Jack Kirby’s granddaughter has a message for his fans

Aug. 12, 2012 | 7:00 p.m.
marvel by kirby Jack Kirbys granddaughter has a message for his fans

The core of the Marvel Universe was assembled on the art table of Jack Kirby, shown here in 1949 photo. (Credits: Marvel Comics; Kirby Family collection)

Jillian Kirby, 16, never got to meet her grandfather, but she’s seen plenty of his magic — she’s seen it in the pages of classic Marvel Comics, up on the screen in “The Avengers” and most especially in the eyes of  Marvel fans who meet her and find out she’s an heir of the King of Comics.

hulk at 50 Jack Kirbys granddaughter has a message for his fans


Jillian is connecting with that family magic more than ever thanks to her admirable summer project, which she calls Kirby4Heroes. It ties together Jack’s birthday (he would have been 95 on Aug. 28) and the good works of Hero Initiative (which helps comic book creators in times of financial or medical distress).

Jillian’s grandfather died in 1994 after the most illustrious career in the history of the American comic book. Kirby created or co-created Captain America, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, Doctor Doom, the Silver Surfer, the Boy Commandos, Magneto, the Black Panther, Fighting American, Darkseid, Ant-Man, the Demon, the Red Skull, Galactus, Kamandi and hundreds of other comic book characters.

Many fans are shocked to hear that the Kirby family doesn’t get a single cent when his creations are turned into toys, video games, cartoons or even a historic blockbuster film like “The Avengers” but that’s the harsh reality of work-for-hire deals that (as the sad history of Superman‘s creators reminds us) have been the norm since Day One in the superhero business.

That industry backdrop led to Hero Initiative and, now, to Jillian’s Kirby4Heroes. And what exactly is her idea? Here, let her explain…

Let’s all circle Aug. 28 on the calendar. And check back here; we hear there are more Kirby-related announcements coming in the next week or two. If you want to learn more about Kirby and his legacy, be sure to read the wonderful essay written by his son, Neal Kirby, who just happens to be Jillian’s father.  Also, it’s great to wander around the digital corridors of the Kirby Museum, another worthy non-profit group that represents the Power Cosmic.

— Geoff Boucher

marvel black brother Jack Kirbys granddaughter has a message for his fansEssay: Marvel, Malcolm and Martin

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21 Responses to Jack Kirby’s granddaughter has a message for his fans

  1. Connie & Neal Kirby says:

    My wife and I are extremely proud of Jillian. Her grandfather has been standing by her side in spirit throughout her creation and implementation of the Kirby4Heroes Campaign. We encourage everybody and anybody who has ever read and enjoyed a comic book to please contribute to the Hero Initiative.

  2. grandpachet says:

    My friend Lynn and I, along with our wives, back when we all livedbin Springville, used to idly try to name a genre or type of character that Jack Kirby didn’t help create or recreate.

    “Superman!” one of us would say, but we’d remember Kirby was the first person to really open the idea of the superman among mortals theme – that everyone has run with since Forever People #1.

    “Batman?” Ah, but one look at those incredible Jerry Robinson pages would show how much Simon & Kirby were influencing even the early Batman, even if the Batman crew cam eup with the kid sidekick first.

    “Spider-man?” Nope. Originated in th eSimon & Kirby shop. Romance, westerns, horror, sf, fantasy – Jack not only did it all, but brought cosmic down to Earth and made it leap off the page.

    More movies and TV shows learned from Kirby, even as comics creators followed his path. I see his influence almost everywhere.

    And his granddaughter looks so much like the other brain of Jack, who kept him alive when he was living in the skies – the remarkable Roz.

    Quite a legacy. It honors us to honor him with even a small donation to H.I. in his memory.

    *jeep! & God Bless…


  3. Simon Williams says:

    The Hero Initiative is an incredibly worthwhile charity… a wonderful way to give back to those creators who have provided all of us with years of entertainment and inspiration with their work. Well done Jillian… you're grandfather would be very proud of you :)

  4. Glenn B Fleming says:

    Jillian is as beautiful as her grandftaher was creative – you must be proud of her, Connie and Neal! I met Jack and Roz twice at their home in Thousand Oaks. They were both very generous and special people and made me feel right at home. Jillian's initiative is a project long overdue. Thanks, Jack and Roz…and thank you Jillian, too!

  5. Jazan Wild says:

    Jack Kirby is a legend. Wonderful video and message. Way to go Jillian.

  6. Lisa Kirby says:

    Way to go Jillian, your grandfather would be very proud!

  7. Victor Solis says:

    This is a fantastic initiative by Jillian for her legendary grandfather. We pay tribute to Jack Kirby and his family in our online series "Generic Girl" since we named our characters Gillian Romero and Pete Kirby after this super family. We look forward to spreading the awareness to our fans and friends worldwide. Best of luck to Jillian and everyone with Hero Initiative.

  8. Costas Karaiskos says:

    Your Grandfather would be proud!!!! We will all do our share and spread the word :)

  9. Edwin Duterte says:

    The comic book and animation world appreciate the work of Jack Kirby and the strides he has done to make the world a more fun place to be in. My friends Victor Solis and Steven Wasserman created a tribute to Mr. Kirby.

  10. Ralph Mathieu says:

    Alternate Reality Comics, in Las Vegas, will be donating 20% of all sales today to the Hero Initiative. I'll also be wearing my Big Barda t-shirt (which matches my Big Barda tattoo).

  11. Lee Hester says:

    Neal and Jillian dropped in to my store for a visit today. It's would be Jack's 95th birthday and we are collecting money on Jack's behalf for the Hero Initiative.

    What an honor to meet Neal and Jillian! I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Jack, and I know that he would be beaming with pride to see his wonderful granddaughter! We will be giving 10% of today's sales at both Lee's Locations (Mountain View and San Mateo CA) to the Hero Hero Initiative. Heroes Assemble!

  12. Steve Sherman says:

    A great idea! Disney should take the day's tally of "The Avengers" in Sri Lanka and donate.

  13. Jillian Kirby says:

    Lee, thank you and everyone else so much for your support. By the way, my mother, Connie, has been very supportive as well, and as a matter of fact, was in the car when I visited your store. She is expressing her thanks to you and all the people I have met in this campaign. She didn’t want to come in because she didn’t desire it to seem like it was a personal family visit that might overshadow the Hero Initiative cause.

  14. Barry Ira Geller says:

    Thank you Jillian, for continuing Jack's Dreams!

  15. Graeme Lougheed says:

    Jillian you are an amazing young lady Jack would be so very proud of you…God bless you :)

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