Caleb Orecchio here with some brief thoughts on Kirby’s appeal.


Caleb here. This past semester, I ran an after school comics club for first through fourth graders here in Pittsburgh. Something that I’ve been thinking about lately is that their favorite comics, of the ones I brought in, were far and away my reprints of Jack Kirby Marvel comics (followed closely by Calvin and Hobbes and Ditko’s Spider-Man). They were particularly taken with Black Bolt who made his way into several of the students’ own comics. I think this in part had to do with the fact that they had no previous frame of reference for the character. My students would just sit their and look at the Kirby covers as if they were relics of spiritual truth and mystery. Their is something primal about Kirby that can not be shaken.

I don’t think it is controversial to say that Kirby tapped into some deep Jungian gold mine of archetypes. One could argue that this explains the ongoing popularity of his characters. Undoubtedly, Kirby, and the rest of the superhero creators, were participating in a long tradition of hero sagas that has existed since the earliest known literature. The early Marvel characters were fresh and still somewhat familiar.

And they stay fresh and familiar in no small part due to the silver and TV screens. Still, despite the intensity and gravitas of the movies, these old comic books still stand as a vital testaments of imagination. I simply find it interesting that a bunch of kids who were hardly interested in anything other than Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. found these stories and pictures fascinating.


Cement Mixer – 12-3-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

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