That Time a Teenage LEN WEIN Interviewed JACK KIRBY

The King held court for a young man who would become one of comics’ most respected writers…

One of the beauties of comics is that for all the well-known storylines and moments that everyone recognizes, there are millions of gems hidden away and long forgotten. Discovering them can be a real gas — and that translates to comics history, as well.

For example, Roy Thomas’ Alter Ego #170 is dedicated to Jack Kirby — a rarity given that publisher TwoMorrows has an entire mag devoted to the King, Jack Kirby Collector. It’s a terrific issue, filled with offbeat looks at Kirby’s career:

There’s a lot there to chew over, but in perusing the issue — which is due June 2 — you’ll find a lovely little nugget: an early ’60s interview with Kirby by teenager/future comics megatalent Len Wein.

Check out this charming interlude reprinted from Mike Vosburg’s fanzine Masquerader #6 (Spring 1964) — an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from AE #170:

Wein was about 16 at the time and I just love the idea of Len and his buddy Ron Fradkin riding their bikes to Jack’s house just to talk — and that Kirby made that kind of time for these kids.

It may not be the most insightful interview but it’s a moment of warmth as comics’ first generation began to pass its collective torch to the next.

Alter Ego #170 is due June 2. It’s available at comics shops and magazine sellers but you can also get it directly from TwoMorrows. (Click here.)


— How Six LEN WEIN BATMAN Comics Changed My Life. Click here.

— JACK KIRBY’s Rare 1960s Baseball Card Art to Get Spotlight. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. “At this point, the conversation drifted afar…” NOOOOOOO!!!! That’s what we want!!!
    Seriously, what a great little snapshot into an emerging creative mind (Wein’s), including the parenthetical asides about he and his “compatriot” being surprised aboKirby starting in “funny animal strips”!

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  2. The beauty of this interview, the innocence of youth, and no question was off limits. What a glimpse into an ordinary afternoon that turned extraordinary. I wish we could ask Len what was his turning point in deciding on becoming a comic book writer. He might just say it was this afternoon.

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