Jack Kirby at the San Diego Comic-Con, 1980, drawing The Thing. (Photograph by Jackie Estrada)
In 1980, the summer of Dark Phoenix and Elektra, a 19-year-old foulmouthed Canadian—on a baseball college scholarship, and soon to be recruited by a Seattle Mariners scout—attended the San Diego Comic-Con. He stood mesmerized as he watched Jack Kirby graciously speaking to the fans who swarmed around him. If he didn’t make the majors, he told himself, he’d be a comic book artist. Sure enough, when an ankle injury dashed his big-league hopes, Todd McFarlane began spending more and more time practicing at his drawing table, and reading with interest about Kirby’s and Gerber’s struggles, and the soapbox speeches of Neal Adams and Frank Miller, in the pages of the Comics Journal.
The above text is adapted from Marvel Comics: The Untold Story.
[Note: Jackie Estrada is raising funds to publish a book featuring hundreds of the photographs of comics giants she’s taken over the years. Check it out!]