Joe Simon, who co-created Captain America, dies

By MATT MOORE Modified: December 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm •  Published: December 15, 2011
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“Jack and I read the newspapers, and knew what was going on over in Europe. And there he was — Adolf Hitler, with his ridiculous moustache, high-pitched ranting and goose-stepping followers. He was the perfect bad guy, much better than anything we could have made up, so what we needed was to create his ultimate counterpart,” Simon told AP.

“Cap is one of the great comic book icons, and as dangerous as the world is today — more than it was in the 1940s — we need him around more than ever to act as our moral compass,” Simon said.

Mark Evanier, a comic industry historian and Jack Kirby biographer, noted that Simon, besides being able to write and draw, also knew how to edit comics.

“Joe himself was the first great real editor who brought to comics skills he'd learned elsewhere and had some perception of how to put a magazine together and how to make a professional looking publication,” Evanier told The AP on Thursday. “He had some business acumen. He knew how to talk to publishers, he knew how to make deals.”

He also knew the market, Evanier said, noting that Simon, along with Kirby, plunged head first into creating horror, crime, humor and romance comics in the aftermath of World War II.

Simon said earlier this year that creating the romance comics was a high point for him and Kirby because they “negotiated to own half of the property,” something that had been an uncertain prospect in the industry.

“I'd like to think that we showed today's comic book writers and artists how they can do more than just make a living producing comic books, and hold onto the fruits of their labors,” he said.

Simon is survived by two sons, three daughters and eight grandchildren.

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