Jack Kirby's Entheogenic Space Odyssey - in 1958

Have fungi, but be careful...

Secret Sunbather Ned Sonntag sent me this vintage page from the great Jack Kirby, from a comic called Blast-Off, published in 1965. But the story itself was actually drawn in 1959, for the same title (Race to the Moon) that Kirby wrote his prophetic Face On Mars story. Upon further research, the question was raised: Was Jack Kirby an uncredited contributor to the greatest Astronaut Theology epic of all time? Or was he- again- tapped into a vision of the future that he projected onto the page?

Remember there was no Stargate sequence of this type in the original story, The Sentinel. Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick were still struggling over the 2001 script at the time this comic hit the stands- did they happen upon this story while working on the Stargate sequence, or is this an amazing Synchronicity?

The story "The Great Moon Mystery" has a TV production crew stumble on an alien artifact (an obelisk, in this case) on the moon, which immediately captures them in a force field. A team of astronauts try to rescue them and shoot at the obelisk, but are transformed into beings of light and send on a journey across the vast reaches of the Universe (see page at top). The journey ends in Wizard of Oz-like fashion when the astronauts visualize themselves back on the Moon.

Read this remarkable story in its entirety here.

Later Kirby would do his own version of 2001 for Marvel, but probably had no memory of "The Great Moon Mystery" and its own "Stargate sequence" while watching Kubrick's film. But damn, that man was tuned in, like few before or after....


  1. 'Pappy' posted these strips 'Wednesday, October 15, 2008'? But today's Wednesday the 19th? And I was the '1,177'th person to view the profile of 'Pappy', who's been blogging since '06? How did Pappy pick 'Wednesday, October 15, 2008' to post this, half-a-day after my WinVista random-slideshow reminded me to tell Chris of the existence of the strip? The '66 bright-yellow cover to BLAST-OFF is quite kool -Joe Simon cannibalizes/collages The 'Devil's-Tower-from-CLOSE-ENCOUNTERS-lookin' Moonspire' with the 'Plain of Screaming Embedded Heads' images from the strip into cover art, topped with the headline, "A Million Miles Up!" Seeing the 2001 Kubrick pic 2 years later I could see the influence... great to finally see the earlier episode with 'Big Shot'...early-30s Warner Bros. gansta pix oozes thru into sci-fi psychedelia! Plus don't overlook the synchronicity weirdness with 'Pappy'... Kirby was doing inbetweens for 2 weeks one August at Fleischer Studios around the time that the 'Poopdeck Pappy' 7-minute POPEYE adventures were being created... it all loops around, eh?

  2. Oooooh I see- 'Pappy's' had it up for a month; gotcha. Still it's amazing that it was so recently put there for Chris to find, after I'd been curious about the strip's provenance for four freakin' decades. Seems like Jack's up there in the mothership with the Space Bros., tasked with easing our collective reunion with the Annunaki or the Sirians or whoever Abides and Awaits!!!

  3. Hopefully Kirby went on tour like some rock star and sired future generations of tuned in peoples. You sure there's no Kirby in your blood line Chris? lol

  4. The face on Mars story came out in 1958. September to be exact.