On this date in 1917, comic-book writer-artist Jack Kirby was born (originally under the name Jacob Kurtzberg). Over the course of his career (until his death in 1994), Kirby would be involved in the creation of many of the comic book industrys most recognisable characters.
With collaborator Stan Lee, he helped create Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Black Panther, the Silver Surfer, Dr. Doom, Magneto, Galactus, the Skrulls, the Inhumans, the Mighty Thor, and Nick Fury. (Rather than Lees simply writing a script for Kirby to illustrate, Lee and Kirby would brainstorm a story outline, Kirby would create the pictorial layout often adding new elements as they occurred to him and only then did Lee compose and insert captions and dialogue; so Kirbys contribution was greater than the notation Lee, script; Kirby, pencils might suggest.)
With other collaborators he helped create Captain America, Manhunter, Kobra, the Challengers of the Unknown, and a couple of incarnations of the Sandman. In his solo work he came up with Kamandi, OMAC, Machine Man, Darkseid, the New Gods, the Eternals, Devil Dinosaur, Etrigan the Demon, and in 1958 the Face on Mars. (And thats just scratching the surface.)
Over the years Kirbys energetic drawing style grew increasingly distinctive and his story ideas more wackily inventive; his work had a big impact on my childhood, and Ive blogged about him fairly often. Happy birthday, Jack.