[update, official solicitation text below]
Quite a bit of commentary in a previous post about the SPIRIT WORLD hardcover from DC showing up on the schedule from various on-line sellers for April 2012. Usual caveats about listings this far in advance being even more subject to change in release date, format, price, contents and existence than normal. Mark Evanier has confirmed that, as the 108-page count suggests, the intention is to include the material intended for the unpublished SPIRIT WORLD #2, and that he is writing the introduction.
Some background for those unfamiliar. When Kirby signed with DC in 1970 his initial work was on the Fourth World books, but he also later developed some non-superhero material, including several magazines intended to be upscale productions to appeal to other readers. Those magazines were in genres that Kirby was very experienced in from his work with Joe Simon in the 1940s and 1950s, with a crime theme (IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB), horror/fantasy (SPIRIT WORLD) and romance (TRUE DIVORCE CASES). DC wound up publishing only the first issues of IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB and SPIRIT WORLD in the summer of 1971, in a not-quite-so-upscale monochrome wash (greyish on MOB, a sort of sickly blue on SPIRIT WORLD) newsprint format under the “Hampshire Distributors Speak-Out Series” imprint which I don’t think was used for anything else. Some of the contents prepared for SPIRIT WORLD #2 eventually saw print in colour in DC’s anthology comics of the time:
FORBIDDEN TALES OF DARK MANSION #6 
WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #1 
WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #2 
WEIRD MYSTERY TALES #3 
At least some of the stories were modified in major ways.
(I’ll see if I can get a post up on SPIRIT WORLD #1 in the next few weeks)
Some material for MOB #2 saw print in black and white several years later in DC’s short-lived in-house promotional magazine AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS (#1 in 1974 and #10 in 1976). TRUE DIVORCE remained unpublished by DC, although a few of the stories with black lead characters were apparently seen to fill a niche DC wanted to explore and Kirby did several other stories with similar themes for a proposed magazine called SOUL LOVE. That also remained unpublished.
A lot of the unpublished material, in various states of completion, have seen print in various fan publications over the years, especially THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR, which has had a few full stories from the romance books.
Anyway, still a lot of questions about this new book, most of which will be answered closer to publication. Will the trim size be the larger format of the originals, or matching DC’s other Kirby reprints? Will the stories be printed in full colour or monochrome, or mixed based on their original publications, and will they try to duplicate that blue shade of the original or go with straight black and white? Will all unpublished pages be included, either restoring the original stories or separately as extras? Will the giant collage poster from #1 (missing in many copies, including mine) be included, and will it be full size? Same for any poster that might have been intended for #2, if it was completed? And will we see the crime and romance material (re)-printed anytime soon? I know I have my preferred answers, I’m sure you do, too, and so does whoever at DC actually decides these things, which is probably the only answer that matters.
Update, here’s the official solicitation:
SPIRIT WORLD HC
Written by JACK KIRBY, MARK EVANIER, STEVE SHERMAN and SERGIO ARAGONES
Art by JACK KIRBY, VINCE COLLETTA, MIKE ROYER and SERGIO ARAGONES
Cover by JACK KIRBY and NEAL ADAMS
ADVANCE SOLICITED • On sale APRIL 11 • 108 pg, 10” x 13.5”, B&W/FC, $39.99 US
After leaving Marvel Comics at the end of the 1960s, Jack Kirby came to DC Comics, where he soon created the series of superhero comics known collectively as “The Fourth World.” But before that came SPIRIT WORLD, a magazine that delved into the occult and the supernatural.
Now, DC reprints that hard-to-find title for the very first time in this new hardcover, including four stories completed for the second issue that appeared in WEIRD MYSTERY TALES 1-3 and FORBIDDEN TALES OF DARK MANSION #6, plus a pin-up version of the striking cover image by Kirby and Neal Adams!
Well, 10” x 13.5” is considerably bigger than the original magazine, that’s up at JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR size. That’s good, because the price is pretty steep (though fair enough considering the cost of getting SPIRIT WORLD #1 and those four comics where the debris from #2 scattered). I’m not sure why they seem to think SPIRIT WORLD pre-dated the Fourth World, that doesn’t seem to match the evidence (the editorial codes and the release dates). If anyone more expert than I cares to weigh in feel free. No mention of the original poster bound in to #1, or any planned for #2. Don’t really care about getting a “pin-up version” of Neal Adams’ work on the cover, I hope they include whatever exists of the pure Kirby (or even Kirby/Colletta) cover, which I think appeared in a KIRBY COLLECTOR (I really do need to get around to my plan to index all the art in TJKC for easy reference on occasions like this…).