great kirby rarities

Jack Kirby.  ‘Nuff said.

Or maybe not.  Along with the cosmic “Kirby Krackle” and that great, grim way he drew faces,  a lot of his genius for me is in his costume designs.  So what happens when Kirby costumes meet characters from a great storyteller not known for his comics work?  Somebody like, I dunno, Shakespeare?

In 1969, Jack Kirby designed the costumes for a production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar at UC Santa Cruz.  And, yes, they are just as amazing as that sentence suggests.  The sketches are formidable, and the color choices are interestingly different from the colors you might find in the Silver Age comics Kirby was working on at the same time.

Here’s Julius Caesar in military dress:

costume design for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
Jack Kirby, 1969

See the rest of the images and read the full story on io9 here.   If you have loved comics and Kirby for a long time, like I have, it’s a pretty unusual experience to see something new of his that comes as a complete surprise.  But I guess that’s what a genius does.  He never stops surprising you.

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