Official Press Release
Following the untimely passing of Joe Simon in December, Titan Books has pledged to further his legacy by continuing to produce the only volumes fully-authorized by Simon himself. The most recent book in the series, The Simon and Kirby Library: Crime hit the New York Times bestseller list in November, and the next volume-slated for release in fall 2012-will be The Simon and Kirby Library: Science Fiction, followed a year later by a collection of the legendary duo's greatest horror tales.
The Simon and Kirby Library: Science Fiction will span more than 20 years, beginning with the first stories Joe Simon and Jack Kirby ever produced together (beginning in June 1940)-their ten-issue run of Blue Bolt adventures. Then the Cold War years will be represented by Race For the Moon, featuring pencils by Kirby and inked artwork by comic book legends Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, and Al Williamson. The introduction for the volume will be written by Dave Gibbons, the award-winning co-creator and illustrator of Watchmen.
"Joe was one of the industry's greatest innovators-he commissioned stories from some of the greatest talents of the time," series editor Steve Saffel noted. "Thanks to his efforts, we have exclusive access to more than 80 pages of original artwork from the 1950s. Stories by all four artists will appear in all of their stunning detail. This was a book Joe wanted the world to see.
"The first Blue Bolt story was especially important to Joe," Saffel continued. "He did it entirely on his own-before he and Kirby began working together-yet it wasn't included in any earlier reprints of the series. Our mission is to release their entire run, complete for the first time ever." Other rarities from both decades will be included, and as a bonus for readers, the volume will feature stories illustrated by Crandall, Torres, and Williamson-without Kirby.
In 2013, the fifth volume-The Simon and Kirby Library: Horror-will collect the duo's terrifying stories from the acclaimed Black Magic title, made infamous when the series was singled-out on national television by the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. The volume will also collect the stories they produced for the title Strange World of Your Dreams.
"It's a thrill to be a New York Times bestseller for the first time in my life," Joe Simon said shortly before his death. "I'm just grateful for the opportunity to breathe new energy into the work Jack and I did throughout our careers."
"This is an honor for us, to be able to continue the ambitious publishing program we put together with Joe," Titan Books Publisher Nick Landau said. "Relationships like that come once-in-a-lifetime, and we'll make every effort to make certain these next two releases are books he would once again be proud of."
The Simon and Kirby Library editions are restored by Harry Mendryk and produced by Titan Books under agreements with the Joe Simon and the Jack Kirby Estates. As such, they are the only restorations of these stories authorized by both. Previous editions have included The Best of Simon and Kirby and The Simon and Kirby Superheroes.
"There was a sense of power and drama and excitement in Joe and Jack's work that made it totally unique..."-Stan Lee
"Joe Simon and Jack Kirby worked in-and, in many cases, defined-just about every genre and style imaginable."-Entertainment Weekly
"The Lennon and McCartney of the Golden Age of Comic Books."-Sci-Fi Wire