Here it is, the official authorized biography of the King! Yes, of course this is a lavishly illustrated oversize hardcover edition. It's author, Mark Evanier was the man closest to Kirby during the last two decades of his life and so was in a position to learn of many personal anecdotes that no other chronicler of Kirby's life would have had access to. Evanier's acccount of Kirby's life is not pretending to be a thorough, in-depth accounting of Kirby's life and art, full of penetrating analysis – we'll have to wait a bit longer for that one – but what we are given here of the story of Jack's life is a true wonder, and the reader is taken on a whirlwind tour. And, crucially, from a production and presentation standpoint, the creators of this volume have done an excellent job. The quality of the reproductions is top notch and the've made all the right printing decisions -- flat colors on flat, bright, low-reflective, heavyweight white stock. The book is filled with page after amazing page of full size reproductions of original art, as well as luscious reproductions of the comics themselves. This book is a real pleasure to go through. When all is said and done, this must be considered a book that no self-respecting comics fan can be without. And now, at this crazy deal price, no one needs to be.
<<•>> selected and edited by Mark Evanier <<•>>
Any Kirby fan opening this book for the first time and realizing what they're holding in their hands will have the same reaction we did: "WOW!" When we first heard about this book/project a year or so ago, we assumed it would be a coffee table type book more or less along the lines of Evanier's previous book titled simply Kirby, which was a swell tome offering an overview of the king's life and work along with a generous election of high quality scans of his original art and published work. The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio is a different beast altogether. Here we have assembled one of the largest selections of high quality scans of original art ever put between two covers. Thiis massive, oversize, hardcover tome opens with a fifteen page introduction by Evanier, which is then immediately followed by a mind-boggling 350 high-resolution scans of original art that emanated from the Simon and Kirby Studio from 1942 through 1959, with the vast majority of it from the '50s. While other artists' work is on display here, most notably that of S&K Studio members, Mort Meskin and Bill Draut, most is by Jack Kirby. Many complete stories are included along with covers, double-page splashes, unfinished pencils and unpublished pages. Nearly 70 pages from Kirby's seminal Boys' Ranch are here, which is some of the strongest work of his career (although six of the pages are, sadly, incorrectly formatted, resulting in blurred/pixilated images). Also, some amazing pages of Al Williamson inking Kirby that will knock the socks off even the most jaded seen-it-all. Once again, we say, "WOW!"