Tag Archives: Joe Simon

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 #262 – Jack Kirby and Joe Simon’s The Sandman HC (DC Comics)


Collected Comics Library Podcast #262
29,868Kb; 31m 45s

We continue our celebration of Jack Kirby here in the month of March, this time with his collaboration with Joe Simon on The Sandman (DC Comics). By the time Jack and Joe took over the character, Wesley Dodds had already made his extensive costume change from the suit, fedora and gas mask to a more super-hero look with yellow and purple tights. Too make things even more a sign of the times he was given a sidekick: Sandy The Golden Boy. There’s no doubt that the magic of Kirby and Simon breathed more life into the characters and helped make them last longer then they would have. But this particular podcast also focuses on the current Editorial Staff at DC Comics and how I think they have ruined any chance for continuing the Golden Age Sandman Archive line. It’s a shame, really because so many great stories look like they will never be collected.

On another front I announce my plans to startup a new podcast! This time it will focus on reprint editions of an additional sort – digital comics. There is one caveat though; this podcast will be exclusive to my Collected Comics Library iTunes App.

I also talk about Dark Horse Archive line (Samson and Buck Rogers) and the MarvelMan collected edition from (where else?) Marvel.

All this and the New Releases of the Week.

Chris

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The Comic Book Podcast Companion
The Sandman By Joe Simon & Jack Kirby HC
The Newsboy Legion By Joe Simon And Jack Kirby Vol. 1 HC
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Thor: Tales Of Asgard By Stan Lee & Jack Kirby HC Kirby Cover
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Sandman Mystery Theatre Vol. 3 – The Vamp
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Sandman Mystery Theatre Vol. 5 – Dr. Death and the Night of the Butcher
Sandman Mystery Theatre Vol. 6 – The Hourman and the Python
Sandman Mystery Theatre Vol. 7 – The Mist and the Phantom of the Fair
Sandman Mystery Theatre Vol. 8 – The Blackhawk and the Return of the Scarlet Ghost
Sandman Mystery Theatre: Sleep of Reason

CCL Podcast #233 – Interview with Steve Saffel, editor of The Best of Simon and Kirby (Titan Books)

http://www.collectedcomicslibrary.com/

This week on the show, I welcome in Steve Saffel to talk about his book, The Best of Simon and Kirby (Titan). A lot of care went into creating this lavish look back on the dream team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby from the Golden Age of Comics. Steve gets into all the details, from the beginning and the reasons why it was published, to what is included, and what is still yet to come. Steve and I also chat about his time at Marvel, TwoMorrows Publishing, Comic Cons and Mark Evanier’s Kirby: King of Comics, which can be seen as a companion, of sorts, to Steve’s book. I’ll post a full written review of the book, including all of the exact contents, in a few weeks.

For more information on this book, please check out the very nice Best of Simon and Kirby site at Titan Books.

Collected Comics Library Podcast #233
50,774Kb; 53m 53s

Chris

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Collected Edition Blog browsing on Friday afternoon

I covered a lot this week at the CCL and now it’s the weekend, so go out and pick up a new comic or two.

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.

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

Chris

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