Scans of original art are from the Kirby Museum's Original Art Digital Archive.
Scans of pencil art photocopies for the Kirby Museum's Pencil Art Photocopy Archive courtesy of the Kirby Family, with thanks to TwoMorrows Publishing.
Please do not copy any images or content from this site without permission.
Interesting that issue 58 from September 1956 was produced on thick Illustration board where this issue 59 a year later marks the change to 2ply Bristol Board.
Also the top large figure's inking style is rougher and was done with a broad strokes similar to Kirby's style were as the rest is lighter and thinner links perhaps more similar to Simon.
I'm not sure where the idea Simon used a thin line technique originated came from. Perhaps his comments about "hay?" My observations, and the things I've read tell me Simon only rarely played the role of Kirby's inker.
We know Simon did very little inking of Kirby at Timely, and DC in the early 40's. I think Simon was more likely to pencil some story pages at DC rather than be found inking Kirby's pencils. Post war, in the late 40's is where you see Simon inking good bit's of things like the Stuntman stories, and even there it's obvious Kirby was inking most of the splash pages. Simon was also penciling and inking pages, or complete stories in the late 40's. By the early 50's Kirby was often inking his own work, and when he wasn't Simon was usually not the inker, more likely it would be Meskin, or Marvin Stein.
The new DC Omnibus is a treasure trove of late 50's Kirby pencils and inks. Many of the stories how KIrby using extensive fine line work, in certain panels where he wanted the effect. KIrby had previously used a fine line technique in the early 40's on things like his Timely Vision stories. In the early 50's Kirby had set aside most of the feathering and cross-hatching, but it returned at times in the late 50's.
I've asked other historians like Harry on who inked what and he mentioned it was always hard to unequivocally verify who inked what. So in cases where the inker is not obvious or documented, I put both Simon and Kirby.
I'm almost through reading Joe Simon's "My Life in Comics." Here is some passages in context of their earlier work together pre-war:
"I was doing most of the inking. Jack was too exceptional a penciler to waste him on inking, in my opinion."
"If we had time I would lay out everything, and usually it was Jack who would do the penciling, tightening up what I had started. I did most of the writing but Jack could write, too. We'd script the story right on the board, and make notes in the margins. Jack was excellent at following the story, adding to it, or reinventing it, if that was what it needed."
Does this art from the mid-50s mean that Kirby inked it all? Based what Joe said, it makes sense that Meskin or Stein would have inked this if Joe didn't.
Tom. I don't take much of what Simon says very seriously. Absolutely can't buy the idea he did layouts for Kirby.
Now maybe on some of the early Captain America comics at Timely I could see that, certainly not in the 50's.
This is based on my own observations, but also on things I've read by S&K studio artists and writers.
I've also studied quite a few pages which were penciled and inked by Simon at Heritage Auction Gallery. To get a real appreciation of them it's necessary to register at Heritage and log in so that the art can be studied at large scale.
It's well established that Simon did very little inking in the early 40's. Most of the Timely and early 40's DC work wasn't inked by Simon or Kirby.
I'll post some more on this in the forum.