Young Romance #1, Crestwood/Prize Pub, Sept. 1947

Jack Kirby is THE comic book artist. The list of his comic book creations and co-creations is staggering. Yet at the end of his career Jack Kirby had very little to show for all his creative contributions and talents. The Kirby heirs currently have a lawsuit against Disney/Marvel that basically argues that creations like Fantastic Four and X-Men still belong to Kirby (or at least a portion of them do).

It would take half a novel to list all of Kirby’s great contributions to comic books, the man was prolific. This article will focus on the often forgotten fact that Kirby helped create the Romance Comics genre. This is no small thing since in the 1950s Romance comics rivaled the sales of superhero comics.

It should be noted that Jack and his writing/drawing partner Joe Simon first developed the concept of the romance story in a teen humor comic called My Date. My Date #1 (July 1947) featured teen humor but also featured a story that was very realistic in its approach to teen age romance. The non humor romance story was a huge success and this success enabled Simon and Kirby to negotiate a deal with the publisher to produce a romance title. Young Romance #1 was an instant success. Within a few short years every major comic book publisher had romance titles in their line up.

The Overstreet Price Guide shows $334/$567/$800 as the splits at the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grades.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long term investment are:

– Groundbreaking, the creation of a completely new genre in comic books

– The mighty Jack Kirby’s name associated with it

– Ridiculously low price guide value for such an important book (does not even make the top 10 in the guides Top Ten Romance comics by value)

– Lots of room for appreciation for this comic book

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada