"Sometimes I feel like all science is doing now is reverse-engeneering Jack Kirby..."

Is there a word for that unsettling experience of walking by some street corner you've walked by a thousand times before and noticing the building that was always there had been torn down, replaced by some shiny new thing--and now that the old thing is gone, you realize you can't really remember what was there before? I feel like that's happening around us all the time.


I had a strange sense of seeing a foreign object, realizing I couldn't fully grasp it's significance to my future-self, but knowing one day in the future it would be significant. One day, the iPhone will return to me. One day I would be holding one of my own, never knowing how I ever got along without it before.

Over at the table sits Dean Haspiel, chilling with Heidi MacDonald and JahFurry. Dean and I start talking about Jack Kirby (not the first time). We talk about comics, the glory of them, making them, inventing them, loving them. We talk about science fiction in comics, about Jack Kirby and his particular type of science fiction. "In comics, there's no budget," I hear myself saying, "just your paper and your brush and your imagination."

"Look at all that stuff Kirby came up with, " he says. "Kirby just INVENTED on paper, he didn't bother to build any of it. He already thought of it. It was enough to just think of it -- he was just blueprinting the future..."

"Sometimes I feel like all science is doing now is reverse-engeneering Jack Kirby," I say.

And we sit there in silence a bit. The thought of Jack Kirby's imagination tends to make cartoonists' conversations taper off into quiet introspection. The place was full of people but the noise of Jack Kirby in my head drowned it all out--exploding, psychedelic Kirby visions, weird twisting pipes on Orion's cycle, the chrome curves and jet-exhaust vents on the underbelly of the Fantasticar, Darkseid's Omega Beams, with all their strange, Cubist trajectories, Seriphan and his collapsing Super Cycle, the silent corridors of the Red Ghost's lunar hideaway, High Father's staff, Machine Man's extending arms and dismantleable magenta body parts, his bug-like red eyes, his impassive stare-- the images paraded along an infinite mobius strip of their own, like the marching red ants in the MC Escher print.

"All the iPhone is is a retarded Mother Box," I declare. Dean nods, knowing.
I finally got to look at the iPhone, like the iPod Nano, it's a 2010 device existing with a halo of improbability around it here in 2007.

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