Paul Pope

Wednesday Comics 12 (23 September 2009

One should never hope for too much from finales. Especially not from an extremely uneven anthology series like Wednesday Comics. Batman’s bad. Kamadi flops. Superman apparently only remembered after twelve installments he had a wife at home. Deadman is okay. One of the better mediocre strips. Green Lantern is bad. Metamorpho is lacking; Gaiman tries […]

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Wednesday Comics 11 (16 September 2009)

Azzarello writes Batman as a rube while Risso tries to ape Sin City as a Batman. Gibbons once again summarizes the action too much on Kamandi. Sook’s barely got anything to do. Superman is bad. As usual. Deadman’s okay, Green Lantern’s awful. Ditto, respectively, for Metamorpho and Teen Titans. Hope respectively, in that sense, means […]

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Wednesday Comics 10 (9 September 2009)

Batman versus dogs, Azzarello’s inspired and Risso can’t even draw a cool Batmobile. Kamandi comes back a little; there’s a big battle scene, lots of panels. Arcudi misses a great Superman: The Movie homage on his dumb Superman strip. Deadman’s okay, though all the action seems inappropriate. Green Lantern is lame; Busiek doesn’t understand weekly […]

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Wednesday Comics 9 (2 September 2009)

The art on Batman’s good. Risso’s aping Frank Miller, but it’s a stylish fight regardless. Kamandi continues to have story problems and poor Sook has nothing active to draw. Crap Superman. Nice Deadman. It might be Comics’s underdog strip. It’s the best Green Lantern, which says little for the strip. Metamorpho‘s periodic table gimmick is […]

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Wednesday Comics 8 (25 August 2009)

Batman’s bad; Azzarello’s desperate to make it a noir and he just can’t. Kamandi’s mediocre. Still nice art but the story’s stalling. Superman has no story and is bad too. Deadman’s got some great art. Oh, Green Lantern. It’s weak again. Metamorpho’s fun, with a periodic table gag, but there’s no story. Teen Titans is […]

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Wednesday Comics 7 (19 August 2009)

Batman is a little better than usual. Not the art, but at least Azzarello writes two scenes. On the flip, this Kamandi strip is probably the weakest. Still good, but pointless. Superman’s crap, Deadman’s pretty but slight, the Green Lantern is pointless. The Metamorpho, however, is weird in a good way. Crappy Teen Titans, but […]

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Wednesday Comics 6 (12 August 2009)

Let’s get started. Batman–Risso’s artwork is weak. It’s loose when it needs to be strong and vice versa. Fun Kamandi but Gibbons isn’t giving Sook enough room for the content. Superman’s the opposite. Too much room, too little content. Deadman’s mediocre, probably its worst strip (it’s a wee trite). Green Lantern’s continuing to sink too. […]

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Wednesday Comics 5 (5 August 2009)

Lame Batman, good Kamandi (Sook does a good Planet of the Apes), lame Superman (though Bermejo’s a little better), okay Deadman (one of the book’s steadiest strips), lame Green Lantern (after always being mediocre before)…. I’m trying something different since these comics usually provide so little to really talk about. Metamorpho’s a little better, Teen […]

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Wednesday Comics 4 (29 July 2009)

Baker gets awkwardly jokey on the Hawkman, which is otherwise all right. He’s got a great looking space battle involving the JLA satellite. Speaking of art, Bermejo’s Superman is particularly awful this issue. He’s apparently incapable of drawing Ma Kent. He draws her for three or four panels, each worse than the last. Metamorpho makes […]

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Wednesday Comics 3 (22 July 2009)

This issue has even less good strips than before. Sgt. Rock in particular falls off, with Joe Kubert’s art getting way too loose. Gaiman and Allred’s Metamorpho doesn’t recover either. In other words, at issue three, Wednesday Comics is already downhill. Azzarello and Risso’s Batman manages to be worse, as does Arcudi and Bermejo’s Superman. […]

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Wednesday Comics 2 (15 July 2009)

So even some of the better ones from the previous issue are losers this week. Specifically Neil Gaiman and Mike Allred’s Metamorpho. They flop on the format. Still strong are Pope’s Adam Strange, Baker’s Hawkman, Dan Didio and Jose Luís Garcia-Lopez’s Metal Men (no, really) and Catwoman by Walt Simonson and Brian Stelfreeze. Oh, and […]

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Wednesday Comics 1 (8 July 2009)

Wednesday Comics really needs a stronger editorial hand. While some of the creators get the concept, others completely fumble it. The successes (and the mediocrities) make up for the bad patches. In the “no idea how to do the format” section, the issue has Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso on Batman, John Arcudi and Lee […]

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Deep Cuts (1993-2001)

Deep Cuts opens a lot more experimental than it finishes. The book is a collection of Pope’s work while traveling for many years. When it starts, stories share themes or locations, which eventually stops. The first couple stories take place in a dust bowl setting, though they don’t seem to take place in the same […]

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The One-Trick Rip-Off (1993-96)

The One Trick Rip-Off isn’t a failed heist story. Paul Pope plays a lot with that genre, updating it to Los Angeles street gangs. Pope’s Los Angeles setting is an entirely different subject, one I’ll get out of the way. One Trick’s setting is lush–both in Pope’s lines and the colors–always urban, but still somehow […]

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Dark Horse Presents 112 (August 1996)

One Trick Rip-Off finishes here, the first story in the issue too. It’s pretty clear Pope was thinking, especially here—it has a multi-page wordless sequence for dramatic effect—of a single sitting read, not a one-year one. Some very nice art; some weak sentiment. The finish might read better as a single piece. Actually, it’s an […]

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Dark Horse Presents 111 (July 1996)

I was expecting The Ninth Gland to be creepier this issue, but I guess French has to save something for the finish. While it’s disturbing, it’s just disturbing imagery. The story itself is rather tame—though I imagine the payoff next issue will be something awful. Speaking of awful… Egg, Lovece and Schenck after-school special about […]

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Dark Horse Presents 110 (June 1996)

The issue opens with Egg, which is a well-intentioned look at child abuse. The narrator’s father is beating him and the school officials aren’t doing anything to help, even though some are well-intentioned. Lovece’s writing is better in dialogue. Dealing with the narrator’s Stockholm Syndrome, he fails. Also, introducing a giant creature into the situation […]

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Dark Horse Presents 109 (May 1996)

I can’t believe I’m about to make this statement—I liked Milgrom’s story the best. It’s some charming little thing about a guy treating his roaches as pets (after all other attempts at pet owning in New York fail). Milgrom’s style is more comic strip than I’ve seen and it works. Even if the protagonist does […]

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Dark Horse Presents 108 (April 1996)

Ninth Gland is fairly gross this issue, though French still hasn’t done anything to tell the reader what the story’s about. There’s something growing in the alien horse and the two girls who brought it to the hospital maintenance man will be affected somehow. It’s creepy. Pollock’s Devil Chef installment is somewhat less annoying than […]

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Dark Horse Presents 107 (March 1996)

I’ll start with the worst—Devil Chef. Pollock threatens a second installment. He can draw, this story shows, he just choses not to. It’s an unfunny strip with a lot of details and zero charm. On the other hand, Purcell and Mignola’s Rusty Razorciam is quite a bit of fun. Mignola’s not a good fit for […]

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Strange Science Fantasy 5 (November 2010)

Morse unfortunately does not arrest Strange Science Fantasy’s decline this issue. In fact, the previous issue’s problems just compound here. Morse has a hero again—this time it’s a Mr. Fantastic-type; an accident of science turns a boxer into an elastic man. He uses his power to beat up those who wronged him, then he unknowingly […]

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Strange Science Fantasy 3 (September 2010)

This issue features Morse’s most concise, yet most ambitious (just because he’s sticking to a formula) work on the series so far. I get the concept. I’m just not sure how successful it all works out. Morse does a film-noir set in Hollywood, with very literal looking characters (the projectionist has a projector for a […]

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Strange Science Fantasy 2 (August 2010)

Returning to Strange Science Fantasy raises a question about expectation. The first issue ends with a “to be continued.” How does a story without characters get one interested enough to come back? I didn’t really see what Morse could do with that story, certainly not for five more issues. Well, he doesn’t continue it (this […]

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