Hot Box by Jack Kirby

Foxhole was a Joe Simon & Jack Kirby Studio-produced comic from 1954 published originally under the Mainline imprint, with stories told from the soldiers’ perspective.

The second issue included this minor masterpiece of storytelling in only two pages. I looked at the original art reprinted in The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio, edited by Mark Evanier, and wondered what it might look like realistically coloured. As you’ll see below, I was fortunate enough to find reference Kirby himself used to create the story.


Hot Box Foxhole #2 Mainline Comics

As published.

Hot Box Foxhole #2 Mainline Comics


Hot Box art by Jack Kirby

Scans from The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio. Well worth picking up a copy. It’s nearly 400 pages and very economically priced compared to other volumes of original art scans.

Hot Box art by Jack Kirby


B-17 Bomber Crew by Margaret Bourke White Life Magazine 1942

The goggles and breathing masks the B-17’s crew wore were quite specific and I went looking for reference. This was one of the hits that came back, and it’s clear that this photo – and the two below – by Margaret Bourke White for LIFE Magazine in 1942 were Kirby’s primary reference. And, lucky for me, the article that had the photos named the specific gear being worn.

B-17 Bomber Crew by Margaret Bourke White Life Magazine 1942

B-17 Bomber Crew by Margaret Bourke White Life Magazine 1942

There is no substitute for accurate photo reference

Finding multiple colour photos of the various named pieces was a 15-minute job on the web. In the long-ago misty fuzzy before time, you might find photos in the library if you hadn’t amassed a clip file on the subject already. If you were amazingly lucky. If not, you might reach out by phone or mail to fellow artists, an author or museums, if you had the time and budget for that. If not, you just faked it. The internet remains a modern miracle, reducing the time and space between all of us.


Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton

New colour version.

Comic book colouring by Scott Dutton


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