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.
May 29, 2021
“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”!
May 29, 2021
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.