I used to keep closer track of what was coming out related to Kirby, but it’s been a fallow few years for Kirby reprints, with DC and Marvel having gotten most of the material they claim the rights to and intend to reprint back in print and now just re-issuing it all in various combinations and other formats (usually with the same flaws as previous reprints).
Fortunately, there has been some material from TwoMorrows, such as JACK KIRBY’S DINGBAT LOVE (with some unpublished romance and kid-gang material from the 1970s) and DESTROYER DUCK GRAPHITE EDITION (featuring his 1980s collaboration with Steve Gerber reproduced from the pencils, wherever possible). And usually something unreprinted in most issues of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR.
But now is the big one, THE BEST OF SIMON & KIRBY’S MAINLINE COMICS, a big 262-page hardcover look at the short-lived publisher (17 comics in four series from 1954-1955, with some additional material in 1955 as the books continued from Charlton) founded by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. This book has all the material attributed to Kirby from the four books (BULLSEYE, FOXHOLE, IN LOVE and POLICE TRAP), plus some highlights of the non-Kirby material (in particular Mort Meskin).
See the link for an extensive preview and ordering information, or check with your favourite bookstore using ISBN 9781605491189.
This was probably the biggest hole in the Kirby reprint library (at worst tied with a proper edition of at least the best of the Prize romance work, a complete run of which would fill up at least eight books like this), so good to finally see it available. I guess this moves 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY up a rung on that ladder…
Just got a copy of the Abrams published THE ART OF THE SIMON AND KIRBY STUDIO, a big 384-page book jammed with reproductions of the original artwork Joe Simon (and others) saved from the 1940s and 1950s, most of it by Jack Kirby, some by others in the studio like Mort Meskin, Leonard Starr and Bill Draut. Looking forward to going through it, but it’s already pretty clearly the Kirby book of the year, in what’s been a pretty good year. It’s especially good to see a lot of western (about 70 pages of BOYS’ RANCH and others) and romance work.
Here are a few additional images of the book from the publisher’s site.
Just got a copy of JACK KIRBY: A PERSONAL LOOK, the recent book by Jack Kirby’s grandson Jeremy. It’s available print-on-demand from Amazon, and I have to say, print-on-demand has come a long way in the last few years, especially in reproducing images. It looks a lot sharper than I expected.
There are two main components to the book. First it’s a photo album, with dozens of family photos, from the earliest photo of Jack Kirby they have through the war years and early days of comics through to photos with the grandchildren in the 1980s. You can see a sample of the photos on the original Kickstarter page for the book.
The bulk of the book is the original typewritten manuscript to a screenplay that Jack Kirby wrote, “Frog Prince”, a 99-page 3-act drama. There’s no hint about when it was written, I’m guessing maybe the 1950s, when you might see a one-hour standalone drama done for TV. Bits of it feel like WEST SIDE STORY, combined with what you’d expect one of Kirby’s romance or crime comics might be if he had more than a dozen pages to develop them. There are a few thematic connections you could make with some other Kirby work, especially Orion. I’m guessing the cigar-chomping diner owner is the role Kirby saw himself in. It’s definitely something different, but very Kirby, and it’s good to see it in a pure form (I think every excerpt of Kirby’s novel “The Horde” made public has been filtered and adapted by others instead of being Kirby’s original).
In other news, I just got shipping notification for my copy of THE ART OF THE SIMON AND KIRBY STUDIO, so hopefully that’ll be in my hands sometime next week.
Apparently out in comic stores this week and shipping direct from the publisher now is the NEW GODS ARTIST’S EDITION, reproducing the artwork for six issues of NEW GODS (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Apparently the first issue was added sometime after the original solicitation) at the originally drawn size. If you want your comic shop to get it, use the order code DEC130371, or you can get it direct from the publisher over here for US$125 plus shipping. I think IDW also sells them direct at major conventions. Note that “A variant cover edition of this title will be made available at a later date”, according to the publisher page. I don’t know what that means, either. Generally the variant editions seem to be signed versions, which in this case I guess would have to be by Mike Royer, inker of four of the issues included, but it could be something else.
The latest in Titan’s series of hardcover reprints, THE SIMON & KIRBY LIBRARY: HORROR, is out now, comic stores should be getting it in tomorrow (DEC131287) and the various other usual sources should have it now or soon (ISBN 978-1848569591). This reprints Kirby’s work from BLACK MAGIC and STRANGE WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS, some great imaginative and sometimes disturbing work. Check out Harry Mendryk’s series of posts about BLACK MAGIC for more about the stories.
And don’t forget, still available are:
S&K LIBRARY: CRIME
S&K LIBRARY: SCIENCE FICTION
BEST OF S&K
FIGHTING AMERICAN (softcover)
Two major Kirby releases in comic book stores this week. DC has the IN THE DAYS OF THE MOB hardcover collection, which should have some stuff excellent Kirby/Royer work that has never been publicly seen in any form from the unpublished second issue. Read more about the first issue here.
And from TwoMorrows is the latest JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR.
Apparently the long awaited new volume of Titan’s SIMON & KIRBY LIBRARY line, SCIENCE FICTION, is out now, featuring the team’s work on Blue Bolt, Race For The Moon and some great stand-alone science fiction stories like “The Cadmus Seed”. Should be good. There’s a sample Blue Bolt story over here.
Order from Amazon here, or from any bookseller using ISBN-10: 1848569610 or ISBN-13: 978-1848569614. I don’t believe comic book stores ordering from Diamond have it yet, but should soon, and they can use order code DEC121235 to get more.
The next volume, HORROR, featuring stories from Black Magic and Strange World Of Your Dreams, is currently listed as scheduled for March of next year.
DC’s THE JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS v2 is out today, collecting most of the published Kirby material from DC from the 1970s and 1980s not already covered by other recent or upcoming collections. The biggest part of that would be the two 1980s SUPER POWERS toy tie-in books, as featured on the cover. The best bits are probably the three FIRST ISSUE SPECIALS included, featuring an update on Manhunter (one of my first exposures to Kirby) and original concepts Atlas and the Dingbats of Danger Street. It’ll be a few weeks before I get a copy, so feel free to outline the contents in the comments if you get one before that. I’m especially curious if they include any of the unpublished Dingbats stuff, the story intended for SANDMAN #7 or a restored version of KOBRA #1, and if they went ahead and included all the non-Kirby 1950s reprint material from BLACK MAGIC as the solicitations indicated they planned to.
The digital version of THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #60 is available now, the print will follow in the mail and in stores soon enough. Some nice stuff in here, including two long Evanier-moderated convention panels, one with Dick Ayers and Joe Sinnott and the other including Stan Goldberg, a 5-page Jim Bowie story from 1956 (the issue attribution seems to be wrong, it says #55, I think it should be #33), a gallery of pencils from later issues of FANTASTIC FOUR, another one of pencils related to the Black Panther, and quite a bit on the 1978 SILVER SURFER book, with many pages of Kirby’s pencils and his typed notes to the scripter.