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The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction Hardcover – June 4, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Their groundbreaking, action-packed superhero tales made Simon and Kirby comic books’ most popular creators in the 1940s, but when the popularity of costumed crime fighters waned, the team turned to other genres, including the science-fiction sagas that were seeing success on the big and small screens. This oversize collection leads off with the Blue Bolt, an early superhero with sf trappings who just predates the late-1940 debut of Simon and Kirby’s seminal Captain America, but the bulk of the volume comprises some two-dozen short stories from the 1950s dealing with space exploration, scientific experiments gone wrong, interplanetary visitors, and other familiar tropes. Twilight Zone–style twist endings are de rigueur, even though the pieces actually predate that show’s 1959 premiere. Although these comics fail to even reach for the relative literary sophistication of the sf titles published by EC Comics in the early ’50s—considered the genre’s gold standard—their lack of pretension, perfectly expressed in the verve of Kirby’s robust drawings, makes them arguably more appealing to today’s readers. --Gordon Flagg


“In addition “The Simon and Kirby Library: Science Fiction” contains unpublished material so this is a rare treat. This volume is a book to sit down with and not hurry through. It takes time to read and enjoy the stories and really savor the artwork. I really enjoyed everything about this book and recommend it highly!” – Vic’s Media Room 

“At 320 pages, you’ll spend several days enjoying these stories of the future through the eyes of guys writing when Sputnik was circling the planet. Their own optimism and sense of wonder about far off, unknown worlds seeps through the pages of every story. Readers expecting classic comic books stories to be ho-hum will be surprised by how modern many of the tales feel. Their work also establishes early wide boundaries for the science fiction genre, expanding into fantasy, action/adventure and even horror.” – 

“It’s a great addition to a comics collection and a tribute to the skill of Simon and Kirby.” – Hearts on Fire Review 

"Most old school fans primarily go to Simon & Kirby for the superhero stuff, but the fact of the matter is these guys produced top-of-the-line work in whatever genre they chose. Heartily recommended to lovers of good, basic comic book storytelling." - Blogcritics

"Amazing tales of aliens and madness in one collection from the godfathers of comics." - Crave gift guide


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Product Details

  • Series: The Simon & Kirby Library
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; First Edition edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848569610
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848569614
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Kevin on June 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I first got the book, I wondered, "What have I ordered?" Truth is, I always found old post comics code science fiction and horror comics pretty dull. It was the fact that I am an old Simon and Kirby fan that made me click the pre-order button. "Well, I bought it," I thought settling down for what I imagined was going to be an underwhelming read. I was pleasantly surprised. I could not help but laugh in places. There was a face on Mars story written years before sputnik was even launched. There was also one example of fifties sword and sorcery--who knew it would get to be so big a couple of decades later. Then there was a piece with post atomic war mutated intelligent animals, a theme Kirby recycled in Kamandi, Last Boy on Earth. The Three Rocketeer stories were also fun. Did they or will they ever smoke in those stories. We must have discovered that tobacco (or maybe it was not tobacco in all those cigarettes) was harmless, and maybe good for space sickness. A lot of this is material that has been yellowing on the shelves for 50 plus years. You probably have not seen anything like it. Buy it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By VicG on June 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in their book, "The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction" Book Five in The Simon & Kirby Library series published by Titan Books brings us the science fiction adventures written and drawn by this highly talented duo.

From the Back Cover: Out of this world action!

From the very beginning Joe Simon and Jack Kirby loved science fiction. Their first collaboration was Blue Bolt, in the Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon tradition, and the first series to carry the Simon and Kirby byline.

Among their finest stories were the Sputnik-era space adventures where, in addition to Kirby, Simon recruited legendary illustrators Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson and Wally Wood to bring his sensational science fiction concepts to life.

Collecting over 300 pages of thrilling science fiction comics, some never reprinted, with more than 80 pages restored from original artwork!

The thirties and forties were a time of great creativity in the book and pulp fiction world and, more so, in the comics world. And the most creative team was that of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Mostly everyone has heard of Captain America, well these two created him. However that is not all they did and their early works are lovingly collected for us in this extraordinary volume. "The Simon and Kirby Library: Science Fiction" spans more than 20 years, beginning with the first stories Joe Simon and Jack Kirby ever produced together. For me it is great fun to see Mr. Kirby's art change over the years as he polished his artistic skills; great at first, then getting better and better. Some of the great stories and art in this volume have not been seen since they first came out and there is more than eighty pages of restored original artwork.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mister V on November 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge Jack Kirby fan and also respect Joe Simon's efforts in their collaborations.
The book itself is a typical Titan book - great from the cover to the pages themselves.
I was a little disappointed about the number of stories included that did not include Kirby or Simon.
No complaints with the quality but since it is the Simon and Kirby Library I was expecting to see all or mostly Simon and Kirby.
Do admit that some comments had mentioned this.
It was interesting seeing the quality of the artwork evolve over time. The earlier issues are somewhat crude but as you flip forward the art keeps getting stronger. Kirby is not at his Marvel era peak yet but fun to see his work anyway.
I recommend this book if you are a Kirby and Simon fan and find it at a good price. I bought mine on Amazon from one of their partners. Delivery took longer but the price was good.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By B. Younger on August 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, let me say I am thrilled that Titan Books has been publishing these fantastic compendiums to cover the major genres in comics that Simon & Kirby contributed to. These are beautifully designed and printed, and you get a lot of bang for the buck. A lot of the S&K work reproduced in these volumes is rarely, if ever, reprinted, much of it extremely rare. I have purchased all the volumes available, and have already placed my advance order for the upcoming volume on Simon & Kirby Horror.

Here's what I love about "The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction" in particular. As expected from Titan, beautiful book design. The dust jacket reproduces one of the splash pages from S&K's early Silver Age title "Race for the Moon," and different figures from the same title grace the hard cover and title pages as well. The introduction by Dave Gibbons is a fun and informative read, as are the brief introductions to each of the decades (1940s, 1950s and 1960s) covered. Reproduction of the art is spectacular, with the dot pattern and colors slightly subdued to match the higher quality printing and paper, and all the color areas registered within the black outline. Much of the later content is familiar to me, but as far as I know has never been collected as completely into one volume. I especially enjoy the stories from the 50s and 60s. You can see the seeds of Kirby's later creations for DC and Marvel here: Challengers of the Unknown derived from the 3 Rocketeers; the story "Today I am a..." foreshadowing every super-smart big-headed character of the 60s; the splash of "The Great Stone Face" strikingly similar to the cover of "Eternals" #1; "The Ant Extract" a direct antecedent to Ant-Man, just to name a few.
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