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The Future Of THB and Battling Boy From Paul Pope

Paul Pope has issued an update on the latest with his two big comic book series THB and Battling Boy, currently being published by First Second.

Paul Pope has issued an update on the latest with his two big comic book series THB and Battling Boy, currently being published by First Second. He posts "As of last week, all 1000+ pages of THB have been delivered to :01. I am still working on Battling Boy vol 2. More news on both series later this year. Lots going on behind the scenes on these two multi-book projects. Can't wait to share more news soon."

Paul Pope

Pope self-published issue #1 of THB in 1994 through his own Horse Press, and I remember ordering my copy when I was a student in Newcastle. It jumped out of the Diamond Previews at me, and I became a fast fan of this curious science fiction comic set on a future colonized Mars, with teenager HR Watson and THB, her super-powered bodyguard, usually in the form of a rubber ball but who expands to become a purple, seven-foot genie to protect her. Or to argue with her.

Although after 1995, issues were even further and fewer in between than before. And back issues get pricier and pricier. In 2007, it was announced that the complete series would be published as Total THB, a multi-volume, full-colour collection by First Second Books. But, of course, that was seven years ago. But it seems it is now complete. Now all that matter is that First: Second have to publish the tomes. Is 2024 to much to hope for for the thirtieth anniversary?

Battling Boy was more recent, published in 2013, by First Second with two more volumes, The Rise of Aurora West with J. T. Petty and David Rubín in 2014 and The Fall of the House of West by the same team in 2015 that followed. Battling Boy won an Eisner Award for Best Publication for Teens. Battling Boy tells the story of the city Arcopolis under attack by child napper gangs and other monsters, as local hero Haggard West, is killed, and the city is helpless, until Battling Boy, a demi-god from another world is forced into taking the role, powered as he is by magical T-shirts.

But it seems that we are to regard all this as one volume, as Volume Two is actually about to begin. At some point. More to come.


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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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