Although hard to believe, it is true that I have been writing the Simon and Kirby blog for five years. Five years on the efforts of just two comic book artists, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Perhaps that is a little misleading because Joe and Jack were more than just artists, they produced comics as well. In doing so they employed other artists who have also been discussed on this blog as well. But still five years writing about a rather narrow topic. But guess what, I ain’t done yet!
It has been another banner year for Simon and Kirby. Titan released the first volume of the Simon and Kirby library, “The Simon and Kirby Superheroes”. I am completely biased (having done the art restorations) but it is an amazing book and (considering the number of pages) at a surprisingly low price. It provides a good overview of Simon and Kirby’s long collaboration. The book also gives a chance to see Joe Simon as a penciler on the Vagabond Prince, one of the more unusual superheroes of all time. DC has continued its Simon and Kirby archives with a Newsboy Legion and a Boy Commandos volume with more to come.
The previous year has also seen the publication of a book on Mort Meskin (“From Shadow to Light, The Life and Art of Mort Meskin” by Steven Brower). Brower has done a excellent job on an unjustly overlooked artist. Meskin was an important contributor to Simon and Kirby productions (second only to Jack) but of course he did great work both before and after his time in the Simon and Kirby studio. There have been a number of important volumes on comic book artists put out during the last year but in my opinion the must haves are Titan’s Superheroes and Brower’s Meskin books.
The Jack Kirby Comics Weblog is the place to go to see what is coming in Kirby related publications. Bob even beats me out in reporting on books that I work on! He as recently reported on Titan’s upcoming “Joe Simon: My Life In Comics” . Use that link to see two of the proposed covers for that book. I have seen a third but I do not know what the actual published cover will be. I have heard on the Internet comments to the effect that some already have “The Comic Book Makers” and will pass on this latest volume. That is all well and good but I want to make clear that “My Life In Comics” is NOT “The Comic Book Makers” revisited. “My Life In Comics” has stories that, to my knowledge, have never been reported before. Bob has also announced the next Titan addition to the S&K Library, “Simon and Kirby Crime”. It is too early for me to talk about this book but I will say that the actual release date is likely to be later then what is given by Amazon.
It has been a great five years for the Simon and Kirby Blog. I have by no means exhausted what I want to write about my favorite collaborators and the artists who worked for them. Further considering what is going to be published, the future should be interesting as well.