Friday, 2 September 2016

Jack Kirby's Soul Love

Massive thanks are due to kiyote76 who yesterday sent me scans of what artwork there is of Kirby's lost DC b/w books In The Days Of The Mob #2. True Life Divorce & Soul Love, I'm assuming collected from places like the Kirby Collector.
I can't resist the concept of Kirby blaxploitation romance, so today it's Soul Love, sister.
According to Mark Evanier, this one was initially bounced back by DC, as they didn't feel they could market a 'black' book unless it was actually done by black artists and writers.
Originally, each of the b/w's were going to run a free poster ( like the John Dillinger one in Mob ), and Soul Love was due to carry one of Roberta Flack, who then had an album out and some vague affiliation with somebody up at DC.
Unfortunately, Roberta's people didn't like the book either, complaining: 'We think the people look too ethnic, the lips are too big.'
So that well-known artist of African descent, Vince Colletta, was asked to, you should excuse the phrase, 'white everybody up', in much the same way he invariably deleted Kirby's city backgrounds.
DC loved the finished result, and put Soul Love straight on the release schedule.
And that was the last anybody heard of it. Till now.


  1. Pardon the quibble, but your version of the story is pretty much the opposite of what Mark Evanier said in his "Comic Book Artist" interview. According to him, Jack Kirby wanted the magazine to be done by African-American creators, but DC (Carmine Infantino, particularly) insisted on him doing it. A consultant or a distributor laid down the rule that the characters should look more race-neutral, not Roberta Flack. In fact, Flack (or her representatives) complained about the characters not looking black enough, and this may be what killed the magazine.

  2. No bother, your version sounds more likely, but what I related came from an interview Mark did for the Kirby Collector ( #17 ) - I guess he was in a puckish mood in the interview I read, or maybe the CBA interview came later and he'd remembered the story more clearly.

  3. Sweet Christmas! That comic's where it's at, and that's no jive!

    Mind you, if it had been published when it was supposed to, my reaction would have been "Romance comics? Ew! Jack Kirby? Yuk!" so I'm kind of pleased it's taken this long for me to finally see it, when I'm in a better frame of mind to appreciate it.

  4. Eager to see the other unpublished issues!