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By David Galens

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The partnership had not exactly dissolved but both were forced to prospect for work. Kirby cast around for freelance jobs, while Simon transitioned into advertising. At some point the S&K studio was shuttered, and they no longer shared a workspace (see Mendryk, “Now For . ”). Simon later masterminded two short-lived comics lines on which Kirby worked (Harvey, 1957–58, and Archie Publications, 1959), then created the long-lived Mad imitation Sick (1960). The S&K partnership that had weathered so much since 1940 sputtered and gradually died in the late mid-fifties while Kirby kept soldiering on as a comic book freelancer (as well as occasionally angling for newspaper strips).

Simon later masterminded two short-lived comics lines on which Kirby worked (Harvey, 1957–58, and Archie Publications, 1959), then created the long-lived Mad imitation Sick (1960). The S&K partnership that had weathered so much since 1940 sputtered and gradually died in the late mid-fifties while Kirby kept soldiering on as a comic book freelancer (as well as occasionally angling for newspaper strips). 3. The 1950s “gap”: Again, one period bleeds into the next: after 1955, from the de facto dissolution of S&K to the end of the decade, Kirby scrounged work through various avenues.

Suddenly every young artist was drawing action like Jack Kirby” (200–201). In other words, S&K helped explode the comic book panel and redesign the comic book page. If, as Thierry Groensteen has observed, the comics panel typically functions as a habitat for characters (an idea we’ll revisit in Chapter 1), then S&K’s panel layouts and characters were in thrilling counterpoise: a tense graphic tug-ofwar where each goaded the other. Characters violating panel borders soon became a S&K trademark, spurred in part by the splayed, distended figures and acute foreshortening of their admired contemporary Lou Fine, who was likewise driven to open up his layouts to make room for heroic anatomy (on Fine’s influence at this crucial early stage, see Burroughs, “Fine Development”; Amash, “Influence”; Theakston, 1940–1941, pages 119–120; Simon, Makers 34 and “Says” 14).

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