The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio
Two Golden Age pioneers of the comic book as we know it, but are there too few heroes to cheer on?
Leaping heroically into stores hot on the heels of Taschen’s eccentrically gigantic celebration of 75 years of Marvel Comics, this ‘zooming in on a couple of key players in the early comics world’ approach is a far more manageable format, but remains an acquired taste for the main part of the book.
Mark Evanier gives us a brief but authoritative insight into the pioneering partnership of New York artists Jack Kirby (of Spider-Man co-creation fame) and Joe Simon, but this history is only the tip of the iceberg. The remaining majority of the book is taken up with adoringly recreated comic strips authored by the pair – many featuring faithful facsimiles of sticky-taped rough pages in mid-construction.
Sadly, any superhero freaks looking for action-packed stories of the calibre bearing the name of Kirby’s other collaborator Stan Lee will probably be nonplussed by the acres of woodpulp here, demonstrating the earlier popular comic genres of romance, Wild West thrills and gritty crime.
With the quality of the artwork itself on the decidedly pulp side of popular culture, this is a collection unlikely to be of value to any but the most devoted comic book historian.
Fly discovers a skyscraper is, er, missing. While, above, the duo invent the romance comic.