Buzz Comics Magazine - 1996
think it was probably pure ignorance on my part that
it took so long for these three oversized, 9 1/2x13"
books by Paul Pope to be included here. It's not because
I was unaware of Pope's work--just the opposite.
since I came across a copy of book of his called Escapo
and was blown away by his artwork, I've been a fan of
his--I haven't always grokked what the stories were
about (or even what was happening at any given point),
but the sheer beauty and grace of his artwork kept me
interested throughout his various projects.
knew Pope had done work in a lot of different formats,
and even though these books were listed on David Pass'
Comics Index, I somehow didn't think
they fit the (admittedly arbitrary) criteria I set for
the site (i.e., no books smaller than 10x13", the
most "standard" treasury/tabloid-comic size).
Then I found a copy of this one on ebay, and the measurements
were listed as above, and I realized I'd been wrong
quickly found copies of all three of these Pope-riffic
oversized books, and I'm so glad I get to add them to
the site. In addition to his artistic talent, Pope knows
the art of presentation, of showmanship. He wanted these
particular works to be exciting, or as Pope puts
it--"The oversized format
is a vehicle, like choosing to paint with a specific
color palette. The Giant THB I saw in my vision
was sexy, so it had to be big, huge even, because it
somehow makes sense that sexy comics would be large,
larger than normal comics and thus larger than life."
have said it better myself!
Buzz Comics Magazine, as its omnibus title would
suggest, is less a Pope-a-thon than a selection of material
by different creators with Pope as the driving editorial
voice. On the inside covers are a number of sort-of
trading cards featuring Pope characters (rollover
the image to see the cards from the inside front cover),
and in the opening pages are a series of articles including
a tribute to the recently-passed Hugo Pratt.
first story is by Moebius called "Les Souveniers"
and features a guy carrying a arms, legless, scantily-clad
woman in some bombed-out post-apocalyptic landscape.
Its all in French, leaving me in the dust. Sure is pretty
to look at, though.
is Pope's "Smoke Navigator", the title for
a series of stories, the first one called "Clove
Cigarettes", about a particularly entracing woman
and her hold on the narrarator(we've all been there,
right?). Next is "Downtown", about a guy visiting
his mysterious Uncle Walt and a trio of teenage girls
tell a sad story about him.
next feature is an interesting three-way interview about
The State of Comics between Pope, Jeff Smith, and Steve
Bissette. It's lively and informed, and they have their
own interesting perspective on working in comics.
Gag Comics" is a jam piece between Pope and Jay
Stephens, were each of their characters face off in
a boxing ring. Crazy hilarity ensues. The final piece,
"Pistachio" features Pope dabbling in some
numerology, complete with a cameo by the Count from
Sesame Street. It's that kind of book.