Thursday, November 6, 2008



I'm excited to report that Paramount Pictures has acquired the film rights to my forthcoming graphic novel Battling Boy, to be produced by Brad Pitt's company, Plan B. We are now developing the story for film adaptation. Above is one of the key sequence paintings my friend--the incredible painter-- Feroze has done for the project. Here, we see an early scene in the story in which Battling Boy and his wargod-like father descend to the mountaintops outside Monstropolis through a UFO-cloud portal. Below is the same scene as it appears in the book.
The descent

Battling Boy is to be published by First Second, and is set to launch in the spring of 2010.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Battling Boy's father fighting the "Dragosaur".

In Batman Year 100, I had room for a couple of long fight sequences, but I felt cramped even with 200 pages. This fight scene from BATTLING BOY alone is about 50 pages. It's liberating to have no page restrictions. I wish Kirby could've had 50 pages for one fight scene, imagine what he would've done.

The extended cinematic sequence is one of the best gifts we've inherited from manga.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008



Above is my take on Monique St. Pierre's pin-up from the original 1978 November issue, deemed too racy to be included in the box as a special insert, so I am sharing it here (minus shag carpet). As for the figure, she really looks and feels like something out of an old issue of the retrofuturisitc Heavy Metal magazine. Of all the covers in the entire history of Playboy magazine (Playboy gave me the entire run of covers to chose my design from), it was this cover that really stood out to me as unusual. Miss November 1978 was attractive and mysterious in a way that defies the usual idea of a Playboy pin-up girl. I found her pose and attitude somehow defiant and enticing--a very modern woman with universal sex appeal. Her boots reminded me of something out of Barbarella or Flash Gordon.

Monday, September 29, 2008



The 2089 line has hit the stores and is now available anyplace DKNY and DKNY Jeans clothing are sold. Internationally, an alternate 2089 line is available through Club 21 and features additional style and prints not seen in the North American 2089 line, including a pair of black jeans with a silkscreened grasshopper print. I did four window displays for four separate Asian markets (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and Macau), as well as a lot of press here in the US.

The official 2089 mini-site can be found here. If you can't get to a retail spot to check out the line, you can always view (and purchase) items here-- plus see some of the sketchbook ramp-ups for the line and take a look at some of the artwork by other artists which inspired the line.

Outside of that, I've been working almost exclusively on my upcoming comics projects Battling Boy for First Second and Psychenaut for Dargaud, both of which have big deadlines this season.

Friday, September 12, 2008



People have asked, and it's been made so. Kid Robot has just made The Masked Karimbah available online. We did a limited run of 300 sets, and most are gone. This is hopefully good news for anybody who asked about it but couldn't get to Comic Con International this summer to grab one for themselves. The set also includes a clear vinyl sticker sheet with a bunch of Karimbah stickers and an exclusive Masked Karimbah comic book written and drawn by Your Lad. It makes a ridiculous coffee table piece which is guarenteed to spark a weird conversation with houseguests. If nothing else, the doggie is the size of a real Boston terrier, and anatomically correct in the same way Barbie's boyfriend Ken is.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008



Jack Kirby, born today, would've been 91 years old right now. He believed the Earth was visited by flying saucers. He was also the king of comics.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008



The THB heirarchy of synthetics goes like this: tools, machines, robots, meks, supermeks, super-com-meks, and finally, megameks. This is a supermek, courtesy of the incredible Feroze.


Saturday, August 2, 2008



The new hard cover version of Heavy Liquid is in stores Sept. 24th 2008-- completely redesigned in 2 solid pantone colors. Overtime, I have come to believe the colors in the original version are a bit garish and hard on the eye--so I've picked a red/blue pairing which leans more to the somber side. The results look much better, I think--more artfilm than blacklight poster. Based closely on the French edition which debuted earlier this year from Dargaud, this new format including 12 pages of additional material--developmental sketches and other unpublished "ramp-up" drawings.

If I could re-do only one thing in this story (there is more than one thing I'd do differently now, but if I had to pick just one), I would re-set the date for this science fiction tale in the year 2038, making it consistent with my other DC/Vertigo books, 100% and Batman:Year 100. Heavy Liquid is set in the year 2075, which I somewhat arbitrarily chose without much serious consideration. The technologies shown in the story seem reasonable for a view into the world of the next few decades, and not much more. As it stands, I doubt anyone can imagine how vastly different the world of 2075 will be, and when I read articles like this, I feel rather pessimistic trying.

Saturday, July 19, 2008



Space artist Robert McCall's comic strip-like sketches portraying the orbital link-up between the US spaceship Apollo and the Russian Soyuz, rendered as McCall watched live footage of the event on TV monitors at the Johnson Space Center Mission Control, July 17th, 1975.


Robert McCall's sequential strip-like sketches showing the moonwalk of Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Jack Schmidt, December 13th, 1972. Drawn while watching the event live on TV monitors at Mission Control.

Thursday, July 17, 2008



The dinner menu from Skylab's 1973 mission, based on space artist Robert MccCall's sketches done at the launchsite.

Monday, July 14, 2008



The artist has always been a special breed. Looking for answers, asking questions, the artist has never been content to let things be. What Picasso calls "the sun in my belly" has always compelled him to invent, to create something out of nothing. To make magic. Wood, stone, clay, metal, charcoal, paint becomes, under his hand, the whole world. The heavens and hell, gods and goddesses, the seven seas, the beasts in the field and the birds in the air, all mankind, the artist creates again and again. He has even made the invisible visible, giving visual form to what he has thought, what he has felt. It is no wonder then that artists for centuries have been the priests, teachers, explorers, experimenters, and magicians.

The artist-priest among primitive peoples was a potent instrument for survival. As doctor who cured ills with his masks and incantation, his fetishes and magic objects, he was charged with averting disasters and attracting good luck. As master of tribal ceremonies, he provided the consolations of community rituals, and the bonds of common belief. He was, in fact, the earliest insurance agent-- one who could protect his people against the uncertainties of life and help them face the finalities of death.

The prehistoric artists who painted the walls of Lascaux and Dordogne were probably such artist-priests. Their brilliantly painted friezes of bison and deer were perhaps created to insure good hunting by identifying the prey. The artist's tasks were to create objects that could readily be identified, which would, at the same time, be symbols that conveyed to man the wonders and mysteries of the universe. Every artist, then, in Africa, Mexico, India, China, and Alaska, had to become familiar with the outward forms of their subjects-- man, trees, animals, birds, fishes. This compelled them to be keen observers, turning them, so to speak, into the first scientists.

--Charlotte Ward, from "The Role Of The Artist", published in Famous Artist Schools Annual vol.1, 1970.

Saturday, July 12, 2008



Comic Con International: I will be there on Saturday afternoon July 26th doing an exclusive signing at the Kid Robot booth, 1pm-4pm (Booth #4529).
We will debut my first Kid Robot toy set featuring characters from the THB universe: The Masked Karimbah. This two-figure action piece (3 pts. articulation) is cast in a vinyl-PVC combination and includes a 16-page "Masked Karimbah" comic as well as a secret vinyl throw-in (and no, it's not the plastic fork Karimbah is holding in his left hand, it's something else). The toy will only be available during the convention, in a limited edition of 300 pieces. $150 a piece.

It also looks like Kid Robot will shortly be making an announcement regarding my future toy projects with them. Hint: The Karimbah isn't the only thing we've had in the works this last year or two.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


July sees the release of my Masked Karimbah 2-piece vinyl toy set, direct from the THB universe via Kid Robot. We will be debuting this at the San Diego Comics Convention; my only appearance this year will be on Saturday for Kid Robot.

From the official press release:

"Cast in Pope’s signature manga-meets-fine-art style, this two-figure action piece includes an original 16-page comic and a secret vinyl throw-in."

Toy design is a ton of work with lots of follow-through, but it is also extremely interesting. We wanted to do a line of THB toys, but decided if we do that, it'd be better to wait until the THB series launches, in order to not further confuse people. I took in a number of other ideas, from the relatively mundane to the wildly surreal (Karimbah is in the latter category), and we all preferred the Karimbah-- who is technically a THB character (he's a character on a kid's show in the THB universe). From there we did months of design work, including lots of back-and-forths with the sculptor and the factory, based on the dozens of design model sheets I drew up. There were lots of details and problems we needed to get right in the prototype stages, as is to be expected. I also did an original comics story, which appears in an exclusive "Masked Karimbah" comic book, found inside the box... and the box design itself. Kid Robot says it is the most complicated and challenging toy design they've tackled yet (Karimbah's dog is the size of an actual little Boston Terrier).

I consider vinyl-- along with the 2089 clothing line debuting this fall from DKNY Jeans-- to be new canvases for comics. There is no nihilism in pushing the frontiers of comics, no budgets but our imaginations, no reason to stop trying. As Akira Kurosawa said, "It is wonderful to create."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008



His room is not so much untidy as beyond any notion of tidiness or untidiness; an equinoctial tide of printed matter, much of it illustrated, washes against the walls. There are two jumbo sofas, both covered in spinach-green velvet, a bed the shape of an elephant's foot, a large Boulle chest of drawers that might have come from a French provincial town-house, a mirror cracked in several places and a plain wooden table that would suit a dinner party of eight or ten. The books are there for use, not for looks, and the electric light hangs unshaded from the ceiling. The telephone usually functions only in an outgoing direction, for Bacon inclines toward Degas' definition of the telephone as a tyrant that would have us drop everything and come running. As far as humanly possible he has disembarrassed himself of possessions and of everything else that could inhibit the drives of instinct. He uses money as an instrument of liberty, not as an instrument of power-- and by "liberty" he means the freedom to go or not go anywhere, at any time, in any company.

--From "Francis Bacon At Sixty", by John Russell. Art In America, January 1970.

Monday, April 21, 2008



The cover for Image Comics' anthology POPGUN vol. 2. They told me, "You can do what you want with it, so long as there's a hot girl in there wearing headphones."

The headphones are based on an actual vintage set which I've inherited from my girlfriend's dad, who was into The Eagles and Hank Williams Sr. and Hendrix and wore them back in the day to listen to his LPs.

Thursday, April 17, 2008



Tablecloth drawings with my nephew, waiting on spagetti. "Do a cartoon animal we haven't seen before," he says.

"Like what?"

He thinks a minute. "Bugs Bunny as a squirrel teenager who comes from the world of Fat Albert."

"With braces?" I ask.

"With braces."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008



You know, that one where Doctor Doom takes the Invisible Woman hostage and then tricks the rest of The Fantastic Four into going back in time to steal Blackbeard's treasure...and it turns out The Thing was actually Blackbeard and wanted to stay back there and remain king of the pirates because there he had respect but in modern times he was just a freak? That one.

Thursday, April 3, 2008



Picasso measures hands with the great gypsy guitarist Manita de Plata (Silver Hands) and finds they are the same size. Photo by Lucien Clergue, 1968.

Sunday, March 30, 2008



The classic "Kirby close-up".

Saturday, March 22, 2008



Nylon Magazine has an early preview of a number of the designs I did for my capsule line debuting this fall from DKNY Jeans. See them here.

All of the items in the line are designed to be urban streetwear for men although some of the clothes would look good on a lady too (the camo jacket is pretty unisexy). Everything comes in a wide range of sizes for all bodytypes and everything is under $165.00, so it isn't just haute-conceptual catwalk stuff for human billionaire coatracks. We're schedualling a further photoshoot which I will be art directing, to be done sometime before the clothes are available. There are lots of cool little details which you would need to see upclose to get the idea-- some of the buttons have small PULPHOPE logos lazer-etched onto the fronts and some of the jackets have large interior prints. A lot of the fabric inks and clothing materials have nice textural qualities. The 2089 line will be onsale worldwide through a number of chainstores including Club 21 in Europe and Asia.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Woke up in a hotel room in Brussels. It's 6pm in the afternoon here. Cloudy and shitty. I go down for some coffee-- the hotel bar was closed when I went to bed at noon. Now it's open, the bottles brightly line the wall like an attendant glass entourage. But they have coffee. I have the cobwebs, and so I have a cup of coffee. Two cups. Groggy. Working tomorrow. Jetlag is getting harder, the older I am getting.

I read the paper--now hours old. Here is what I read:

"If nature is left to its own devices, about 7.59 billion years from now Earth will be dragged from its orbit by an engorged red Sun and spiral to a rapid vaporous death."

Wow, I think. I read on:

"That is the forecast according to new calculations by a pair of astronomers, Klaus-Peter Schroeder of the University of Guanajuato in Mexico and Robert Connon Smith of the University of Sussex in England.

Their report, to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, is the latest and gloomiest installment yet in a long-running debate about the ultimate fate of the planet. Only last year, the discovery of a giant planet orbiting the faint burned-out cinder of a star in Pegasus had suggested that Earth could survive the Sun's death.

As for sentimental attachment to any of the geographic features we might have come to know and love, Smith said: "I should add that the Himalayas are a passing thought anyway. They didn't even exist until India smashed into Asia less than 60 million years ago - the blink of an eye compared with the billions of years we are discussing."

Earth's basic problem is that the Sun will gradually get larger and more luminous as it goes through life, according to widely held theories of stellar evolution. In its first 4.5 billion years, according to the models, the Sun has already grown about 40 percent brighter.

Over the coming eons, life on Earth will become muggier and more uncomfortable and finally impossible.

"Even if the Earth were to marginally escape being engulfed," said Mario Livio, an astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, "it would still be scorched, and life on Earth would be destroyed."

That's how the day started.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Rose Callahan came by in January and we shot some photos in my studio. This one is a photo of a large screenprint collaboration between myself and English artist Russell Young, a print of mine over an old photo of Bianca Jagger. Russell is famous for a series of large silkscreened celebrity mug shots. He also did a lot of popular music videos in the '80s which got lots of airplay on MTV and etc.

Rose Callahan

Russell Young

The photo ran in the Wall St. Journal on Saturday as part of a feature they ran about my project with DKNY Jeans:

See it here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008


The ultimate horror in science fiction is neither death nor destruction but dehumanization, a state in which emotional life is suspended, in which the individual is deprived of individual feelings, free will, and moral judgement. That the most successful SF films of the past decade seem to be concerned with dehumanization simply underlines the fact that this type of fiction hits the most exposed nerves of contemporary society: collective anxieties about the loss if individual identity, subliminal mind-bending, or downright scientific/political brainwashing. (Not by accident the trend began to manifest itself after the Korean War and the well-publicized reports coming out of it of brainwashing techniques.)

We have come a long way from Metropolis and the encroachment of the machine. Nowadays man can become the machine himself. The automatoned slaves of modern times look perfectly efficient in their new painless state. From this aspect, they are like the zombies of old-- only we never bother to wonder if zombies were happy in their trance.

--Carlos Clarens: An Illustrated History Of Horror and Science Fiction Films (1895-1967). New York: Putnam, 1967.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


"A man goes away from his home and it is in him to do it. He lies in strange beds in the dark, and the wind is different in the trees. He walks in the streets and there are faces in front of his eyes, but there are no names for the faces. The voices he hears are not the voices he carried away in his ears a long time back when he went away. They are so loud he does not hear for a long time at a stretch those voices he carried away in his ears. But there comes a minute when it is quiet and he can hear those voices he carried away in his ears a long time back. He can make out what they say, and they say, Come back. They say: Come back..."

--Robert Penn Warren, from his novel All The Kings Men, Harcourt, Inc. 1946.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Jack London was born today in 1876. I've been celebrating by listening to White Fang on tape while drawing an 11 pg. sequence for THE LONE RANGER #11, for Dynamite Entertainment. The story is a beautiful and poignant kind of Indian folktale, written by Brett Matthews.