Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Marvel Boycott Diary: Jack Kirby Petition Playlist

The Jack Kirby Petition Soundtrack. 1,400 signatures and growing.

It's always a delicate balance with these Kirby playlists. I want to capture something of the fury and frustration of the Jack Kirby petition, and the growing movement to abandon Marvel, but at the same time I have this fantasy that Kirby should actually be able to relate to the music? Dunno. It's tough. On the one hand, Kirby was a visionary whose gaze took in galaxies and the far future. He was a political liberal who nevertheless had a super-strong work ethic, having survived the Depression, the streets of New York, World War II, and the comic book industry. He saw a lot, loved a lot of what he saw, was philosophical, but was also fairly embittered by many of his experiences. So, what kind of music did he listen to? Surely he was immersed in the pop music of his youth: jazz, blues, swing and the ballads of the 20, 30s, and 40s? Later, his son Neal had a rock band. Would the creator of the Hairies, OMAC, and Captain Victory hate punk and new wave? What about hip-hop? I like to imagine Kirby working in his studio through the 80s and 90s with MTV blaring in the background, chomping on a cigar, cartooning cosmic conflicts. But was he also thinking about how he wasn't going to get any credit or royalties for all the characters and stories he created for Marvel, and how he might not be able to leave a legacy for his kids?

5. Feel The Pain, Dinosaur Jr.

Fun video, but I really like the lyric, "I feel the pain of everyone/Then I feel nothing/Is it up to me?/You won't wait to see/Screwed us both again/About as close as you dare."

4. Dunkin Bagel, Slim Gaillard.

Like to think that Jack could have seen Slim and Slam back in the day (he could be in the audience of this video!) or maybe owned one of their records. Goofy fun with wonderful jazz instrumentation and since Kirby was Jewish thought he would enjoy this tribute to a New York City Jewish delicacy (hey, it was either this, or Gaillard's "Matzo Ball").

3. New York City, The Demics.

Thought about maybe something by The Diodes here, maybe Time Damaged (kind of futuristic, with a pallor) or their cover of Shape of Things to Come (ditto), or maybe Tired of Waking Up Tired ('cause Kirby pushed himself but never got enough credit or money and he was tired of it), but decided on The Demics' New York City. Thought the lyric could be about trekking downtown for another story conference with Stan the Man: "I'm getting pretty tired/Of going downtown/You know the same trip everyday/It's kinda bringing me down/Will I get out/Well I wonder how/I gotta get it movin' Man/I gotta move it right now..."

2. Just a Little Bit, Van Morrison and Them.

Garage-y R&B with killer organ. Van the Man sings, "I don't want it all/I just want a little bit." Why can't Marvel give just a little bit of their love to Kirby and fam?

1. Brother Can You Spare a Dime? by E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and Jay Gorney (performed by T. Waits)

Is it just me or is this song about Jack Kirby? From the depths of the Depression, through the days of the mob, through war, he built a tower up to the sun: "They used to tell me I was building a dream/And so I followed the mob/When there was earth to plow or guns to bear/I was always there, right on the job/They used to tell me I was building a dream/With peace and glory ahead/Why should I be standing in line Just waiting for bread?"


Playlist: The Jack Kirby Petition is a Missile Hurled by History

Playlist: Top 10 Songs the Jack Kirby Petition Would Be


Until next time, please remember to Boycott Marvel!


Should We Boycott Marvel?

Cartoonist Seth on the Marvel Boycott

The Jack Kirby Petition at

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