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The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction

Science Fiction

Full Title: 
The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction
Publisher(s): 
Release Date: 
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Grade:
A+
# of Pages: 
320

If you want to know about comic books there are two names that should always make the list of people to read, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. These two men wrote and drew some of the most influential comics and characters in the industry. One such notable character is non other than Captain America, a character that Simon and Kirby created and has since become a icon for comics and the fans. Though when these artists first started in the comic book industry there was nothing like there is today for readers, so instead of the typical superhero of today, Simon and Kirby had stories that where more science fiction than super heroic.


A new hardcover book is out that has me pleased, I mean I was thrilled to see this book, the Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction collection. Here in this massive 320 page hardcover book I was able to read stories that I've only heard about. This book spans over 20 years of some of the work that Joe Simon and Jack Kirby did. Some are when they worked with other writers/artists and some are when they worked together. One such time is their 10 issue run together on the comic Blue Bolt, a man who was struck with the power of lightning who would go out on adventures to fight the Green Sorceress (yep) and her evil forces. The stories contained in this book range from the 1940's to the 1960's, some are just a few stories and some are multiple stories, but they all have one thing in common, two of the greats worked on them.


Well, let me tell you now, if you are unfamiliar with the comics prior to what has been going on in the last 20 years then you will be in for a huge surprise. I can't tell you how many people that are new to comics that want to read these stories by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon because they start to learn about their influence so they decide to check it out. When they do they find out that the comics of the golden and silver age are nothing what they where expecting, in any sense. This is what this book shows, the comics that where of the time when science fiction was the popular trend, having to go out as an astronaut and having to fight people/creatures from and on other planets. These are science fiction stories, as the title of the book says, the Simon & Kirby Library Science Fiction.


Don't get me wrong, I love these stories, this is comics when comics where young, they where fun, and they make me laugh. Most of the stories are short that started and finished in the one issue, some lasted longer, but they all are fun to read. They might not be the greatest stories ever written, some of the plots skip right over the main action where we are told the hero of the story is going to go after the villain then the following two panels are one of the hero telling the villain that he is after him, then the second would be the hero walking away after capturing the villain. What happens, how did he get him, what did the two do, the the villain give up, was there a huge battle that nearly killed the hero? I don't know but it's part of this that makes these comics appealing because I have to use my own imagination to tell the story. Not all are like that but all of the stories are simple, they don't have any devious plots, the hero always wins, and the villains are always over the top but they are good. Joe Simon was a great writer and I love reading his stories. Same goes with Jack Kirby and his artwork. Sure it's not the greatest drawing that's been put on the pages, it's rough, some of the characters look different from panel to panel, but he still had a great amount of talent.


This book is not only Simon and Kirby, there are many other artists and writers that worked on these stories along with Simon and Kirby. They put in a great deal of work as well to make these stories as fun as they are and to be able to still be an influential story today. That is why this book is so great, because it gives people, new to or fan for life of comics a chance to read them. I've seen, read, and own many collected books of comics but I have to say this is by far one of the most impressive books of them all. From the dust cover to the pages that the book is printed on, it's all beautiful. Let me start with the dust jacket, it has artwork that shows you what you are going to be getting, a book about science fiction comics. If you take off the dust jacket you see more artwork on the hardcover showing an astronaut and a space ship in a wrap around cover. It's beautifully made and that's just the outside of it. Inside the book is printed in bright vibrant colors, the artwork, lettering, everything stands out bright and clear. Even the pages are well made, they are thick, sturdy, and will withstand being flipped for years before wearing out, if they even do. There's a great contents page for you to find what you want in a hurry as well as introductions that just bring home how much these men mean to comics. This book has it all for any comic lover, fun stories and artwork put together for an awesome collectors item and it even smells good.

Lee Roberts
Review by Lee Roberts
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