Tag Archives: captain america

Sunday Review – The Simon and Kirby Superheroes

As the reprint industry continues to grow, quality of the reproduction and completeness of the work by artists and writers is at an all time high. Every week scores of brand new books come out from no less then a dozen publishers. Some of these books are massive undertakings with editors sifting through forgotten heroes of yesteryear and restoring the old beat-up originals so a new generation can relive and, in some cases, revive great characters from the Golden and Silver Ages.

That’s the case with Steve Saffel who continues his reprint series on Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Titan Books recently released a follow-up to 2009’s The Best of Simon and Kirby with Simon and Kirby Superheroes. This book collects everything just as it says it does and in a wonderful full color fashion. Saffel took his time in constructing the 480 page hardcover pouring his love into every page he edited. The well crafted book shows that he cares for the preservation of the material and is not out to get a quick buck from releasing cheap and easy reprints and where getting the book to market is more important then the quality of the work. Some restoration had to be done to a few of the comics but rest assured it was done with the hands of Harry Mendyk, who worked with Saffel on the first book.

Any fan of either comic book legend will want to buy this and add it to their shelf that would undoubtedly include work from major publishers like DC and Marvel. The Simon and Kirby Superheroes also contains an insightful introduction by Neil Gaiman that gives us an account of just how and why he optioned to do his own revival of Sandman. Gaiman also reminds us that not only has there never been another Jack Kirby, but there has “never been another Joe Simon, as well”. Another person to take us our journey through time and art is Jim Simon, Joe Simon’s son. He recounts the 1940’s and 1950’s and offers us an uncommon family viewpoint of these two great men and there process.

Sadly, a few of the series are short lived so as fast as you get acquainted with a hero, he quickly goes away. Below is a listing of how the book is broken down by character and the issues collected:

  • The Black Owl, Prize Comics #7-9, 1940-41
  • Stuntman, Stuntman #1-3, 1946
  • The Vagabond Prince, Black Cat Comics #7-8, 1946
  • Captain 3-D, Captain 3-D #1, 1953
  • Fighting American, Fighting American (Volume 1) #1-7, 1954-55, and (Volume 2) #1-2, (1966
  • Private (Lancelot) Strong, The Double Life Of Private Strong #1-2, 1959 and Adventures Of The Fly #2, 1959
  • The Fly, Adventures Of The Fly #1-2, 1959 and The Double Life Of Private Strong #1, 1959

Some of these stories have never been published and also included are rare and unseen artwork. As good as this book is, I do have two issues to take to task:

  1. The dimensions of The Simon and Kirby Superheroes is 11.2 x 7.9 while The Best of Simon and Kirby is 12.2 x 9.1, therefore the two are different when lined up on my bookshelf. For a reprint  series of this importance, I’m surprised that they do not have coherent uniformity.
  2. Besides Simon and Kirby’s names there is no listing of other Artist or Writer credits. The only way I knew that Steve Ditko was involved on Captain 3-D was to read the text provided by Neil Gaiman and Jim Simon. I’m curious as to who else worked on these comics and the only way to do that is to hunt each individual comic down on the comics.org database.

Those two things won’t be a hindrance for me with future Simon and Kirby projects from Steve Saffel and Titan books. In fact here is a rundown of future volumes:

  • Joe Simon: The Man Behind The Comics
  • The Simon and Kirby Library: The Birth Of Romance
  • The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime Drama
  • The Simon and Kirby Library: Oh! The Horror

The Simon and Kirby Superheroes
Titan Books, 2010
480 pages, $49.95
A copy of this book was supplied to me by Titan Books

For more information on The Best Of Simon and Kirby, please listen to Collected Comics Library Podcast #233 – Interview with Steve Saffel, August 26, 2009

CCL Podcast #295 – Assembling The Avengers!

Collected Comics Library Podcast #295
22,423Kb; 22m 25s

Thanks in large part of the Comic Book movies the past 15 years there have been a slew of comic book TV shows. Some good, some bad, some live action and some cartoon. I’ve been good at trying them all out but none have captured my attention like Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on Disney XD. What’s nice about it from an adult perspective is that it is mixing in elements of the recent live action films. Iron Man/Tony Stark has revealed himself and is portrayed just like the way Robert Downey Jr. did. Bruce Banner/Hulk is straight from the Ed Norton mold and I’m willing to bet that Thor and Captain America are going to be similar representations of what we’ll see next summer. This said, the action and story has moved fast and there hasn’t been too much time wasted on background and origins. Another nice addition is a nod that this universe is large and ever expanding. Logan (Wolverine) has been seen and Hank Pym even mentions his colleague Reed Richards. No sign of Spider-Man or Daredevil yet, but there’s always hope. If you haven’t done so already please find time to check out the show and after you do come on back and share with me your favorite Avengers moments. It can be anything from single issue story lines, collected editions including extras and bonus features, one-shots, and even single panels. And with the vast Avengers roster, I’d like to know who your favorite Avenger is and why. I’ll be doing a follow-up show on December 22 so go ahead and e-mail, comment, Twitter or Facebook me.

Also on the show this week I go over a few Marvel books that have been solicited for 2011 including Marvelman Family’s Finest and Marvelman Classic, Captain America: Scourge Of The Underworld, and X-Men: Alpha Flight.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your support throughout all the years and may you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. Go Lions!

All this and the New Releases of the Week.

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CCL Podcast #208 – Trading The Invaders

Collected Comics Library Podcast #208
28,179Kb; 29m 47s

http://www.collectedcomicslibrary.com/

Today on the show, I focus on one of the “super-groups” of the Marvel universe – The Invaders. What’s interesting about this team, consisting of Captain America, Namor: The Sub-Mariner, The Human Torch and Bucky, is that it was created retroactively in 1975, with all their adventures taking place in World War II. Their series lasted 41 issues and they appeared in only a few other titles throughout the years which included two limited series that revived the team. Today in 2009, The Invaders can be found in two series: Avengers/Invaders and in the pages of Captain America. These important characters, whether they are adventuring as individuals or as a team, are the cornerstones of the Marvel Universe, come learn more about them.

Also on the show, I touch a few news items including the Nexus Archives going black and white and digest size and the Creepy Archives going to 26 volumes.

All this and the New Releases of the Week.

Chris

Addendum: I did record audio to talk about Invaders Classic Volume 2 (Invaders #10-21 and Annual #1) and Invaders Classic Volume 3 (Invaders #22-23 and #25-34), but the audio did not come through as I had hoped.

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CCL Podcast #186 – 2 Marvel Masterworks

Collected Comics Library Podcast #186

25,902Kb; 27m 37s

http://www.collectedcomicslibrary.com/

The first thing I should tell you about this weeks’ episode is that I was planning on reviewing 3 Masterworks not 2. I even went as far as to record the third part of the feature, but I decided to cut it all out during editing, which, if you listen closely, can hear the cuts. The segments I did leave in are Spider-Man Volume 10 and Golden Age Captain America Volume 2. Regarding the latter, you may want to read Rich Johnson’s Lying in the Gutters column, which I refer to, from a few weeks back.

Also on the show this week, Around Comics celebrates their 200th podcast, a PR on Parade with Fireworks from Image Comics and one older item: The Black Terror Omnibus, an “Essential” type book from Age of Adventure due out later this year.

All this including what I’m watching on TV this year and the New Releases of the Week.

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Chris

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CCL Podcast #172 – Motor City Con 2008 Wrap-Up

Collected Comics Library Podcast #172

44,687Kb; 37m 55s

http://www.collectedcomicslibrary.com/

The Motor City Con has come and gone and today on the show I go over what I saw, what I bought and who I met. With all that in mind, I have a brand new giveaway of Annihilation Conquest Book 1 HC; details on how to enter are in the show.

Also, today I go over some major Marvel shipping changes and new solicitations from both DC and Marvel. I also have an e-mail from Joe, Forbidden Planet International, introduce you to two new collected edition themed podcasts and give a tease as to what you can expect on the next TwoMorrows Tune-In, all this and the New Releases of the Week.

Please visit my site sponsors: In-Stock Trades, Forbidden Planet International (UK), and Library Binding Company.

Chris


Links of Note:
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Waiting For The Trade
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