Battling Paul Pope, Round Two – And Battling Boy Volume Two

Joe Glass writes;

So I recently did an interview with Paul Pope, talking about his wonderful new book, Battling Boy. You can even still read it, if so inclined, here.

Now, I had asked a few other questions that I was waiting to hear back from, and today I received the answers to them. Some nice little expansions on the characters and abilities seen in the book, so take a look if you needed some more teasing to draw you into getting a copy. And we even get a little tease of something else…

So can we expect more Battling Boy in the future? Any plans for the next release yet?

The next book in the expanded series is The Rise Of Aurora West, a second series focusing on Aurora, which ties back into the larger Battling Boy series. This is out next fall, co-written by myself and JT Petty, and drawn by David Rubin. I couldn't be happier than to have David on the book, he was my top pick, and I knew I wanted a European artist on the book (David is from Spain). We are coding the two series with lots of story elements and visuals and characters which appear in both series. I am currently working on the second Battling Boy book, which I am writing and drawing on my own, and it will be appearing sometime within the year following Aurora. After that, there is the second Aurora book. So :01 and I are working to expand the Battling Boy book into a universe of stories which interconnect.

The power set of Battling Boy feels like really classic Golden Age style. In a world where comics creators and companies seem to be drawn towards ever more modern, scientific, complicated or esoteric powers for their characters, what drew you to returning to the classics?

I wanted something simple and sort of fun, in the sense of playful. I had been reading a lot of old Silver Age comics while wrapping up Batman Year 100, and I loved how even the more "mature" comics of the time had sort of silly elements. Like, Metal Men, Doom Patrol, or Tales To Astonish, these comics had a sense of play which I found lacking from a lot of modern comics. I also wanted to tap into more of the traditional mythological hero story types, but make something not affiliated directly with Greek or Norse or Roman mythology. I love how Kirby did something like that with his Fourth World books, an obvious influence on Battling Boy which I make no effort to conceal. Also, I wanted something that felt like a classic Heavy Metal comic strip. Those old European comics used a lot of fantasy and science fiction elements in a really cool way, sort of bypassing the whole Superhero tradition for more traditional hero fantasies.

What made you select the specific animals for Battling Boy's power shirts?

That was a tough one to do! I went through many different combinations of animals, some real, some prehistoric, some mythical, such as the Gryphon. I knew I wanted some reptiles in there. At one point there was a shark, but I decided to cut that out. This takes place inside a huge city, there aren't really any water scenes. Without spoiling anything, we come to learn that some of the animals are available to Battling Boy for meditative council, but the reptiles and dinosaurs aren't. Their way of thinking is too foreign or too ancient to Battling Boy. There are cool little things like that which will be coming out in the second book, as BB discovers more his abilities and purpose. Book one introduces us to everybody, book two is where we really get cooking. There's also lots of lots of action and explosions and science fiction. It's a challenge, but fun too.

You may recall I wondered about when there'd be more Battling Boy, as there was a dire need for me…well, it seems now I have my answer.

Written by Bleeding Cool contributor, creator of The Pride, and co-writer of Stiffs, Joe Glass.

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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