Oh yeah...as I have often said to Pirate Kurt, I totally hated Kirby art. I found it ugly... but then, I am a fan of Michaelangelo Buonarotti, John Romita, John Buscema and Dave Cockrum art...LOL what we call in the biz, "representational" art as opposed to "stylized" art such as Kirby and a number of other artists.
I like my superdoops to be handsom, beautiful...glorious examples of humanity... cuz these characters are made to be looked up to, to be emulated. That doesn't mean characters like Nighty are bad looking, either...we allow for oddities in the physical makeup of a character... as long as it is well drawn! LOL
I hated Kirby art and left comics for ten years cuz in the early sixties, all I could find on the comics racks I had available to me was ugly kirby art... and I will not even read a story if I find the art objectionable to me. When I returned to comics it was to the likes of Romita sr., John and Sal Buscema, Neal Adams and a relative newcomer, Dave Cockrum!!! I knew Dave's art before I ever met him.
When I started working at Marvel, and using the existing art in projects such as the Slurpee cups, I had to work with the archived silverprints... black and white copies of the books, and I found working with Kirby art gave me headaches... so I finally sat down one day to figure out why. I mean, I didn't like the look of the art and wondered why everyone revered such ugly art... and everyone said "Kirby art is sooo dynamic... the figures just MOVE!!"
RIGHT...not to me... it only gave me headaches. So why? I took stats of several pages of art and looked carefully at them...braving the headaches... and found that within the makeup of the art were what I called "zap" lines. Lines that had nothing to do with the costume design or anatomy or anything else pertinant to what was in the panel... so I used whiteout to erase these zap lines and guess what? no headaches. hmmm I thought about it for a bit, cuz as an art teacher I had been trained to really observe what was happening with someone's art... so I could explain it to my students if necessary... and I figured it out. Kirby's art is very static without those zap lines. they are put in there to strobe your eyes and make them jump around... and they are what makes kirby art so dynamic to the untrained eye. To my eyes, it was confusing and dizzying and merely gave me headaches. i cannot go into places with strobe lights, either... or disco joints...LOL...
But, sans zap lines, the art was static... I mean... he would have two figures face to face in a panel...with no angles ...just face to face... which is the dullest of dull figure arrangements...and people would ooh andaaahhh about how it moved. Nope... the zap lines made their eyes jump around and induced movement in their minds. Kirby was a master of this craft and people trying to copy his style, don't get it or use their art to achieve what he achieved. They don't understand why he put what he put and where he put it...and that is the difference between a master of a style and his or her copiers.
Kirby's art was cubistic in design...and I really hate that style of art. I have very little patience with "modern" art... that's just my preference. But once I understood what was so different about Kirby's art, I could mentally pidgeonhole it and ignore it's effects on me... but I also rarely used it in the merchandising. It was just too ugly to my eyes and tastes... and I was the one stocking the files with merchandising art culled from the art Marvel already owned.
I never met Jack Kirby...Dave did... he was on a panel with him one time at a con and he laughed when Kirby was rattling on and his wife sat in the front row and when she figured he had talked enough she would draw a finger across her throat, telling him to "curt it, Jack"...LOL Dave thought that was a hoot... so did I. Because as soon as she did that, Kirby clammed up until the next question...LOL One thing about Kirby... he KNEW who was the boss!