The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire digs back to the 1930s when Marvel Comics wasn't just a comic-book producing company. Marvel was but a small part of owner Martin Goodman's publishing empire, which had begun years before he published his first comic book. Goodman mostly published lurid and sensationalist story books (known as pulps) and magazines, featuring sexually charged detective and romance short fiction and celebrity gossip scandal sheets. Artists like Jack Kirby, who was producing Captain America for eight-year-olds, were dipping their toes in both ponds. The Secret History of Marvel Comics tells this parallel story of 1930s/40s Marvel Comics sharing offices with those Goodman publications not quite fit for children.
Blake Bell is the author of Strange & Stranger (a retrospective of Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko); The Secret History of Marvel Comics, Fire & Water: Bill Everett, The Sub-Mariner, and the Birth of Marvel Comics; Amazing Mysteries: The Bill Everett Archives; and Strange Suspense and Unexplored Worlds (two volumes in The Steve Ditko Archives). He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his son.
Dr. Michael J.Vassallo lives in Westchester County, NY with his family, has written extensively for the Marvel Masterworks series, is known as a pre-eminent expert on Marvel Comics from the 1930s to 1950s, and is currently writing a biography of Timely artist Joe Maneely.
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