Continuing our look this week at great current artists, I was at Rocketship recently and got a chance to check out this artist's recent art book, and oh my goodness, is it gorgeous! Almost as gorgeous as the Archive. But just almost - let's not get carried away.
276. Paul Pope
On his wikipedia page, Paul Pope is quoted as describing his influences as Daniel Torres, Bruno Premiani, Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Tony Salmons, Hugo Pratt, Silvio Cadelo, Vittorio Giardino, and Herge.
It's interesting to look at those artists, and just try to imagine how awesome a mixture of them would be.
It's even more interesting to note that you don't HAVE to imagine it, because that basically is what Paul Pope is - a mixture of a pile of amazing art styles poured into one man's work. He has the depth of character and the nuance of classic artists like Hugo Pratt and Herge and the bombastic energy of Jack Kirby and Alex Toth, all while giving his own unique flourishes to it all.
Pope first drew attention for his independent comic, THB.
Soon, he was working for Dark Horse and then DC, where, for their Vertigo line, he produced the excellent mini-series 100% and Heavy Liquid.
In 2005, Pope did an issue of DC's Solo. The book won the Eisner the following year for Best Short Story for one of the stories in the comic, "Teenage Sidekick", which was about Robin.
Pope followed up that work on Batman with a mini-series, Batman: Year 100, which was set 100 years from Batman's first introduction.
The series won the Eisner this year for Best Writer/Artist and Best Mini-Series. Did I pick it for Best 2006 Mini-Series? I think I did. I forget. Someone go check!!
If you want more superhero action, here are some sample pages from a short story Pope did in a recent issue of Fantastic Four...
Here is Pope describing his artbook that came out earlier this year from AdHouse Books, Pulphope:
I can honestly say PULPHOPE is the single most ambitious project I have ever undertaken, and also Adhouse's biggest, longest, and most labor intensive publication to date. Clocking in at nearly 250 pages with an almost square 9.5x10 format, PULPHOPE features page after page of never-before-seen full color artwork, including new comics, samples of my various design and illustration projects, and two large gatefold poster images. There are eight essays, covering a wide body of topics including erotica, science fiction, and child drawings, for a total word count clocking in at just over 30,000 words.
Pulphope is a stunning work.
Pope is doing a new book for First Second that I have just been dying to see come out since I heard it solicited.