An Open Letter from Joe Simon to Marvel Comics

Dear Marvel Comics:

Yesterday I received the latest Marvel Masterworks book, Golden Age Captain America. Thank you, Marvel. The book is wonderful, beautifully crafted, something to be proud of if it winds up in one’s collection.

I read the first chapter of the introduction by Gerard Jones.

Gerard, you are full of shit. You have already compromised your integrity by making statements and asking questions that you have no answers to. Why bring them up at all? The fly-by-nights were taking every advantage of the creators and that has been well documented in the past. You might have examined your statements but nobody ever asked me or Mr. Kirby if we had any papers or documents to confirm.

Marvel is a big boy now. You should grow up. Learn to check your sources before you shoot off the hip.

So, I make another friend. At this stage, why should I care?

Joe Simon

Postscript from Harry Mendryk: When I was leaving, Joe came with me to check his mail. As we waited for the elevator he commented: “After 90 you’ve earned the right to say someone is full of shit.”

Further postscript from Harry Mendryk: Gerard Jones wrote about the early history of Timely and Captain America. He included the story that Joe wrote about in his book The Comic Book Makers that Goodman had made a deal with Simon and Kirby to share the royalties from Captain America but when he did not live up to that agreement Joe and Jack left for DC. Jones also wrote that Goodman’s story was that after Captain America’s success Simon and Kirby broke their deal to go to DC for more money. Jones also wrote that since all the documentary evidence has been destroyed there was no way of knowing whose story is correct. However Gerard Jones never contacted either Joe Simon or the Kirby estate to verify that statement.

added on 8/4/08: There are responses from both Gerard Jones and Joes Simon in a more recent post.

One thought on “An Open Letter from Joe Simon to Marvel Comics

  1. Gerard Jones


    Thanks very much for posting this. Joe has certainly earned the right to tell me (or anyone else) that I’m full of shit–and I’m sorry if I gave offense or got things wrong. I actually made repeated efforts to contact Joe about this issue when I was writing my book but I was told he couldn’t or wouldn’t talk about it (I assumed for legal reasons). I’m doing my best here to piece the truth together from what’s available, and any more information would be very much appreciated. Whatever helps us get closer to the truth. Many of my most valuable learning experiences have followed someone telling me (if not in exactly those words) that I’m full of shit.

    Thanks again,
    Gerry Jones

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