This week’s Welcome to the Insta-hood I interviewed jacked_kirby
They are two awesome guys that run a podcast called: Jacked_Kirby. This is Tommy:
And this is Mike:
- Tell me a little about yourself:
Tommy: ” I’m Tommy! I’m an artist and musician, and more recently a podcaster (who isn’t these days?) born and raised in Brooklyn, NY!
I’ve been a comic book reader since the mid/late ‘80s. A nerd! When I was in junior high school, I really wanted to draw comics, but then I started playing music while the comic book industry started to collapse in upon itself, so my attention went towards writing and performing original music. That engulfed my high school years and beyond.I also wanted to make movies at some point, and I went to film school for it, but never really got beyond the student film level. Now I work at a bar. Lots of good all those creative endeavors did me in life! Ha.”
Mike: ” My name is Mike DeVito. I am 41 years old and I am from Queens, NY. I am a junior high school SS teacher and have been for 15 years! I am an avid comic collector, tv/movie lover and general pop culture consumer.
I also am OBSESSED with sneakers… I have over 200 pairs.
I am an avid sports fan, there is no sport that I don’t watch. I would consider myself more of a Marvel fan then DC, my favorite genre of movies is definitely horror (giallo in particular), my favorite directors are Stanley Kubrick and Dario Argento, and my favorite sneaker ever is the Air Jordan 3. My dog is a 1 year old labradoodle and his name is KIRBY!”
2. Can you talk about your podcast? How did you come up with the concept and/or theme for it.
Tommy: “Mike D. and I slowly started to be obsessed with Jack Kirby starting around 2010 or so. We talked about doing a Kirby-centric podcast for a bit, at Mike’s suggestion, but we just never got around to it. (Our Instagram page had been around a few years and had a big following already.)
When Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday was in sight, we started organizing a celebratory Kirby art show (we had started curating pop-culture based group art shows in late 2014), featuring artists doing their versions of Kirby creations.
We decided to start a podcast that would coincide with Jack’s 100th birthday that summer AND the group art show. That was June of 2017. We’ve been doing it for three years now, and we have a lot of fun with it. It’s a labor of love for us, and it’s also a way for us to entertain as well as educate… while also learning ourselves! It’s been a fun journey. Unlike other comic book related podcasts, we keep ours real and raw! We bring a certain kind of New York humor to the show, a “not safe for work” brand of comedy, that I think really gives the show its personality. We could just as easily make a dick joke as tell you when the first appearance of Mangog was! I think the humor helps the education aspect of the show. While you’re laughing along, you learn something! “
Mike: “My current podcast that I am a part of is The Jacked Kirby Podcast, which is just over 3 years old and has 75 episodes in its catalog. I created a pop culture themed blog about 10 years ago called Cultural Compulsive Disorder as a place for me to share all the really cool pop culture goodies I would find surfing the net with my friends as well as strangers. I started the Jacked Kirby instagram page as a place to document cool Kirby images in DETAIl, because most of the time we found stuff online it had no information or publishing attributions so we never knew where to go find it. We wanted to explain what these images were from, and if someone liked them they could further investigate and learn more.
Years ago we had the CCD podcast (which lasted over 100 episodes and was primarily hosted by my partner Rob Martin). I was on a lot of episodes but I wanted to do something that I really loved myself… so I decided to start a podcast about one of my favorite comic creators, Jack Kirby! It was like a live version of the Instagram page, in discussion form. I reached out to my buddy/co-host Tommy Lombardozzi because he also loves Kirby and was helping me curate the Instagram page anyway… and the rest is history!
The reason for us doing the show is twofold. On one hand we are two fanboys who absolutely want to talk up one of our favorite comic creators as much as we can… mostly because we both love to talk and love comics! But on the other hand, I am a history teacher and I do feel that Jack kinda gets the hose when it comes to proper recognition for creating some of the most memorable comics in history (for both Marvel and DC). So I thought the show could be a perfect way for us to document many of Jack’s accomplishments and the historic significance of his work. We also wanted to add some sophomoric comedy and a modern pop culture spin to it so that it wouldn’t be completely academic (aka boring as hell), but at the same time could have merit.”
3. How did you come with your podcast name?
Tommy: “The Instagram page came first, and it was born out of the fact that we would always see other Instagram pages post images without corresponding information. So we would see something we liked, but have no idea where it came from, who the artist was, what era it was, etc. Frustrating. So the goal with our Instagram page was to inform people that were interested in the artwork of Jack Kirby. So any post we make is packed with information. Sometimes right down to a story’s plot twists. Since we were basically “stealing” (jacking!) Jack Kirby’s art to share, Mike named the page Jacked Kirby. It’s catchy and it fits.”
Mike: “The reason why I chose the name JACKED KIRBY for the Instagram page (and then the podcast later) was because all of our content was JACK KIRBY related… and we don’t own it! So we are kind of “jacking” it for our posts, metaphorically speaking of course. We thought it was a fun little name, but was also quite accurate in what we were doing. At the end of the day, we wanted the name to also be very clear as to whose work would be highlighted/discussed. Jacked Kirby just worked perfectly on all those levels.”
4. What are your top 3 Jack Kirby heroes and why?
Tommy: ” Ah, mine aren’t anything obscure:
I like the characters that are true to themselves and their ideals. Unwavering. Even an evil guy like Doom. They are who they are, and they stick to that. There’s an integrity there that is commendable. It shows strength and consistency.”
Mike: “Jack has 1000s of heroes/villains that he is responsible for, some of them being the actual CORNERSTONES on which Marvel and DC comics are built upon. So this is a very tough question. I’ll try to give you my three favorite and briefly explain why:
Hero 1: Mister Miracle – Mister Miracle to me is the epitome of visual perfection. His costume shouldn’t be appealing to a viewer in any way… eyt it is perfect at the same time. The red, yellow and green color scheme is extremely garish… but at the same time stands out in a unique way not often duplicated in other heroes. His powers are awesome and he is one of the most important pieces of the whole 4th World/New Gods saga.
Plus I am sucker for the full face mask and high neck cape! (I also vividly remember the Mister Miracle Super Powers toy from the mid 80’s that I always wanted as a child but never got. I own one now… YES!)
Hero 2: The Demon – Etrigan the Demon is one of Jack’s most innovative creations, and he didn’t even WANT TO DO IT. DC came to him asking for a horror book to compete with Marvel’s Tomb of Dracula… so Jack cooked up The Demon to be just that. The title character, Etrigan, is an anomaly in the sense that he is grotesquely ugly and looks EVIL… yet he is a good guy! The tie tin to Arthurian Legends, Gothic horror, monsters, witches and the like also make it all the more fun. It is a horror masterpiece, and is my personal FAVORITE series that Jack is credited with writing/penciling.
Hero 3: The Mighty Thor _ I am a history teacher and I LOVE MYTHOLOGY, and Thor is the Norse God of Thunder. Since bursting on the scene in Journey Into Mystery #83 his tales have been filled with mythological goodness across the spectrum. Jack loved Mythology and it is exuded in these books, as he milks every minor character and bizarre mythological connection that he can along the way. His iconic visual take on many of these ancient characters is still the standard used for most of them (50+ years later), like Loki’s horned helm or Hela’s crown from the Thor: Raganarok film! But Thor stands out as a triumphant design…. he is gorgeous, larger than life and a stand out among a universe of Marvel heroes.
Honorable Mention- Darkseid (he is DC’s biggest baddie for the last 40 years…. and they cancelled the 4th World books before Jack even got too tell his whole saga! Imagine that… they cancelled those series and then made Darkseid the MOST IMPORTANT VILLAIN IN THE DC UNIVERSE from that moment on!)”
5. Do you have any exciting news or events that you would like to share?
Tommy: “The COVIDS has put any kind of events on hold right now, and it’s also forced us to do the podcast remotely (we’ve always recorded at my place, in person). But the plus side of that is that we’ve been able to have some really cool guests ( comic legend Steve Rude, actor/comedian Jeff Garlin, comic artist Andy MacDonald). We just did our 75th episode, and we have some awesome guests planned for the weeks ahead (and some hopefuls that we’ve reached out to… cross fingers!) We’re looking to have an array of guests from different walks of life that can bring different perspectives to our conversations, with the common denominator being our love of The King and his works. Stay tuned!!!
I can be found on Instagram and Facebook. Just search for Tommy Lombardozzi. I’m an artist for hire, so check out my work and hit me up if you want some original art! I also have another podcast that I do with my friend Chris Laudando called The Hoof. We can be found wherever podcasts can be listened to, and we also have an Instagram page: @thehoof_podcast Come follow!”
Mike: “Quarantine has been good to us, allowing us to reach out to a lot of famous people both in and out of the comic industry virtually to interview. We have been blessed to interview comic legend Steve Rude, actor/comedian extraordinaire Jeff Garlin, award winning author George O’Connor in the last two months. We have a bunch of really cool interviews coming soon (I don’t want to jinx any until they are in the books and done!) with some FAMOUS people you may be surprised to find out LOVE Jack Kirby. Make sure you keep an eye on our feed…. you never know who is going to pop up next!!!!
We are also going to try and record our 2nd audio play. For episode #28 (recorded in July of 2018) of the podcast we invited some of our closest friends to join Tommy and myself in an audio play version of Fantastic Four Issue #51, This Man This Monster! We had a GREAT time and it turned out funny as hell… So we want to get the gang back together and do it again. Hopefully we will get that one done soon! We also can’t wait to collaborate with the Jack Kirby Museum again (www.kirbymuseum.org) because we were honored to be able to work with them a few times before and it’s pretty cool to work alongside the official Kirby Museum in any capacity!”
If you like to learn more information about the podcast:
Thank you guys for the interview!