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March 13, 2014

Titan Comics Reviews: The Simon and Kirby Library: Horror

Image (71)The Simon and Kirby Library: Horror
Publisher: Titan Books
Writers: Joe Simon & Jack Kirby
Art: Jack Kirby, Mort Meskin, Ben Oda, Jim Infantino, Marvin Stein, Joe Genol
Art restoration: Harry Mendryk

The need to try and pump up a library volume for a Joe Simon and Jack Kirby creation should be a no-brainer. If for some reason  someone out there needs to be tempted, then get ready. This tome is over three hundred colorful pages long, and encapsulates the entire run of the title Black Magic. If that wasn’t enough, you also get The Strange World of Your Dreams #’s 1-3. You’d think that was it, but NO, IT ISN’T! You’ll also find a great forward by the editor, and another two page piece that reveals some of the inner workings of Simon and Kirby’s studio. Get ready for more, because an incredible cover gallery graces the pages of this book as well, and that is just the perfect ending to this hardcover.

The book not only presents these fantastic issues, but it tells you about the day to day rigors of working in the comic book biz back in the early days. Simon and Kirby had their own small studio, and they had a group of guys that consisted of Mort Meskin, Joe Genalo, Jim Infantino, and Ben Oda. These six creators made magic in this studio (some worked for Prize Comics), and the only thing that stopped this from gaining even more ground was the government (Juvenile Delinquency hearings, 1954). One can only imagine what more there might have been. Ah well, let’s just enjoy this treasure trove of greatness from these two legends and their accomplices!

Most of the stories contained in this over-sized hardcover consist of more of a Gothic horror vibe than straight up gore. Visually, they look similar to the EC Comics from that period, but without the hardcore horror feel. Stories ranging from death, the supernatural, demons, the occult, and so on, fill the book with hair raising moments that for its time were shocking and wild!

Wolves, sharks, spurned lovers, cheating spouses, and everything in-between. You get it all with this one, and you couldn’t ask for more. The restoration work is gorgeous, and really keeps that feel of the early days of comics, but still delivers a punch for the newer readers as well. Titan Comics does a fantastic job with these books, and many more are available as well (Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction, Superheroes, Crime, etc.). Do yourself a favor and grab this title; it is essential reading for any and every horror fan out there! Check out the images below!

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For more Simon and Kirby Library collections click here!

 

Billy Dunleavy
billy@comicattack.net

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