Jack Kirby‘s influence on Marder’s work is profound in both obvious and subtle ways, and as posted before Marder has taken a few opportunities to pay some small measure of tribute. Another example is in this 1994 comic book published by Image Comics, which wound up coming out shortly after Kirby passed away early that year, where various inkers worked over Kirby’s pencils on one of his later creations. Unfortunately, Marder wasn’t one of the inkers (just imagine how that would have looked), but he does provide a two-page text essay in the back of the book, titled “A Kirby Tale”.
If you are a comic book fan of a certain age, there was this fateful day in the early ’60s, when you were quite young, (more often than not during some childhood malady) when you first gazed upon a wondrous thing called a Marvel Comic book.
Within its four color covers was a ticket to ride the universe. At the wheel was comic books’ greatesr trailblazer, pathfinder and navigator – Jack “King” Kirby. The ideas and concepts contained in a Kirby comic immediately transported the reader into a delicious realm of possibilities. Some possibilities were majestic, some tragic, some frightening, some funny – all were spellbinding. First with the Fantastic Four and later Thor, the young untapped-cartoonist-in-me pondered the cosmic implications contained in Kirby’s creations.
I fell into a place with the gravitational pull of a black hole called The Influence of Jack Kirby’s Super Hero Work.
Marder continues to write about his discovery of the culture of the Native American Hopi tribe of the American south-west, and in particular how their ceremonial Kachinas, and how his fascination with them was fuelled by their resemblance to the designs that populated Kirby’s work, and the connections he found between Hopi mythology and Kirby’s work, and strongly informed his own development of Beanworld.
Finally, the year before Beanworld was published, he asked Kirby about the connections at a convention, only to find out that Kirby wasn’t familiar with those Hopi myths, and any similarities were coincidence, but remain very real to him.