Thursday, September 10, 2009

Illuminating Illustrators: Paul Pope

Round two of Illuminating Illustrators brings to the ring a newer artist that has been garnering a bit more attention for his loose but brilliant visuals that he uses for comic books as well as his own clothing line.

Paul Pope has worked for as a freelance artist for both Marvel and DC comics; but made his start as an artist in Japan telling a story of a girl and her robotic guardian in space, called THB, an ongoing series from 1995. Paul eventually worked on DC's mature comic line Vertigo to make two cyberpunk stories, "100%' and "Heavy Liquid",in 1999 and 2003 respectively. Both stories attacked mainstream attention for their youthful pacing and retro futuristic designs reminiscent of "Blade Runner"'s ghetto future cityscape and the tales of the people/technology occupying it.

Pope's style can only be described as kinetic; a pageful of ink strokes that give and energy to his characters in just one panel that some artists cannot pull off in their entire careers. His costume designs are very innovative and are recognized for bringing a more realistic aspect to characters that often would seem ridiculous in real life (Batman, Robin, etc.), particularly when Pope returned to his retro future world with "Batman: Year 100" in 2007.
Set as a detective mystery, the design of his Batman has the look of an intense luchador, turning what is commonly mocked as spandex into a Kevlar/leather mix. One of the more stand out designs in the story is actually the motor-cycle ridden Batman, a intimidating look that would heavily inspire the bat-pod for the blockbuster hit "The Dark Knight."

His story telling is much like his art; fast paced and eclectic, and has won him some of the top award in the comics industry, such as the Eisner Award for his work on "Batman: Year 100", a very prestigious illustration award.

Currently, Paul Pope has finished clothing designs for Italian clothing company Diesel and DKNY, and has moved on to a new comic format idea called Wednesday Comics, where individual stories about certain DC characters are printed each week, with one artist contributing one part of their character's story on one page in a twelve week process. Pope is working on the character Adam Strange. His larger project is a giant graphic novel epic called "Battling Boy" which will be released sometime in in 2010.
Paul Pope's blog is called PULPHOPE his art can be located at under his alias ernest borg9 at

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. These Illustrator posts are great to read. It is fun to learn a new name and to keep seeing it pop up.