For today, my post would be to check out Mark Evanier's KING OF COMICS. A truly masterful look at the life of one of the best comic book artists to ever grace this world, namely one Jack Kirby. You may know Kirby as the artist of FANTASTIC FOUR, NEW GODS, ETERNALS, DEMON, CAPTAIN AMERICA and many others, but if you don't know of him, Evanier's book will set you straight. Kirby, quite literally, was the "king" of comic book artists, especially when you consider that his work continues to evoke expressions of great enthusiasm from artists, today, even though he passed away almost 20 years ago.
The man was a true artistic dynamo throughout the history of comics, and arguably, created the Marvel Comics that we know of today. Most of the major characters at Marvel were created by Kirby, even though Stan Lee gets all of the credit. Kirby was well known to be an idea man, and Stan often turned the initial idea over to Jack to flesh it out. In the years that followed, Kirby developed artistically to a degree where he was bringing ideas to Stan, who basically okayed them and added some dialogue. This period included the creation of characters such as Silver Surfer, Galactus, Black Panther, the Inhumans, etc. Most of the major comics characters that Marvel has in their stable to this day were derived from Kirby ideas, or fleshed out by Kirby during his work with Stan.
Even Spider-man, long credited to Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, was most likely developed by Jack to start, and then altered by Ditko to suit his strengths, which were very different from Jacks. Where Ditko was known for sweaty close-ups and skinny figures, Kirby countered with blocky, power-packed characters that quite simply exploded off the comics page.
Give the book a look. Evanier's text is wonderful on its own, but next to the amazing artwork, it barely has a chance of attracting your attention.