I read the Science Fiction collection, and the book was simply amazing. From the colorful cover depicting an astronaut startled mid-spacewalk by some fantastic, fiery space goblin, you instantly understand the genius of Jack Kirby. The sheer amount of information and energy imbued in the image is incredible, and you immediately know you’re embarking on an extraordinary adventure. [Editor’s note: Sorry about that last sentence. Sometimes when Sam gets going, he just can’t stop himself.] When you crack open the book, there’s a sense of history and weight (and not just metaphorical weight. This book is HEAVY!) almost as if you are one of the explorers depicted in this collection traveling through time and space to experience a strange and beautiful, new world. Introduced by comic legend Dave Gibbons, this edition contains comics so imaginative and exciting that you might hardly guess that they were written fifty, sixty, some even more than seventy years ago! Though some of the stories have twist endings that are less than remarkable, and many had a pulpy quality that might alienate some (though I personally loved it!), each one felt almost cutting edge in the efficiency of their storytelling and the ideas and concepts being explored.
The collection is organized in chapters by decade, starting with the 1940s, so you get to see the growth of the creators over the course of the years. Each chapter is also introduced by comic critic and historian Peter Sanderson, so you have a context for the pages to follow. If you have ever found yourself wanting to learn more about Jack Kirby and Joe Simon and why they have come to be revered as pioneers in the comic industry, Titan’s The Simon & Kirby Library: Science Fiction is a great place to start!