Saturday, January 2, 2021

A Gallery of Jack Kirby’s Spider-Man Art

The way Jack Kirby drew Spider-Man has long fascinated me. I love Kirby's inventive and powerful work, but his Spidey usually seemed a bit “off model.” The webbing on his mask was usually different from the standard renditions and he was often missing a spider icon on his uniform. For the last year or so, I’ve saved Kirby’s Spider-Man art as I stumbled across it online.

I decided to share what I've collected. I suspect others are equally fascinated. Since I initially did this for my own amusement, I didn't keep track of sources. After researching, I think a lot of the material comes from the Jack Kirby Art Museum or Two Morrows publications. I did not remove any watermarks.


Kirby's Spider-Man Sketches and Pencils  

To be fair, you can't expect characters to always be 100% correct when drawn on the fly. Click on any to enlarge.

This isn't a mere "sketch," but I can't find any information about it.

Alternative art for Toys For Tots poster seen in Inked Work below.

Kirby’s Inked, Miscellaneous Work

Marvel Comics poster from 1975

Art for Toys For Tots poster.

The finished Toys For Tots poster had a spider added to Spidey's chest.

From the Marvelmania Comic Art Portfolio, 1970

Created for a 1978 Spider-Man calendar, inker unknown.

Kirby’s Art Reworked for Final Product
Each piece was reworked/inked by John Romita, Sr.

Marvel 1977 Calendar

Spidey Super Stories #20

1970's Poster

Kirby’s Comic Covers
It's possible his Spidey was sometimes altered by the inker.

Amazing Fantasy #15, inked by Steve Ditko.

Strange Tales Annual #2, inked by ?
(I used this Spider-Man for the first image of my post.)

Fantastic Four Annual #1, inked by Dick Ayers.

Amazing Spider-Man #10. Cover by Steve Ditko, but Spidey was redrawn by Kirby.

Daredevil #1, inked by Bill Everett.

Tales to Astonish #57, inked by Sol Brodsky.
At first, I thought Spidey's eyepiece extended up his head.
It's actually just shading.

Avengers #11, inked by Chic Stone.
Was Spidey altered by Ditko? It looks like it, but I suspect the background webbing is all Kirby.

Fantastic Four #73, inked by Joe Sinnot.
Spidey was probably altered from the pencils.

I left out a fun one! 

Fantastic Four Annual #3, inked by Mike Esposito.

Here's a close up of Spidey. The spider must have been left off of his costume, because it looks like it was added to his stomach, not his chest!

There was only one panel with Spider-Man in the story drawn by Kirby.

It looks like a pose based on Ditko's Amazing Spider-Man #19 cover. I wonder how the original Kirby's pencils looked.

Update #2!
Here are a couple of Kirby pieces from a 1966 Esquire. (To see more of this interesting issue, click here.)

And Finally--
I couldn't resist taking a couple of his pencil sketches and adding my own inks and colors. Just for fun! 😊


Jeffrey said...

Wonderful to have these together. Thanks for taking the time to our benefit.

Jeg said...

Thanks for taking the time to research and post this. It was a fun and interesting read.

Kerry Callen said...

Thanks! I have a fun one to add once I receive something I ordered from ebay in a couple of weeks.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

I'm not the biggest Kirby fan in the world. It's like he never heard of a waist, everybody has a tree trunk for a torso.
Neil Gaiman once met a man who "looked like a Kirby character". He asked him what he was, and it was a dwarf with gigantism!

Oddly, in his early romance comics Kirby drew beautiful women, I don't know why he did away with that.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...


Delmo said...

Spider-Man's cameo in FF Annual #3, not FF #73 as you list on your page, was a cut & paste of Ditko art from ASM #19, which is why it looks reminiscent of the cover art.

Kerry Callen said...

Oops. Thanks for catching my typo! I'll fix it. I don't think the panel art was cut and paste. His left leg is in a different position.

Anonymous said...

The poster of spidey with the sentinels was copied for a panel in an issue of the fantastic four the world's greatest comic book magazine from early 2000s that was coordinated by Bruce Timm and Erik Larsen. I'll have to look for issue page artist and inker info. I believe it was issue with sentinel cover by jae Lee and Bruce Timm.

J W said...

"Amazing Spider-Man #10. Cover by Steve Ditko, but Spidey was redrawn by Kirby."

Odd that Kirby would re-draw a Ditko Spider-Man, when Ditko was THE Spider-Man artist!

Paul Brigg said...

I love Jack Kirby so much, but somehow he never could draw Spider-Man worth a damn. It's more than the fact that he didn't have the patience to get the webbing right -- he just seemed to have no feel for the character at all. Which is, I suppose, understandable since all the characters he did have a feel for were his own creations. His imagination was so fertile he just didn't have the time or inclination to get familiar with other people's characters.