He looked like that for a reason-Jack Kirby was a strong supporter of JFK and Democratic Party in general,with each member of the FF meant to represent parts of the New Deal Coalition-Reed as the middle class scientist,Ben as the working class Jewish New Yorker and so on and so forth.An intriguing interview with a lot to think about; many thanks for this insight. The concept of imagining what an ordinary day was like for the ordinary citizens of your imagined world and working from that was one of my own routes into inventing AH as a teenager - though I then had no idea of anyone else doing this or it being a useful strategy, it just seemed a natural way to do it. In my case, it was reimagining the world of 1970s rural and coastal Sussex as a 'Roman Empire survives' world that mixed up the real facilities and structures (physical and social) of the modern UK with updated Roman ones - and a 'sci-fi' input from the world of the 'Trigan Empire' serial in the contemporary children's magazine 'Look and Learn'. (The TE serials I was reading are slated for a new, book edition by Rebellion? publishers this winter.) Inventing the history of it all came later, beyond a briefly sketched outline which I had done earlier; doing any analysis of how it came about in terms of logic had to wait until after I'd been to university and learnt how to do theory in historical development. It would be interesting to know how other authors came to this field and what influenced them; I imagine the American experience is more heavily influenced by superhero comics and films than that in the UK pre-1980s, though some 'Marvel' comics were being reissued in the UK in the mid-late 1970s and I recall reading about the Hulk and the Fantastic Four then. (I noted then that the President in the FF stories looked like JFK so the originals must have been written pre-1963.)
I was fascinated by the 'Beast of Gevaudan' mystery too as a teenager; it featured in one of my boys' comic annuals, possibly 'Eagle' (late 1960s finale) or 'Lion' or 'Valiant'? Unfortunately at this distance in time I can't recall which one.