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Lo… KIrby Sees It All!

I’ve been meaning to post this picture for a while, I came across it in a collected edition of Kirby’s Fourth World. Drawn back in the 1970s it seems to predict the tablet computer and also the return of the stylus as a means of writing. Someone is also holding what could be an ipod. Well we all know Kirbs was a visionary but its easy to believe this picture was drawn with a clear view into the developments of gadgets of today.

Kirby sees the ipad etc

While I’m on Kirby, the Fourth World books make a stunning, flabbergasting read. Don’t expect any of the many storylines to get picked up again and resolved later – there are barely even any recurring characters, as his wild imagination pops one idea after another. Every page seethes not just with new heroes, but with new worlds to go along with them, new words and new dialogue. Believe me, pal, in the Fourth World people speak in a way no-one ever has, or will – it’s enough to give ya the whim-whams – whatever they are (Kirby knows).

Weirdly, the main heroes of the book, The Forever People are some of the worst characters Kirby ever came up with, a bunch of well-meaning hippies – Beautiful Dreamer, Serifan, Big Bear, Moonrider etc, they sound and look a bit like a lost Saturday morning cartoon from the early seventies, where their ill-fated show would have been sandwiched in between re-runs of Space Ghost and the Hair Bear Bunch.

But not to carp among such wonders. There are so many good ideas here it dazzles. Kirby gave us the Boom Tube for travelling, the anti-life equation – for controlling all thought – and he even gave us the Mother Box, an all-round life saving little gadget that pretty much does everything for us… come to think of it we’re back at the smartphone. Guess Kirby really did see everything!

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About Glenn Dakin

Glenn Dakin is a writer, cartoonist and editor. He is author of the Candle Man series of fantasy novels for Egmont. His best-known comics are Abe - an autobiographical strip (Top Shelf);Temptation (Penguin Books and Active Images); Spider-Man heroes and Villains (Eaglemoss);the Rockpool Files (With Phil Elliott, Slave Labor/Marvel UK); Robot Crusoe (Funday TImes); Plasmer (Marvel UK); Clan Destine (Marvel USA).

6 responses to “Lo… KIrby Sees It All!

  1. John T ⋅

    Kirby’s dialogue is almost indescribably strange, so very different from Stan’s, and reads as if badly translated from an unknown language. Rather than TRY to describe it I thought I’d let The King speak for himself. Word for word from Jack’s brain, honest!

    ‘KIRBY’S the name!
    And COMICS is my game!!
    I can tell you, pals, I enjoy every minute of it! – sure, it’s great, going ’round that big creative “bend” and bringing in a sensational “NEWIE!” But the “BIGGIES” of the golden age of comics remain a GIANT experience in themselves!!
    Try a bag of genuine Golden Age
    “GRABBERS!”

    What does it all mean, and who did Kirby aim it at? Him!? HER!!?? YOU!!!???!!!

  2. Well done, John, I boggled my brain completely trying to pick out an example!

  3. Tom Hart

    After the Fourth World, there was Captain Victory, and a giant all-powerful and psychic head in a floating glass jar who was known to say “I am often confronted by The Whole Score!” Meaning he saw everything at once- the Universe, all its components and meanings.

    To me that was Kirby’s dream, to know and become everything in the Universe.

  4. Tom Hart

    PS- In a complete reversal, the knuckleheads at Star Trek were just the opposite in their prediction of technology sometimes. I’ve seen an ensign walk up to Kirk with a massive painted wooden box just to get Kirk’s supposedly digital signature.

  5. dan ⋅

    Shame the image can’t be enlarged to perceive the inherent beauty held within
    (aka can’t zoom in!)

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