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Paul Pope launches new website, teases us with Battling Boy again

Paul Pope has launched a new website, PaulPope.com, and has used this as an opportunity to issue a brief statement on the status of his long-overdue Battling Boy graphic novel. He writes:

It is official– Battling Boy v.1 is completed and in production. There is a set release date for BBv.1, although it is up to my publisher First Second to make that announcement, in conjunction with their larger marketing plan for BB. I begin work on BBv.2 in December 2012, with a 9-10 month production schedule locked in for 2013. I am currently working on another project, which will be most of my creative concern for November 2012. Details to come.

Typically for Pope, he can’t announce one project without trailing another. The man is a either a sadist or a masochist, I haven’t decided yet (above image is “one of … many cover concepts for BBv.1. – Battling Boy and Dad.”).

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Art Barrage | The return of Paul Pope, among other matters

More proof that Paul Pope’s Battling Boy may actually be about to see the light of day emerges arrives courtesy Mark Siegel’s diary for The Comics Journal. And, providing corroborating evidence that Pope can finish a job as well as start it, he has got a short story, “Treasure Lost,” coming up in Vertigo’s Halloween special Ghosts. Some lovely sci-fi/fantasy art going on in that ‘un, reminding me of those Dune pages he used to do for fun. Check that out, and lots more by Jamie McKelvie, Yuko Shimizu, Jason Shawn Alexander and others below.

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Better than coal: First Second leaks pages from Paul Pope’s Battling Boy

Battling Boy

Here’s a nice pre-Christmas treat … First Second has started “leaking” some of the artwork for Paul Pope’s long-awaited Battling Boy project on their blog. Check’em out here and here. Those of you with long memories may remember that Pope told us earlier this year that Battling Boy will come out in 2011, and hopefully these teasers mean it will be sooner rather than later.

Paul Pope talks Battling Boy, DJing and the new THB

Screengrab from the upcoming documentary 'Soul Trading' about the Thee Hypnotics (Director Phil Staines, Cinematographer Andrew Foster)

Paul Pope is comics’ closest equivalent to a rock star.

It’s a reputation he’s garnered by both his comics works and his personality — and by the fact he’s an active DJ. He now splits his time between New York City and Europe, the latter of which is the first to see some of his anthology work. Last weekend, Pope and AdHouse Books stealth-released a new issue of his seminal series THB at Baltimore Comic-Con, with extra copies now available on AdHouse’s website. The unique nature of this release was due in no small part to Pope being off the shelves of American comic book stores for years while he completes the graphic novel Battling Boy for First Second.

Just moments after riding back from Baltimore, I spoke with Pope about the new THB, as well as Battling Boy and a creation of his even more rare than the new THB.

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Take a look at color pages from Paul Pope’s Battling Boy

From Paul Pope's "Battling Boy"

From Paul Pope's "Battling Boy"

Artist Paul Pope and colorist Nathan Schreiber have released what I think is our first look at color pages from Battling Boy, Pope’s highly anticipated — and much-delayed — graphic novel from First Second Books.

Announced in 2007, Battling Boy centers on the son of a god (or perhaps superhero) who’s sent down from the top of a mountain by his father to rid the continent-sized city of Monstropolis of the monsters that plague it. This is the fabled comic with “horrible, Grimm’s fairytale, Beowulf-ish monsters” and 50-page fight scenes.

It was suggested back in March that Battling Boy initially could be serialized online, presumably as part of First Second’s TBC/To Be Continued initiative. However, no additional information has been released.

Will Paul Pope’s Battling Boy first be serialized online?

Battling Boy

Battling Boy

Paul Pope’s eagerly anticipated, but much-delayed, graphic novel Battling Boy may see life online before it’s released in print.

The cartoonist revealed the information this afternoon on Twitter. “Battling Boy: can’t say final details yet but it looks very likely it will be online before in print,” Pope wrote. “I’m glad for that.” He quickly deleted the post, but not before it had been commented on, and passed along, by several readers.

Presumably Battling Boy would be serialized as part of First Second Books‘ new TBC/To Be Continued initiative that already boasts Mark Siegel’s Sailor Twain, or, the Mermaid in the Hudson, Amir and Khalil’s Zahra’s Paradise, and Derek Kirk Kim’s Tune. All three comics later will be released in print.

Announced in 2007, Battling Boy centers on the son of a god (or perhaps superhero) who’s sent down from the top of a mountain by his father to rid the continent-sized city of Monstropolis of the monsters that plague it.

“These are horrible, Grimm’s fairytale, Beowulf-ish monsters, awful things,” Pope wrote in 2008. “Child-stealers. Plus some of the vampires and mummies and wolfmen we remember from the old black and white Hollywood horror films.” He’s also teased a 50-page fight scene, the benefit of not having page restrictions.

Paramount Pictures optioned the film rights in November 2008.


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