Scenes from Jack Kirby’s Black Hole Adaptation!

When Jack Kirby worked on a comic book adaptation of Disney’s Black Hole, he probably never dreamed Disney would one day buy his old employer, Marvel Comics. But such strange reality warps are just another day beyond the event horizon of the Black Hole!

We found these scans of Kirby’s work on Black Hole quite by accident, looking for issues #11 and #12 of the Charles Burns series by the same name. Some of them are in French and the pages we’ve collected are incomplete. But, it’s an interesting footnote in Kirby history nonetheless.

 
What struck us about this adaptation is that we grew up with an oversized paperback version of this same story, by a completely different art team. That was the Black Hole as published by Golden Press in 1979. It was a trade paperback before trade paperbacks were all the rage! We read it a million times or two – always an amazing adventure. We bought a copy of it last year. Turns out, it’s still awesome!

In the next few days, we’ll have a look at the 4-issue Black Hole series by Whitman. The first two issues contain the same material as the Golden Press paperback we mentioned above: a straight adaptation of the movie, with some of these same scenes Jack Kirby depicted. But, #3 and #4 demonstrate intent to serialize the concept, along the lines of Lost in Space or Star Trek. Come back and check them out!

 
We’re not the first to blog about Kirby’s Black Hole adapatation. ComicMix has a scan from a Comic Zone reprint of the first part of Kirby’s Black Hole. Two more of these panels appear in Booksteve’s Black Hole post. You’ll see the Disney Adventures subsidiary completely re-colored one of the pages in our gallery. Space:1970 has a piece of original uncolored Black Hole artwork by Kirby.

Finally, you will find a reproduction of only the pencils from one of these pages in issue #54 of the Jack Kirby Collector, available for free download in PDF. Their article deals with the Jack Kirby family and the Disney purchase of Marvel.

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3 responses to “Scenes from Jack Kirby’s Black Hole Adaptation!

  • rabensam

    Excellent post! One thing, though: “he probably never dreamed Disney would one day buy his old employer, Marvel Comics” — don’t be too sure! Not only had Kirby seen both Marvel and DC bought out by corporations with whom he had a difficult relationship, but he also frequently predicted that Hollywood was going to embrace the spectacle of superheroes in a way that’s only come true this decade. And even in Walt’s day, Disney was known for acquiring existing stories and properties. Maybe this precise configuration did or didn’t occur to Jack, but he could well have imagined a) Marvel being acquired by a film studio for its characters, and b) Disney buying a comics line to make into films and rides.

    Also, laughing at the Charles Burns reference — that one’s tripped me up a few times too!

    Like

  • Mars Will Send No More

    Rabensam, you may be right on this one! Kirby certainly was a forward-thinking individual. We see this not only in his work but in the many columns he penned for the letters pages of his own titles. And even if he seemed to focus on art more than the business side, he must have been aware of the entertainment trends surrounding his work, as you pointed out.

    Good call, and thank you for commenting!

    Like

  • Scenes from Jack Kirby's Black Hole Adaptation! « Mars Will Send ... | Jack Kirby | Scoop.it

    [...] When Jack Kirby worked on a comic book adaptation of Disney's Black Hole, he probably never dreamed Disney would one day buy his old employer, Marvel Comics. But such strange reality warps are just another day …  [...]

    Like

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