Another great father of comics has passed away. Joe Simon, one of the industry’s most revered writers, artist, and editors; died in New York City yesterday on December 14, 2011, at the age of 98. Joe was one of the few remaining Idols of the Golden-age of comics, responsible for not only for Captain America’s conception, but some of the most famous scenes such as Captain America punching Hitler square in the jaw!
Born and raised in New York, Joe Simon first got a taste of the publication business when he acted as the art director for his schools yearbook. Best known for his decade long collaboration with famous writer Jack Kirby, Simon went onto work for Timely Comics, what would eventually be Marvel, with Kirby where the two created the patriotic icon that is Captain America. The first issue of this historic comic sold over a million copies in 1940, ensuring this icon would stand the test of time. The two would later leave Timely Comics as they felt they were not receiving their promised share of the profits, and head over to National Comics the very company that would one day be known as DC. Together they both created the superhero Manhunter on what would be one of their final group projects, a creation that can still be felt today in the Green Lantern series, Red Lanterns, and much more!
Simon’s work often carried a patriotic theme, whether it was Captain America or the peace loving Geek. “When I and the other young artists were working in comics, our work carried with it a particularly American slant. After all, we were Americans drawing and writing about things that touched us.” Joe said regarding his work. He would also create The Prez, a teenager who had been elected President of the United States of America. His art and work can be felt to this day and echoes through the tools of all modern day writers. “To look back and know that I have had a pivotal role in the development of comics is something I’m very proud of, although it’s not something I think about unless someone brings it up.”, a true comic Hero that will be missed by all fans.