Jack Kirby: Unlikely teen-love artist

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TEENAGE LOVE got a dose of he-man artistry when Jack Kirby began illustrating Young Romance in 1947.
 
For those who don’t know, Kirby and Stan Lee co-created The Fantastic Four, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and many other Marvel Comics superheroes in the early 1960s. The most mimicked comic-book artist of all time, Kirby’s style was described by Denis Gifford of The Independent as “incredibly overblown muscles limned with a black, blobby brush, and heroes leaping out of his covers so stereoscopically that no special glasses were required to make the reader duck.”
 
While the Schwarzenegger of comic-book art seems an unlikely illustrator of what his partner, Joe Simon, called “youthful, emotional, yet wholesome stories” about “love-smitten teenagers,” Young Romance was a huge success that generated 125 imitators within its first two years.

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