Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Forever People: Proto-Hipsters

With the arrival of the fourth and final volume of Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus I've decided to delve into the titanic tomes for a taste of the terror and tumult tucked inside and, brother, it's a wallop.

There's manic energy in these stories that I hope would have grabbed me as a youngster in the early 1970s, and a kind of infectious earnestness, right down to the next-issue blurbs, that amuses the hell out of me as (what passes for) an adult. It reads quick, it reads clear, and everyone down to the background characters is excited and exciting.

History rightfully praises The King and The Man's early Marvel work, but reading this and the recently released Devil Dinosaur Omnibus from Marvel makes me want nothing more then Kirby Unleashed and On His Own. (Devil Dinosaur is great, but I'm insanely grateful for the text pages reprinted therein. Reading them makes you believe that Ol' Jack's brain never shut off.)

But I'm here to talk briefly about The Forever People, which, halfway through the first volume, is tied for second with Mister Miracle as my favorite series in these reprints. The aforementioned earnestness is on full display here, with heaping doses of angst, overwrought emotionality, and jive talk that would make Bob Haney proud.

Also, hideous furniture:

I gotta say, Big Bear's love of gaudy old furniture echoes my own. I've had my eyes on a particularly hideous couch at a local library that's been there since childhood and were I built more like Big Bear and less like Ichabod Crane said couch would have been mine long ago.

Mark Moonrider shares not just my name (the "Mark" part of it, anyhow), but an affinity for ugly lamps as well:

And that's pretty much why I'm totally jazzed to have four big books of this stuff on my shelf.


bitterandrew said...


The Forever People are and will forever be my favorite Kirby creation.

Ken Lowery said...

Okay, FINE. I'm buying the first one.


The Power Cosmic Speaks said...

Truly, the greatest graphic tale ever told. The Forever People were the driving force behind a comic ideal and a cosmic consciousness that's never stopped in comic literature to this day. The epics epic of all epics epics, except perhaps for Stan Lees and Jack Kirbys Fantastic Four, of course.