Together, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby created such classic two-fisted comic series as Captain America, Boys' Ranch, The Newsboy Legion, and The Boy Commandos. But few people realize that one of their greatest successes — from 1947, when they singlehandedly created the genre, to the end of the 1950s — was... romance comics!
In such best-selling titles as Young Love and Real Western Romances, Simon and Kirby delighted a generation of girls and women (and probably a fair number of boys and men as well) with hundreds of charming and endlessly inventive stories of love and heartbreak.
Shortly after completing the serialization of Sergio Ponchione's surreal masterpiece Grotesque, we came across portions of his project DKW: Ditko Kirby Wood on his blog, and we immediately knew we had to bring this phenomenal work to American readers. A loving tribute to Steve, Jack, and Wally, DKW tells their stories with astounding, eye-popping, trippy visuals that transport you inside the imaginations of these three master comics-makers.
We're pleased to present DKW as a one-shot comic book coming to comic shops this July! Look for it in the May issue of Previews, out in two weeks, and demand it from your local retailer.
248-page black & white/color 8.5" x 11" softcover • $35.00 ISBN: 978-1-60699-708-6
"Brown has a natural feel for the kind of raised-consciousness-twist gags on which so much of the best panel cartooning depends after 1960, but she also has a unique sense of color and pacing and very sweet outlook on what people value and why that makes her longer narratives a joy." -Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter
200-page full-color 7.75" x 10" hardcover • $29.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-732-1
"...a testament to our culture's appetite for kitschy, kitschy love. The only surprise is that, somehow, these comics don't feel passé...Sexual attraction, like other forms of danger, is doled out in carefully measured portions. And that's really the secret behind romance comics' continuing retro appeal. Like their very first readers, we crave a paradox: Passion united with control." -Etelka Lehoczky, NPR
From tears to soda fountains, from mobsters to pretty ingénues in freshly pressed dresses, the stories of love and betrayal in Young Romance 2 will prompt you to grab a tissue box or swoon in delight. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's sensational romance comics continue in this sequel to Fantagraphics' critical hit, Young Romance. This volume includes stories about women from all walks of life — such as the French widow in "War Bride" or the recently released prisoner in "Unwanted." Simon and Kirby invented the romance comics genre and explored all the flirtations, dalliances, and passions of the young men and women who populated their stories. Mothers, lock up your daughters (and yourselves) before you both get swept away by the sheer delirium that these pages induced so long ago.
"This is the cover to my upcoming book HEROES of THE COMICS, designed by the great Jesse Marinoff Reyes. The book comes out in early July and officially debuts at the San Diego Comic Con."
We got a great response to the preliminary cover we showed with Drew's portrait of Siegel & Shuster, but we went with the King, and for good reason, as you can see. Don't worry, Jerry & Joe are still inside the book, along with dozens and dozens more of the titans and pioneers of American comics, all gorgeously and expressively rendered, and accompanied by loving and informative essays by Drew. No comics lover's coffee table will be complete without this beautiful, oversized hardcover.
From tears to soda fountains, from mobsters to pretty ingénues in freshly pressed dresses, the stories of love and betrayal herein will prompt you to grab a tissue box or swoon in delight. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's sensational romance comics continue in this sequel to 2012's acclaimed Young Romance. This volume covers 1947 through 1949 and includes stories about women from all walks of life — from French widows to released prisoners. Simon and Kirby invented the romance comics genre and explored all the flirtations, dalliances, and passions of the young men and women who populated their stories. Get swept away by the sheer delirium that these pages induced so long ago. These comics have been meticulously restored in order to produce one of the most striking and faithful reproductions of 1940s comics ever published. Edited by acclaimed animator and cartoonist Michel Gagné.
"Simon found he had a knack for tangled melodrama set in very specific milieus, while Kirby drew ordinary men and women with the same sweaty fervor that he lent to monsters and costumed do-gooders....All of which means that the Michel Gagné-edited collection Young Romance... isn’t just a book of some minor historical interest; it’s a genuinely entertaining and artful set of comics, and in some ways more readable than Simon and Kirby's adventure stories." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"Simon and Kirby tried to bring as much excitement to primarily psychological and interpersonal goings-on as to punching and flying.” – Paste
"...[T]hese comics are among the best in their genre without a doubt." – Eddie Campbell, The Comics Journal
"...[Young Romance] is a real treat, an inexpensive way to read a nice sampling of some Kirby comics that any Kirby fanatic has to be curious about. Michel Gagné did a great job assembling a fun cross-section of stories... Rating: ★★★★★" – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Young Romance underscores Simon and Kirby’s keen storytelling skills. Adhering to a mostly six-panel grid, the duo manage to produce work that is visually arresting and dramatic... For Kirby fans and those who just love to explore comics from generations past, it’s a rather essential read." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
Spring is the time for new love, and like the first crocus poking through the snow, our advance copies of Young Romance 2: The Early Simon & Kirby Romance Comics, the sequel to the Eisner Award-nominated first volume, have arrived to portend the book's March release. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (whom everyone knows from their superpower-driven work) not only invented the romance comics genre, they mastered it right out of the gate, as shown in these compelling, dramatic, dynamically-illustrated tales from 1947-1949. And they've never looked better: all the sighs, swoons, kisses, heartbreak, and tears are lovingly restored in reconstructed color. Read an excerpt and pre-order your copy right here.
Once readers got a taste of the romance comics by genre originators (and comics legends) Joe Simon & Jack Kirby in our 2011 volume Young Romance, the clamoring for more began immediately (and the Eisner Award nomination soon followed). We weren't sure if another volume were possible, since that book was a years-in-the-making labor of love by editor Michel Gagné, who is busy with an award-winning animation and game design career. Lo and behold, serendipity came out of the woodwork and now, coming in March, we can bring you Young Romance 2: The Early Simon & Kirby Romance Comics.
In our downloadable preview you can browse the Table of Contents, read the first full story ("I Was a Pick-Up"), and learn about the color restoration process for this volume, which takes a different approach than the first volume, thanks to the efforts of restoration artist Chris Fama. Pre-order your copy now, and if you missed the first one, get them together at a nice discount.
Now that our Kickstarter campaign has wrapped up, we're starting to offer our Spring-Summer 2014 books as plain old regular pre-orders. Our first batch is listed below, and more will become available as they're built into our bookkeeping system (which can be an irregular process). We've also set up a few discounted gift sets to help you save some bucks while building your collection. Be among the first to reserve your copies — hit those links to learn more about each title and start building your shopping cart!