Paul Pope is the greatest comic artist working today. There, I said it.
Battling Boy is, to my knowledge, the first entirely Pope-centric venture. He does everything here except the coloring and, if you are, like me, a fan of his, this is the book you’ve been waiting for. The first volume in a proposed series, Battling Boy follows the titular adolescent hero as he’s sent to the monster-wrecked mega-city Acropolis to act as their champion. He eventually joins forces with a fabled (and recently-vanquished) hero’s only daughter to take on the monsters and villains who are slowly sucking the life out of everything and anything, running amok with nothing to keep them in check.
And that’s the premise—simple, maybe, but it works brilliantly. And the art and the writing…my goodness they are top notch. The book is advertised as all-ages(-ish), and it is something I’d love to share with my non-existent child again and again. An instant classic? Perhaps. Not for me to decide, but even without the words it’s beautiful enough just to flip through—the detail, the painstaking creation of the worlds in the pages, is a thing of beauty. And while I wanted the book to be longer, to keep going and going, it did have to come to an end, and that, really, is the only complaint I have—that it should be longer, but only because I so enjoyed being in this universe.
So wait I shall until Volume 2 releases…whenever.
Bottom-line: Paul Pope has no equal working today.