In advance of Paul Pope's appearance this weekend at the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon, Mike Russell sits down with the cartoonist for a wide-ranging interview that touches upon, among other topics, his pursuit of a "world comic," working for Japanese publisher Kodansha, Psychenaut -- the experimental sci-fi mash-up film and the comic -- and his First Second Books project Battling Boy, which boasts sprawling, 50-page fight scenes.
"They go on forever," Pope says. "That's from manga. One of my favorite books is Egawa Tatsuya's Tokyo University Story -- and he would have long sequences where basically nothing would be happening except a guy in a bicycle riding along, or two guys playing Ping-Pong. And that's just so cool to me -- not because it's jerking off on paper, but because it feels real. It's that fugue state you get into when you're doing something -- when you're playing chess or drinking coffee in the morning trying to wake up. ... To me, the magic of comics -- and art -- is trying to say something real about life in an artificial medium. To re-create life, or to sub-create it, to use Tolkien's term."
AICN dubs the lengthy Q&A "a must-read interview"; it's definitely that. Go read it.