Joe Simon and thee Newsboy Legion Archives

Star Spangled #7 shows that Volume 1 of the Newsboy Legion will be released on March 9, 2010. If past experience is any guide, the book may actually appear in comic stores a week or two before that. This volume covers the Newsboy Legion and the Guardian stories that appeared in Star Spangled Comics #7 to #32 (April 1942 to May 1944). This is the entire Simon and Kirby story run created before the artists went into military service. That would leave Volume 2 to stories drawn largely by Gil Kane and perhaps another artist. While that might sound attractive to many potential readers of Volume 2 I expect most will be disappointed because at that time Kane was nowhere near the talented artist he would become. However there will also be some stories in Volume 2 by Simon and Kirby from when they returned to civilian life and a lot of their covers.

One of the things that I could not understand about the Marvel golden age reprints is why that company never got Joe Simon to provide any of the introductions? Well DC caught on to that idea and Joe has written the intro for the first Newsboy Legion volume. Joe tells me that it will include some previously unrevealed facts about the Newsboy Legion. I have not read it so I do not know what that might be. I have read many other unpublished essays by Joe and I am confident that this introduction will be a good read because he is such a great writer.

I am sure I will have something to say about the book when it comes out but I will not be writing a review. It turns out that I also have played a part in this book although admittedly a small one. I do not know if the restorations of the Newsboy Legion stories will be done in the same approach as the Simon and Kirby Sandman Archive but I do have a comment to those who have criticized the work done for that volume. Some have said that not enough effort was done on restoring the scans. Worse yet some have tried to align the work that I did on the Best of Simon and Kirby with Marvel’s approach as examples of how DC should be doing their archives. Well all I can say is that greatly disagree with that assessment. There maybe a superficial resemblance to my work in BoSK to Marvel’s archives but superficial is all it is. Marvel’s reprints are essentially recreations and on close examination show inaccuracies. While my restorations for BoSK may look different from the S&K Sandman Archive in fact both are based on scans with no line art recreation. When it comes to reprints I want to see the original artists’ work not some reinterpretation by a modern artist. That is much, much more important than whether printing defects such as registration problems are corrected.

3 thoughts on “Joe Simon and thee Newsboy Legion Archives

  1. BobH

    Glad to see they got Simon to do the intro. Looking forward to whatever he has to say. I liked the reproductions in the Sandman book, but there was room for improvement, and hopefully they’ll learn some lessons the more books they do. I just wish they weren’t so stuck on that 7×10 modern comic aspect ratio, giving those huge top and bottom margins and tight margins in the gutters.

    I’m surprised anyone finds your results more similar to what Marvel does than what DC does. I haven’t seen too many of the more recent Marvel reprints, in particular of material that has to be sourced to printed comics, but I’d agree that what you do is much closer to what DC is doing on the S&K books, though obviously you spend more time on every page.

  2. Davidm

    Can you give any information about why there appears to be a UK print of “The Newsboy Legion” book, from Titan, with only 250 pages as opposed to 360 pages in the DC collection? This shows on both Amazon UK and The Book Depository sites. On The Book Depository site, the Titan book declares it’s “25% off”, but that’s not in a good way. Given that the covers appear the same, is this an error on the sites?
    I’m not any kind of expert, but I enjoyed “The Best of Simon and Kirby”. Quite apart from the content, there’s a sensual pleasure in the book itself. Thanks.

  3. Harry Post author

    I got to think this is an error. Further neither page count is correct the proper count is 304.

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