Wednesday, February 04, 2009

OT: Preliminary PR for The Best of Simon & Kirby

I was talking to Titan Books' US rep about their new Watchmen books (the Dave Gibbons' Watching the Watchmen is out already and is very interesting) when she mentioned a Simon & Kirby book. I was curious and she shot me the info. This should be good; I've seen much of these stories before, but I really like the idea of this book especially Evanier's essays and being able to see work for multiple companies in one place.

First is the PR on the whole series, and it's followed by specifics on the first volume due in May.

Titan to Collect the Works of Two Comic Book Legends

Titan Books Signs Exclusive Agreement to Publish Works by Comics’ Greatest Creative Team, with Full Involvement of Living Legend Joe Simon and the Jack Kirby Estate

Titan Books has expanded its publishing agreement with comic book pioneer Joe Simon, co-creator of Captain America, to launch The Official Simon and Kirby Library beginning in 2009. In addition to the previously announced volumes The Best of Simon and Kirby and The Simon and Kirby Superheroes, the library will include volumes collecting the greatest horror, detective, and romance stories ever produced by the legendary Dream Team of comics.

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby first joined forces on the superhero character Blue Bolt in 1940, and later that year created the seminal hero Captain America (soon to be featured in a major motion picture by Marvel Studios). “When Jack and I created Captain America, it sent a shock across the nation even before America had entered World War II,” Simon noted. “But that was only the beginning, and we followed it up with titles like Boy Commandos and Young Romance. They weren’t superhero books, but each one sold millions of copies.”

Beginning in summer 2009 with The Best of Simon and Kirby, Titan Books will release full-color hardcover editions featuring some of the greatest stories ever told in the graphic medium, painstakingly restored by Simon and Kirby historian Harry Mendryk. Simon himself will oversee the process, and will offer original insights and secrets from behind the scenes.

The volume will feature the team’s most famous characters, including Fighting American, Stuntman, and The Fly, as well as genre adventures from such legendary titles as Black Magic, Justice Traps the Guilty, and the industry’s first romance title, Young Romance. Through the generous support of Marvel Comics and DC Comics, The Best of Simon and Kirby will include stories featuring Captain America, The Vision, Sandman, and The Boy Commandos.

“It’s simply astonishing, the materials Joe has kept over the years,” Titan owner and publisher Nick Landau said. “It shows uncanny foresight that he retained so many rights, and preserved those wonderful stories so that today’s readers will be able to enjoy some of the finest comics ever produced.” Details on the contents and format of the books are still being determined, as Landau added, “We want to come up with editions that are as perfect as they can be.”

Simon will attend the February 2009 New York ComicCon to celebrate the launch of The Official Simon and Kirby Library, and will sign exclusive limited edition lithographs. Titan plans to release two books a year, and these will be the only editions authorized by both Joe Simon and the estate of Jack Kirby. In addition to The Official Simon and Kirby Library, Titan will publish the autobiography of Joe Simon in 2010.

Titan Books is a leading publisher of licensed entertainment. The UK’s top publisher of graphic novels and World renowned for television and film companions, including Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, Frank Miller and Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbons, plus the official Watchmen and Terminator: Salvation movie tie-ins. Titan Books also publishes a series of high-end art books, and biographies such as the New York Times bestselling My Boring-Ass Life: The Uncomfortably Candid Diary of Kevin Smith.


THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY (ISBN-13: 978-1845769314, May 2009, 240 pages, 9” x 12¼”, $39.95).

THE BEST OF SIMON AND KIRBY is the first volume in the official Simon and Kirby Library, the only editions authorized by Joe Simon and the estate of Jack Kirby. This oversized, deluxe hardcover will be 9” x 12-1/4”, and in addition to the content that was previously announced, it will feature:

· Two stories from the team’s years at Timely Comics: “Captain America and the Riddle of the Red Skull” (from Captain America Comics #1, March 1941) and “The Vision” (from Marvel Mystery Comics #14, December 1940)

· Two stories from their move to DC Comics: Sandman in “The Villain from Valhalla” (from Adventure Comics #75, June 1942) and “Satan Wears a Swastika” (from Boy Commandos #1, Winter 1942)

· All-new, profusely illustrated essays by Mark Evanier, author of Kirby: The King of Comics, introducing each section of the book

DC Comics and Marvel Comics generously provided their support to Joe Simon in making these adventures available. The Joe Simon-Jack Kirby stories in this book feature the team’s groundbreaking work in superheroes, science fiction, war and adventure, romance, crime drama, westerns, horror, and humor. They have all been painstakingly restored by Simon and Kirby historian Harry Mendryk.

The dust jacket will feature quotes by Michael Chabon, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Harlan Ellison, and Mark Evanier. Underneath the dust jacket the book cover itself will feature a huge reproduction of the double-page spread from Stuntman #2, and in his introduction Simon himself discusses the secrets behind that spread.

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