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?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Inspiration Books -

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.

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