topics but it’s the lead cover story that is closest to my heart: Jack Kirby.  There’s not a time in my life that I can recall when I didn’t know who Jack Kirby was.  I grew up reading his comics and he was the first artist I was able to identify by sight.  If it was Kirby, I read it.

So it saddened me as time went on and I learned more about the many and varied ways that Kirby was screwed out of money that he deserved for his work.  The lead story here, by Cooke, details this sad story of a man who was taken advantage of by co-workers and corporations when his primary goal was simply to provide for his family.  It’s a tragic tale and one that everyone who considers a career in comics should know.

There are many other fine pieces here including a nice article on the last years of Frank Robbins who was an artist that I positively hated when I was a kid but have grown to appreciate and admire more every year.  Equally poignant is a portrait of comics historian Les Daniels who, despite our living in the same state, I never met but always knew about.  This article makes me regret missing out on meeting him even more.

It’s not easy to produce a magazine about comic books anymore.  Gone are WIZARD (slick pap), COMIC BUYER’S GUIDE (a beloved old title) and even COMICS JOURNAL.  It looks as if the only ones being published at this level these days come from TwoMorrows.  If you care about comics, the people who made and are making them and actually want to read intelligent, well-written articles, then you need to buy this magazine.

COMIC BOOK CREATOR is published by TwoMorrows Publishing (link here).  It should be carried by every comic book store that takes the field seriously and isn’t only concerned with the latest death spectacular from Marvel or DC.  But, times being what they are, that doesn’t always happen so, if you can’t find it at you LCS, order from them online.  I’ve ordered many things from TwoMorrows and give them the highest ratings for the quality and promptness of their shipping.

Now if they could just come out with that Jim Aparo book and the Muck Monsters book!


About Sam Gafford
My name is Sam Gafford and I've been doing critical work on William Hope Hodgson for many years. I wrote the article "Writing Backwards: The Novels of William Hope Hodgson" in which I presented evidence that WHH wrote his novels in the reverse order in which they were published. I've recently written an article on Hodgson's confrontation with Houdini and am currently working on a book length study of WHH.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: