The-Simon-and-Kirby-Library-Science-Fiction-Titan-Books

Their names evoke the best of the Golden Age of comic books.  Modern readers can still appreciate that their work stands up against the best modern storytelling.  Joe Simon and Jack Kirby hold a unique place in the history of comics, known for creating hundreds of characters, but most notably Captain America.  Throughout the 1940s and 1950s and into the 1960s they also put their own mark on the science fiction genre, carrying forward the futuristic vision and stories that melded science fiction and fantasy first brought to comic book form by Alex Raymond in 1930s Flash Gordon strips.  Jack Kirby is still king to many comic book readers today.

Titan Publishing’s release of The Simon & Kirby Library has re-introduced modern readers and fans of these classics with volumes highlighting both their Superheroes stories and their Crime stories in The Simon & Kirby Library: Superheroes and The Simon & Kirby Library: Crime.  The third installment now available reprints their collaboration in science fiction spanning more than 20 years in The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction.

Space Garbage panel

The volume includes “Solar Patrol,” written and drawn by Simon, and “Solar Legion,” written and drawn by Kirby, both from 1940.  Blue Bolt issues 1-10 plant the seeds for elements of modern sci-fi books, TV series, and movies.  Spaceships, space cars, rockets, spacemen and aliens all can be found here, with stories reminiscent of The Twilight Zone and Kirby’s classic pencil work.  The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction includes stories from several other Golden Age comic titles, including Black Cat Mystic, Alarming Tales, Race for the Moon, Alarming Adventures, and Blast Off.

Fans of retro sci-fi will appreciate these great titles: “The Emissary,” “Forbidden Journey,” The Thing on Sputnik 4,” “Lunar Trap,” “Island in the Sky,” and “The Face on Mars.”

Sputnik4

Simon & Kirby fan and Watchmen artist Dave Gibbons provides the foreword, and the volume includes some previously unreleased material.  Inked artwork by comic book legends Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, and Al Williamson can also be found here.  At 320 pages, you’ll spend several days enjoying these stories of the future through the eyes of guys writing when Sputnik was circling the planet.  Their own optimism and sense of wonder about far off, unknown worlds seeps through the pages of every story.  Readers expecting classic comic books stories to be ho-hum will be surprised by how modern many of the tales feel.  Their work also establishes early wide boundaries for the science fiction genre, expanding into fantasy, action/adventure and even horror.

A great volume for every comic book fan’s library, The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction and the other volumes in The Simon & Kirby Library series mentioned above are available at bookstores and online at Amazon.com.  Coming March 2014 is the The Simon & Kirby Library: Horror.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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