Today marks the 99th birthday of comic book virtuoso Jack Kirby (1917-1994), creator of the Fourth World saga and co-creator of many popular and influential superhero titles, including Captain America and The Fantastic Four. Here are a couple of videos showing that his real life experiences were just as extraordinary as the characters and events he depicted on the page.
First, here’s a clip from an interview where Kirby details a chilling account of his involvement as a soldier in World War II:
Finally, here is a clip from the 1987 documentary The Masters of Comic Book Art featuring Kirby discussing his approach to storytelling (with an introduction by Harlan Ellison):
Today marks the 47th anniversary of the inaugural Woodstock Music and Art Fair, one of the most important musical and counter-cultural events in popular culture! The four-day, New York-based music festival hosted some of the top rock and folk musicians of the time. Most remember the performances of Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin and the Who, but one of the most underrated performers at the show is the artist who kicked it off, the late, great singer-songwriter Richie Havens. Here’s a clip from his soulful opening Woodstock performance of “Freedom”, his improvisation of the traditional spiritual “Motherless Child“.
With the Rio Summer Olympics in full swing, I suggest checking out the 1980 animated cult classic Animalympics! Helmed by Steven Lisburger, director of Tron, this film features the vocal talents of Gilda Radner, Harry Shearer and Billy Crystal, as well as the animation work of Roger Allers, Bill Kroyer, and Brad Bird. What was initially conceived as one of two NBC animated specials that would commemorate the 1980 Summer and Winter Olympics was then released as a feature film as a result of the Moscow Olympics boycott. Still, this is a fun but very bizarre picture that almost feels like a psychedelic approach to the traditional squash-and-stretch, Termite Terrace style. One element of the movie that will always hold up is its exceptional soundtrack by Graham Gouldman of 10cc, best exemplified by my favorite song in the movie, “Underwater Fantasy.”