Unseen Jack Kirby To See the Light of Day
Jack Kirby is an icon who’s illustrations are instantly recognizable and his lasting contributions to the industry can’t be measured. His talent was sought after by both DC and Marvel who each cling to his lasting creations (though those creations are in a legal dispute with Marvel).
However, his work for Ruby-Spears Productions is not as well known. Seen by few Kirby created hundreds of illustrations for never-produced cartoon shows and toy lines during the 1980’s. A partnership between that studio’s founders, Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, and Sid and Marty Krofft is going to bring these creations to the masses in as many ways as possible.
Ari Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff Rahm’s brother and inspiration for Ari Gold on Entourage) of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment sees the potential for such a treasure.
I love comic books, but this is a treasure. It’s like a boat sank at the bottom of the ocean, and all of a sudden you’ve uncovered it.
Kirby fled to animation after becoming disillusioned with not receiving his deserved credit in the comic book industry. After some time with Hanna-Barbara he was hired by Ruby-Spears in 1980, first to design characters and backgrounds for its Saturday morning action series Thundarr the Barbarian, then to draw presentation boards for new projects.
According to the New York Times:
Among the far-flung, unrealized projects that Mr. Kirby helped create or contributed to were “Roxie’s Raiders,” an Indiana Jones-style serial about a female adventurer and her allies; “Golden Shield,” about an ancient Mayan hero seeking to save earth in the apocalyptic year 2012; and “The Gargoids,” about scientists who gain superpowers after being infected by an alien virus.
Ownership for this material is much clearer, unlike the work Kirby did for Marvel. All the work was done under a work-for-hire agreement. Even with such strong competition out there Emmanuel is confident that this is gold:
You can’t go wrong. Just close your eyes and throw a dart. And I only saw 5 percent of it.