The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction
Writers, artists: Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, et al
Titan Books, $49.95, color, 352 pages
Of all the books in the S&K Library, this is the one I was most eager to see, as it was the one I knew the least about. And I was not disappointed.
This book contains a huge sample of S&K science fiction stories, not only as a team but as individuals. It opens with "Solar Patrol" (Silver Streak #2), then "Solar Legion" (from Crash Comics #1-3), then what I think is the entire run of "Blue Bolt" (from Blue Bolt #1-10). In the '50s there comes a slew of stories from Black Cat Mystic, Alarming Tales and Race for the Moon (among others). In the 1960s, Simon and Kirby were no longer a team, and while Kirby was mostly busy at Marvel, Simon kept going strong in his own right in books like Alarming Adventures, Blast-Off, Unearthly Spectaculars and Thrill-O-Rama -- some of which carried Kirby material reprinted from the '50s.
It's a lot! And it's a lot of fun!
If you're read any other Simon & Kirby Library books, you are probably more familiar with S&K work than anything I can tell you. The science fiction work is of the same quality, and that is recommendation enough.
I will say that the "suspense" tales of the '50s and '60s are markedly different than their contemporaries, at least to my ears. Simon had a different sensibility than his contemporaries, and his suspense stories were more talky, more thoughtful, more sensible. (That is when they weren't being deliberately goofy.) The science was better, and the protagonists were heroic but not rash. To tell you the truth, it was a refreshing change from the other reprint books from the period I'm reading.
In fact, the whole book is like a refreshing shower. Kirby liked to say of Simon, "He knew comics." That was the highest compliment he could give. This book demonstrates as well or better than the other books in the series that both of these men knew comics, and together they were more than the sum of their parts.
I have nothing to add, nothing to dispute.
Don't miss the collections of S&K's Your Dreams. You can't miss it: it's designed to look like a pillow!
Didn't know it existed. But now I do! Thanks, Jeff!
It's from Yoe Books.
(His stuff's always worth a look.)