The Simon & Kirby Library: Crime
written by Joe Simon
illustrated by Jack Kirby
In all the talk around Dr. Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent and the resulting congressional hearings on comics, most of the discussion is focused on the gory horror comics of the time. But also causing much controversy back then were the plethora of crime comics popular with readers. This collection presents the combined works of two of the greats: Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
Since Titan Books has been collecting the Simon & Kirby Library, they’ve done a wonderful job of bringing the two comics legends’ work to a new audience of readers. This volume gloriously features such real-life villains as Ma Barker and Al Capone, even dips back into the history of Guy Fawkes, and spans decades in its storytelling.
It’s a world of tough dames, hard-nosed criminals, relentless investigators, come-on girls, and more. Even though the violence is there, there’s a quaint innocence to it all that makes it seem…well, almost wholesome. Most of the criminals learn their lessons, eventually, or else they pay the ultimate price for their crimes.
And what to say about the story and art? It’s Simon and Kirby, for goodness’ sake. They’re both brilliant These stories capture both creators at the top of their game. It’s a sheer pleasure to read, from beginning to end.