Young Love #4 (1949)
art by Jack Kirby
Happy 98th Birthday to the late “King of Comics,” Jack Kirby! These days even the most casual student of popular culture is aware of Kirby’s accomplishments in the superhero and science-fiction comic book genres; and many of us are also familiar with his work in western (cowboy) comics, combat comics and monster comics. But did you know that Kirby and his longtime collaborator, Joe Simon (whom he co-created Captain America with), invented a unique and unlikely genre that would help to save the waning comics industry in the years following WWII?
Kirby had returned from the war a decorated Combat Infantryman, and he and Simon were in a rut as their previous comic readers had moved away from the usual superhero fare. But legend has it the partners recognized that the “true confession” pulp magazines were very popular; so the two decided they would create a “true romance” style comic book title – something that had never been done before – and the Romance Comic genre was born!
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