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2001: An Adapted Odyssey
June 22, 2007 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Scans from Jack Kirby's comic book adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Here are some scans of his sketches as well. You can read more about the adaptation here and here. (via)
posted by fallenposters (52 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is fucking great. I had no idea this existed. It seems like it might be an adaptation of the original script, or perhaps the book Clarke wrote afterwards, rather than the movie. I say this because of the names he gives the monkeys and the inclusion of scenes not in the movie. Anyone have any idea?
posted by shmegegge at 8:47 AM on June 22, 2007


I also had no idea this existed. I am like vibrating with damn excitement over here. Holy crap, holy crap!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:48 AM on June 22, 2007


Fuckin'-A! Thanks for linking this.
posted by COBRA! at 8:48 AM on June 22, 2007


and the 3rd link answered my question. this post rocks.
posted by shmegegge at 8:48 AM on June 22, 2007


rocks my ASS off.
posted by shmegegge at 8:48 AM on June 22, 2007


Thank you Thank YOU - it's this kind of post that makes me realize how much I love the Kirby art - anyone care to post some good collections/compendiums of Jack's work that I can go buy right now!?

I'm sorely lacking the Kirby eye-candy in my collection and don't have the bread for the originals. Thanks in advance...
posted by mctsonic at 8:52 AM on June 22, 2007


That monolith is definitely not the proper ratios.

But this is so cool, who cares?
posted by Brainy at 8:53 AM on June 22, 2007


I would have loved to see an entire film scripted and drawn by Kirby. The closes thing, I believe, was that one panel television show, The Marvel Super Heroes. Kirby, I believe, was the creator of my favorite Marvel character, The Awesome Android.
posted by doctorschlock at 8:57 AM on June 22, 2007


I'm glad everyone is enjoying this. I'm a huge 2001 fanboy and when I first saw this, I figured it was so damn cool that there have to be some MeFi fanboys and fangirls that would enjoy this.
posted by fallenposters at 8:58 AM on June 22, 2007


Hey, I have the first four issues of this, including his official adaptation of 2001 that's really huge.

They really confused me as a twelve-year-old; I loved the movie, and the comics are very loosely based on the movie, and--gulp--they're sort of terrible. Cool-looking, but not well written.
posted by interrobang at 8:59 AM on June 22, 2007


I would have loved to see an entire film scripted and drawn by Kirby.

There was a post fairly recently about Kirby being hired to do storyboards for a fake movie being used by the CIA as cover for some sort of op (might've been rescuing hostages from Iran, I can't remember for sure). Not quite the same thing, but proof that everything Kirby touches becomes rad.
posted by COBRA! at 9:00 AM on June 22, 2007


Jack Kirby = God.

That is all.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:01 AM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cool-looking, but not well written.

How so? Is it the usual stilted Kirby dialog, or are there deeper problems? Looking at these scans, I definitely thought I would've adapted the script differently. But they sure are great to look at.
posted by COBRA! at 9:02 AM on June 22, 2007


COBRA!, I mean the series he did that followed his official adaptation. In the series, yes, it's the stilted Kirby dialogue. You also get the sense that Kirby didn't really understand the movie—each issue is about a different character being granted a conceptual leap by a monolith, like the invention of the wheel, after which he becomes a "starchild" and flies off to deep space.

But the comics are mostly about things flying and being smashed and Kirby dots and stuff. I guess I sort of like them, but they don't have the feel of the movie or the book at all—they're more like variations on a theme.
posted by interrobang at 9:09 AM on June 22, 2007


I would pay cash-mon(k)ey if Page 10 of the comic consisted of Darkseid showing up, kicking over the monolith, then blasting all the apes who were not crushed by toppling basalt with his killer Omega Effect eye beams. He could even throw a corpse high up in the air while a camera tracks it in slow motion as Also sprach Zarathustra plays.

He'd crush a skull beneath his feet and say something like "Not in my neighborhood, you don't." and it's be all cryptic and badass.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:11 AM on June 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


Great post! My work computer's notification sounds are clips of HAL. Thanks for the links, fallenposters.
posted by figment of my conation at 9:12 AM on June 22, 2007


Seriously, though, this is amazing. Did you see on the last link where they found an old promotional piece for the movie that Kirby adapted for use in the comic? This is almost literally a treasure trove of information about this book and it's relation to the movie. I'm losing my shit. Posts like this are why I come here, and I can't favorite this enough.
posted by shmegegge at 9:15 AM on June 22, 2007


I think I just found my new wallpaper.

MetaFilter: What the alien display is doing to the very core of his being is an unanswerable question--

I couldn't resist.

posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:20 AM on June 22, 2007


This is incredible. Would love to have hard copy of this. And I had another idea for a MeFi tagline.

MetaFilter: Responding to communication from the infinite!
posted by Curry at 9:25 AM on June 22, 2007


like interrobang, i also had the original tabloid and collected the series that followed. if memory serves, one critical element that all commenters here and in linked pages seem to overlook is that the tabloid hit the market shortly after (or perhaps at the same time of) the tv broadcast premiere of the film 2001. i remember having my mind blown wide open upon seeing this film . . . on tv! after having seen that, i of course snatched up the comix as soon as i saw them . . . and they made enough sense for me.

but yeah . . . this comic is really for kirby-heads more than fans of the novel or film. but it turned me on to jack kirby, for sure . . .
posted by deejay jaydee at 9:27 AM on June 22, 2007


figment, you aren't my old pal Adrian, whose 1993-vintage Mac used to say "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" quite a lot, are you?
posted by imperium at 9:29 AM on June 22, 2007


Great find. Thanks.
posted by MarshallPoe at 9:30 AM on June 22, 2007


I just looked and there are a number of copies of the first issue of the series on ebay.
posted by fallenposters at 9:31 AM on June 22, 2007


These scans have rekindled a long dormant admiration for Kirby. Wow.
posted by brownpau at 9:32 AM on June 22, 2007


anyone else think that every time David Lynch sits down to write a film he says to himself "Now, how can I make this like 2001?"
posted by shmegegge at 9:34 AM on June 22, 2007


anyone else think that every time David Lynch sits down to write a film he says to himself "Now, how can I make this like 2001?"

Haha! I've never thought that, but I could easily see Lynch doing this.
posted by fallenposters at 9:38 AM on June 22, 2007


Jack Kirby = God

So does Kubrick, for a proper argument. This is far better than Jim Davis' adaptation of Lolita from Garfield Teen Treasury, btw.
posted by Peter H at 9:40 AM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


anyone else think that every time David Lynch sits down to write a film he says to himself "Now, how can I make this like 2001?"

No I don't think that.
posted by Peter H at 9:41 AM on June 22, 2007


Thank you Thank YOU - it's this kind of post that makes me realize how much I love the Kirby art - anyone care to post some good collections/compendiums of Jack's work that I can go buy right now!?

Funnily enough, I'm a huge Kirby fan, and here's some of what's available:
  • I may have have issues with the price point vs paper stock used, but the New Gods Omnibus Volume 1 is the beginning of a chronological collection of Kirby's Fourth World material for DC, his first post-Marvel material and my absolute favorite of his work.
  • Captain America and The Falcon: Madbomb kicks off Marvel's series of paperbacks collecting the run from Kirby's return to Marvel. It's fun and you get to see how his conception of the character he co-created is very different from Stan Lee's.
  • The Eternals Omnibus collects the entirety of Kirby's take on the whole Chariots of the Gods phenomenon. It's full of spectacular ideas and some amazingly trippy art. (I also think it's about a thousand times more enjoyable than Gaiman's recent take on the characters.)
  • The two Marvel Visionaries collections featuring Kirby have a great cross-section of his art. Here's the first and here's the second.
  • There are, of course, literally tons1 of Marvel Essential and Masterworks collections that feature Kirby's art and Stan Lee's writing and they're seminal and fun.
1I've moved them. I know.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:42 AM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


(Also of note is the fact that the Kirby adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey is printed in a treasury-size format, which makes scans difficult. The person who presented these to Scans_Daily should be lauded.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 9:43 AM on June 22, 2007


beaucoupkevin - Great suggestions. I'd add Kirby's wonderful run on Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, too. Just for sheer wtf brilliance. I mean, Don Rickles, motherfucking Don Rickles.
posted by Peter H at 9:48 AM on June 22, 2007


This is really neat and all, but I misread the original post and was really hoping to see 2001: A Space Odyssey as it was adapted by Jack Chick, because that would have been, you know, really really fucked up.
posted by quin at 9:49 AM on June 22, 2007


I owned this for a few years, before my ill-advised decision to send a box of irreplaceable possessions through regular mail.

As for Kirby's writing, I vividly remember our first introduction to Bowman and Poole, where Poole is running laps (as in the film) and Bowman's thought balloon reads "Space will never soften that jogging nut!" Irrelevant character development, coming right up.
posted by Epenthesis at 9:51 AM on June 22, 2007


i had no idea the machine man character came from this series.
posted by cazoo at 10:09 AM on June 22, 2007


shmegegge, Kirby may indeed have worked from the screenplay or the novel. The primate protagonist in the first segment is named "Moon-Watcher" in the book, and although his name obviously isn't spoken in the movie it appears that way in the IMDB cast list (I don't know about the onscreen credits).
posted by Songdog at 10:20 AM on June 22, 2007


Brilliant brilliant. Kirby is the one reason that, no matter how hard Tim Story may try to make me, I will never, ever dislike the Fantastic Four.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:37 AM on June 22, 2007


*Homer impersonation*

Mmmmm... Kirby....

*drool*
posted by ZachsMind at 10:44 AM on June 22, 2007


I'd add Kirby's wonderful run on Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, too. Just for sheer wtf brilliance. I mean, Don Rickles, motherfucking Don Rickles.

These are included in the Fourth World Omnibus collections, which is a good idea. (Even if I can't stand the redrawing of faces.)
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:50 AM on June 22, 2007


Did anybody get a full RAR of this before the image host started dying? *whimper*
posted by cavalier at 10:55 AM on June 22, 2007


Kirby on The Everlovin' Blue?
Wotta revotin'swell development!

The closest thing, I believe, was that one panel television show, The Marvel Super Heroes.

I recently put all the episodes I could find on YouTube into this playlist (WARNING: The Iron Man theme song is probably NSFAnyone who doesn't want that damn tune in their head for weeks to come.).
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:20 AM on June 22, 2007


Alvy, I can't see the playlist ... it say "You do not own this playlist." And man, I would love to see what you've got there ...
posted by chinese_fashion at 11:31 AM on June 22, 2007


Aw, fudge, that was the link from my YT profile page, apologies. There you go.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:35 AM on June 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I love 2001 as a film because it has so little dialogue: Kubrick tells a story with incredibly dense, beautiful imagery. Verbiage is kept to an absolute minimum.

For that reason, I'll have to dissent with the group as I think Kirby's rendition suffers from its surfeit of wordy narration. Let the pictures tell the story — the comic book is a visual medium above all else, after all.

It's an interesting failure, nonetheless.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:49 AM on June 22, 2007


Have yet to read through the thread, but I need to tell you that you can usually find this book on eBay (sometimes for not too much money, if you're patient), and it is SO worth it. Kirby + 2001 = love.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:05 PM on June 22, 2007


For that reason, I'll have to dissent with the group as I think Kirby's rendition suffers from its surfeit of wordy narration. Let the pictures tell the story — the comic book is a visual medium above all else, after all.

Oh, I agree completely; I guess that's what I meant when I said I'd have done the script adaptation a lot differently. But those pictures are fucking grand.
posted by COBRA! at 12:14 PM on June 22, 2007


There was a post fairly recently about Kirby being hired to do storyboards for a fake movie being used by the CIA as cover for some sort of op (might've been rescuing hostages from Iran, I can't remember for sure).

This Iranian hostage rescue story is from Wired:

All they needed now was a film — and Chambers had the perfect script. Months before, he had received a call from a would-be producer named Barry Geller. Geller had purchased the rights to Roger Zelazny's science fiction novel, Lord of Light, written his own treatment, raised a few million dollars in starting capital from wealthy investors, and hired Jack Kirby, the famous comic book artist who cocreated X-Men, to do concept drawings. Along the way, Geller imagined a Colorado theme park based on Kirby's set designs that would be called Science Fiction Land; it would include a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel, voice-operated mag-lev cars, a "planetary control room" staffed by robots, and a heated dome almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building.
posted by JDC8 at 12:16 PM on June 22, 2007


Thank you for this. I miss his work.

The book on Kirby is that he was a great artist and mediocre writer, but the book is wrong. Kirby was a great comic book writer.

He crammed his stories with big ideas, big issues, and the feeling that every moment was life and death.

The eccentricities that turned people off -- his wordiness, the Ed Wood quality of some of his prose, the multiple exclamation points -- were part of his personality, and personality was a rare and precious commodity in comics. When I read a Kirby story, I felt like I was with someone.

Many writers who followed Kirby mistook blandness for naturalism and thought they were outwriting him.

Aside: for a World War II vet, he was impressively sympathetic to Viet Nam war resisters. The Silver Surfer had to choose whether or not to kill for his master's interests. A pro-war dad harangued his draft resister son as a coward in a New Gods story that turned on the son's courage and the old man's fear.
posted by Superfrankenstein at 12:55 PM on June 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


A pro-war dad harangued his draft resister son as a coward in a New Gods story that turned on the son's courage and the old man's fear.

"The Glory Boat!" So, so good. I think "The Pact" is better, but man, it is close. And I can't agree enough with your assessment of Kirby as a writer, and just how off-base people who think he couldn't write really are -- how could anything other than the most purple and bombastic prose even hope to compete for the reader's attention with that art?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:43 PM on June 22, 2007


Fearless is a word that comes to mind when I look at Kirby, my favoritest of favorites. Every single line he put down is without a hint of doubt or hesitation. Supreme self-confidence.

And yes, new desktop art!
posted by Scoo at 1:54 PM on June 22, 2007


ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS EXCEPT EARTH-616
posted by the_bone at 2:47 PM on June 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


I actually had a copy of this, back when it came out. If you could buy it in a newsagents in Harlesden, I imagine there are quite a few around. No idea what happened to mine - I sort of gave up comics around puberty and only realized my mistake after Watchmen and The Dark Knight came out. I also preferred Steranko to Kirby at the time, but I've not changed my mind on that one.
posted by pascal at 10:10 PM on June 22, 2007


cool, thanks! (and i'd totally forgotten about LMG for some reason; nice to know it's still going :)

fwiw, and sorta OT, i just recently found out about the stan lee/moebius silver surfer (amid all the fantastic four hype) and got pretty excited, but then reading about it...
In 1988 Moebius worked on the American comic character The Silver Surfer with Stan Lee for a special two-part limited series. Moebius' take on the character was unfavorably alluded to in the film Crimson Tide by Lt. Commander Ron Hunter (played by Denzel Washington) in deference to that of Silver Surfer co-creator Jack Kirby (in a scene written by an uncredited Quentin Tarantino).
i was like, oh :P

cheers!
posted by kliuless at 12:42 PM on June 23, 2007


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