Thursday, September 9, 2010
THE COMIC BOOK MAKERS
THE COMIC BOOK MAKERS. Joe Simon with Jim Simon. Crestwood; 1990.
NOTE: Due to the link between cinema and comics -- not to mention all the Hollywood adaptations of comic books -- Great Old Movies often reviews books about comics.
Comics writer and illustrator Joe Simon, who created Captain America, breezily and informatively recalls those early days of the golden age and silver age and afterward working in the comic book industry, and many of the other writers, artists, editors, publishers, and other assorted characters and personalities who inhabited the terrain. Some of the anecdotes may be familiar, but they're being told by someone who was actually there, and is of the era. There are a great many illustrations, including a full color insert, as well as a couple of complete stories, such as the disturbing "Beautiful Freak" from Black Magic 29 . Simon sets the record straight on a few things, but basically this is a good-natured book from a comics' giant. The cast of real characters includes Charles Biro, C. C. Beck, Stan Lee, and of course Jack Kirby. The book also relates how Simon and Kirby invented the romance comic [which became incredibly popular] and goes into their work on Archie Comics' Adventures of the Fly. Although the book is somewhat episodic and seems haphazardly organized, it is still a very interesting volume.
Verdict: Recommended for the serious comic book fan. ***.