Jacob “Kirby” Kurtzberg (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994) was an American comic book artist and writer, widely regarded as one of the major innovators and most influential creators. He learned to draw cartoon figures by tracing characters from comic strips. He entered the comics industry in the 1930s, drawing various comics features under different pen names, including Jack Curtiss, before ultimately settling on Jack Kirby. In 1940, he and writer-editor Joe Simon created the highly successful superhero character Captain America for Timely Comics, predecessor of Marvel Comics. Kirby was involved in Timely’s 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics, which in the next decade became Marvel. There, in the 1960s under writer-editor Stan Lee, Kirby created many of the company’s major characters, including the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Thor, the Hulk and Iron Man. The Lee–Kirby titles garnered high sales and critical acclaim, but in 1970, feeling he had been treated unfairly, largely in the realm of authorship credit and creators’ rights, Kirby left the company for rival DC.« Back to Glossary Index
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