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Ever the Source

DC Comics has announced that they will soon issue The New Gods Omnibus, a series of volumes that will reprint in full, Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" series from the early seventies plus the additional material Jack did in 1984 — an extra story plus his grand finale graphic novel, The Hunger Dogs. I hope to have more information on this project after some firmer decisions are made…but I wanted to mention it's coming, which pleases me greatly. When the core books (The New Gods, Forever People and Mister Miracle) were cancelled in their second year, Jack was very depressed. He knew the work had value and felt there was a market for it if it was released properly. What mitigated his upset was that he knew, even if no one else believed it at the time, that those issues would be reprinted and re-reprinted and re-re-reprinted, etc., over and over, remaining in print long past most other comics of their day. I just wish he could have been around to see it happen for real.

Several people have written to ask me what I think of a petition that is now circulating in some Internet circles. It asks DC to expend the cash and effort necessary to restore, to the extent humanly possible, the original Superman and Jimmy Olsen drawings that Jack did for the Jimmy Olsen comic (some portions of which will figure into the Omnibus) and the first issue of Forever People. My opinion, along with an overview of what I believe happened there, can be found in this article.

Hey, I've written dozens and dozens of articles about Jack and done loads of interviews…but as I posted the above cover to New Gods #1, it dawned on me that I've never explained — because no one ever asked me — what happened there. Jack did the cover without the odd textured pattern in the background. That was added by the DC Production Department when they fiddled with his design. I'll write up the whole story for a future column in The Jack Kirby Collector

Now that I think of it: I'd wager most Kirby scholars don't even know who inked the drawing of Orion on that cover…and I've just decided we're going to have a contest with no prize whatsoever. First person to send me the correct answer will win…nothing. I'll mention your name here but that's it. And to give you a bit of help, here's a hint: It wasn't Vince Colletta, it wasn't Frank Giacoia, it wasn't Mike Royer, it wasn't Jack himself and it wasn't rainbow sugar nonpareils. It was someone who did no other work on Jack's DC books…and that's all I'm going to tell you now. Good night.