Artists of the Thing
This is where the most notable artists who illustrated the Thing
Jack Kirby (1917-1994)
Kirby was born Jacob Kurtzberg on August 28, 1917, on the Lower East
Side of Manhattan in New York City, where he was raised. His
parents, Rose and Benjamin Kurtzberg, were Austrian Jewish
immigrants, and his father earned a living as a garment factory
worker. In his youth, Kirby desired to escape his neighborhood. He
liked to draw, and sought out places he could learn more about art.
Essentially self-taught, Kirby cited among his influences the comic
strip artists Milton Caniff, Hal Foster, and Alex Raymond, as well
as such editorial cartoonists as C. H. Sykes, "Ding" Darling, and
Rollin Kirby. He was rejected by the Educational Alliance because he
drew "too fast with charcoal", according to Kirby. He later found an
outlet for his skills by drawing cartoons for the newspaper of the
Boys Brotherhood Republic, a "miniature city" on East 3rd Street
where street kids ran their own government.
He began his career on the original Blue Beetle comic strip in the
Golden Age. His most famous works were Captain America, which he
co-created with Joe Simon, although they both left Timely - the
original name for Marvel - to work at DC after a couple issues. At
the company in charge of Superman, they did writing/drawing for the
Sandman, Boy Commandos and created Manhunter. Kirby served in the
army during WW2 during 1943-45, and was part of the troops who
landed on Normandy beach on August 23, 1944. Afterwards, he resumed
his career in comics, working at Harvey, and one of the titles he
drew at the time was Young Romance.
In the Silver Age, he rejoined Stan Lee at the former Timely, now
renamed Marvel, and created several new series with him, beginning
with the Fantastic Four, and afterwards the Incredible Hulk, Mighty
Thor, X-Men, and Avengers. In 1970, following some creative
disagreements with Lee, whom he felt was taking too much of the
credit for himself, he left to work at DC again, where he created
the New Gods, Kamandi, Fourth World and the Demon. In 1975, he
returned to Marvel for about 3 more years, resuming work on his most
famous creation, Captain America, just in time for the bicentennial.
In his last years, he did a little more work for DC, and then a
special assignment from Pacific Comics.
Kirby married Rosalind "Roz" Goldstein in 1942. They had four
children, and remained married until his death from heart failure in
1994, at the age of 76, at his house in Thousand Oaks, California.