Monday, 29 August 2016

Jack Kirby's In The Days Of The Mob

Jack Kirby's other go in the field of glossy comic magazines, alongside Spirit World, was the bullet blasting In The Days Of The Mob.
( There was also the unfinished Soul Love and True Life Divorce Cases, but more about them another time ).
In as much as Spirit World was direct from Jack's mind, In The Days Of The Mob was direct from his life, and has the absolute ring of authenticity. He lived through this era, and these were his formative years. Running with street gangs in the tenements as a kid, gangsters were everywhere, and Kirby would have known people just like the real life villains in this book.

In The Days Of The Mob literally takes place in Hell, as The Devil gives us a guided tour of his domain and the misguided souls who made their way there in life. It's a visceral, strident book that doesn't let up till the last page, and we'd have loved it at the time, if DC had bothered to publicise or distribute it.
In fact, by the time you get to Sergio Aragones gag pages ( obviously Plop! outtakes ) at the end, you're exhausted.
Vince Colletta inks throughout, and for once takes more than a weekend doing it, so Jack's detail and backgrounds are still in place, and all told the whole thing is a prettty wild ride.
I'm off to see what I can locate of the unpublished ish 2, enjoy yerselves, ya crumbs.


  1. As a visual storyteller -- we're not counting brilliant creator, costume designer or anything -- Jack Kirby can make the ordinary humdrum panel seem exciting. That is his greatest strength in comics. This is why everyone since has imitated him in one form or another, trying to get that same visual excitement. Only Eisner as a storyteller makes panels as eye opening using panel design and pacing "gimmicks," for want of a better word. Between Kirby and Eisner, you have your visual comics storytelling textbooks.

  2. Haven't seen this before, so thanks a lot for posting.

    Theres so much work from Kirby's time at DC, its kind of amazing to realize he was only there for five years. And its all great!
    As with the Losers, its nice to be reminded that he didn't just do insanely bonkers science-fiction (not that theres anything wrong with that, of course!)


  3. I had this comic when it was first published. Did it include a Wanted poster of John Dillinger as a free gift? I had one on my bedroom wall for years as a child and it was in my mind that 'In the Days of the Mob' was the source.

  4. If you'd like to provide me with an e-mail address where I can send it, I have about 36 (I think, out of 44 total) scanned pages of Mob #2 - as well as most of Soul Love & True Divorce.