Panel by Panel: Hey, Kids! SF Magazines!

Rob Kelly becomes the first man to do the show twice, and the revolving finger of comicdom falls on a Jack Kirby Losers story from Our Fighting Forces #153 (1975). It’s intense Kirby Action… Reading, the only way the King knew how to draw it. Join us, won’t you?

A clean look at the image in the Panel by Panel Supplemental.

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10 responses to “Panel by Panel: Hey, Kids! SF Magazines!

  1. Fun show guys! Rob is going for some kind of Guinness Record for “Most Appearances on a Podcast Network”.

    When I first glanced at this panel and read “makes this war look puny”, I thought Kirby was throwing shade at Sgt. Rock too! The “Rock” title is weird. But Kirby doing war comics is of course nothing new, as you guys pointed out, and Kirby actually saw combat, unlike many comic artists who, while they served during the war, used their comic skills on magazines, literature, posters, films, etc, for the war effort. So he’s got more “street cred” than a lot of other folks who did war comics. I alway think of that cover for Foxhole comics, showing a bandaged, one eyed soldier looking off in the distance as he’s drawing the chaos around him.

    So maybe Kirby volunteered for a low-selling war title, or maybe Carmine Infantino said, “Hey Jack, you know war comics, fix this one.” Who knows? Well, John Morrow and Mark Evanier probably do, but we can look that up later.

    As for Johnny’s coloring…yeah, it’s somewhat problematic, but comic’s color palette was very limited at the time. I just read an article in Back Issue how Neal Adams had to push to make John Stewart’s skin color actually be brown, and not gray, or a brownish red, which were the two defaults for African-Americans at the time.

    I think my response lasted longer than the episode. Fun talk guys!


  2. Thanks for another excellent episode, gentlemen. My only experience with war comics is reading an issue or two of The ‘Nam back in the late 80s. So, it was great to learn more about this quirky little war comic.

    As soon as you pointed out that Johnny is thumbing through a pulp magazine, my mind also jumped to Rocket Travel as a possibility for the cover text. Also, I did a quick search of the story titles mentioned in the panel, and found only one match, but it was so appropriate that I had to mention it here. According to Memory Alpha, Invaders from the Ninth Dimension is the title of one of Tom Paris’ holoprograms, which appears in the Voyager episode Homestead. Sorry, I couldn’t resist crossing the streams.

  3. Top episode, it’s especially interesting to hear Rob’s informed thoughts on what inkers, especially Mike Royer, brought to Kirby. My favourite Kirby inkers are Vince Colletta, especially on Thor, because he made thinks look so slick – well done that eraser! – and Joe Sinnott, for the lovely cleanliness. That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy the blocker Seventies work under Royer, the power is undeniable… I guess I prefer my Jack tamed.

  4. Sorry to be so late, research.

    I wonder if Kirby himself didn’t live through getting razzed for his sci-fi interest while in the army. After the war, the field entered a time of more respect, because of The Rocket, and, of course, The Bomb. There is even a story in fandom that a science fiction magazine was investigated during the war for publishing a story about the atom bomb, but the editor pointed out stories about it in older issues, and even convinced the agents that he should continue to publish stories about atomic warfare, as a sudden silence might alert any enemies who were monitoring our pulp fiction. I found online the New York Times 1971 obituary of editor John W. Campbell that refers to this story as if it were known to the public.

    I searched through all my brother’s old books about Star Trek to find this again: a letter James Blish published in his 6th volume of adaptations in 1972: In Vietnam the army company of Captain Pierre D. Kirk adopted organization and radio call signs based on the show; during an armed convoy run they came under sniper attack, the captain organized a response over the radio, culminating in the order, “Phaser banks — charge your phasers and fire on my order,” at which point the sniping ceased.

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