Sunday, November 10, 2013

2001: A Space Odyssey

I'm piggybacking this 2001: A Space Odyssey Giant Sized Treasury Edition on my blog, because it's worthwhile, but also I  want to take a closer look at it myself, and it's sort of a reminder for me to do that.  You can still give it a gander over at the 

I've seen the movie numerous times and will likely watch it again.  It's probably one of my Top Ten films of all times, and I can't think of another film that had that sort of impact upon my psyche unless it was Apocalypse Now as far a something transforming, amazing, or impacting.  But I had never taken a look at the treasury edition drawn by Jack Kirby.  I knew he had created it along with the short lived monthly comic series.

I recently read the first two issues of the monthly series (evidently there were ten comics in the monthly run from what groovykind blog says), hence my interest in the comic run.  With the monthly books Kirby takes the mythology of 2001 and sort of spins his own characters and stories dealing with the monolith and other themes from the film or book by Arthur C. Clarke.  After reading the first two issues of the comic it made me wonder where Kirby was going with the series.  In the first issue he begins with prehistoric times much like the film, and has a caveman that is at odds with some other tribe, they chase after  him, and he gets engulfed by the monolith, to be transformed into a new lifeform, much like the astronaut in the film.

In the second issue a woman from the stone age is looking for food, she's hungry, and is run out of the area she is in, by again, an ignorant tribe.  She enters a cave, finds a bunch of bones, and creates a sort of costume.  She appears at night to this tribe as sort of a deity, and tells them to bring her food or she'll destroy their tribe.  She does well with this ruse, and then the comic shifts to outer space.  In space we meet a female, who might somehow be related to the cave woman, but if so, it isn't implicit in the two female's relationships.  At any rate, the spacewoman is exploring a planet when she is attacked by aliens.  She runs away from them, and enters a cave, to find a monolith, and is whisked away similar to the male in the first issue.  Both have been transformed into alien beings.  I was also reminded somewhat of the Silver Surfer while reading both stories due to the cosmic setting, something Kirby was adept at.  I would be interesting to know  more background data on the 2001 series, like whether or not Kirby met Stanley Kubrick or Arthur C. Clarke.   I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall on that conversation. 

Some say Kirby had lost his edge during this stage of the game.  It's true his artwork isn't the same as it was earlier.  Some say he was having eyesight problems around this period (he was around age 59 when the comic was created), which might have been one reason.  I don't know, but I think part of might just be he was evolving as artist often do. His artwork got more abstract, and at least on the first two 2001 comics I read, they were fun and interesting to read.  I need to dig around in my old comic long boxes because I'm curious about some of his other work from this period--stuff like Silver Star, Devil Dinosaur, etc. 

I need to get up and to outside.  It's pretty outside today, but crisp and cool weather-wise.  I need to find some covers for the outside water faucets.  We might get an early freeze this coming week, better to be safe than sorry. 


At 7:28 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

Very interesting. I had no idea a comic version of "2001" existed.

It is one of my favorite movies too. I usually watch it once a year and nearly every time I find something new and interesting in it. For me it is certainly one of the biggest sci-fi films of all time.

At 8:08 AM, Blogger El Vox said...

Roman--yes, I'll probably revisit 2001 at some point. Whenever it appears on TCM I usually get caught up in it.

The comics are interesting. I wondered where Kirby was taking the series. I thought he might make the male & female protagonists into some sort of cosmic super heroes, but there's no telling. If I could track down some of the back issues cheaply, I might pick them up. His artwork is always fun to look at too--they didn't call him the King for nothing. :)


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