Friday, 5 December 2008

OMAC, What Is Best In Life?


Do you think that he’d even know? I’m not sure. He always so busy, isn’t he? The character and his book are a perfect match that way.

I’ve been spending a lot of time round at Kirby’s recently, and my favourite Kirby is the chatty, energetic old guy who’s perpetually setting up a big picture with the intention of hinting at an even bigger one. I'm talking about the Kirby who's always happy to sit you down, offer you a drink and ask how you’re doing before he brings the crazy. You'll find this Kirby in The Eternals, of course, as well as in his Fourth World stories, and it's hard not to love the guy.
The Jack Kirby you meet in OMAC is every bit as sharp as that other Jack, but he's forever on the move. You head round to his place only to find him halfway out the door. This situation poses no problem for Kirby, of course: 'Sure, of course you can come along. I'm about to grab a taxi down to the "Brother" Eye if you're willing to take a detour?'
Before you even have a chance to say yes you're jumping out of the taxi and into the "Brother" Eye, a dingy old man's pub that's packed full of cigar smoke and shifty characters. And talking about characters, did Kirby really just tell you that that girl over there is a robot? And what's that he's saying about a man so rich he can afford to rent out whole cities for his private parties? You're sure that he just said that the most recent party had a more sinister purpose, but somehow Kirby's over at the other side of the bar now, stopping a nasty brawl before it can properly get going. One minute he's holding a man 10-years his juniour by the throat, the next they're heading towards you, talking quite intently with each other about the "Sickies".
Kirby slaps you on the arm, buys you a drink and introduces you to his new friend Bucky... no, wait, it's Buck, sorry. Kirby starts to settle down; he stretches his back out, and it looks like he's about to chat to you when he suddenly decides to throw a nearby chair through the closest window. You're about to tell the old guy to chill the fuck out, but then he leaps clean through the window and chases a mugger off down the street.
A brief 'Good to see ya kid!' and a hastily written check to the bar owner later and Kirby's off into the night, shouting 'OMAC lives so that man may live!!' as he goes. Shit, that was exhausting, you think. But hell, when was the last time you had that much fun with a comic book superhero?
Does OMAC know what's best in life? I'm not sure, but the man who created him certainly did!
(Sorry, I was going to write about issue #6 of The Filth but I kept catching little glances of Kirby and OMAC in my peripheral vision. That mowhawk is pretty hard to miss, you know?)

3 comments:

sean witzke said...

Hey, if you want to put up a link to the first issue the Grantbridge Street guy has posted whole thing up here - http://grantbridgestreet.blogspot.com/2008/12/jack-kirby-omac-1.html .

Also - you're onto something there.

David said...

Thanks for the link, Sean -- I've stuck it in a new blog post. After all the people have got to know about THE WORLD THAT'S COMING!

plok said...

Awesome, awesome, awesome.