Kamandi pages from Kamandi, The Last Boy on Earth,

No. 23, Cover dated November 1974

Kirby Kamandi Artwork

Kirby's cover seems to predict the threatening pop-shark phenomenon that followed in the wake of the movie Jaws (1975); but actually it's an image of a killer whale thrashing about over the dead super-villain of the sea, the Red Baron. Kirby barely sketched out this character in issue #22, and hardly adds anything except an emphasis on the Baron's bloodthirsty nature in this issue.

This is the major failing point of Kirby's rudimentary style, story speed over story substance. He creates a vista of characters and situation that a modern comic book writer could stick with for a dozen issues, but Kirby is already bored after a dozen pages and is ready to move on to another imaginary world for Kamandi to race through.

In the Kirby bio book Tales to Astonish, it is stated Kirby was churning out some 15 pages a week at this time, and that may help account for the break-neck speed of story development, climax, and just enough denouement to get Kamandi into the next issue. It is unfortunate Kirby would not, or could not, take time to fill in the characters or the lands he was inventing at such a fevered pace.

Still, the scope of Kirby's skill at fleshing out an imaginery world, though thinly in this particular issue, is unique.

Click on the images below to view a page of 800 pixel-wide enlargements.

Kamandi - Kamandi


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Original Page Wednesday, June 13, 2007 | Updated Feb 2016

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