Hello everyone. I'm back and this month I have an interview with Joe Simon!
For those that don't know, Joe Simon is one of the Golden Age creators that
laid the foundation of the comic book industry. He is the co-creator of
Captain America and *many* other hot selling titles and characters in the
Golden Age. The amount of successful comics he did with and without partner
Jack Kirby would take up a monster amount of space. You'll just have to
trust me when I say he's done some good comics. Anyway, most of these
responses were given to us via fax machine. Enjoy!
Two years ago, the wife and daughter of Jerry Siegel filed copyright papers
to get Jerry Siegel's half of the copyright back in regards to Superman and
related characters. In April of this year the copyright office awarded the
Siegel heirs, saying they now regain their half of Superman, meaning profits
from all new Superman products should be split 50/50 between Time Warner (DC
Comics) and the Siegel heirs. As a golden age creator, what is your opinion on
Good for the Siegels!
Apparently the copyright law for cases like the Siegel heirs are for
characters that were created before they began freelancing with a publisher.
How often was it that a freelancer created a character and "shopped around" to
find a publisher for it?
I can't speak for other creators. No one ever offered such a project to me -
None that was credible, anyway -
There seems to be a long standing dispute about you and Jack Kirby getting
released as Editors at Marvel back in the 40's. Has either Stan Lee or Martin
Goodman fessed up to how Goodman found out you were working for DC on the side?
Not that I know of - This was over 55 years ago, Stan told me he can't
remember last week.
Which editors did you enjoy working with the most over the years?
Which editor? I can't think of one editor I worked with as an editor. The
various companies did have editors but we always acted as our own editor, so
the question has no answer.
Do editors still ask you to do fill in stories for them?
No. I get many requests to do articles + reminiscences - I've been too busy -
Today your involved with licensing characters you created. How did you
manage to get ownership of these characters considering the time period they
were created in?
Through contractual agreements
The most famous licensing agreement you have is over Fighting American,
which Rob Liefeld uses for his Awesome Comics line. Have you read the Fighting
American comics he's produced and what do you think of them?
They are pretty exciting, graphically - Nicely printed. Great coloring
Do you have any other characters licensed out? If so which ones and where
Yes. Several Including the Fly to Batfilms
What is Batfilms and how will the characters be used?
Batfilm Productions are executive producers for the Batman films. The Fly is
expected to be used as he was in the comic books.
What is the craziest character you created?
Craziest character? Jamie, they were all crazy. Who else would fly around in
colored underwear? I think the cutest was Angel in Boys Ranch. Did you know
that we never got around to revealing or determining the real name of Speeboy
in Fighting American. I like The Geek, a rag-doll pretending to be human. The
Prez, an adolescent in the White House, just like the current occupant.
Do you know why Captain America became so successful when the Shield, a
similar character appeared first?
In my opinion, Cap was far superior
Have you been reading Captain America comics over the years? If so which
writer/artists team is your favorite?
No - Sorry I haven't been reading them -
On your webpage, Simoncomics.com you say you created the original Spider Man
which was then used by Jack Kirby, and later re-done by Steve Ditko into the
character we know today. Can you explain how all this happened?
It's in the website. Click on Web Magazine
Do you believe that Jack Kirby pitched the idea of Spider Man to Stan Lee?
Yes. He admitted to it - Ditko confirmed it.
Today comic fans are learning about the behind the scenes politics and
editorial/writer/artist disagreements within comic companies, and how they are
affecting stories. Was that present back in the golden age as well?
In a book called Comics: Between the Panels they have a quote from you
where you say all History of Comics are crap. Can you explain why?
I don't believe I said that. What I meant was they're all derived from
hearsay and old clippings -
The Comic Book Makers seemed to be a big success for you and your son Jim.
Do you plan on doing any more comic history books?
Possibly. We may do a second version.
here are a number of comics with a "Suggested for Mature Readers" label on
them, telling non-typical types of stories in them. Do you think this is a good
We did it first with Young Romance - But it was just a cover gimmick to
entice buyers. The contents were very tame -
What do you think is missing from today's comics that would really
entertain the readers?
I haven't read them. Haven't seen any for years. DC and Marvel stopped