BATTLES, BALLADS, AND COMICS AS MUSIC: A CONVERSATION WITH PAUL POPE
By Patrick A. Reed
Paul Pope is one of comics’ most respected and versatile talents. Over the past three decades, he’s produced an amazing body of work, from his breakthrough self-published THB series to a number of acclaimed projects for DC Comics and Vertigo, including contributions to Wednesday Comics and Solo. Last October, he unleashed his long-awaited Battling Boy graphic novel, which became a bestseller and won “Best Publication For Teens” at the Eisners last month. This coming September, First Second will publish the first of three tie-in volumes, The Rise Of Aurora West, written by Pope and J.T Petty, with art by David Rubin.
We sat down with Pope at the First Second booth at San Diego Comic-Con, the morning after the Eisners ceremony, and had a wide-ranging conversation about his creative inspirations, the changing face of the comics market, and his new and upcoming projects.
CA: Well, there was that movement of you guys, Jeff and yourself and the sort of… “post-indie” creators? Is that an appropriate term?
PP: Yeah, I’d say so.
CA: Because you can talk about, and I am going to use musical terms, there was underground and there was indie in the 80′s with the black and white boom and then there was that post indie movement of…
PP: Shoegaze post-punk.
CA: Yeah, shoegaze post-punk comics where… It’s not a genre, it’s a form that you guys are pushing off in all different directions.
PP: We were also able to bring in influences from Kirby to Robert Crumb to Hernandez Brothers to Carl Barks.