'Lost' Jack Kirby comic unearthed ... in France

Here's a bit of lost comics history that presents a bit of a puzzle for Jack Kirby fans: A comic strip that was ghosted by Jack Kirby.

Writer and filmmaker Jean Depelley was chatting about Jack Kirby with comics historian Bernard Joubert after a screening of Depelley's documentary Marvel 14: Superheroes vs. Censorship, when Joubert mentioned a Davy Crockett story by Kirby that had run in France in the 1960s. Depelley thought this might be the stories Kirby drew for Harvey Comics' Western Tales in the mid-1950s, but Joubert insisted it looked like a daily comic. And indeed, after doing a bit of digging, Joubert has concluded that Kirby was the ghost artist for a three-week run of the syndicated comic strip Davy Crockett, Frontiersman, written by France "Ed" Herron and originally drawn by Jim McArdle.

After Kirby's brief run, Jim Christenson took over the art. The Kirby strips are not signed, but Depelley concluded that they were penciled by Kirby and most were inked by him as well. Apparently they were reformatted and published in the French comic Zoom, and Depelley leaves it to collectors to unearth the original American strips.

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