I was up late last night and when I was digging around the archive on here I started thinking about Jack Kirby, specifically Kirby and horror comics. Kirby never really gets talked about much in regard to horror, it didn’t seem to be his bag usually. I mean he did Black Magic in the 50s, plus The Demon and the Spirit World one-off and a few other things, but horror is pretty far down on the list of things he’s known for. As cynical and world-weary as Kirby could be at times, there’s an optimism in him that probably is antithetical to doing full-on horror comics.
But looking at Kirby pages on their own I sometimes get this sense of an uptapped vein of horror in the King, particularly from his 70s stuff when his style got wilder and weirder. Amorphous terrors, distorted forms. Faces frozen in anguish or melting into nothing. Abstract, crackling energy. The way he morphs the human form at times seem like it could descend into straight-up body horror if pushed even the slightest. Even in his more optimistic comics there’s often something eerie, uncanny creeping in the corners.
You can maybe see a bit of the Kirby-as-horror in Mike Mignola’s comics I think, though of course he’s developed a style all his own.
I don’t know: late last night, tired, In my head I imagine there’s a world of comics by Kirby that dives even deeper into this imagery and that gut level feeling I get looking at some of his stuff. Just kinda extrapolating whole comics from certain imagery. If I had the time and the talent I’d maybe take a crack at putting pencil to paper and try to capture that feeling.
Sorry if this isn’t particularly compelling or coherent, I just needed to do a brain dumping.