The wait is nearly over for Battling Boy, the long-anticipated superhero/fantasy opus from Paul Pope announced way back in 2007, as First Second has at last set an Oct. 8 release date for the graphic novel. It says so in this EW.com interview in which Pope explains the reasons for the delay. In short, blame Hollywood.
After Paramount Pictures picked up the rights to Battling Boy for Brad Pitt's Plan B production company, Pope began working with the original screenwriter on the film's script. Many months, and many drafts, passed, all while the artist was supposed to be completing the book for its targeted 2010 release. Eventually everyone involved realized, in Pope's words, "The film can’t get made until the book is done, but the book can’t get done until I get off the film to finish it." He was also lured away to help develop a Grand Theft Auto-style video game, after which he concluded, “I had to superglue my ass to a chair and finish the book.”
And we're glad he did, as we've been holding out for Battling Boy for, oh, five or six years. In case you haven't been following along for all of that time, the graphic novel centers on the son of a war god -- EW describes him as haughty yet naïve superboy" -- who’s sent by his father to rid the Monstropolis of monsters after Haggard West, the previous protector of the continent-sized city, is assassinated. There's also West's daughter Aurora, a wannabe hero with a taste for vengeance.
You can see a few pages from Battling Boy below, and even more at EW.com. The second volume is targeted for release in 2014.