Simon & Kirby expert and blogger extraordinaire Harry Mendryk recently commented on Hand of Fire in encouraging and properly critical terms, noting some of its strengths and fencing with some of its claims. I’m delighted to hear from Mendryk, one of the most expert and dedicated readers of Kirby’s early work and an important source of information about Simon & Kirby in particular. His Simon and Kirby blog is essential reading! (Note that Mendryk performed the art restoration on Titan’s recent and splendid Simon & Kirby Library.)
I’m encouraged to know that Harry finds the book’s discussion of the origins of the Marvel Universe balanced and credible, and that he considers its take on the Fourth World “the best that I have ever read.” I also find his comments about Kirby’s art, which take exception with one of my claims or at least my phrasing, very important. Here’s his conclusion:
[Hand of Fire] is a great book if you want to enter into a discussion about Jack Kirby and his art. You may not agree with everything Hatfield writes, but you will understand why he takes the positions that he does and you may [find] his ideas challenging.
Heartening words indeed! Thanks, Harry, for extending the conversation.