Jack Katz just celebrated his 85th birthday and he’s going strong as a creator of graphic novels as well as teaching. Best known for his independently published opus, “The First Kingdom,” who many hail as the first graphic novel, he is still perfecting the form.
His drawing is as good as it has ever been, maybe even better. He takes great pride in his knowledge of human anatomy, which is very possibly unrivaled. In recent years, he produced two teaching books, “Sketches Vol. 1″ and “Anatomy by Jack Katz Vol.s 1-3.”
On the surface, we know Jack Katz is one of the last surviving Silver and Golden Age comics artists, having worked for such major publishing houses as Marvel and DC, but his true story is deep and strange. Where has Katz been all these years and what has he been up to? One story is that he created a warehouse full of gallery quality oil paintings that in his usual autodidact style he created seemingly out of thin air. Another story has him designing all sorts of vehicles and technology. Another story has him still working on all sorts of projects and now under representation by literary agent, Peter Berren. Yet another story is that the entirety of all the original artwork, 12 years of his life, for “The First Kingdom” was lost somewhere in Brazil and by some miracle was returned one day to his doorstep in California.
Here we see Jack, bemused by the reappearance of his work, revealing some of his 768 page graphic novel from one of several large, metal suitcases. This doesn’t necessarily mean that this story is true, but this picture WAS taken in August of this year, and that IS Jack Katz looking bemused.