Eisner Nominated James Romberger's new comic book, For Real, contains: "The Oven," a short story that melds two battles fought in different eras by the great cartoonist Jack Kirby and touches on themes of PTSD, graphic medicine, courage and empathy; and "The Real Thing," an accompanying essay by James that elaborates on those issues in relation to Kirby's biography.
Kirby was the most prolific American comic book creator of the 20th century. He produced Captain America and countless other iconic heroes in the “Golden Age of Comics” in the 1940s and 1950s and with his partner Joe Simon, initiated romance comics; he generated the concepts and characters of Marvel Comics for editor/copywriter Stan Lee in the 1960s; and he was the auteur of his masterpiece, the multi-title “4th World” New Gods series for DC Comics in the 1970s. In the 1980s he initiated comics’ “direct market” system with his independent title Captain Victory. The top-grossing blockbuster films of today are largely inspired by his efforts. But he is also known for making personal statements in the latter part of his long career, making comics that reflect his experiences growing up in the impoverished Lower East Side of NYC and as a foot soldier in WW2.