The old saying, “If it could have been expressed in words, I would have done so” comes to mind. If mere words could have done it, Jack Katz would not have had to create the graphic novel and “The First Kingdom.”

Another amazing aspect of this magnum opus, is that he basically made it up as he went along. Well, seemingly so. In actuality, he says he had the whole thing layed out in his mind by the time he was 12 years old. He says he didn’t have the right avenue of expression for it until he was nearly 45 years old. Even then, he had to invent the medium of the graphic novel to find that avenue. He asked his peers and mentors, including Alex Raymond and Hal Foster if they thought such a thing was possible and when they didn’t have an answer, he just went ahead and did it anyways. We have to remember that there weren’t really “creators” in the early 70s who wrote, penciled and inked their work entirely by themselves and certainly nobody else who pursued and successfully completed such a massive undertaking, even to this day. This was a 768 page graphic novel with complex character development involving humans, gods, robots, all sorts of little sprites and just about anything else that came into Katz’s head.

Also, when you look at drawings like the detail below, page 751 of book 24 of “The First Kingdom,” you might think of space battles from “Star Wars” or some other space opera genre picture, but when Katz created this stuff, the first book being published in 1974, nothing like this existed yet.

Detail - Book 24, page 751

Obsessive, almost Baroque detail is a hallmark of Jack Katz.

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  1. Pingback: Creative process: Jack Katz pencils from 'The First Kingdom' - Robot 6 @ Comic Book ResourcesRobot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

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