Sunday, March 22, 2009

Doodle Penance: "jack kirby machines"

I'm pretty psyched about this week's Doodle Penance, not because I think I've done an especially good job with the doodle, but because this week's search term was absolutely, 100%, or-your-money-back guaranteed from the start to be fun to draw. And I did have a lot of fun with my doodle.

Someone found our site this week after a search for "Jack Kirby machines."

I can't think of a nicer way to spend a Sunday morning.

I figure what this person was looking for was a good set of principles for building his own Kirbytech machinery, so I've created this handout that outlines a few of the most important points. I hope it's helpful.

(Isaac says, "Don't ask! Just click and enlarge it!")



Have a look at how some of these ideas are employed in a couple of panels from Fantastic Four #46.

You can use the principles of Kirby machine design to create something as complex as a two-man Terrigen-mutation-scanning device ...



... or something as simple as a cigarette lighter:



Mike, what have you got?

—All's I've got is a Jack Kirby machine:
There's a lot I'm dissatisfied with where the drawing is concerned. But my greatest mistake was giving it a name! I should merely have referred to is as a Jury-rigged Apparatus for Cartooning Kind-of-Kinetic, Idiosyncratic, Robotic Beings with exposed circuitrY, instead of shortening it to Jack Kirby! But now, as you can see from the vexed expression in the view-screen, it can reason...can compute...can feel...and, as is plainly evident from its uni-wheel, it wants to move...to be free..! Despite all the fear it may engender, I pity this machine-man, this monster!

10 comments:

Isaac said...

Well, let's see. You got the shiny cylinders, the angular wiring, the spot-blacks and shininess, but your machine seems so compact and functional that I'm afraid I can't give it full credit... Why, that looks like something a person could draw over and over again the same way!

Mike said...

Ah, but consider! Since the device is WHEELED, it's clearly a VEHICLE--and VEHICLES are Kirby machines that were indeed drawn over and over, looking pretty darn consistent! I give you the Pogo plane, the Fantasticar, and I'm sure there's an etc. out there somewhere...

Isaac said...

The Whiz Wagon, the Super-Cycle...

But not everything with wheels is a vehicle, of course.

And not every vehicle has wheels.

Mike said...

Yes, but I was clearly grasping at straws with my comment, as my doodle showed me to have already been thoroughly schooled at Kirbytech (unless you restrict it to cigarette lighters and such).

Anonymous said...

Hot damn! Awesome piece of research, but you left out the addendum on the Kirby dots and assorted types of energy discharge!!

Clark Savage Jr.

Isaac said...

Clark / Anon.—

Kirby krackle is a whole different subject, and deserves lengthy attention. Maybe we'll cover that in a subsequent penance post. I've certainly adjusted my way of thinking about those dots, over the years. I think I'd have something to say about them.

Anonymous said...

Just found this site, also using "Jack Kirby machines" as a search..!

Apparently, I was very impressionable around the age of ten, and my doodles have shown it ever since. =)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ouroborosrex/

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lee woo said...

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