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Old 03-20-2006, 10:57 AM   #1
MattBrady
 
LISA KIRBY, MIKE THIBODEAUX, & TOM BREVOORT ON GALACTIC BOUNTY HUNTERS

One of the biggest announcements to come form Marvel at this weekend’s WizardWorld Los Angeles undoubtedly was the return of Jack Kirby to the company, in the form of Galactic Bounty Hunters, a new project debuting in July under the ICON imprint.

The series will feature original concepts and artwork created by Kirby before his death, and fully fleshed out by his daughter Lisa, as well as Rick French, Mike Thibodeaux, and Steve Robertson – who are collectively known as Genesis West.

We spoke with Kirby, Thibodeaux, and Marvel editor Tom Brevoort about the project, where it came from, what it’s about, and what it means.

“After the passing of my mother Rosalind, I had the arduous task of doing inventory of my father's artwork,” Kirby explained. “This was back in 1998. Family friend and artist/inker Michael Thibodeaux volunteered his services to help out. During this process, we came across various unpublished drawings of my father's. I happened upon a page depicting a group of characters he originally called the Wonder Warriors. They were originally created as villains for Captain Victory #7 (Oct. ‘82). Sometimes Dad would sketch out ideas, and then decide to go another route. He put these characters aside, and ended up creating a whole new group of villains called the Wonder Warriors for that particular book. The original character designs we found had notes designating them for more of a hero role, but they had an edge to them. When I first saw the page, these particular characters really jumped out at me! At this point Mike suggested that I should try my hand at writing, and develop these characters for a future project. So using some original notes my father left behind, and with the help of Mike, Richard, and Steve, we developed the concept for The Galactic Bounty Hunters.”

Originally, Kirby explained, she and the others put the Galactic Bounty Hunters materials together to see if there was interest in an animated series or live action movie or television series. “While pitching to various producers, we decided that making a comic book series of the GBH would be great to really solidify our storyline,” Kirby said. “Also, at that time, we were coming up on the 10 year anniversary of Jack's passing, and we thought this would be a fitting tribute to commemorate him.”

Kirby first began thinking of publishing Galactic Bounty Hunters via French, who had published Jack Kirby and Mike Thibodeaux's work previously. “As the work progressed, we decided that we should try to market the work through a major publisher, to receive the maximum exposure,” Kirby said. “I was referred to Tom Brevoort at Marvel by John Morrow, publisher of the Jack Kirby Collector. I wrote Tom an email describing our project and asking if this was something Marvel would be interested in doing. I was pleased to receive an enthusiastic response! Since then, there have been numerous conference calls with Tom Brevoort, Joe Quesada, and Dan Buckley regarding this project. They have been very supportive, and have great ideas for our series. We were informed about Marvel's ICON Label, which is geared toward independent creators, and it seemed like a good fit for us. To me, Marvel was the place where my father helped create the most well known comic book characters in the industry. Now I feel like things are coming full circle, by having Marvel participate with me in keeping my father's legacy alive.”

In terms of the project itself, Thibodeaux broke down a little more of what art will be coming from where. “There is some original Kirby artwork spread throughout the books,” Thibodeaux said. “Some of it was drawn specifically for the Galactic Bounty Hunters project, and some previously unpublished work that was suitable was incorporated. Some of the art was full page presentation drawing, and some was sequential. None of it was fully scripted.”

From there, Kirby, Thibodeaux, French and Robertson tackled the ideas and pages they had. “Mike provided breakdowns to transform the story to a graphic format, incorporating Jack's artwork,” Kirby said. “Over the course of the years, the concept grew, as the characters took shape, and vague ideas blossomed into fully formed worlds! Eventually, we had a completely finished series of books, color schemes and all. Marvel will be taking our finished project and putting their own spin on it, giving it a great ‘spit and polish’ from some of the industry's top talents. Marvel has a certain style they prefer and I know they will publish a great book.

“Overall, if I had to put a number on it, I'd say it's about 30% Dad's, with the rest done trying to stay to true to his spirit.”

Marvel Editor Tom Brevoort gave the view of the project from Marvel’s side. “Having produced seven or eight ‘dummy issues,’ Lisa was interested in shopping the property to potential publishers. John Morrow of the Jack Kirby Collector suggested that I might be a good contact person at Marvel, knowing of my love for Jack's work,” Brevoort explained. “John put Lisa and myself in contact, Lisa presented the material to Marvel, and we put together a deal in which Marvel will provide assistance in bringing the series to market through the ICON creator-owned imprint.”

The ‘dummy books’ Lisa presented to Marvel were fully illustrated comic books, taken all the way up to coloring and lettering. What we're going to be doing is ‘remastering’ these materials, enlisting the aid of artists such as Karl Kesel and others to re-ink and refinish the work, as well as re-lettering and recoloring it to take full advantage of the resources available to Marvel in order to polish this up so that it can look its best.”

The Story

Of course, the inclusion of original Kirby material of a new series publishes by Marvel, in itself…historic, but what’s it about, anyway? Who are the Galactic Bounty Hunters?

“The series is about Garrett, a teenage boy who comes to realize that the science fiction stories his father writes for a living are actually based on his Dad's own real life adventures,” Kirby explained. “Garrett accidentally finds a hidden room where his father, Jack Birkey, has kept remnants of his past life as a Galactic Bounty Hunter. While Garrett looks about, pondering the implications of his discovery, Slug, one of his father's most fearsome enemies teleports into the bunker and kidnaps the boy! Garrett is whisked off to the Nocturnal Nebula, the badlands of space, and held captive. Jack Birkey must now coax his old team of Bounty Hunters out of retirement, to join him in the quest to rescue his son.

“I would describe it as a family oriented space adventure. It contains comedic relief as well as drama. As the story developed I found myself realizing that it reflected the relationship between myself and my father, with me being in the role of Garrett.”

“Plus Captain Victory is in it,” Marvel editor Tom Brevoort added.

“It's a series that definitely has a certain ‘Kirby vibe’ as exemplified by the assorted series Jack both wrote and drew during the 70s and 80s. And in that vein, there are messages to be found if one looks closely enough, but on the surface it's a cracklin' good adventure yarn.

“The story in Galactic Bounty Hunters, while it contains star-spanning action and adventure, is really a story about family, and the lengths family members will go to in order to support and protect one another in the face of adversity. On a metaphoric level, it's a personal story that's reflective of Lisa's relationship with her father, writ large in the perennial Kirby style.”
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:10 AM   #2
skinnyboy23
 
jack birkey. cute, very silver age.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:13 AM   #3
Jeffbot
 
So this series will feature some actual Jack Kirby artwork? Wow! Sorry if I glossed over it in the article, but is this slated to be an ongoing series, or is there a finite number of issues scheduled?
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:18 AM   #4
astronato
 
I love it already.

I wish someone would do something with the Kirbyverse characters too.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:19 AM   #5
The Chief
 
This sounds interesting..worth a look at least...ive been digging the recent Kirby collection released by Marvel these days (Masterworks, HC, etc).
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:22 AM   #6
DiscoVietnam
 
The title is a bit...bleh. "Intergalactic Booty Hunters" is more my thing.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:24 AM   #7
Jack Burton
 
Cool. Maybe Marvel will finally add Jack Kirby presents to any book he helped create.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 11:54 AM   #8
Kolimar
 
Some of Jack's ideas and art without Jack himself... I'm not sure. I'll take a look.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:00 PM   #9
Kolimar
 
Quote:
Originally posted by skinnyboy23
jack birkey. cute, very silver age.


Yep
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:02 PM   #10
Kolimar
 
Quote:
Originally posted by DiscoVietnam
The title is a bit...bleh. "Intergalactic Booty Hunters" is more my thing.


I thought so.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:03 PM   #11
Raphe Cheli
 
I'm reminded of the Last of the Viking Heroes which was published about a decade ago (maybe even longer) -- Kirby concept, with art and story by Thibodeaux. It was not very good.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:23 PM   #12
VinnyPic
 
Hail to the King
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:48 PM   #13
Sean Walsh
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeffbot
So this series will feature some actual Jack Kirby artwork? Wow! Sorry if I glossed over it in the article, but is this slated to be an ongoing series, or is there a finite number of issues scheduled?


Yes. It'll feature some Kirby art but I imagine will mainly feature art by Thibodeaux, French and Robertson - all of whom used to work with Kirby in the early 80's and have done similar projects like this before.

A lot of the Kirby comics around the time of Jack's death featured a little of his art and these guys aping his style and filling in the rest.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:48 PM   #14
Banana_Oil
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Kolimar
Some of Jack's ideas and art without Jack himself... I'm not sure. I'll take a look.


Kurt Busiek did a brilliant job on Teenagents a few years back...only based on a couple of rough sketches, but he made it feel like a fully realized "lost" Kirby concept. Pity it was the only good thing in the Topps Kirbyverse.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 12:53 PM   #15
sequart
 
Quote:
I wish someone would do something with the Kirbyverse characters too.

Maybe they could toss one or two characters from the 'verse into this story!
 
Old 03-20-2006, 01:45 PM   #16
delawarejoel
 
In terms of the project itself, Thibodeaux broke down a little more of what art will be coming from where. “There is some original Kirby artwork spread throughout the books,” Thibodeaux said. “Some of it was drawn specifically for the Galactic Bounty Hunters project, and some previously unpublished work that was suitable was incorporated. Some of the art was full page presentation drawing, and some was sequential. None of it was fully scripted.”

There, now I feel better. New Kirby artwork! And Captain Victory,too! Woo Hoo!
 
Old 03-20-2006, 02:32 PM   #17
Skinshark
 
So like the bitter business between Marvel and the Kirby's are all swept under the rug?

Maybe his beef was more with Stan, but call me silly, any place that would use my art as "doormats" so people don't track in mud wouldn't be on my high honor list.

Why does this deal seem so "wrong" to me?
 
Old 03-20-2006, 02:57 PM   #18
Monsterx7
 
I hope it's good.... i'll buy it and lets folks know.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 03:53 PM   #19
toonbates
 
Might've been neat if it was Jack who got captured, and Garrett who has to rescue him. Twist on putting the kid in jeopardy, thrusting him into this crazy big world, drawing upon the knowledge of his dad's stories to figure out the cool equipment, leading his dad's old crew (who can also serve as his mentors), and whatnot. Not to mention cutscenes between Jack the captive and his old foe Slug.

Regardless, cool to see some new Kirby stuff on the horizon.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 03:56 PM   #20
samnoir
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Jack Burton
Cool. Maybe Marvel will finally add Jack Kirby presents to any book he helped create.


That would be something! Although I think even Stan's "presents" title has been excised in recent years hasn't it?

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Old 03-20-2006, 07:02 PM   #21
lex luthor
 
Sounds interesting. I hope Lisa Kirby can write. The only problem I can see here is that these type of stories and characters seem more suitable to the Marvel U proper than the Icon imprint. I hope I'm wrong but I don't see this series lasting 7 issues.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 07:23 PM   #22
Not From Around
 
To be honest, having Captain Victory in it is not that big a draw for me. I read a number of issues of it years ago, and could only scratch my head as to what it was supposed to be about. Jack Kirby was a fantastic artist, but he really, really needed a skilled writer to collaborate with.
 
Old 03-20-2006, 09:36 PM   #23
BradyKiller
 
I love Kirby art, I hate it when Mike Thibodeaux inks him...ooog that stuff hurts....

Is Mike Royer still alive? Joe Sinnott? I think so - would be great to get them involved and I'm sure because of the 1000's of pages they inked of Kirby's they can wiggle off of his style for new pages?

If not why not get that Godland artist to come in and help out...I'm sure he and Jose Ladronn would be chomping at the bit to get involved.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 12:59 AM   #24
ShadoJakk
 
Quote:
Originally posted by BradyKiller
I love Kirby art, I hate it when Mike Thibodeaux inks him...ooog that stuff hurts....

Is Mike Royer still alive? Joe Sinnott? I think so - would be great to get them involved and I'm sure because of the 1000's of pages they inked of Kirby's they can wiggle off of his style for new pages?

If not why not get that Godland artist to come in and help out...I'm sure he and Jose Ladronn would be chomping at the bit to get involved.


Mike Royer is still alive and still working(I met him in San Diego in 2004,and found out he lives in my home city in Southern Oregon).

He did the inking on Steve Rude's Thor mini a few years back.
Great gentleman,and as a fan of his work(For me,his work on Machine Man still stands out to this day for me!),he really is one of a kind.
 
Old 03-21-2006, 11:05 AM   #25
mrhelm
 
This looks damn cool.

I'd been wondering whatever happened to Genesis West. It's great to see them back with something new from Kirby.

Now if we could just get some more Phantom Force as well...
 
 
   

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