Harry Dean Stanton was one of the greatest American character actors of all time, and I was in fact once arrested for writing that on Elisha Cook Jr.’s head stone, so you know I mean it. Whenever he popped up in a movie or TV show you felt like you’d won some cosmic scavenger hunt. He had an Art Carney-like gift for light physical comedy, and the slightest movement in the eyes, or twitch of the nostril, could speak volumes. That man could act with every cell of his body and the older I get, the more I wonder if he was even trying. G’night Uncle Harry.
“In the same hour came forth fingers of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.”
If Jack Kirby was going to lift from another book, it could be no less than a sacred text.
The hand writing on the source wall in New Gods #1 will forever stand out in my mind when I think of him, I’m not sure why. I first saw it in black and white when I was about eleven years old, and already a fan, but something about that old testament imagery flipped a switch in my brain that has never gone off. To this very day, the Fourth World Cycle Kirby wrote, his interlocking books including New Gods, Mister Miracle, The Forever People, and Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen, remains one of the few books that blew my mind growing up, and remains actually as good as I remember it.
There is quite simply, no one else like Kirby. He was a mutant. On Monday he would have been 100, but he was too good for this dimension. I’d write a more complete tribute to the man, and if you’d like one, I wrote one for his 99th. but for The Kirby Centennial, I’d rather let his work speak for itself.
I meant to post this weeks ago when we lost the greatest actor in history. How I could have forgotten to hit publish, I’ll never know. Well done, our good and faithful Batman.