Crowdfunding Comics: ‘The Unseen Jack Katz’ Curated By Liam Sharp

by Richard Bruton

The Unseen Jack Katz – A Kickstarter campaign to publish previously unseen and unpublished comics work from the legendary artist, with exclusive new inks by today’s comics heroes!

Jack Katz – cover to The First Kingdom portfolio – facsimile of original available as part of the Unseen Jack Katz Kickstarter

Jack Katz is a US comic artist/writer best known for his graphic novel The First Kingdom, a 24-issue epic he began during the era of underground comix in the 70s.

Born in Broooklyn in 1927, Katz’s career in comics and art and teaching stretched across eight decades, with his first work coming in 1943. He would work for a variety of different companies through the 40s and 50s, in many different genres, including Archie, Fawcett, Hillman, Nedor Publications, Marvel, DC, and Warren. His work was highly detailed and beautifully rendered, but that also meant he was never the fastest of artists in eras when speed was essential. And this issue led to him leaving comics entirely during the 50s, not coming back until the end of the 60s.

It wasn’t until the 1970s when he finally found what would become perhaps his life’s work, the 24-part comic series The First Kingdom, completed in 1986.

Haunted Painting – page 1 – a six-page horror story produced for DC comics in the 1960s

The Unseen Jack Katz is a Kickstarter campaign set up by Liam Sharp (Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Mam Tor) that aims to bring Jack Katz’s work back into the comic public’s eye, presenting a brand-new book of Katz material including previously unseen and unpublished stories, alongside pencil pages from some unfinished epics sampled from Katz‘s huge archive.

The material is all going to be presented in high-resolution pencil art form, just as originally created by Katz, but there will also be newly inked and lettered material created for this collection, by artists Sandra Hope, ‘Sharpie’ and Mike Perkins.

Additionally, the unpublished 22-page story Katz story ‘Artemis Rises’ will be inked by some of today’s comic legends including Art Adams, Bill SienkiewiczBryan Hitch, Joe PradoMichael Cho, Andy Curry, Bill Reinhold and many more!

Bill Sienkiewicz inks over Jack Katz pencils for ‘Artemis Rises’

Finally, for the basic Kickstarter production, the book will also feature an exclusive, in-depth interview with Jack conducted over four sittings by Ted Jalbert.

However, with less than 10 days to go on the Kickstarter, The Unseen Jack Katz has blown through its initial target and the first few stretch goals. This is now a 140-page hardback book for everyone pledging to the Kickstarter, with an extra 20 pages of archive Katz material added, all on 150g high-quality art stock paper for the very best possible reproduction of Jack’s incredible pencil work, and wrapped in an exclusive extra dust jacket.

‘Second Chance’ – page 1 – a six page romance story produced for DC in the 1960s

The Unseen Jack Katz Kickstarter campaign runs until March 11 2021 – you can pledge, pledge, and pledge some more right here until then.

There are plenty of pledge options, including a new option for the opportunity to purchase a new edition of Katz’s 1982 The First Kingdom portfolio of six plates in an exclusive bundle with The Unseen Jack Katz or as single high-quality prints.

These pieces will all be featured in the book anyway, but this gives you the chance to buy individual prints of the complete set at a larger size, including Plate 1 exclusively coloured by Liam Sharp.

The Last Kingdom, Plate 1, by Jack Katz, coloured by Liam Sharp

Now, more art you’ll find in the Kickstarter…

Page 7 of ‘Artemis Rises’ by Jack Katz, with guest inks by Michael Cho
Page 8 of ‘Artemis Rises’ by Jack Katz, with guest inks by Liam Sharp
Page 1 of ‘The Imaginator’ by Jack Katz, with guest inks by Mike Perkins
The Last Kingdom Portfolio, Plate 2, by Jack Katz
The Last Kingdom Portfolio, Plate 3, by Jack Katz
The Last Kingdom Portfolio, Plate 4, by Jack Katz
The Last Kingdom Portfolio, Plate 5, by Jack Katz
The Last Kingdom Portfolio, Plate 6, by Jack Katz

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