Strange Adventures

Assholes like me won't shut up about the genius of Paul Pope. Everybody that's put brush to paper would agree, and many younger artists working today are devotees to the brush because of him. His evangelical podcast appearances and lectures (I'll reference a few at the end of this post) somewhat explain but definitely highlight his unapologetic brush fetish. My attraction to his work is most certainly informed by lectures and interviews; he approaches comics with an art historian's detachment even though he's putting down the lines that people will be gawking at 200 years from now.

Following Paul Pope and his work changed the way I see all forms of art. It was the first time I was exposed to someone who openly spoke of their influences and didn't sound like a blabbering fan or a bullshitter- he sounds like a serious academic. I'm the first to admit that old school training in engineering and science really wrecked my ability to appreciate art for a long time. [I think that "art student envy" is pretty common in engineering departments.] I've heard people call him pretentious, but I think it's safe to assume that those people have never worked in a research environment and are threatened by the rigidity and structure of his speech. [Pepper his speech with a few equations and he'd fit in at an American Physical Society conference.]

I've heard people say that they don't like his art, but it's always someone whose taste I disagree with. Whatever. I subscribe to the "art's subjective" mentality (probably because I'm public-school-uneducated in the arts). My hoochie mamma, Yiba Jaba, says that his line looks "too macho". When I asked if she likes Paul Pope's art, she shrugs and says "I like Chris Ware's." (I don't know what she means either.)

Of course I dig it, study it, and attempt to rip it off-- but I can't explain why it's my favorite.

Here's a sequence of four impossibly charming panels. Adam Strange, who turns into an old man when he "zeta beams" to earth, wonders if his fly lady would be an old lady if she too traveled to earth. "No matter. I would still love her either way."

Paul Pope Interview on CGS
Inking tutorial at SDCC 2010