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The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime (The Simon & Kirby Library) Hardcover – November 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: The Simon & Kirby Library
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; First Edition edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848569602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848569607
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 7.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #724,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Although they’re best known for their seminal superhero sagas—they created Captain America in 1940—the team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby successfully tackled virtually every other genre comic books had to offer. This oversize volume showcases their contributions to the disreputable field of crime comics, whose gruesome excesses incited public outrage that nearly toppled the comic-book industry in the mid-1950s. Simon and Kirby’s efforts are markedly less lurid than most, but if they lacked the sensationalism of their competitors, they compensated with forceful energy and gritty drama. The pulpy scripts, with titles like “Pay Up or Die” and “Bullet-Proof Bad Man” and often based on real-life outlaws like John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson, are serviceable and unnuanced; it’s the explosively dynamic artwork by Kirby—who would go on to resurrect and transform the superhero genre at Marvel comics in the 1960s—that gives these tales their visceral power. The same kinetic action that made Kirby’s groundbreaking superhero tales so dynamic proves equally effective in the violent milieu of mobsters and their molls. --Gordon Flagg

Review

"Each page bursts with action galore presented in  the duo’s eye-popping style... a gift from Heaven for comics’ fans, and Crime is another rock solid addition to  this outstanding series. Grab this beauty with both hands." - Library Journal

"Even if you’re not a comic book fan, Simon & Kirby's Crime is something you should pick up. The historical significance alone makes these collection worth owning... If you’re a crime buff but not into comics, trust me this will be the collection that gets you involved. Simon & Kirby's Crime proves without question that these two are the past, present and future of comic books." - Crave Online

"With over 300 pages of amazing stories and fantastic, vivid images from beginning to end, this collection is definitely one to check out, especially if you love comics and just overall good storytelling." - Critiques 4 Geeks

"There was a sense of power and drama and excitement in Joe and Jack's work that made it totally unique..." - Stan Lee 

"The Lennon and McCartney of the Golden Age of Comic Books." - Sci-Fi Wire 

Praise for The Simon and Kirby Superheroes

"A gorgeous volume..." - LA Times 

"A beautiful and expansive book that collects so much of [Jack] Kirby and Joe Simon's great efforts." - Washington Post 

"The ultimate collection for Simon and Kirby's work..." - Comic Attack 

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 10 customer reviews
Looking forward to more volumes of the Simon/Kirby Library!
Hwy61Joe
I like their superhero and horror stories better but this is a great vulume of 1947-55 crime comic stories from two of the masters in the field.
Michael Dobey
I gave it 5-stars in my review, which it deserved for what it was, but this book is worth 15 stars by comparison.
No More Mr. Mice Guy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By No More Mr. Mice Guy on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the latest volume in the Simon & Kirby Library, reprinting 32 stories from titles published from 1947-49, and 2 from 1954 & 1955, for a total of 299 pages of comics. The titles are Clue Comics 1947 (4 stories), Real Clue Crime Stories 1947 (6), headline Comics 1947-48 (13), Justice Traps the Guilty 1947-49 (9), and one each from Police Trap #2 and #6, 1954 & 1955. There is also a cover gallery of 13 covers, one of which is a photo-cover featuring Jack Kirby as a nervous-looking safecracker facing Joe Simon's police revolver.

The stories range from 4 to 15 pages, but are mainly longer rather than shorter. Although set mainly in the `gangster' era, there are a couple of historical stories, and a couple set in Europe. Some are `true' stories and many are pure fiction - Max Allan Collins describes one of the `true' stories in his Introduction as being a `flirtation with fact'. Also, as Mr Collins notes, although dealing with crime, some of the stories are from other genres; there is a western, a couple of historical, and several are written in the `true romance' format, though also featuring machine guns. Of the `historical' (in relation to the 1940s that is, not just to us today) - one is the story of Guy Fawkes, which is actually quite accurate, despite being rather more melodramatic than was actually the case - but this is a comic-book! (Thinks... Mel Gibson as Guy Fawkes - misunderstood war hero who tries to save England - and Scotland - for the Catholic church, but ends up being tortured and executed for his courage in challenging the Evil British Empire...
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Anthony L. Isabella on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
'The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime [Titan Books; $49.95] reprints
nearly three dozen tales of con men, gangsters, and killers by the
legendary team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. As odds as it seems in
reference to crime fiction and kind of sort of non-fiction, these
stories are big fun. Where the more successful Crime Does Not Pay
comics used huge blocks of copy to drive home the moral expressed
in its title, the Simon and Kirby approach put storytelling before
detail and preaching. They never failed to portray crime and its
perpetrators as true blights on society, but their writing was more
bold and Kirby's art was more action-packed than that seen in other
crime comic books of the era. Characters move across the "stage"
and emotions are portrayed in such an in-your-face manner that it's
like watching a 3-D movie.

Included in this 320-page, full-color collection are a handful of
stories starring recurring characters: the mysterious Gunmaster and
special investigator "Red Hot" Blaze. There are tales of criminals
past and present, some of them "true" in the sense that they only
play slightly loose with actual facts. There are character studies
of criminals who, sometimes too late, regret the bad choices they
made. Some of these characters even seek to make amends for their
crimes beyond serving their prison sentences.

Like every other book in Titan's Simon and Kirby Library, Crime is
worthy of award consideration. I treasure my copy and recommend it
to all fans of the legendary team and also to all serious students
of American comic books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Dobey on May 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the terribly done recent d.c. archive aditions which feature bad reprints and bad color. (sandman) and others, this volume looks fantastic , the art is cleaned up and these are not scans of old comic books stories. These are remastered and excellent in appearance. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon did a great job on most of these crime comics too. The art is good , the stories are mostly good. Some are actually true even. Guy fawkes is even in this one. I like their superhero and horror stories better but this is a great vulume of 1947-55 crime comic stories from two of the masters in the field. Everything about this big book is first class, unlike d.c. these people actually cared about the comics they were reprinting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GraphicNovelReporter.com on January 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In all the talk around Dr. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent and the resulting congressional hearings on comics, most of the discussion is focused on the gory horror comics of the time. But also causing much controversy back then were the plethora of crime comics popular with readers. This collection presents the combined works of two of the greats: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.

Since Titan Books has been collecting the Simon & Kirby Library, they've done a wonderful job of bringing the two comics legends' work to a new audience of readers. This volume gloriously features such real-life villains as Ma Barker and Al Capone, even dips back into the history of Guy Fawkes, and spans decades in its storytelling.

It's a world of tough dames, hard-nosed criminals, relentless investigators, come-on girls, and more. Even though the violence is there, there's a quaint innocence to it all that makes it seem...well, almost wholesome. Most of the criminals learn their lessons, eventually, or else they pay the ultimate price for their crimes.

And what to say about the story and art? It's Simon and Kirby, for goodness' sake. They're both brilliant. These stories capture both creators at the top of their game. It's a sheer pleasure to read, from beginning to end.

-- John Hogan
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