Starting today, you'll be able to purchase your very own copy of the incredible new pop-up book, "Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy", engineered by Matthew Reinhart and illustrated by Kevin Wilson. This marvel of paper ingenuity was a huge hit at this past weekend's New York Comic Con as Matthew and Kevin were both there to unveil it to the masses. Part of that tour de force involved signings, panels, and demonstrations for the many fans and peers in attendance.
I received my copy prior to leaving for New York and played with it for hours before I had to stop myself, because it is that intricate, that detailed, and that much fun to experience! You'll have to see to believe it, but the size and scope is something to behold and is the largest pop-up book paper-engineer and uber Star Wars fan, Matthew Reinhart has ever done.
And not only does each section have countless pullable tabs, easter eggs, and narrative appeal, but the entire book somehow opens up into a full-scale diorama, revealing the entire Skywalker Saga in all it's pop-up glory (see pic below). Seeing the looks of pure joy on the faces of fans as Matthew would explain the size and scale of this book was so much fun. Even fellow Star Wars authors, artists, and peers were clearly impressed as their mouths were left agape at the sheer intricacy of it all.
Here's the official description...
Blast into hyperspace for a thrilling pop-up journey through the entire Star Wars saga with pop-up legend Matthew Reinhart's new masterpiece.
From the war-torn battlefields of the Clone Wars to the rebels' last stand over the Death Star and the Resistance's climactic clash with the First Order on Crait, this one-of-a-kind pop-up book takes fans on a unique interactive adventure that brings the Star Wars saga to life in a whole new way.
Featuring the most iconic moments from the entire saga rendered as ingenious pop-up creations, Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy allows fans to interact with the action, launching rebel snowspeeders against AT-AT walkers, helping the Millennium Falcon escape First Order pursuers on Jakku, and more. Presented in a dynamic 360-degree format that enables the action to be viewed from all sides, the book also opens up to form a displayable 3D diorama of the entire saga.
Packed with amazing Star Wars moments and hidden surprises to discover, Star Wars: The Ultimate Pop-Up Galaxy represents a whole new level of sophistication and interactivity in pop-up books and is guaranteed to thrill fans of all ages.
To coincide with Force Friday, Insight Editions released a video (see below) showing an in-depth reveal of each chapter of the book, and I was offered a chance to speak with both Matthew and Kevin briefly after one of their many planned events.
Can you talk about how ďThe Ultimate Pop-Up GalaxyĒ got its start?
Matthew Reinhart: For this book in particular, I started off by coming up with concepts. We didnít really know how the direction of the book was going to go, this is my third Star Wars book, and we wanted to do something a bit different. Part of that was a desire to do a map or some sort of display, so that it was beyond just a regular pop-up book. We wanted it to be something else.
Kevin Wilson: One year ago today was when the process started really. We were here last year promoting the Harry Potter book, which was quite an undertaking and my first book, as I normally do poster art. It was then Insight Editions came to us with this idea and we started to discuss the Star Wars book.
The process to me would seem incredibly complex and difficult, is that the case?
Matthew Reinhart: So, yeah, we start with concepts, and I just start ďengineeringĒ stuff. Iím literally cutting and folding paper in my studio, and thereís paper everywhere. As far as technique goes, I just pick up paper and I start cutting and folding, I mean, I know certain mechanisms that will get me to certain structures, but so much of it is really low-tech engineering.
And when Iíve designed a mechanism that I liked, and then I carefully take it apart and trace all the pieces into my computer. Thatís so they can replicate it and I can remake it and look for any potential problems. It takes a couple of months just to get the initial shapes designed.
Kevin Wilson: As Matthew finishes the engineering, and effectively has a plain white cardboard model; heís then broken it down into shapes for replication. At that point heís sending me the shapes and I fill them in with the artwork so they can be reconstructed again in three dimensions.
Matthew Reinhart: Itís mainly just about asking myself questions like ďhow is this structure workingĒ ďhow can I make it do thingsĒ ďhow is it interesting in the way it moves or transformsĒ thatís what inspires me to make things.
I know it all sounds very technical, and I can get certainly get very technical, but I feel like that side of it comes later, after the designing process. When Iím designing, and cutting and folding paper, itís almost like Iím in this weird world, and itís very strange, but it all works for me. It makes sense to me.
Kevin Wilson: Heíll send me guides as well, sketches of shapes and characters giving me a rough idea of who should be where, and which buildings go where. Once thatís done, all the pieces get merged with the art digitally and the whole thing gets rebuilt. Matthew makes it easier by breaking it down for me rather than just sending me literal shapes. Heíll tell me an AT-AT goes here, or a tree goes there, or Luke should be hanging from there. That way I can just focus on the art.
Other than maybe the obvious, what is it about this particular pop-up book that makes it special?
Matthew Reinhart: This is a really complex book and my initial pop-up books that I did when I first started doing books twenty years ago, were much simpler. But you learn things along the way and you learn to do things differently. But because this is a much more high-end collector, sort of adult type of book, this one is super-complex for sure.
Like, thereís a Death Star in this one, and itís really hard to do a sphere in general in a book. Usually when you make a sphere in a pop-up book, itís almost like flattening a basketball. But this one, not only does it flatten but it folds in on itself and then folds in on itself again. So itís a double flattening sort of to make that spherical shape.
You both seem to get along quite well, whatís the benefit of working with a partner?
Matthew Reinhart: Itís great having a collaborative partner because so thereís so much that has to be done. I mean, itís definitely worth it and I enjoy having that back and forth with someone. He does a great job; he does it perfectly every time!
And we both want certain deep-cuts in there, sometimes they let us do it, and sometimes they donít so I love having a partner in crime that loves it as much as I do.
Kevin Wilson: And working with Matthew is a true two-way process; Iíve offered suggestions like parking the Ghost outside of the Yavin Temple that have made their way into the book.
What is it about pop-up books that appeal to you the most?
Kevin Wilson: Itís certainly changed the way I work, become more efficient. Thereís a large volume of work within a relatively short period of time and Iím reevaluating my process all the time. Itís a lot of art, with a lot of extra work that needs to be done. The positive effect of working like that is that itís certainly helped me with other work, and has enabled me to be able to do more.
Matthew Reinhart: Pop-up engineering is definitely an art form, and itís one of the ways I express myself artistically. Figuring out structures and how they can compress and transform, Iíve learned a lot over the years. It would be like someone who draws really well, or someone who paints really well, or who writes, itís my chosen art form.
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