The comic-book world lost one of its greatest innovators this week. Joe Simon, the co-creator of Captain America and – heck – entire genres of comics with Jack Kirby passed away Wednesday at the age of 98.
Although many tributes have already mentioned Simon & Kirby’s most prominent creation – a certain star-spangled Avenger – Joe Simon will always hold a unique spot in my geeked-out heart for his whacked out masterpieces of the late ‘6os and early ‘70s: Brother Power The Geek and Prez.
I have to admit that both series warped my young, impressionable mind and helped me realize how comics could communicate more outré concepts than costumed musclemen beating the crap out of one another.
Simon, of course, was responsible for much more than DC oddities. Along with his famous partner, he created such landmark titles as Boy Explorers and Young Romance. Simon also founded and edited one of the more interested Mad knock-offs, Sick Magazine.
While the creation Captain America alone would enough for most writer-artists to consider themselves successful, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby’s accomplishments are proof positive of just how great an impact two visionaries can have on an art form.
Simon and Kirby, after all, did far more than create characters. They created the back-bone of an entire industry.
From Black Cat #6 (Harvey Comics, June-July 1947) here’s a brilliant, off-beat tale by Joe Simon starring “His Highness, The Duke Of Broadway.” The story is entitled “Fear.”