- Full Description
Free Bonus: file copy of the first printing of First Kingdom #1, 1974. A showcase of the artwork from the epic science fiction adventure that reveals the mystery of man's origin and his migration into space. This contains six 11x17 b&w plates in a two-color illustrated portfolio. Jack's art work is some of the most highly detailed in the comics world. Here he could do all that detail in works of much larger size than in the comics format, and it's fun to see him doing the central characters and pivotal scenes, all new for this, with lots of room. Die-cut slipcase, lengthy biography, photo of Jack at work, and bonus unpublished prelim cover to FK #4.
Contains nudity (all the women in the series generally were topless).
Katz began his career in the early 1950s as a penciller for Stan Lee and Marvel Comics, and continued into the early 1970s. Then he dropped out of mainstream comics to devote himself to this intricately written and drawn series, completed in 1986.
This was published by Bud Plant in 1982. My stores Comics & Comix began publishing the series with Jack in 1974, and I took it over and published it from #7 to #24, the last issue. These are file copies that I put aside until recently. Two-color cover.
The First Kingdom #1 went through at least two printings. Since Jack was doing all his work in black and white, we commissioned artist Larry Todd to paint the color over Jack's inks. Larry was a proflic underground creator (Dr. Atomic, Paranoia, Skull Comics) who went on to work for Warren and do covers for Creepy and Eerie. Katz was not happy with how the painting obscured his own work (although I've always loved it), so when we reprinted the issue we asked another underground artist, Dave Geiser, to create color separations for it, fully highlighting Jack's pen work.
Wikipedia has an outstanding and highly detailed look at Jack and his career. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Katz_(artist) Here are a few choice bits:
Katz's work in mainstream comics spans both the Golden and Silver Ages, and was done under a variety of pseudonyms such as Jay Hawk, Vaughn Beering, Alac Justice, Alec Justice, and David Hadley. He got his start in the industry in 1943, working in the C. C. Beck and Pete Costanza studio on that duo's feature Bulletman. In 1944 or 1945, working as a letterer in the comics studio of Jerry Iger, he became acquainted with artist Matt Baker, whom he considered "one of the top illustrators, and a good storyteller".
From 1946 to 1951, he worked as an art assistant on various King Features Syndicate comic strips. As a "detail man", he came into contact with Hal Foster and Alex Raymond, two of the artists who inspired him most in his early years. Katz considered Foster his "guiding light" from the age of six and believed Foster laid the foundations for the graphic novel. Raymond praised Katz's illustrative style and said that working in comics was a waste of his time.
Katz went to work for Standard Comics and its imprints in 1951, doing horror comics, war comics and some romance comics. From this period comes some of the earliest work that can be identified as his, such as Adventures into Darkness #10 (June 1953). From 1952 to 1956, Katz worked as a penciler and inker at the studio of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, working alongside Mort Meskin and Marvin Stein. Kirby taught Katz how to ink and use lighting to emphasize dramatic scenes. A slow worker due to heavy detailing (influenced by the style of illustrator Dean Cornwell), Katz was let go and moved on to Timely Comics under Stan Lee around 1954. Katz worked on war and horror comics, as well as Westerns, but his pacing continued to cause friction. Without Lee's knowledge, Katz worked on the side for Fiction House, which slowed him down even more. In 1955 he left mainstream comics to paint and teach art. His hiatus from the industry lasted 14 years.
Impressed by Jim Steranko's Captain America, Katz entered mainstream comics for a second time in 1969 and bounced around from job to job. He first found work with Stan Lee at Marvel Comics and worked on books such as Sub-Mariner, Monsters on the Prowl and Adventure into Fear. Katz then worked on House of Secrets and romance comics for DC before moving on to write and illustrate stories for Jim Warren.
Katz got a job with Skywald Publications around 1970, where he believed that he would be able to write his own stories. While there he worked on "Zangar" (from the Jungle Adventures comic book) and is credited with the full art and script for "The Plastic Plague" in the horror-comics magazine Nightmare #14 (Aug. 1973). While remaining with Skywald as an associate editor, Katz moved to California in the early 1970s. It was there he began writing The First Kingdom, integrating into the story ideas that he'd had since his time with Warren Publications.
Will Eisner and Jerry Siegel among many others considered Kingdom to be innovative in many respects. In the foreword to issue #23, Eisner claims the work helped carve a niche for the graphic-novel medium. Comics historian R. C. Harvey believes Katz was the "...first person in comics to pursue a personal vision at such length'". Katz's stated intention in the first issue was to trailblaze: "The work I am undertaking...is the first in a series of books in which I hope to extend the dimension of comics to the potential art form that one of its earliest and greatest artists, Hal Foster, laid down the foundations for."
Attempts have been made to reissue Kingdom as collected volumes. Wallaby Pocket Books published a large-format version of the first six books in 1978. In 2005, Century Comics (under its former name, Mecca Comics Group) released the first volume of an anticipated four-volume set, collecting issues #1–6. The second volume collected issues #7–12 and followed months later, but Century Comics went out of business before it could publish the final two volumes. In May 2013, Titan Comics announced plans to reprint the series with additional stories extending the original story, never published before. They appeared in six hardcover volumes, remastered from the original art and relettered, in 2013-2014.
- Additional Information
Item Code FKPT Publisher Bud Plant Inc. Publish Date 1982 Print Status Out of Print Binding Soft Cover Dimensions 8x11 # Pages 6 plates Color b&w