|Edited by John Morrow||Jack Kirby Collector celebrates the life and career of the "King" of comics through interviews with Kirby and his contemporaries, feature articles, and rare & unseen Kirby artwork. Now in tabloid format, the magazine showcases Kirby's art at even larger size.|
Excerpts from the Chic Stone Interview
Interviewed by & © James CassaraFrom Jack Kirby Collector #14
There are very few comics artists who are able to boast of the credentials that belong to Chic Stone. From his apprenticeship in the late 1930s at the legendary Eisner/Iger studios - where he had the opportunity to learn from the very finest of the first-generation creators - to his work at Timely Comics and beyond, Stone has set consistent standards for excellence and dependability. In the 1960s, having already worked in the industry for nearly two decades, Stone gained prominence as an early architect of The Marvel House Of Ideas.
Working primarily with Jack Kirby, for whose work he still retains an obvious mixture of respect and reverence, Stone inked many of the most famous issues of titles such as Fantastic Four, X-Men, Thor, and perhaps more covers than any other artist of the time. While these credentials are impressive unto themselves, it is evident from speaking with Chic Stone that boasting simply is not within him. One is unlikely to encounter a more humble and gracious individual, the type of gentlemen that often seems the product of a bygone era, but thankfully still exists. He is also, as this interview will attest, a man of conviction and strong opinion.
THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR: How about some background info? You were pretty much there for the early years of the Golden Age.
CHIC STONE: I was born on January 4th, 1923 in New York City, on East 23rd Street and Third Avenue. I studied at the famous School Of Industrial Arts, as well as the Works Projects Administration School. At WPA I studied under the cartoonist Chuck Thorndyke. This was, of course, during the Depression years.
TJKC: Did you always have an eye towards art? How is it you first got into comics?
CHIC: I was an ardent fan of Rube Goldberg, the great artist responsible for all those zany contraptions. At ten years of age, I knew I wanted to be a cartoonist. Like a lot of kids I loved the Sunday pages: Milton Caniff, Brandt, Gus Edson, Raymond Dirks; all were my heroes. I broke into comics in 1939 with the Eisner/lger studios, a great place to learn. I was only sixteen at the time, [and] did the typical menial tasks: Pasting, whiting out, stuff like that. I helped get the artwork ready for printing.
TJKC: Wasn't Jack Kirby there at the time?
CHIC: No, he came a bit later, in 1940 or 41. I must have just missed him.
TJKC: How familiar were you with his work? Did you see much of the Simon & Kirby stuff?
CHIC: Of course, I knew of it. But to be perfectly honest, I wasn't that impressed with his earlier works. Later, he sure developed his technique and approach to comics. Nobody could possibly ignore the results.
TJKC: After the Golden Age faded, many artists found it difficult to find work. Some dropped out of the field. Did you continue working in comics during this time?
CHIC: During the fifties, I did leave the comic field and became the art director of such magazines as True Experience, The American Salesman. I even published a magazine, Boy Illustrated, which folded after two issues! I also worked for the Gray Advertising Agency, as well as Filmack Studios. At Filmack I did storyboards for television commercials. I later became the art director of Modern Teen and Dig Magazine. At this time I was living in Hollywood, California.
TJKC: Jumping ahead a bit, let's talk about your earliest work with Jack. Before joining Marvel, had you inked his work before?
Sign up here to receive periodic updates about what's going on in the world of TwoMorrows Publishing.
Click here to download our new Fall-Winter catalog (2mb PDF file)