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Do yourself a favor and read this Paul Pope interview

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."

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AICN dubs the lengthy Q&A "a must-read interview"; it's definitely that. Go read it.

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