Upcoming Kirby – IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB and more


Coming next summer from DC, IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB hardcover, Jack Kirby’s 1971 magazine for “Hampshire Distributors” Speak-Out Series.

Release Date: August 13, 2013

After leaving Marvel Comics at the end of the 1960s, Jack Kirby came to DC, where he soon created the series of super-hero comics known collectively as “The Fourth World.” One of his first projects for DC was the black and white magazine IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB, which featured on stories of organized crime in the 1930s in the style of the TV series “The Untouchables” and “The Godfather” movies.

Hardcover: 80 pages[*]
ISBN-10: 1401240798
ISBN-13: 978-1401240790

Note despite what you might think from that description, the comic book predated the release of the film THE GODFATHER, but does come after the Mario Puzo novel. And as Harry Mendryk demonstrated, Kirby’s work on such stories pre-dated both that novel and  the UNTOUCHABLES TV show. Pick up THE SIMON & KIRBY LIBRARY: CRIME to read during the long wait for this reprint.

Presumably it’s in the same format as the SPIRIT WORLD book from earlier this year. The page count seems a bit light, compared to the 108 pages in the SPIRIT WORLD book, so I guess some of the intended contents for the unpublished second issue might be lost or never completed. I’d have to double check, but I think even the known contents for #2 should push it over 80 pages, especially when you allow for the usual introductory, biographical and indicia pages.  Still, that’ll be the last major piece of published DC work by Kirby after the golden age to get a reprint. Now all we need is a book for the remaining unpublished stuff, TRUE DIVORCE CASES, SOUL LOVE, DINGBATS OF DANGER STREET and whatever else I’m forgetting.

[*] See the comments, the Amazon listing has been revised up to 108 pages, which should be enough for all the comic book content of the unpublished #2. So get ready for “The Ride”, “Ladies Of The Gang” and “A Room For Kid Twist”.  And as usual, Amazon links kickback a percentage that goes to the Kirby Museum, so if you’re buying from there anyway, go there from here.

Oh, looks like we’re getting OMAC in softcover, too.

16 thoughts on “Upcoming Kirby – IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB and more

  1. J. Parker

    From D.C. itself, Royer is mentioned so perhaps it does include the second book?


    Writer: Jack Kirby

    Artists: Vince Colletta and Mike Royer

    Collects: IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB #1 and stories from AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #1 and 10

    $29.99 US, 80 pg

  2. patrick ford

    What awful news that is. My assumption is the rights to the other stories intended for issue #2 have reverted to the Kirby estate and the two sides can’t agree an a fee? I’ve heard people say DC doesn’t have rights to any of the SOUL LOVE or TRUE LIFE DIVORCE CASES material, and that seems to be the case here.
    I guess the potential upside would be the heirs working out a deal with a publisher which would include all the unpublished material.

  3. Bob Post author

    Well, the two AMAZING WORLD issues give us the 10-page Royer inked “Murder, Inc.” from #1 (hopefully a copy without the tonework and reletterering done for that printing) and the 2-page humour feature apparently inked by John Costanza.

    I guess we’ll have to see what else they include among the other planned contents for #2, including the intro pages, “The Ride”, “Ladies Of The Gang”, “A Room For Kid Twist”, “The Planned Assassination Of Thomas E. Dewey” (text story?), “The Hollywood Mob” (Photo Featurette) and “Little Ceasar” poster. Most of the comics appear to have been finished, with the exception of some blank areas maybe intended for photo collages.

    Not sure where you heard DC doesn’t have the rights to the romance one, but that seems unlikely to me, unless for some reason DC didn’t pay him for the pages.

  4. patrick ford

    Bob, I don’t recall where I saw it said the Romance/Divorce material had reverted to Kirby. If I remember the idea was since the pages had never been published the rights had lapsed on them. Lots of pages from what was going to be in MOB #2 at the Tom Kraft site.

  5. Bob Post author

    Well, unless the source of that idea had access to Kirby’s contract with DC and any correspondence and invoices that passed between them, I wouldn’t give much credence to that speculation. It is true that Marvel had to later purchase the publication rights to some unpublished Kirby work, but that was a case where he was working without a contract (or a very loose freelance contract), and when Marvel was known to not pay for rejected work. Without evidence to the contrary, I doubt Kirby wasn’t paid for the TRUE DIVORCE and SOUL LOVE material, especially since most or all of it was inked by the likes of Colletta and DeZuniga, who I doubt were working for free, and Kirby was on contract with DC as both editor and creator.

  6. patrick ford

    Since I can’t recall the source(s) concerning rights there is no way for me to go back and check, but I don’t doubt Kirby was paid, the thought was since the work had never been published the copyright had reverted to Kirby. Wasn’t copyright the reason DC published those Canceled Comics Cavalcade things?
    I do notice the finished pencils for the cover of ITDOTM are at Tom’s site. They were never inked, and the page is stamped: “Written off” and hand dated 11-30-77 near the bottom of the artwork.
    Anyhow I’ve been waiting for this a long time and just hope DC gets it right.

  7. John S.

    Kirby really got slighted in the credits for that two-page humor feature in AWODCC #10. There are no credits on the story itself and the magazine’s contents page only lists Costanza’s name, with no mention of Jack at all. But from reading the story, it’s abundantly clear that Kirby wrote it. Artwise I’d say it’s layouts or loose pencils by Kirby and finished pencilling, lettering and inking by Costanza. And this is just conjecture on my part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jack prepared it initially for Mike Royer to finish — in the same way he did the “Psychic Bloodhound” story originally intended for SPIRIT WORLD #2. But after Kirby handed in the material he had prepared for MOB #2, the two-pager was ultimately turned over to Costanza for finishing — likely at the same time as the other material was turned over to him for re-lettering.

  8. Mark Evanier

    Jack wrote and fully pencilled the two-page humor feature intended for MOB #2 and sent it in. DC gave it to John Costanza to letter and ink.

    As I recall, it was a last minute addition. Originally, we were told to leave the book two pages short and then DC was going to have Sergio Aragones do two pages of gangster cartoons but they didn’t rush to get Sergio started and he went to Europe or something. So there wasn’t time to get the pages from him and Jack whipped something out quickly and sent it off. The deadline was met…but then they decided not to publish the book.

  9. John S.

    Thanks for clearing that up, Mark! I always wondered how that one came about. As usual, it’s amazing how much imagination and ingenuity Kirby put into that little two-page feature — especially for something which was so seemingly inconsequential and which was, as you mention, turned out so quickly.

    I wasn’t sure whether it was full pencils or only loose pencils on Kirby’s part because of the more cartoony look of the artwork and the somewhat unusual (for comic books) inking style Costanza employed. But I suppose the more cartoony pencilling style is just another example of Kirby’s amazing versatility and his ability to handle any genre of storytelling with equal aplomb!

    The only downside I can think of now is the long wait we have to endure before this book is finally released!

  10. patrick ford

    John has seen this May 14, 1971 interview before cause I posted it at Tom Kraft’s site to show Jack saying he didn’t really like working with other people’s characters.
    If you notice at top of the page third column Kirby talks about the first two issues of MOB.
    Oh and some people might be interested in column two near the top where Kirby say, “Actually Steve created Spider-Man, and he got him to roll, and the thing caught on because of what he did.”
    There is a confused contingent of Kirby’s “greatest fans” who don’t quite understand that when Kirby says he created Spiderman (no hyphen) he’s talking about his Spiderman, the one which was the seminal idea for what became the published comic book.

  11. Mark Evanier

    As far as I know, that “Psychic Bloodhound” story and the credited jobs at Marvel were the only times Jack did loose pencils or layouts or breakdowns or anything short of full art for publication after he split with Joe Simon.

  12. patrick ford

    Maybe Mark can clue DC in that they messed up and didn’t credit Mike Royer with pencils on PSYCHIC BLOODHOUND.

  13. Kirbyfan

    I’ve been waiting for In The Days Of The Mob forever!!

    I can’t tell you how absolutely thrilled I am at the new that DC is finally releasing this fantastic work!

    I think this is some of Jack Kirby’s best work, the only thing I don’t like is Colletta’s inking in the first volumn. Mike Royer is the best inker Kirby has ever had and what I’ve seen of volumn #2 has me very excited to finally see that until now unpublished issue!

    I am a professional cartoonist, and it’s all because of Jack Kirby!!

  14. Don Rhoden

    Mark didn’t Jack do rough layouts for many many 1960’s issues of Tales of Suspense and Strange Tales for others to finish?


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