Jack Kirby Re-Imagines 2001: A Space Odyssey

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The Tumblr MarvelMania has posted several pages from a 1976 Marvel Treasury Special in which Jack Kirby adapted Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 into a comic book.

As with so many Tumblrs, the JPGs were posted without comment. So in lieu of their commentary I’ll provide my own: This looks incredible: the sixties arguably most psychedelic film re-imagined by Marvel’s most mind bending artists (see his 4th world series for any reference you need). 

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I say re-imagining rather than flat-out adaptation because this truly is more than a simple movie-to comic translation. One of the reasons 2001 is such a successful film, such a revered work, is that it uses film to transcend the barriers of language. It gives us something – a feeling, a philosophy, an experience – that is available only through the visual poetry of the cinema. As such, nearly every single shot and, by extension, sequence, has become iconic to one degree or another.

What makes Kirby’s presentation so interesting is that he seems to complete eschew the idea of recreating these iconic shots in favor of translating the thoughts, ideas and feelings conveyed in the film into the the language of comic books.

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