Thursday, December 15, 2011

Farewell to Joe Simon

We are losing the pioneers of comics at an alarming rate. Jerry Robinson passed away on Dec 7th, and now Joe Simon. The comics industry rests on the shoulders on men such as Simon, who came onto the scene before there were ground rules, making them up as they went along. As editor, artist, writer and businessman Simon did it all, only Will Eisner comes to mind as someone with as many skills.

Partnered with Jack Kirby, Simon was a recognizable name early on. He produced comics that were not only innovative, but sold tremendously. The Simon and Kirby team were legendary in the industry, and inspired so many of the kids who followed them, from Steve Ditko to John Romita. They had a track record and maintained a high quality of production. It is wonderful that we now have the ability to see more of their output; not just the superheroes, but crime, horror and romance. There is so much to explore and appreciate, and the rich history of the medium is being represented now in quality publications that will remain in print.

On a personal note I was privileged to visit Joe in his studio a few years back, through the grace of Harry Mendryk, along with fellow enthusiasts Stan Taylor and  Rand Hoppe. It was quite an experience to meet such a legendary figure, who was pleasant, enthusiastic and full of stories. I also saw him at a number of comic cons, one of which Mike Vassallo recently recounted here.

Joe Simon was a talented gentleman who made a distinct mark on the comics landscape. His body of work will continue to be rediscovered by future comics enthusiasts, as well as those who appreciate individual accomplishments in any field.  

Me with Joe Simon

1 comment:

Barry Pearl said...

Which one is Joe Simon?