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There is a somewhat widely held theory that anyone in comics who is `someone', or has accomplished anything of note has the initials J.S. Jim Steranko, Joe Sinnot, Joe Staton, and Joe Simon come to mind. It is currently my theory that anyone who reads "My Life in Comics, Joe Simon" will agree with that hypothesis.
Few individuals are alive today who contributed to the beginning of the American comic book industry, and even fewer are alive who made such a contribution that they are still held in awe. Joe Simon, if we were to list his significant works, would probably blush. So, we will indeed list some of his notables:
Captain America and Bucky
Challengers of the Unknown
Okay, get the point? In addition to being prolific, he really could do it all. From his early training in newspapers, he learned paste up, production, art touch up, writing, photography, promotion, printing, sales, and contract law. I probably forgot to mention lettering, and coloring too. He, in addition to his comic book work, served industry in advertising, layout, painting, and even produced work during his army stint.
His cohorts in artistic endeavors included: Jack Kirby, Bob Powell, George Tuska, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, Mort Meskin, Jack Davis, and many others.
If any man is THE source for the real history of comic books, Mr Simon is it. At 98, he still remembers. At 98, he still can draw. At 98, he still goes to comic conventions. He, is truly a living legend, just like his creation a la crème, Captain America.
The book covers his career from the early 1930's to 2010. Nearly 80 years of experience and memories tied up in one impressive book that seems to pass by like a flowing stream. This is a seamless read, that begs for more intimate memories of the past, more stories of Jack Kirby, more, more, more.
The illustrations are plentiful, but not enough to illustrate his entire career. I really wonder how many books he illustrated, edited, and wrote? The list, I am sure, would be shocking. I am pleased to note that Abrams will be releasing a high quality art book from Joe Simon soon as well.
I have read many biographies, and many `art of' books. This is a `Life of' book, that really digs into the past where no modern creator has been. Only Joe Simon could tell these stories. Stan Lee? Yeah, Joe know him WAY BACK WHEN...Al Harvey, a lifetime of memories.
This is a masterpiece that needs to be read by collectors everywhere. The forward, introduction about the Civil War soldier is particularly meaningful, and serves to be a symbol of Joe Simon today. Like the solider speaking to a grade 5 class, Joe speaks to us about the Platinum age.
He may have shook the hand of the man who shook the hand of Abraham Lincoln, but we can read HIS words...