The following is a press release from Titan:
THE OFFICIAL SIMON AND KIRBY
Titan to Collect the Works of Two Comic Book Legends
Titan Books Signs Exclusive Agreement to Publish Works by Comics’ Greatest Creative Team, with Full Involvement of Living Legend Joe Simon and the Jack Kirby Estate
Titan Books has expanded its publishing agreement with comic book pioneer Joe Simon, co-creator of Captain America, to launch The Official Simon and Kirby Library beginning in 2009. In addition to the previously announced volumes The Best of Simon and Kirby and The Simon and Kirby Superheroes, the library will include volumes collecting the greatest horror, detective, and romance stories ever produced by the legendary Dream Team of comics.
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby first joined forces on the superhero character Blue Bolt in 1940, and later that year created the seminal hero Captain America (soon to be featured in a major motion picture by Marvel Studios). “When Jack and I created Captain America, it sent a shock across the nation even before America had entered World War II,” Simon noted. “But that was only the beginning, and we followed it up with titles like Boy Commandos and Young Romance. They weren’t superhero books, but each one sold millions of copies.”
Beginning in summer 2009 with The Best of Simon and Kirby, Titan Books will release full-color hardcover editions featuring some of the greatest stories ever told in the graphic medium, painstakingly restored by Simon and Kirby historian Harry Mendryk. Simon himself will oversee the process, and will offer original insights and secrets from behind the scenes.
The volume will feature the team’s most famous characters, including Fighting American, Stuntman, and The Fly, as well as genre adventures from such legendary titles as Black Magic, Justice Traps the Guilty, and the industry’s first romance title, Young Romance. Through the generous support of Marvel Comics and DC Comics, The Best of Simon and Kirby will include stories featuring Captain America, The Vision, Sandman, and The Boy Commandos.
“It’s simply astonishing, the materials Joe has kept over the years,” Titan owner and publisher Nick Landau said. “It shows uncanny foresight that he retained so many rights, and preserved those wonderful stories so that today’s readers will be able to enjoy some of the finest comics ever produced.” Details on the contents and format of the books are still being determined, as Landau added, “We want to come up with editions that are as perfect as they can be.”
Simon will attend the February 2009 New York ComicCon to celebrate the launch of The Official Simon and Kirby Library, and will sign exclusive limited edition lithographs. Titan plans to release two books a year, and these will be the only editions authorized by both Joe Simon and the estate of Jack Kirby. In addition to The Official Simon and Kirby Library, Titan will publish the autobiography of Joe Simon in 2010.
Titan Books is a leading publisher of licensed entertainment. The UK’s top publisher of graphic novels and World renowned for television and film companions, including Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, Frank Miller and Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons, plus the official Watchmen and Terminator: Salvation movie tie-ins. Titan Books also publishes a series of high-end art books, and biographies such as the New York Times bestselling My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith.
I would like to emphasize of few points found in the release. The first is that I did not write this release and was surprised to find that I was mentioned in it. I am sure I will comment further on my contribution; most likely when the first book, “The Best of Simon and Kirby”, gets released this summer.
When Titan told me they wanted to include some stories from Marvel and DC in “The Best of Simon and Kirby” I must admit I was a bit skeptical. I have never been so pleased to have been proven wrong. The release describes DC Comics and Marvel Comics support as “generous” with which I heartedly agree.
I said this before, but it is worth repeating. Both Joe Simon and the Jack Kirby estate will financially benefit from these books.
Most immediately important is that the release mentions Joe Simon will be appearing at upcoming New York ComicCon. Joe does not make many appearances so this will be a special chance for fans to meet him. I will have further announcements in the near future when his schedule becomes firmed up.