Now that I’ve got my copy—my first copy—I can confirm that, yes, Hand of Fire is out. Looking good, too:
HAND OF FIRE: The Comics Art of Jack Kirby from Charles Hatfield on Vimeo.
I look forward to hearing from readers. What are you waiting for? 🙂
Congratulations, Charles! And can I note that comics scholars’ books are looker better all the time? So thankful to be past the days of mandatory Comics Sans and speech balloons on the cover of every one.
Oh, God, yes.
Pete Halverson designed Hand of Fire, and I’m grateful for it. That and Geoff Grogan’s lovely cover illo!
Congratulations on “Hand of Fire.”. I am in the midst if reading it, almost finished, but felt compelled to say what a great job it is! Your deduction about Kirby’s creation of the Silver Surfer shows how he used “narrative drawing” to write the stories, and how this method is central to the art of comics and to Kirby’s contribution the development of the form. I will definitely be quoting from your book in my comics art class at the University of Victoria. Bravo!
Peter, thank you! I’m glad the book works for you. I’m particularly glad that you’ve highlighted the connection I drew between narrative drawing and “writing,” which from my POV is key to the book.
Can you tell me more about your class @ U of V? I’m always keen to hear about comics teaching: subject matter, approach, discipline, pedagogy, reflections on practice, etc.
Again, your encouraging words are much appreciated!
Hi Charles! Over the past couple of years I have taught The History of Comic Book Art, under a Pop Culture course heading, at the Univ of Victoria. I approached in a chronological order covering from the 1800’s to the end of the 20th century, following what I like to call the consensus model of comics history. For the keeners, the fans of comic art, it was great, but I felt that this kind of detailed historical review would work best as one class in a program where students could also take a class in the elements and form of the medium, another on “masters” of comic art, where they could examine key works in detail, and even classes where they could create comics. Also for many of the students who like contemporary comics, 60’s Marvels seem like ancient history, let alone ECs or Krazy Kat! So, in the absence of other classes, and after meeting and talking to other teachers at ICAF I have changed the course to look at key comic themes and concepts, working backwards to cover the history, by showing the influences that have led key creators to alter the development of the comics as an art form. That’s why your book on Kirby is so important and helpful, as you show how he changed the motion of the superhero, even as his later work diverged from the trends he had influenced. I had not realized before how important the romance comics were in the mix that made the FF unique. Thanks again! All the best!
I meant “notion of the superhero” (oops!) but Kirby influenced the “motion” too! Haha!
Thank you for following up here, Peter. Even now I’m experimenting with changes in my perennial comics course! You can find out a bit about it at:
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