October Kirby Surprise

By | Saturday, October 18, 2008 1 comment
Dad was passing through town last night and stopped by for a bit. In cleaning out his basement, he found a random collection of trading cards that he didn't want so he brought them for me. Most of them appear to be promotional cards that came polybagged with some comics in the early 1990s and, I figured, are just above worthless.

But in flipping through the cards quickly, and dropping a few on the floor, I saw that several of them had what looked to be Jack Kirby style artwork on the backs. I found nine of such cards and pieced them together to form...
From what I've been able to find online, these particular cards were promos that accompanied various issues of Topps Comics' Dracula: Vlad the Impaler. Curiously, Kirby had nothing to do with the series; it was by Roy Thomas and Esteban Maroto. Three cards were included with each issue of the comic.

It certainly wasn't the first time Jack tried his hand at the lord of vampires. During his tenure at DC in the 1970s, he proposed a book called simply Dracula which was intended to be an anthology type format, touching on Dracula stories in different time periods. Due to some hesitation on Carmine Infantino's part, Marvel beat them to the punch with Dracula Lives!, so Jack worked some of his vampire ideas in Jimmy Olsen, which resulted in the "The Man From Transilvane!" story in issue #142.

Unfortunately, Marvel managed to debut Morbius in Amazing Spider-Man a little before Jimmy Olsen #142 made it to newsstands (the Comics Code Authority has just lifted their "ban" on using vampires) and Jack was accused of stealing the idea from Roy Thomas and Gil Kane. Not surprisingly, Jack got a bit upset about that.

However, I am certainly not upset to find another of his takes on the iconic vampire in something that Dad was about ready to throw away anyway!
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Anonymous said...

Dude, great find. I think this even beats the Kirby Ninja Turtles drawing which surfaced the other week.