Joe Simon’s ‘My Life in Comics’ Paints a Colorful Histroy of the Comic Book Trade

Posted by at 11:50 am on July 4, 2011

Joe Simon’s autobiography covers his entire life , which makes it filled with the comics industry.

After a typical Depression Era childhood, Simon was thrown headlong into the world of comic books – just when the industry was getting off the ground. Most people who know Joe Simon remember him for two things, inventing Captain America, and later fighting Marvel Comics for the recognition of that creation, and while those events are covered in this book, there is much more to Simon’s My Life in Comics.

Simon was there when joke magazines were transformed into crime drama, which led to the inception of the super hero comics.

He saw the careers of the very first super heroes, and knew personally most of the people in the still-small industry. He saw the invention of Superman and DC’s fight with Marvel over the similarities with Marvel Man. He crafted the art for early titles like Blue Beetle and Silver Streak, and knows the artistic origins behind them all.

The most interesting stories in the book come from the time when Simon was working with Jack Kirby. The part of the book jumps form the pages since one of the great friendshipa between founding fathers of the comic book

There many illustrations, and the explanations that go along with them. Plus photographs of Simon and his family and friends, the book is full of magazine and comic book covers which help tell the story, each one with a brief description of where is falls in the history of comics, and how much Simon had to do with it.

one fo the bet images is a pre-color version of the cover for Detective Comics #65 from July 1942. The cover depicts Batman shaking the hand of Brooklyn, the lead character of the Commando Boys, while the rest of the characters stand behind the boy. Robin looks on from the corner of the panel. The caption says: “This is the only time the Boy Commandos appeared on the cover of Detective Comics. Simon and Kirby drew their characters, while Jerry Robinson drew Batman and Robin.”

The book is a histroy of the industry, as much, heck even more so than just a bio of Joe Simon.

My Life in Comics is now availablefrom Titan Books.

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