[[quoteright:250:[[ComicBook/SilverSurfer http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/KirbyDots.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:And yet the Energy Beam that's supposed to draw your eye is the only energy ''without'' KirbyDots.]]

->''"Right, the war. We've been at war with [[PollutedWasteland Apokolips]] since forever and then some. It's had its ups and downs, frankly. (...) Although, I have to admit it... that time also introduced those strange, glowing black dots upon which our society is built. Would'' you ''want to live upon a dotless [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas New Genesis]]? Right, I didn't think you did..."''
-->-- '''Highfather''', Mightygodking's RemixComic of ''Death Of The New Gods'' issue #1.

Kirby dots are a method of showing a crackle of energy such as a lightning bolt or a BattleAura. They've been widely used in US superhero comics ever since they were first developed, by influential artist Creator/JackKirby in the 1960s. Sometimes referred to as 'Kirby Krackle'.

The technique consists of drawing a series of overlapping dots along the edge of the energy effect in question, forming a fractal-like edge. It is used primarily in print comics, but is sometimes replicated in animation by particularly slavish adaptations.

There now exists a [[http://www.theycamefromhollywood.com/octopusmotor/kirbydots/ CGI tool]] for automatically creating Kirby Dots, and even animating them. Interestingly, an analogous technique called 'particle emission' is used in VideoGame graphics for rendering fire, smoke, clouds and, not surprisingly, energy fields. This is, however, mostly because of technical limitations -- it's just really hard and computation intensive to create a polygonal object that changes shape the way fire does. Particle emissions are merely the next best thing.

Not related to [[VideoGame/{{Kirby}} a dot named Kirby]]. Name is used as a ShoutOut by the Nerdrock Band Music/{{Kirby Krackle|Music}}.

----
!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Marvel Comics' Sunspot becomes solid black and is surrounded by Kirby Dots when he powers up (originally. Lately, it's dark blue and mostly dotless.) ''WesternAnimation/{{X-Men Evolution}}'', despite not being a particularly slavish adaptation, ''especially'' visually, rendered the dot effect perfectly, much better than you'd think it'd work onscreen. According to the Official Handbook, the dots are his powers affecting the dust around him and turning them black. But yeah, the dots are basically there to offset his otherwise monochromatic and boring design.
* [[Comicbook/InfiniteCrisis Alexander]] [[SelfDemonstrating/LexLuthor Luthor]] Jr.'s powers tend to rely heavily on this. What they actually are is not elaborated on further than "dimensional abilities."
* ''ThePain'' has used this [[http://www.thepaincomics.com/weekly070214a.htm to represent evil radiation]].
* One issue of Creator/GrantMorrison's ''[[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]]'' shows a container marked ''Kirby Dots'' in the League's trophy room.
* The [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys Marvel Apes]] version of the Watcher gets loaded off a beverage that includes Kirby Dots as an ingredient.
* Galacta ([[DistaffCounterpart daughter]] of Galactus) [[http://twitter.com/#!/Gali_girl/status/1873418623 reveals offhandedly]] on her [[CharacterBlog Twitter account]] that mere humans cannot perceive the Power Cosmic where it affects reality, and blanks it out in our minds. She further lampshades that some people call the visual result "Kirby Crackles".
* The ''ComicBook/SpiderMan''-''[[ComicBook/FantasticFour Human Torch]]'' miniseries hung a lampshade on it. In the second issue, Spider-Man and the Torch trade 'beats' to see who has it toughest, and Spidey accompanies the rest of the F4 on a trip to another dimension.
-->'''Spider-Man:''' AAAAH! Did you see that? The whole world went trippy! And those lights! And what's with the big black dots everywhere?
* [[ComicBook/ImmortalIronFist Iron Fist]]'s trademark attack involves charging up his fist with red or golden energy. It just looks ''wrong'' whenever it is shown without the Kirby krackle.
* In DC's {{New 52}}, this style of energy seems to be visual shorthand for things that tie into Fourth World stuff especially with OMAC and Earth 2's Al Pratt, characters whose powers are hinted at being consequences of New Gods tech. Perhaps only fitting, as it was Jack Kirby himself who originally created Fourth World and the New Gods.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* Deliberately invoked in the Disney film ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'', especially for the massive energy discharges of the mechanoid beast that guards the undersea passage to Atlantis. The director discusses their use and origin by name on the commentary track.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Pinball ]]

* Done with the playfield art for ''Pinball/BlackKnight2000''.
* Appears in the Williams/Bally pinball game ''Pinball/{{Firepower}},'' along with one or two character faces that appear very Kirbyesque. As Jack Kirby isn't known to have been involved in any pinball game artwork, it's suspected that this was a case of plagarism.
* In ''Pinball/{{Genie}},'' the ''jinn's'' manifestation is accompanied by a swarm of Kirby dots.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* As with [[AffectionateParody every comics trope ever]], the ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'' games feature this, most notably for the [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Energy-X]] that [[MetaOrigin gave the characters their powers]].
* The Powered Flight travel power in ''VideoGame/ChampionsOnline'' contain black Kirby dots.
* Various powers and weapons in ''VideoGame/DCUniverseOnline'', such as Hand Blasters, use Kirby dots.
* Shortly before it shut down, ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' added an aura that greatly resembled Kirby dots, called "Dark Matter".

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* In [[http://www.evil-comic.com/archive/20090414.html this strip]] of ''Webcomic/EvilInc'', Kirby Dots are not only displayed, they're used as a measure of a monster's super-powers! Gadzooks!
* They appear prominently in [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100706.html this strip]] from ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' and they're even lampshaded [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20100713.html two strips later.]]
* ''Webcomic/JL8'', being an homage to old JusticeLeague comics, uses them where appropriate. [[http://limbero.org/jl8/171 For example]].
* ''Webcomic/IrregularWebcomic'' uses them in the hand drawn Supers theme, [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/560.html here]] and [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/620.html here]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''{{Wizards}}'' has these from time to time, most visible when [[WizardClassic Avatar]] shorts-out [[KillerRobot Necron 99]] after the latter [[spoiler: kills Elinore's father.]] It's very much in keeping with the movie's general worship of countercultural 60's Comics.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' has a bunch of KirbyDots against a green background during most of Ben's transformations. Also, the 0 in ''Ben 10'' has a bunch of dots in the middle. This makes sense, as the series was influenced by comics.
** The main character's EmbarrassingMiddleName? Benjamin ''Kirby'' Tennyson.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' had Supes attacked by an Apokolips war machine with animated Kirby dots on its front panel.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold Batman: The Brave and the Bold]]'', being heavily inspired by {{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}}, features KirbyDots in several background instances, including BlueBeetle's power-up sequence. It's also very noticeable in the highly Kirby-inspired episode "The Last Bat On Earth!", as well as in Omac's transformation sequence. (Omac, of course, is another Kirby creation.)
* Shego's energy powers exert this effect in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''.
* In the 2003 ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 TMNT]]'' series, they did a tribute episode to Jack Kirby, Kirby Dots and all.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSuperHeroSquadShow'' Ms. Marvel calls Galactus's energy attack a "Kirby Krackle".
* All over the place in ''[[WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes]]''.
** The Hulk once saw a commercial for Kirby Kibble dog food, containing "Kirby Dots of real beef".
* The short lived ''WesternAnimation/SilverSurfer'' animated series combined this with ConspicuousCGI with inconsistent effectiveness.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Other ]]

* Special mention goes to Kirby's renditions of {{God}}. [[http://nerdcityonline.com/2010/01/22/jack-kirbys-visual-interpretations-of-god/ See here.]]
** Also, Jack Kirby himself in the cover of ''Comic Book Comics'' #4 is holding drawing tools glowing with his signature dots.
* [[http://cyber-kun.deviantart.com/art/Silver-Age-Mega-Man-X-219202589?q=favby%3Aamayirot-akago%2F1081209&qo=10 This]] Silver Age style fanart of VideoGame/MegaManX contains it as a deliberate homage.
* Sunspots appear on the surface of stars during periods of intense magnetic activity and appear as (wait for it) a series of dark overlapping dots. They may have been Jack Kirby's inspiration for this particular technique.
----