I’ve been gathering a lot of new scans from Kirby fans, so I finally have some great examples of Simon/Kirby interiors. Here is some of the artwork to Young Romance # 85 (Dec 1956), a 6-page story called “Resort Romeo,” with pencils by Jack Kirby and inks by Joe Simon.
I’ll select what I think are some of the stronger individual panels that also give you the gist of the story. Here is the splash. Beautiful blond hanging out poolside. Probably what a lot of people are doing this Memorial Day weekend in the states.
Rita is getting over a bad relationship. As good-looking as she is, I don’t foresee her being single for long (pg. 2, panel 5).
Not surprisingly, it doesn’t take long for an attractive guy to approach. Plus Kirby and Simon only have 6 pages to find Rita a love-connection, so things happen fast (pg. 2, panel 6).
Page 3, panel 2. Girl meets boy.
Page 3, panel 3 – 4. Girl loses boy, or at least he inexplicably wanders off.
Bad news for Rita, it turns out the good looking guy has a flaw (page 4, panel 6).
Page 5, panel 1. Kirby shows he can draw pretty girls with the best of them.
Page 5, panel 2. A little sexual tension between these two, perhaps?
Rita and her Romeo don’t take long to get together again (pg. 5, panel 6). Looks like he’s checking her out with his fingers — something only a blind guy is going to get away with in a 50s romance comic book.
Page 6, panel 4.
Page 6, panel 5.
The End (pg. 6, panel 7).
Not a brilliant story by any stretch of the imagination — for example, how this blind guy is able to get around so easily is beyond me — but some gorgeous artwork from Kirby and Simon at the peak of their powers working in the romance genre during the mid-1950s.
Thanks to several members of the Kirby-l Discussion Forum for answering my question: Was Joe Simon the inker on this story? Kirby historian Stan Taylor thinks the inks might be by Kirby, while Kirby biographer Greg Theakston, and the author of the Kirby Kinetics Weblog Norris Burroughs think the inks are by Joe Simon.
Looking at examples of Kirby romance artwork on Harry Mendryk’s Simon and Kirby Weblog that list Kirby as the inker, I have to say I agree with Stan Taylor that these might be Kirby inks, especially page 3, panel 2, and page 5, panel 1. But I’m guessing because I haven’t seen a lot of Kirby/Simon artwork. Plus maybe this is another inker entirely or a mixture of inkers.
Simon/Kirby Historian Harry Mendryk has done extensive research on Simon and Kirby artwork. Harry put together a checklist of what he describes as Kirby’s austere inking (a style Jack adopted in the late 50’s) which is available on his Simon/Kirby Weblog at the Jack Kirby Museum website. Here is Harry’s comment on who inked Resort Romeo: For me, inking attributions take a little time
, time which is hard for me to spare right now. But I did take out my copy to have a quick look. Often it is easier to say who did not ink something than it is who did. My conclusion is I still do not think Resort Romeo was inked by Kirby.
One thing is for sure, I’m grateful that this weblog is giving me an excuse to look at so much great Kirby artwork, and my thanks to everyone who has sent me Kirby scans, answered my questions, and offered me feedback on the website.