A long-hidden trove of artwork by legendary comics artist Jack Kirby, creator of the Eternals and co-creator of Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, and countless other comic-book heroes, is about to be revealed for the first time ever as it starts to go to auction. The Ruby-Spears Jack Kirby Art Collection was created over the course of eight years in the 1980s when Kirby was employed by animation company Ruby-Spears Productions. The drawings, which number in the hundreds, include dozens of never before seen characters conceived by Joe Ruby, co-founder of Ruby-Spears, which Kirby then developed into full-blown animation stars. Among the drawings are teams of heroes, villains, and oddities including the Warriors of Illusion, the Mighty Misfits, Roxie's Raiders, Future Force, the Dragonspies, the Gargoids, and Power Planet. Also included are numerous vehicles, beasts, and supporting characters. While none of them made it into the lineup of Saturday morning cartoons, they all bear the power and playfulness of Jack Kirby's artistic sensibilities.
The collection was unearthed by SellMyComicBooks.com, and will be offered at auction on ComicLink. An initial group of drawings is at auction now, and more will be offered in the near future. Among the aspects that make this collection of art so unusual is their large size, with many of them measuring 19 by 29 inches, nearly double the dimensions of a standard page of original comic book artwork.
"Jack Kirby's artwork has always been recognized for its visceral impact," says Ashley Cotter-Cairns, President of SellMyComicBooks.com. "The sheer size of these pages increases their power exponentially, making them of special interest to collectors." The pieces were created in a number of media; many of them were left in pencil form, while others were rendered in ink and color by Ruby-Spears staff artists.
"These pages provide an fascinating look at both Kirby's working process and the way the characters were developed by Ruby-Spears for presentation to potential sponsors," says Cotter-Cairns. "Kirby provides copious notes about the characters, their motivations, and their weaponry."
Unseen since their creation four decades ago, the Ruby-Spears Jack Kirby Art Collection Collection represents a lost chapter in the career of comics' greatest artist, one that fans will be thrilled to see at last.