Paul Pope (born September 25, 1970) is an American alternative comic book artist. Influenced by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pope's stories evoke poignant, under-explored aspects of youth culture. Pope describes his own influences as Daniel Torres, Bruno Premiani, Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, Tony Salmons, Hugo Pratt, Silvio Cadelo, Vittorio Giardino, and Hergé.
Pope introduced THB in 1995, the same year he began work for Kodansha, Japan's best-known manga publisher. Pope eventually developed the manga Supertrouble for Kodansha, which mined the "cutie-pie" girl adventure vein that THB exists in. Pope has self-published some of his work through is own Horse Press, with other work such as One-Trick Ripoff coming from Dark Horse Comics and Heavy Liquid and 100% published under DC Comics' Vertigo imprint.
Pope's work combines the precision and romance of the European artists he studies with the energy and page design of the manga tradition. His storytelling narratives continue to mature with well-paced, deftly-shaded combinations of science fiction, hardboiled crime stories and the Romeo and Juliet archetype. Pope's two protagonist types are the silent, lanky outsider male of One-Trick Ripoff, Escapo and Heavy Liquid, or the resourceful, aggressive, humorous young teenage girls of THB.
In 2006, Pope received an Eisner Award for Best Short Story for his work, "Teenage Sidekick", published in Solo #3. In 2007, Pope won two additional Eisners, Best Writer/Artist and Best Limited Series, for his Batman mini-series, Batman: Year 100. Discussing the story, which is set in 2039, one hundred years after the first appearance of the caped crusader, Pope said: "I wanted to present a new take on Batman, who is without a doubt a mythic figure in our pop-psyche. My Batman is not only totally science fiction, he's also a very physical superhero: he bleeds, he sweats, he eats. He's someone born into an over-arching police state; someone with the body of David Beckham, the brain of Tesla, and the wealth of Howard Hughes... pretending to be Nosferatu." The story, colored by José Villarrubia, was originally presented in a four-part prestige format in 2006. DC Comics later published a trade paperback collecting Batman: Year 100 in early 2007. The trade also includes Pope's "Berlin Batman" story from The Batman Chronicles No. 11. "Berlin Batman" involves a version of Batman who lives in the German Weimar Republic on the eve of World War II. The Weimar Batman helps keep the papers of Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises from falling into Nazi hands. Both Batman stories in the collection reflect implicit libertarian themes that often appear in Pope's work. He also wrote one of the comics for Toonami's website.
Aside from comics, in the fall of 2006 Pope worked with Italian clothing company Diesel on a big store installation during their fall fashion week campaign, and a screenprint series based on their 'Chelsea Hotel' campaign as a 51st birthday present to Diesel's founder, Renzo Rosso. In the fall of 2008, Pope went a step further by partnering with DKNY to create the DKNY:2089 collection.
Pope's first art book titled Pulphope: The Art of Paul Pope came out in June 2007. A collection of his most representative work, the 224 page hardcover was published by AdHouse Books. Pope has also announced the pending publication of two original graphic novels, Battling Boy from First Second Books, and La Chica Bionica from French publisher Dargaud.
Born in Philadelphia, Pope grew up in Bowling Green, Ohio, with stops in Columbus, Ohio, San Francisco, and Toronto in-between; Pope now lives and works in New York City.