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Josh Kirby Straddles Phoenix

Metro Art, Music Scenes

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Josh Kirby. Image by Jeff Moses.
With His Band, Whiskey And The Barrels, and His Comic Book Obsessed Art Work, Josh Kirby Has Both Feet Firmly Planted In The Artistic And Musical Firmaments Of The Local Scene

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By Jeff Moses
Modern Times Magazine

June 3, 2014 — Josh Kirby is a comic book nut.

One look around his home and it becomes pretty easy to tell who his favorite characters are, two of which definitely include DC’s Batman as well as Tank Girl. In fact, his regular attire often includes Batman regalia as well as head gear that could easily be compared to some of Tank Girl’s chosen accessories.

Batman is actually a big part of Kirby’s artwork as he claims he has spent the last six months to a year working on different sort of Batman prints, and he boasts of having over 100 Batman branded items. Including the original 1960s movie poster, the original 1960s paper mask, a statue that is one third the size of Adam West, and a whole slew of other Batman items. Quite possibly his most impressive Batman accesories reside in his Batcave bathroom.

While Batman dominates, his obvious fascination with Tank Girl is clearly evident in his art. He has quite a few Tank Girl prints to his credit and is currently working a Tank Girl inspired project to which he has the “Booga Cheers” of Tank Girl Creator Alan Martin.

He’s more than just a big comic fan, though, as the eccentric Kirby is also a top notch artist and musician. His artwork has been associated with KUKQ’s That Damn Show, and will also be  featured in some prints at the Gotham Comics booth at Phoenix Comicon this year.

And, he has accomplished this without any formal artistic training.

“I’ve been drawing pretty much my whole life. I was always a poor kid, and pencil and paper came cheap. So, my mom always encouraged me to draw,” said Kirby. “There’s not much punk rock in comic books anymore,” he said, adding that he is currently working on a punk inspired comic series called Rebel Girls.

The reason why Kirby is interested in bringing punk rock into comics is because he is a punk who is hoping to work in comics. Besides being one of the more popular picks for comic fan art in the Valley as well a regular live artist at shows for the likes of Bob Domestic, The Hourglass Cats and many more, Kirby is also a member of Valley-based Celtic punk-band, Whiskey and the Barrells.

Between his live art schedule, his band schedule, his more focused pieces and his fatherly responsibilities, Kirby can be a bit hard to pin down. But getting him for his work or his band is definitely a good payoff for the work it takes.

In that way, he is sort of like Batman.

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at jmoses@moderntimesmagazine.com.
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