Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Now that you've all seen the trailer for ARGO and read the Wired Magazine piece about it, let's talk about the absolute best part of the article—Jack Kirby's Science Fiction Land.

If you don't know who he is, Jack Kirby was the artist responsible for co-creating the majority of the Marvel Universe as we know it today. There's been a lot of talk recently (notably here and here) about how unfairly Kirby was treated when he obviously shouldered a lot of the load right alongside Stan Lee, but was never recognized to the extent that Lee was/is.

There are people that feel so passionate about the subject that they won't even see THE AVENGERS (which I'll get to eventually with a Half-Assed Review) because Kirby isn't given the credit he deserves. It's an ongoing debate that will never, ever be settled.

But that subject aside, Kirby was an awesome genius. Some of his creations were completely off the wall and bizarre, but they were also so incredibly creative that you couldn't help but admire them. In that Wired article there's the bit about the fake movie they're using and how it was actually a real, in-the-works film that got the plug pulled. Kirby had been hired to do concept drawings and along the way, the producer came up with the idea for a theme park called Science Fiction Land based on Kirby's drawings.

According to the article, "it would include a 300-foot-tall Ferris wheel, voice-operated mag-lev cars, a 'planetary control room' staffed by robots, and a heated dome almost twice as tall as the Empire State Building."

Sounds amazing, right? Unfortunately, the reason that the CIA was able to use the script and concept drawings for ARGO to bolster their fake production for the rescue of American hostages was because the men behind the original film/theme park were complete crooks.

In an article on the Denver Westworld website earlier this year, Melanie Asmar relates the story of their embezzlement and crooked dealings in her story about Colorado's new tourist incentives. Stuntman Jerry Schafer and writer Barry Ira Gellar ended up being charged with 11 felonies and brought down a few government employees as well.

It's a real shame it never came to be. It would no doubt be laughably but lovably out of date by now, the same way Disney's Tomorrowland is, but still amazing at the same time. Yesterday's vision of the future is one of my favorite things of all time and this fits in perfectly. I can't believe I didn't know about this before today, either.

These are a few of the headlines from the Rocky Mountain News from the time all this was going on. You can see a few more at the Denver Westworld link above.

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