DC pretty much dominates the noteworthy Kirby reprints list for 2012, and will soon be almost out of unreprinted Kirby from after the 1940s. Top of the list, featuring lots of never before reprinted stuff, are KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH BY JACK KIRBY VOL. 2, concluding Kirby’s run, and SPIRIT WORLD, which included nice crisp black and white versions of the stories intended for #2 of the magazine and repurposed for the colour comics line. Meanwhile the Fourth World saga concluded another reprint cycle, this time softcover, colour and chronological. Just a guess, but the next iteration will probably involve digital (KAMANDI #1-#20 are already available digitally for $1 an issue, which is a huge bargain, especially if you don’t already have them in three other formats. And no, I’m not ashamed…). Going back to the 1950s, Challengers got a couple of reprints, with the whole Kirby run in the colour hardcover CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN OMNIBUS, while the earliest stories joined the other tales from DC’s classic tryout book in the delightfully named black and white softcover SHOWCASE PRESENTS SHOWCASE VOL. 1. And, to be complete, an excerpt from the origin appears in the colour hardcover DC UNIVERSE SECRET ORIGINS. Also from the 1950s, a handful of Kirby covers and stories appear in the black and white softcover SHOWCASE PRESENTS TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED VOL. 1 (all the Kirby content of that book is available in colour in the 2011 release THE JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS VOL. 1, along with the rest of Kirby’s 1950s work for DC outside of the Challengers, but you do get some nice Mort Meskin, Nick Cardy, Leonard Starr and Ruben Moreira in addition to the Kirby).
TwoMorrows got out two issues of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR in the year, shifting out of the tabloid format, with a, well, let’s call it “controversial” one issue departure into a book-length essay about the Fantastic Four in #58 and then back into the more standard magazine format with #59.
The only other thing really worth mentioning is Charles Hatfield’s book from the University Press of Mississippi about Kirby’s work, HAND OF FIRE – THE COMICS ART OF JACK KIRBY, available in hardcover, softcover and digital. And which I’ll get around to reading any day now.
There were a handful of other books from other publishers, as usual all listed here. 2013 already has some good stuff on the schedule. DC has a hardcover of IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB, including material from the unpublished second issue, and another JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS book, picking up most of the remaining not already reprinted 1970s and 1980s work that Kirby did for the company. TwoMorrows continues the KIRBY COLLECTOR, with another issue out in a few weeks. Most interestingly, we’ll finally see another volume in Titan’s Simon&Kirby Library series, this time SCIENCE FICTION, including some very nice stuff from RACE FOR THE MOON and their early collaboration on BLUE BOLT. That’s currently scheduled for March, and last I heard the following volume will be HORROR, featuring stories from BLACK MAGIC and STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS.