In honor of the late Jack “The King” Kirby’s 100 birthday, John Byrne has rescinded his retirement from comic conventions to make a special appearance at New York Comic Con (NYCC) 2017 this October. Although Byrne appeared at two Star Trek 50th anniversary conventions last year, he had retired from comic cons back in 2004. However, Byrne has since agreed to attend NYCC and sit alongside fellow Eisner Hall of Fame creator Walter Simonson on a special panel discussing the legacy of Kirby.

The panel will include a slideshow of more than 1,300 pieces of original Kirby art, which is the largest public showing of Kirby originals ever. Perhaps the biggest draw is that Byrne and Simonson have both put together sustained and acclaimed runs of comics created or co-created by Jack Kirby. IDW’s President Greg Goldstein and CCO Chris Ryall will host the panel.

“I know John [Byrne] forever swore off comic cons, but let’s not remind him of that. Really, though, the chance to publicly talk up the impact Kirby’s work had on his own career was the lure for John, and being able to do so alongside his close friend and fellow legend Walter Simonson only helped seal the deal,” shared Ryall, IDW’s Chief Creative Officer and Byrne’s editor for the last 12 years.

“The Kirby 100 panel that we presented at SDCC this past July was completely standing room only, with many people unable to fit in the room. So, I’d recommend getting to this one early to ensure you get a seat,” added Goldstein.

This panel will take place on October 6 from 1:45 PM to 2:45 PM in Room 1A21 and each attendee will receive a Jack Kirby-related giveaway. Following the panel, Byrne will be at the IDW booth 1844 for a special two-hour signing from 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

Tickets for Byrne’s signing will be distributed on Friday morning to the first 100 fans to purchase a special con-exclusive version of Star Trek: New Visions 18: “What a Pain it is to Drown.” This convention-exclusive item will also feature a special Byrne-themed photo cover. IDW will make every effort to accommodate as many fans as possible, but each attendee will be limited to a maximum of three items – two must be IDW books or comics, but the third item can be a non-IDW item.

Information on signing times and dates for Simonson, who will also be appearing at IDW’s booth throughout the convention, will be announced later.