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Lord of Light on LSD… The Art of Jack Kirby

This is the story of how some rad, trippy artwork went from a cancelled movie, to a CIA operation, to some seriously awesome black light posters.

Lord of Light is a sci-fi novel by Roger Zelazny published in 1967, and it inspired a plan to make a grandiose science fiction movie based on the novel, whose sets would become a permanent science fiction theme park in Aurora, CO. Comic book illustrator Jack Kirby was tapped to create the set illustrations alongside screenwriter Barry Geller, but the project was scrapped in 1979, and the black and white illustrations just sat there looking cool.

Then, the CIA found an opportunity to use them and the screenplay in Operation ARGO during the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979. The script and illustrations were renamed “Argo,” and six escaped US diplomats joined a fake team of filmmakers who were supposedly scouting locations in Iran for their science fiction movie. Even the Islamist Iranian government thought these illustrations were impressive, and the diplomats made it out of the country successfully.

Heavy Metal Magazine released a very limited run of blacklight posters exclusively for the attendees of the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, using Kirby’s artwork with coloring done by Mark Englert. The August 2015 issue of Heavy Metal also featured a spread on the artwork. Man, would I love to create a lava-lamp-lit, velvet-draped UV dope cave with these covering the walls! Check out the full collection of posters below!

Written By

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.



  1. Cosmic Art

    July 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    hooo!man! thx!

  2. Javier Badillo

    July 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

  3. Jarrod O'Connor

    July 22, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Much Hawkwind would be played in said bad-ass UV dope cave.

  4. Chris Ford

    July 22, 2015 at 9:24 am

    freakin new gods dude sweet

  5. Gabriel Contreras

    July 22, 2015 at 8:38 am

    hell yeah!!!!

  6. Mario Duran

    July 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Love this!! Awesome artwork

  7. Alistair Livingston

    July 22, 2015 at 6:55 am

    This is quite trippy as well

  8. Marshall Krich

    July 22, 2015 at 6:54 am

    King Kirby’s work is always amazing.

  9. Jorge Cacho

    July 22, 2015 at 5:33 am

    Kirby, forever shitting on Stan Lee , forever.

  10. Zachary de los Santos

    July 22, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Andrew Killen

  11. Peppe Scala

    July 22, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Francesco Veniero

  12. Dylan Martinez

    July 22, 2015 at 1:31 am


  13. Juan Pablo Breña Romero

    July 22, 2015 at 12:54 am

    Galactus ?

    • Victor Fróes

      July 22, 2015 at 8:36 am

      thought the same!

    • Lee Cox

      July 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm

      So did I. Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created Galactus, so it makes sense.

  14. Cory Whitmer

    July 22, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Damnit, that park would’ve been rad in my town. Thanks CIA for ruining that. Now all we got to show for it is a Ben Affleck movie and some cool posters.

  15. Troy Chromehuffer

    July 22, 2015 at 12:15 am


  16. Cory Kamermans

    July 22, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Kirby was a god among men.

  17. Mike Wilcox

    July 22, 2015 at 12:05 am

    Heh…some friends of mine are currently on their first trip…

  18. David Adam Meredith

    July 22, 2015 at 12:04 am

    there are many reasons why he’s called “The King”.

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