See it in French: www.lordoflight.com/ZAMAN_LOL_Pages_1-17_from_ZAMAN_2013.pdf
It was the summer of 1978. His name was Jack Kirby and he had already created the comic book characters Captain America, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, the X-Men, and the Fantastic Four – and many others which now make billions around the world. I’d bought the film rights to the novel, Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny, and went to him to work with me to develop the complex production drawings to be used for both the Lord of Light film presentation and for the theme park, Science Fiction Land, which I was building in Colorado, USA to finance the film and create new scientific research and technologies. It was an amazing time in history. Each drawing was preceded by hours of discussion between us of the subject — for both the film and theme park adaptation. That is why the drawings were designed to be Larger than Life. They were all based upon my vision of the Lord of Light screenplay, but Jack Kirby infused each drawing with his awe-inspiring outer-worldly immensity and cultural integrity.
That’s why the Jack Kirby art was successful and so helpful in getting those people out at the time, it was completely believable and liked — therefore has to be considered an important part of what made the situation operable and real.
(Full 20 minute original Version)
In 2001, I learned that CIA agent Tony Mendez used my screenplay, Lord of Light, along with Jack Kirby’s production illustrations which we designed together, as cornerstones of the cover story used to rescue six Americans during the Iran hostage crisis. Mendez changed the screenplay’s name from Lord of Light to Argo. The Hollywood film Argo is based on this story. The film focuses on the CIA rescue, but leaves out so much of the true story that made the mission possible. Basically, my designs and script was used as the mission’s cover — while it did not perform any other functions, the mission could not have been done without it. A view of the original CIA Spy Tony Mendez’s 2001 TV interview showed his actual plans and intentions, which did not appear in the film, Argo:
Long Original Bravo version
“The work of Jack Kirby belongs in the annals of how an artist’s work transcends the time and space of its expression and literally becomes its own progeny — as it shows the truth of the matter, a sharing of pure art, which communicated its vision in real life; art which was endearing to human nature in its highest regards, going beyond American or Iranian — rather than depicting the Iranian people as ignorant and open to be so easily taken advantage of by the West, which was the message according to the film, Argo.”
“That’s why the Jack Kirby art was successful and so helpful in getting those Canadians out at the time: it was completely believable and liked — therefore has to be considered an important part of the situation. If the CIA’s mission was dependant upon using the “stick figures” shown at the end of the film, Argo, it is definitely true the outcome of mission would have been lost. Many Westerners are sure the Iranians would have been highly suspect of such poor production values — even in 1979. Sadly, the film Argo’s depiction of the “artwork explanation” at the end of the film has also given many Americans the false idea of how easily it was to fool foreign governments of the time, not to mention further diminishing the true value of our work (art by Jack Kirby, script by Barry Ira Geller) as an essential part of the U.S. Mission, as well as the American press.”
And now, In the present 2014:
“What apparently no one from the West has realized so far — especially the CIA, who inadvertently and unknowingly used it without much comprehension – the Art of Jack Kirby / Lord of Light had in fact, actual Religious meanings to the Iranian Revolutionaries of 1979. In fact, the Iran Revolutionaries of the time actually thought the proposed movie “Argo” was on their side, based upon the depiction of Jack Kirby’s initial Lord of Light drawing, the Terminal of the Gods: it was interpreted as the departure of the Shah and the entrance of the Iranian Holy Nation. Not a single person in the West understood this significance whatsoever. Nor do they now. It is my hope to rectify this.”
“I am currently greatly honored, as I believe Jack and Roz Kirby would be so honored, to know beyond a doubt, our original plans would have succeeded around the world because, more importantly, its level of Art in fact communicated to the higher powers of the subconscious and superconscious, beyond the “American” and “Iranian” cultures, and brought forth a message of hope, vigilance, and peace, across time.”
We did it Jack! Every thing you ever wanted to do! It changed Iranian and American Culture 🙂
Barry Ira Geller
August 15, 2017
In the Comics Industry, there are a few whose insular vision has unmindfully tried to leave me and Jack’s Lord of Light creative association out of “Kirby History.” Unfortunately the promulgators of such have so little an international viewpoint. It was Jack’s drawings, designed by he and I, which MADE THE DIFFERENCE in Iran. What would have happened if Mendez’s caper was not successful? It was Jack Kirby’s drawings which made Reality. Why is it so hard for some of “the Art of Jack Kirby” historians to accept this? The World now knows it, despite what certain AJK historians try to tell us to believe or not to believe. I remain committed to the World Jack himself envisioned, and to all who would know the Truth! And. All is well.
Barry Ira Geller
C’était l’été 1978. Jack Kirby était déjà le créateur de personnages de bandes dessinées tels que Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, les X-Men et les Quatre Fantastiques – et bien d’autres qui continuent de faire mondialement recette. Après avoir acheté les droits d’adaptation cinématographique du roman Lord of Light de Roger Zelazny, je me suis adressé à Jack afin de collaborer avec lui à un ensemble de dessins. Ils devaient servir aussi bien de prélude à un film à venir que de modèle à un futur parc d’attractions, «
Science Fiction Land », que j’avais entrepris de construire dans le Colorado. Ce dernier devait permettre non seulement le financement du film mais aussi l’hébergement d’un nouveau centre de recherches scientifiques et technologiques. Nous vivions
alors une incroyable page d’histoire.
Chaque dessin donnait lieu à des heures de discussion entre nous, que ce soit pour le film ou le parc d’attractions. D’ailleurs, les dessins étaient conçus pour être plus vrais que nature. Bien qu’ils fussent tous basés sur ma vision du scénario de Lord of Light, Jack y insuffla son extraordinaire sens de l’immensité et son intégrité intellectuelle. En 2001, j’ai appris que l’agent de la CIA Tony Mendez s’était basé sur mon scénario de Lord of Light ainsi que sur les illustrations de Jack Kirby, pour inventer de toutes pièces la
couverture qui allait servir à l’exfiltration de six diplomates américains durant la crise des otages de l’ambassade américaine de Téhéran. Mendez s’est approprié le scénario et a changé e titre Lord of Light en Argo – titre du récent film hollywoodien basé sur
cette histoire. Ce dernier se concentre sur le sauvetage orchestré par la CIA mais laisse de côté nombre d’éléments qui ont pourtant rendu la mission possible. Ainsi, jamais celle-ci n’aurait pu être menée à bien sans nos scripts et dessins. Ces derniers devaient bien
avoir quelque chose de presque réel, suscitant l’adhésion, pour jouer un rôle si déterminant. Un entretien avec Tony Mendez datant de 2001 dévoile son plan précis et ses intentions à l’époque, ce que, là encore, le film Argo passe sous silence (www.lordoflight. com/video/cia-mendez.mov).
Mais je suis heureux aujourd’hui car je pense que Jack et Roz Kirby auraient été très honorés de savoir que nos plans ont en uelque sorte triomphé à travers le monde ; et surtout que notre art s’est hissé jusqu’aux BARRY IRA GELLER & JACK KIRBY SCIENCE FICTION LAND pouvoirs supérieurs de l’inconscient, au-delà des cultures « américaine » et « iranienne », promouvant par-delà les époques un message d’espoir, de vigilance et de paix.
Barry Ira Geller,