Comic books legend Joe Simon will live on
Joe Simon - who co-created Captain America with Jack Kirby - recently passed away at the age of 98.
Simon also created or co-created a number of important characters such as Blue Bolt during the Golden Age of Comic Books (1930s-1940s) and served as the first editor of Timely Comics, which eventually morphed into Marvel.
Obviously, Simon left behind quite a legacy that Titan Books is intent on immortalizing by continuing to publish the only sci-fi & horror volumes fully-authorized by the author and artist himself.
The most recent book in the series, The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime hit the New York Times bestseller list in November, and the next volume - slated for release in fall 2012 - will be The Simon and Kirby Library: Science Fiction, followed a year later by a collection of the legendary duo’s greatest horror tales.
The Simon and Kirby Library: Science Fiction is expected to span a total of 20 years, beginning with the first stories Joe Simon and Jack Kirby ever produced together - their ten-issue run of Blue Bolt adventures (June 1940).
The post WWII, Cold War years will be represented by Race For the Moon, featuring pencils by Kirby and inked artwork by comic book legends Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres and Al Williamson. The introduction for the volume has been penned by Dave Gibbons, the award-winning co-creator and illustrator of Watchmen.
"Joe was one of the industry’s greatest innovators - he commissioned stories from some of the greatest talents of the time. Thanks to his efforts, we have exclusive access to more than 80 pages of original artwork from the 1950s. Stories by all four artists will appear in all of their stunning detail," said series editor Steve Saffel.
"The first Blue Bolt story was especially important to Joe. He did it entirely on his own - before he and Kirby began working together - yet it wasn’t included in any earlier reprints of the series. Our mission is to release their entire run, complete for the first time ever."
According to Saffel, other rarities from both decades will be included, and as a bonus for readers, the volume is slated to feature stories illustrated by Crandall, Torres, and Williamson - without Kirby.
In 2013, the fifth volume - The Simon and Kirby Library: Horror - will collect the duo’s terrifying stories from the acclaimed Black Magic title, made infamous when the series was singled-out on national television by the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. The volume will also collect the stories produced for the title Strange World of Your Dreams.
The Simon and Kirby Library editions are restored by Harry Mendryk and produced by Titan Books under agreements with the Joe Simon and the Jack Kirby Estates. Previous editions include The Best of Simon and Kirby and The Simon and Kirby Superheroes.