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"Gripping from the first page... If you love comic books, history, or just love a story of a real self-made man, you must read this book." - Shadowlocked "A true visionary, Simon's book is laced with never-before-seen photos and illustrations, and told in his own words. If you're at all curious about the history of comics and one of its earliest visionaries, My Life in "Gripping from the first page... If you love comic books, history, or just love a story of a real self-made man, you must read this book." - Shadowlocked "A true visionary, Simon's book is laced with never-before-seen photos and illustrations, and told in his own words. If you're at all curious about the history of comics and one of its earliest visionaries, My Life in Comics is a must-read." - IGN "... a lovely memoir, often funny, sometimes thought-provoking, and never ostentatious. It’s a true pleasure to read." - Graphic Novel Reporter "... essential reading for any fan of comic book history and storytelling." - ComicBook.com -- In his own words, this is the life of Joe Simon, one of the most important figures in comics history, and half of the famous creative team Simon and Kirby. Joe Simon co-created Captain America, and was the first editor in chief of Marvel Comics (where he hired Stan Lee for his first job in comics).  Simon began his prolific career in the Great Depression, and this book recounts his journey to New York City, his first comic book work, his meeting with Jack Kirby, and the role comics played in wartime America. He remembers the near-death of the comics, and the scramble to survive. And he reveals what it was like to bring comics out of their infancy, as they became an American art form.


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"Gripping from the first page... If you love comic books, history, or just love a story of a real self-made man, you must read this book." - Shadowlocked "A true visionary, Simon's book is laced with never-before-seen photos and illustrations, and told in his own words. If you're at all curious about the history of comics and one of its earliest visionaries, My Life in "Gripping from the first page... If you love comic books, history, or just love a story of a real self-made man, you must read this book." - Shadowlocked "A true visionary, Simon's book is laced with never-before-seen photos and illustrations, and told in his own words. If you're at all curious about the history of comics and one of its earliest visionaries, My Life in Comics is a must-read." - IGN "... a lovely memoir, often funny, sometimes thought-provoking, and never ostentatious. It’s a true pleasure to read." - Graphic Novel Reporter "... essential reading for any fan of comic book history and storytelling." - ComicBook.com -- In his own words, this is the life of Joe Simon, one of the most important figures in comics history, and half of the famous creative team Simon and Kirby. Joe Simon co-created Captain America, and was the first editor in chief of Marvel Comics (where he hired Stan Lee for his first job in comics).  Simon began his prolific career in the Great Depression, and this book recounts his journey to New York City, his first comic book work, his meeting with Jack Kirby, and the role comics played in wartime America. He remembers the near-death of the comics, and the scramble to survive. And he reveals what it was like to bring comics out of their infancy, as they became an American art form.

30 review for My Life in Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mike Gibas

    Fascinating book chock full of anecdotes but sadly lacking in depth, analysis or introspection. Simon is supremely confident and oozes a genuine belief in his undeniable talents, but this often veers close to the bravado of Stan Lee. His stories though are great - though he skips whole time periods when it gets uncomfortable or too close.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ricky Kimsey

    Great Memoir This is an autobiography of the co creator of Captain America Joe Simon. He tells of his life growing up during the Great Depression and starting what would be his life work as a comic book artist first as a collaborator with fellow Jack Kirby and later on as a solo artist.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Earl Dickens

    Great informative and as much fun as reading the original comics! This is a truly magical journey through not only the origins of America's only true art form, but also a great view of the times and history surrounding them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan Seitz

    Joe Simon is very old and does not give a single shit of what anybody in the comics industry, most of whom have predeceased him, thinks of him anymore, so this memoir spills tea by the barrel. That said, and despite this clearly being a transcribed and edited series of interviews, it's still a fascinating read. Simon was there at the very beginning, and never strays from his personal perspective. If you're curious about comics history, at all, this brief volume is a must-read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marcy Webb

    Joe Simon’s death in 2011 casts an unfortunate shadow over this book - Simon ends the book with a ‘Prologue’, feeling his work is not complete. Reading in 2019, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s passings carry another shadow over it. What is otherwise a great overview of the newspaper, comic book and magazine industry and growing up Jewish in New York in the 1910s and 20s, the rise of Nazism (including the rally in Madison Square Garden) and the challenges of World War II, censorship and the CCA, DC, E Joe Simon’s death in 2011 casts an unfortunate shadow over this book - Simon ends the book with a ‘Prologue’, feeling his work is not complete. Reading in 2019, Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s passings carry another shadow over it. What is otherwise a great overview of the newspaper, comic book and magazine industry and growing up Jewish in New York in the 1910s and 20s, the rise of Nazism (including the rally in Madison Square Garden) and the challenges of World War II, censorship and the CCA, DC, E.C., Archie and Harvey, the difficulty of publications to stay afloat and creator rights vs. copyright legislation, feels if anything too short. In the last couple of chapters, decades of court hearings, work restoring and reprinting older work, attending comic conventions and awaiting the release of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ are compressed into a couple of sentences at best. No sooner are we at 9/11 than we are at 2011. That said, this is no major criticism, because this book offers insight not only into the creation of characters (Captain America, Prez, romance comics as a genre, even Spider-Man), but into the personalities and lives of both Simon and Jack Kirby, and Charles Hearst, wonderfully rendered. There’s so many great illustrations and comic art that it becomes a valuable reference. It just ends up feeling unfortunately incomplete at less than 250 pages, becoming a thesis statement for Simon’s entire life when as the title suggests, it should just be about the comics. Had Simon lived longer, I do wonder if he would have published any follow-up volumes. However I do want to chase up some of Titan’s reprint books now.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ian Massey

    An interesting read by one of the greats of American comics (even though I'm not familiar with most of his output...) Being an autobiography, it was a lot more anecdotal and personal than the other "histories" I had read recently and, because of that, a bit less dry. However, a lot of the stories seemed to lack detail - I got the impression that there could/should have been more, although I can't say what. It seemed a book about memories (and, to be fair, Simon at nearly 100 years, has a much bet An interesting read by one of the greats of American comics (even though I'm not familiar with most of his output...) Being an autobiography, it was a lot more anecdotal and personal than the other "histories" I had read recently and, because of that, a bit less dry. However, a lot of the stories seemed to lack detail - I got the impression that there could/should have been more, although I can't say what. It seemed a book about memories (and, to be fair, Simon at nearly 100 years, has a much better memory of his career than have of mine..) Interesting that some sections crossed over with those other histories - particularly the mentions around the censorship in the 50s, perhaps the biggest single thing ever to effect comics - and also nice to read about more people involved in the creation of the industry

  7. 4 out of 5

    B

    To some degree, this book is about the legal system and how being a part of a lawsuit can really traumatize you. Simon is a moderately entertaining storyteller. What I think is most interesting is Mark Evanier's Kirby biography makes you really, really, really want to read some Jack Kirby. Simon's book just simply doesn't suggest that Simon's work is very good. He's very proud about having "invented Captain America." But Captain America just doesn't have an real appeal. It's like the male equival To some degree, this book is about the legal system and how being a part of a lawsuit can really traumatize you. Simon is a moderately entertaining storyteller. What I think is most interesting is Mark Evanier's Kirby biography makes you really, really, really want to read some Jack Kirby. Simon's book just simply doesn't suggest that Simon's work is very good. He's very proud about having "invented Captain America." But Captain America just doesn't have an real appeal. It's like the male equivalent of "Hello Kitty." It looks nice. Simon's other big moments seem to have been inventing someone that is kind of like Spider-man, Sick magazine, and True Romance comics. But it's not clear that those have held up or interest the superhero reader.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Hodson

    This book was a remarkably frank account of a man's life, saying superbly honest (hopefully truthful) things about a wide range of acquaintances and friends. I had definitely heard of joe simon, thanks in part to his fight for creator rights, but this probably didn't get me right in, because of all the properties he worked on I had only read a small amount of Cap and a bit of Brother Power the Geek in brave and the bold and some backups. Actually, comics aside, it was probably more interesting a This book was a remarkably frank account of a man's life, saying superbly honest (hopefully truthful) things about a wide range of acquaintances and friends. I had definitely heard of joe simon, thanks in part to his fight for creator rights, but this probably didn't get me right in, because of all the properties he worked on I had only read a small amount of Cap and a bit of Brother Power the Geek in brave and the bold and some backups. Actually, comics aside, it was probably more interesting as a sketch of a young new yorker growing up through war and depression and sharing his unvarnished impressions on life.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    I might have enjoyed this book - the autobiography of Joe Simon, one of the creators of Captain America - a little bit more if I knew more about comics in general. He throws out a lot of names (illustrators, inkers, writers, etc) that I would have recognized had I been more hip to comic books. But I'm not, so it felt a little overwhelming at times. However, Mr. Simon is extremely likable, his writing style very relatable, and many of his life stories are just fun to read. I enjoyed this one a lot I might have enjoyed this book - the autobiography of Joe Simon, one of the creators of Captain America - a little bit more if I knew more about comics in general. He throws out a lot of names (illustrators, inkers, writers, etc) that I would have recognized had I been more hip to comic books. But I'm not, so it felt a little overwhelming at times. However, Mr. Simon is extremely likable, his writing style very relatable, and many of his life stories are just fun to read. I enjoyed this one a lot, and I think most comic book fans would love it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    It's a very sweet, sentimental autobiography that may gloss over events that historians consider important; but that adds to the charm of Joe Simon. He's just telling the story as he lived it and not getting caught up in the legend. His talent was huge and it's a great testimony to his humility that he never seems to have believed the hype. I enjoyed reading this book quite a lot.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gabriel Tamaș

    Such a great story, not only for comic books enthusiats but for anyone who wishes to know more about life in another Era so close on the timeline yet so far from nowadays realities. Joe Simon puts it all out and sheds light on many topics, personalities and social enviorments that forged the meteoric rise of such a misunderstood medium as comic books still are.

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Macpherson

    A decent, relaxed story of Joe Simon's career in comic books. I love books like this and have a very high tolerance for them, but this one was fun and breezy. It had a few salty stories about the people in comics and nice details on how certain characters and trends were created.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Craig Wilson

    Good read for those interested in the subject. Anyone who thinks Stan Lee built the industry should read this (and some of his choice words regarding Lee.)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samuel B. Shaw

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

  16. 5 out of 5

    Simon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Bob Ro

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  19. 4 out of 5

    Chuck White

  20. 4 out of 5

    D Cresswell

  21. 5 out of 5

    Victor Miller

  22. 5 out of 5

    Big Bil

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael Caveney

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jamie DeVriend

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rob

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josh Flanagan

  27. 5 out of 5

    John Ferrigno

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gavin Stephens

  29. 4 out of 5

    Darcy Sowers

  30. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Fazzina

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