Monday, February 14, 2011

Emails #5: Thank You For Your Interest In Captain America


In case of emergency, break glass.

The technology to revive the frozen Captain American did not exist for over fifty years.

Until now.

The world he awakens to is a vastly different one than when he left. The cold war is over. The Berlin Wall is fallen. The threat of terrorism has pushed the government to trample the constitution, taking away liberties that he has always fought to protect. Yet, one threat remains all too familiar. An evil so deadly and violent that nothing but the taste of pure anarchy will satisfy him. The Red Skull! Cap races time to uncover and foil the plot the Red Skull has woven. Real allies step forward and traitors lurk in the shadows as Cap fights corruption, complacency, and cowardice in his quest to save the republic which now treats him as a quaint relic from a bygone age. queue organ music dun dun dunnnnnnnn



Thank you for your interest in Captain America. Your submission will be added to the Cap archive and you have been nominated to become a junior "Bucky". Please don't send money in gratitude.

Wed. schedule currently looks as follows: Wake up 10ish, 11ish, 12ish, get cleaned up, go to work by 3pm to be there by 4pm. Home by 1am most nights. If you think you have AM availability, let me know Tuesday. Maybe sumthin can be worked out. Hope all is well. As long as people yearn for freedom and justice against the evil of tyranny, a symbol of hope will also be needed.

Richard Arthur
President and member of the Bucky Brigade


A quarter mile under the surface of the earth, in a case hardened bunker meant to withstand a nuclear war, a living symbol of freedom paces his barren "guest apartment" waiting for answers. A doctor enters.

"Back to normal and then some. The tests are all coming back very positive."

"Why won't you let me out of here? There is a war on."

"Yes, but the world has changed significantly since your time. The world and the war are different. You need to be debriefed."

"You're wrong, the war is always the same. America must stand up to dictators, corruption, slavery, and injustice!"


America was established not to create wealth but to realize a vision, to realize an ideal - to discover and maintain liberty among men.
-Woodrow Wilson

I was handed a chocolate bar and an M-1 rifle and told to go kill Hitler.
-Jack Kirby

1 comment:

  1. I did have an opportunity to meet Jack Kirby in person once in New York City. Our topic of conversation was mostly Captain America. When I am ready to tell that story I will share it. A complicated, talented, wonderful man, Kirby served in WWII making maps and got a nasty case of frostbite. Military doctors wanted to amputate both his legs in the end didn't.

    I sometimes think about Kirby working feverishly in animation cleaning up in-between pencil art. Later, he would work in the young comic’s field, a place where higher output could result in better pay. When you are paid per page, being able to produce three times as much as the next guy was one way to secure stability.

    Joe Simon was another up and comer so when Kirby joined forces with him, a lot of issues converged. Jack could be difficult and head strong at times with a straight forward style yet the manipulative, crooked and unprofessional publishing system warranted suspicion. Unprecedented financial deals forged by Simon and Kirby made them the most compensated comic creators of their time. The Stan Lee/Marvel years were still decades away. I mention this because Jack Kirby's motivation for creating Cap had nothing to do with Marvel. Jack was a young dreamer trying to find his place in the world and make art for a living but he was also a patriot .

    There were other patriotic heroes in the marketplace. Simon and Kirby stepped in at the right time with innovative art and bold new storytelling. Captain America captured lightning in a bottle. A combination of "luck," timing, talent, innovation, boldness, drive, financial sharpness was like winning the lottery for the two young artists. It is hard to describe just how singular this perfect wave of fortune was as many artists NEVER achieve this degree of success in a whole career of striving in the cut throat art business.

    Jack teamed up Stan Lee in the 1960s to revolutionize the comics industry yet again for Marvel. Kirby's output was staggering in both quantity and imagination with an estimated 20,000 pages (or more?) over his career. Most of the characters for Marvel that are popular today were co-created by Kirby and his larger than life storytelling would become the foundation upon which Marvel artists were taught for years to come.

    What does this have to do with Cap? I like telling Jack's story because it is fascinating. From a historical perspective, Jack was not just some bright footnote in comics publishing history. He was an early innovator, early adapter and genuine pioneer in comics and his role in shaping comics’ history here in the United States can not be understated. Captain America is an early work by an American master. This character endures because of the mythic qualities his creators breathed into him. Truth, Justice and The American Way were Superman slogans yet Cap lived it and fought for it. Supes lies about his identity as Clark Kent while pretending to be an honest reporter. Steve Rogers is Captain America, a patriot who willingly becomes both symbol and target in pursuit of higher ideals.

    A quarter mile under the surface of the earth, in a case hardened bunker meant to withstand a nuclear war, a living symbol of freedom paces his barren "guest apartment" waiting for answers. It is a prison, a protection from the outside world and a half way station between death and the world above. Is this Cap's mythic journey? Having seen the face of war and it's inhumanity; rape, murder, genocide, cruelty, and starvation these experiences have transformed him from boy to man to leader but some dire challenge awaits above ground... RICK