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'Battling Boy': Paul Pope's epic creative quest to create a new generation superhero -- Exclusive Excerpt!

“What is the Superman we need for today?” The question haunts Paul Pope, and the comic book artist’s long-awaited opus Battling Boy, which publisher First Second Books will release on October 8. The graphic novel — the first of two volumes which combined will exceed 400 pages — represents the first major work from this leading light of independent comics since his mainstream breakthrough in 2006, the Eisner winning Batman: Year 100, a future-punk take on the dark knight rendered in his distinctive Kirby-strong storytelling that mixes kinetic Manga energy with expressive lines often associated with European comics. Battling Boy will arrive about three years behind schedule, and following a creative journey as epic as the saga itself, involving such larger-than-life characters as Oscar-winning producer Scott Rudin, acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon, and superstar Brad Pitt. Says Pope: “It’s been a strange couple years.”

More about Pope’s adventure through the Hollywood looking-glass in a bit. First: The book. Battling Boy is set on an alternate Earth – there are countless within this Lovecraftian multiverse — that’s having of a crisis moment: Monsters from another realm are terrorizing the dystopian sprawl of Arcopolis. When the ghouls assassinate the city’s high flying protector, a stern and gadgety Batman-meets-Iron Man type named Haggard West (he has a jet pack; drives a “Westmobile”), the suffering masses receive a new hero from the interdimensional mystical mothership from which all heroes come from: A haughty yet naïve superboy, the scrapping son of a war god. (You’ll meet both father and son in our exclusive excerpt from the book, which begins on page three.)  READ FULL STORY

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