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To help promote the April 14 release of the new edition of Paul Pope’s long-out-of-print 1999 graphic novel Escapo, Z2 Comics has released a video in which the artist describes his vision of the book, and more.
“[It’s] my attempt at at making an incredible Fellini meets Jack Kirby mash-up comic book, y’know, like the artist who escapes death,” he explains. “I thought it was time to do something really serious, y’know. I was really into Nick Cave at the time, and the Murder Ballads album came out, and he had ‘Stagger Lee’ and ‘Henry Lee’ and all of these beautiful songs, and it’s like, ‘Man, I think I can do something like this in comics.'”
The new edition, which Pope refers to as “a new book,” is redesigned in the French BD format by Jim Pascoe, and boasts colors by Shay Plummer, more than 50 pages of bonus content, pin-ups by other artists and a two-page alternate ending previously seen only in the French edition.
Publishing | Calvin Reid talks to publisher Josh Frankel, who is relaunching his Zip Comics (the publisher of Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland) as Z2 Comics. The first books under the new name will be reprints of a sort: Paul Pope’s Escapo, which he originally self-published in black and white, and Dean Haspiel’s Fear My Dear, which first appeared as a webcomic at Act-I-Vate. Escapo will be colored and Fear My Dear will be re-colored. The company will publish strictly graphic novels, no periodicals, and they will be distributed by Diamond Comic Distributors. [Publishers Weekly]
Passings | Toledo, Ohio, cartoonist Pete Hoffmann, whose comic strip Jeff Cobb was syndicated nationwide, died last week at the age of 94. Hoffman was also a ghost artist for Steve Roper and illustrated the panel cartoon Why We Say, which explained the meaning behind common sayings. He “got ambitious” and decided to strike out with his own strip, and the result was Jeff Cobb, a serial about an investigative reporter, which ran from 1954 to 1975. In this 2004 interview, he talks about his work and shows off his first published drawing, which appeared in the Toledo Times when he was four years old. [Toledo Blade]