KIRBYSPHÈRE

Influences and connections in the work of Jack Kirby, by Xavier Fournier.

Crowdfunded on Ulule August 2019

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About Xavier Fournier

Xavier Fournier is a writer, journalist and lecturer specialising in comics, publishing articles on the subject since 1993. After his debut at USA Magazine, he spent 18 years writing for Comic Box magazine. He has previously published four books: Super-Héros : Une histoire française, Super-Héros Français : l’Anthologie, and Super-Héros l’Envers du costume et Comics en guerre. He doesn’t have a secret identity but he’s forever alert to questions about comics!

Xavier Fournier

Cover concepts by Stéphane Perger

About the book

Kirbysphère is 400 pages consecrated to the work of Jack Kirby, one of the most famous comic authors of all time. The “King” co-created Captain America, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four and hundreds of other characters. He’s influenced comics, cinema and pop culture well beyond his vast readership.

Kirbysphère, is not just another biography about the artist (several of which already exist) but a study of what drove the author, so at ease with writing and drawing, and how that fed into his creations. What idea was secretly passed on from one decade to the next, putting characters into the same narrative? Which episodes refer to Star Trek and Star Wars? How to understand a minor element thought of in 1967 influencing a modern superhero film? In other words, Kirbysphère reveals part of the “biosphere” Kirby’s imagination, hence the title.

The book

Basically, this project started with the « Oldies but goodies » chronicles that appeared on comicbox.com for a number of years, where Xavier Fournier used his erudition to retell various episodes (sometimes a famous story, sometimes a little-known but crucial tale). Reference, re-contextualisation and homage. The density of narration is such in a Jack Kirby that its a titanic task to untangle the thread of decades of work. Who else could so majestically demonstrate which frame alludes to a novel, which background character refers to a politician, which invention echoes a scientific discovery, and which posing Avenger is homage to an 18th century mythology painting?

Kirbysphère, is 400 pages of explanation and analysis grounded with references and a rich iconography which put the work of this hugely talented creator into perspective. For example – here’s an extract: Captain America se réveille à l’ère moderne et est recueilli par les Avengers.

Kirbysphère is mainly based on Xavier Fournier’s research for his chronicles but many have been rewritten and over a third of the book contains new material to complete the puzzle. The result is adorned with numerous notes that help to form a detailed genealogy of Jack Kirby’s many creations.

Cover concepts by Stéphane Perger

Details

400 pages

155 x 255 mm

Paperback cover illustrated by Stéphane Perger

Signed by the author

Jack Kirby

Ulule

Many thanks to the Ulule campaign participants !

The book will be available from Spring 2020.

Availability

Get Kirbysphère on LiberDistri from Spring 2020!