"You killed my president, you rat!"
January 14, 2011 3:54 PM   Subscribe

48 Hours and 36 Minutes in the Life of Jack Ruby, by Jack Kirby.

Kirby drew the three-page feature for Esquire in 1967, during his seminal run at Marvel Comics; the text is based off of testimony given to the Warren Commission. Via Potrzebie, the blog of Bhob Stewart, author and uber-fan for over a half century.
posted by Halloween Jack (17 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Jack Ruby == RED BRAIN.
posted by Artw at 4:01 PM on January 14, 2011

I love this sort of thing. Thanks.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:03 PM on January 14, 2011

This is so awesome. Thanks for the link.
posted by falameufilho at 4:12 PM on January 14, 2011

I used to have a copy of Wonder Warthog!

*rummages in cellar*
posted by languagehat at 4:16 PM on January 14, 2011

This reminds me of the newspaper Oskar Werner's character is reading at the beginning of Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 (made in 1966), but with less words.
posted by jabah at 6:45 PM on January 14, 2011

I mean *more* words.
posted by jabah at 6:46 PM on January 14, 2011

• The files also contain hundreds of pages of copied letters and cards sent to Ruby before and during his trial. Some letters and cards sympathize with Ruby. At least two women – one from Philadelphia and another from Plainfield, Ind. – sent Ruby checks for $2. Others sent Valentine's Day cards, and at least one sent a St. Patrick's Day card.

• Other letters lash out at Ruby. One handwritten, unsigned note apparently sent to him says: "You expect a fair trial. So did Mr. Oswald. It would not be a happy situation if the assassin of the assassin were himself assassinated." Others are addressed "Dear Killer" and called Ruby a "Commie Jew." One man typed a letter using red ink because he said the black ribbon was out.
posted by clavdivs at 7:34 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

IMHO, Jack Kirby stands above Picasso as the artist of the 20th century. His work is so of it's time and captures so much of the meat and gristle of ordinary people reacting to extraordinary events.
posted by SPrintF at 8:08 PM on January 14, 2011 [2 favorites]

fascinating... thanks...
posted by HuronBob at 8:14 PM on January 14, 2011

It's fascinating - my wife and I were watching a Superman animated movie featuring Darkseid last night (yes, it was terrible), and she made mention of how overpowering and frightening the Apocalips villains were compared to the usual bunch - Lex Luthor, the Riddler, Captain Cold, etc.

This is because he's a Kirby character, and that means he's a Marvel-style villain. They're completely overpowering - the heroes must win through intelligence, perseverance and strength of character, as raw power just won't do it. DC villains are either simply overwhelmed, or are stupid and one-dimensional - the best of the DC baddies use cruel manipulation and careful planning to overcome the hero, and the story becomes the hero having to find the flaw in the plan that allows them to use their powers again. In Marvel, the heroes have to use their power constantly just to stay alive... or they find their power more of a curse than advantage.

I mean, really - Galactus, Magneto, Doom, the entirety of Spiderman's foes, HYDRA, AIM, Fin Fang Foom, Kang, Klaw - these are world beaters. Massive power that completely dwarfs those who oppose them... even the Kingpin is a Lex Luthor who can also fight Batman to a standstill barehanded.

This, I think, is the OTHER factor that makes Kirby and Lee's vision of superheroes so compelling - first, give the hero feet of clay, and next, give them insurmountable odds. The twin track of the plot, how the hero overcomes their own weakness, and then figures out a way to win when defeat seemed inevitable from the outset, is gripping and fun.

That, and Kirby is completely out of his gourd, just totally insane, unafraid to find his own visual vocabulary and run with it for as far as it would take him. Even today, you'll see Marvel taking chances with its art that DC just won't, and not just on the avant-garde titles, but on the meat-and-potatoes stuff.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:20 PM on January 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't see this as a Marvel vs. DC debate, except insofar as most of the great Marvel characters are Jack Kirby's characters. The Fourth World is, as far as I'm concerned, Kirby's purest expression of his vision, but it's only incidentally DC -- for the most part, those comics seem to occur in their own continuity. Marvel is just the company lucky enough to hold most of Kirby's work as its IP.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:06 PM on January 14, 2011

the entirety of Spiderman's foes

While I don't disagree with your point (and totally agree about the quality of that movie-- made me felt like Netflix owed me money), I think you'll want to retract this one statement.
posted by yerfatma at 6:38 AM on January 15, 2011

...AIM ... these are world beaters

I don't know. Those yellow beekeeper suits...
posted by mikelieman at 6:58 AM on January 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Heavily funded, fanatically loyal secret society of engineers and scientists with technology decades more advanced than any government? Yeah, pretty tough stuff.

The costumes were stupid, because Kirby liked buckets and boiler suits, and thought they'd look nice together if they were bright yellow. He was also responsible for Galactus, who wears a skirt, snowboots and a bucket with antlers. In purple.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:55 AM on January 15, 2011

Yeah, that Galactus sure wears a lot of purple for a white guy...
posted by mikelieman at 5:36 PM on January 15, 2011

Galactus wears a G on his chest so you know he's gangsta.

Also, for those that have not seen the Galactus Helmet Face... Behold!
posted by Artw at 6:08 PM on January 15, 2011

I think you'll want to retract this one statement.

I'll amend it... the classic villains, the eternal enemies... these are unbeatable if you kept tally by sheer power.

The Shocker.
Green Goblin (a super-strong evil Batman)
The Rhino.
The Vulture.
Doc Oc.
Kraven the Hunter.
The Scorpion.

Dude, these guys could totally kill a whole precinct full of cops, all on their own. Spidey is at least a level lower on the power scale than even the weakest of them, like the Vulture, or a step behind in competency, like Kraven. In the case of more recent baddies like the Juggernaut, Carnage and Venom, he's so completely outclassed, anyone else would have caught the next Greyhound to Eugene, Oregon rather than face them.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:54 PM on January 15, 2011

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