Joe Simon My Life in Comics

Joe Simon My Life in Comics

Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
# of Pages: 
Joe Simon AKA....

Two pen names that Joe Simon has went by during his career are Gregory Sykes and Jon Henery.

“Joe Simon; My Life in Comics” is the biography by Joe Simon. In this biography Joe Simon, a man who is a legend in the comic book industry. Over his long career as an artist Joe Simon has worked with both large comic book publishers such as Marvel Comics and DC Comics as well as doing artwork for many newspapers, businesses, and so many other medias that it would take too long to list. Now with “My Life In Comics” the history, knowledge, and experiences from the early days of comic books to how they are now are explained here by Joe Simon in his own words.

Being a lover of comic books I of course know the name Joe Simon. It’s a name that is known by all true comic book readers because this is a man who helped make the comic book what it is today and is possible that without him there would have been no comic books today. Joe Simon is an artist, and when I say he is an artist I really mean it and not because I like him because he draws comic book characters. It’s because if you look at the work he creates from when he was young and in high school to later works, it will amaze you on how well he can draw. However, though I know that he is a great artist and I know of the man, I never knew anything about him, his life, or his career as an artist to being the first editor-in-chief of Timely Comics.

After reading “My Life in Comics” I am more amazed at what this man has done through his life than I am by his artwork. In the book he talks about living during the Great Depression and how his father would make suits for him to wear when going for interviews, or about some of the skills he was taught while at one of the jobs at a newspaper that he got. There’s just so much information in this book that I found it hard to put down. It’s not because it’s about a man who works in comics, nor did I want to read more of it because this is one of the co-creators of one of the most famous characters in the comic book industry (though that is a very interesting portion to read about), no, what makes this book so fun to read is that it gives a glimpse into the life of the man that helped create the character Captain America.

What makes this book both fun to read and at times a little confusing or annoying, is that it’s wrote just as if Joe Simon was sitting down telling me this in person. At least that’s the way it read for me. Reading this felt like I was listening to someone tell me their life’s story so because of that there’s times that Joe Simon goes off topic a little bit because what he’s currently talking about reminds him of something else. Like I said, it’s fun to read because of that, it’s more personal I think, but it can get a little annoying to break off topic about an event that won’t happen till years later and not wrote about until many pages later, and then going back to the main topic. It’s also because of this reason that the book is so easy to read making it a quick read.

Helping out the book is some of Joe Simon’s artwork that he has done over the years as well as personal photos of himself, his family, and friends. These pictures take up some space on the pages where it ends up giving only half a page to read but every picture is so cool to have there to look at. Getting to see his artwork that I’ve never seen or even knew about from someone that is so important to the comic book industry. With “My Life in Comics” I got to go for a time travel ride through history as this very important man in comic books told about his times as working as the first editor-in-chief of Timely Comics, which turned into Marvel Comics, as well as working with his partner Jack Kirby (another huge name in comic books and the other creator of Captain America), as well as to Joe Simon hiring Stan Lee. “My Life in Comics” is a book that’s almost a time capsule of the life of Joe Simon and was a wonderful treat to get to read.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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