A crowdfunding project to fund a new book celebrating the life of Jack Kirby is gathering pace, which if successful, will include contributions from British comic creators such as Brendan McCarthy and John McCrea, as well as a host of internationally-accliamed talent.
US comic creator Jack Kirby is famous for having created or co-created some of the most well-known and beloved superheroes in the history of comic-books, such as the Avengers, Captain America, the X-Men, Hulk, the Fantastic Four,or the New Gods. His drawing style and storytelling techniqueshad such influence over the superhero genre that he was even dubbed the King of Comics by his peers.
Even today, the greatest artists and writers in the comics industry often quote his work as influential in their own. Many decades after the publication of his latest comics, most comics fans still consider Jack Kirby’s work as a cornerstone in the history of comics.
August 2017 will be the centenary of Mr. Kirby’s birth and the Komics Initiative have seen this as an opportunity, they hope, to assemble fans from all around the world, professionals and amateurs, and to ask them to show and tell how Jack Kirby impacted them and their works.
The project they hope to secure crowd funding for is Kirby&Me – a 300-page long celebration, featuring over 150 participants among which professionals, specialists, and other fanatics from all around the world.
Tributes will come in various forms: never-seen-before artworks, original testimonies and interviews,as well as some comics specially done for the occasion and many other surprises. All of this compiled within a carefully-crafted collection, in art book format with texts both in English and French.
“Kirby&Me has been designed to be an ambitious, generous, and radiant tribute to the memory of Jack Kirby,” say the team, “In the spirit of Jack Kirby as a symbol for artists throughout the world, all proceeds from this campaign will go to a non-profit organization: Hero Initiative. For years, now, Hero Initiative has been helping artists in need and we feel the man we’re paying tribute to would have agreed with this.
Here’s a sneak peek at a fraction of the artwork which will be featured in the book. The editors have already gathered more than 100 illustrations, done by renowned artists and talented amateurs. And the number grows with each passing day, even as the fund raiser campaign runs.
So far, those who have offered art include 2D, Pierre Alary, Alexis Bacci Leveillé, Derf Backderf, Steve Baker, Beuh, Franck Biancarelli, Bicargo, Señorita Bicho, Josselin Billard, Roland Boschi, Russ Braun, Jerome Bretzner, Dan Brereton, Philippe Briones, Luc Brunschwig, Stéphane De Caneva, Hugo Canuto, Roberto Cardinale, Caza, Cécil, Darick Chamberlin, Marco Checchetto, Vicente Cifuentes, Patricio Clarey, Tomm Coker, Giorgio Comolo, Philippe Cordier, Czek, Sergio Davila, Jean Depelley, Mike Deodato Jr, Tony Dennison, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Kyko Duarte, Patrick Dumas, François Duprat, Davidé Fabbri, Frank Fosco, Mathias Fourrier, Mr Garcin, Rafa Garres, Gess, Romain Gondy, John Gonzales, Griffon, Fred Grivaud, RM Guéra, Guile, Guillomcool, Boris Guilloteau, Alan Heller, Chris Hénin, Eric Hérenguel, Dylan Horrocks, Mike Huddleston, Julien Hugonnard-Bert, Juapi, Nicolas Kéramidas, Antonio Lapone, Jonathan Lau, Paolo Leandri, Laurent Lefeuvre, Jeff Lemire, Etienne Le Roux, Greg Lofé, Lorenzzo, Flavio Luiz, Tom Lyle, Chris Malgrain, Patrick Marcel, Enrico Marini, Marti, Freddy Martin, Alvaro Martinez, Pat Masioni, Rodolphe Massé, Mauricet, Brendan McCarthy, John McCrea, Adam McGovern, David Messina, Paskal Millet, Boris Mirroir, Thierry Mornet, Motte, Cyrille Munaro, Frédéric Mur, Alex Nikolavitch, Art No, Julien Noirel, Nagy Norbert, Rafael Ortiz, Stéphane Perger, Alberto Ponticelli, Juanan Ramirez, Mike Ratera, Paul Renaud, Juan Jose Ryp, Radja Sauperamaniane, Valerio Schiti, Diana Schutz, Laurent Sieurac, Crystal Skillman, Joe Skull, Robert Solanovic, Scorpio Steele, Matej Stic, Fran Strukan, Goran Sudzuka, Dalibor Talajic, Ciro Tota, Ronan Toulhoat, Emilio Van Der Zuiden, Fred Van Lente, Olivier Weinberg and Laurent Zimny.
“This campaign will support an honest yet ambitious project which main appeal is that it’s being done by fans, for the fans, to celebrate the man without whom comics wouldn’t be what they are today,” say organisers Mickaël Géreaume and Alain Delaplace, reviewers over at PlaneteBD and Jack Kirby fans extraordinaire, who founded Komics Initiative, a French association dedicated to the promotion of comics and bandedessinee.
They’ve been working for now two years on this project, hoping to offer Kirby fans around the world a noble and memorable celebration of their favourite artists.
“The collected funds will serve to pay a professional design artist, the book’s printing, the various other rewards and, of course, the postage of all the rewards to the backers.
“From the start, we wanted this book to be the ideal media through which artists could pay tribute to Jack Kirby,” they say. “That’s why we’ve opted for an artbook-like format.”
The book looks utterly stunning and the line-up of artists so far is truly incredible. If you’re a Kirby fan then this is a crowd funding project you should take a look at.
• You can back the campaign here. Even if you don’t take part in the campaign by funding it, you can help us by talking about it around you, on the Internet or on social media.