Deep Cuts (1993-2001)

OnetrickripoffDeep Cuts opens a lot more experimental than it finishes. The book is a collection of Pope’s work while traveling for many years. When it starts, stories share themes or locations, which eventually stops.

The first couple stories take place in a dust bowl setting, though they don’t seem to take place in the same time period. Pope’s writing–which Deep Cuts shows is integrally integrated into his art–is lyrical and poetic for them.

He then moves into autobiography–starting with a dream recollection–and makes these wonderful (and sublime) observations about life and its fantastical nature. Every story in Deep Cuts deserves serious consideration. I’m word constrained, I apologize.

Then Pope transitions from a side character out of autobiography to a cute romance. It fits a collection perfectly, even though Pope couldn’t have been thinking about it when he was making the comics. There are two of these cute romances before Deep Cuts gets to the biggies.

There are three big stories–there are little moment stories in between, but nothing like the big three. SuperTrouble is the best Love and Rockets knock-off anyone’ll ever do. It’s a sad moment when one realizes there aren’t any more stories of the one.

Night Job is okay. It’s a genre crime story. It’s Pope experimenting with a more traditional narrative (and action). There’s great art. The Scarf is the synthesis. It’s Pope’s slice of life story as a narrative.

Deep Cuts shows Pope’s develop as an artist. It’s amazing.

A+ 

CREDITS

The Triumph of Hunger; colorist, Dominic Regan. The Zhuk; colorist, Regan. The Armadillo; colorist, Regan; letterer, Lorrie Witte. The Visible Man; colorist, Regan. Portrait of a Girl with an Unpronounceable Name; colorist, Regan. Yes; colorist, Regan. Antigone; colorist, Regan; letterer, Michael Neno. The Scythe; colorist, Regan. Super Trouble; colorists, Scott Mou and Jared K. Fletcher; letterer, Fletcher. Four Cats; colorist, Regan. Night Job; colorist and letterer, Fletcher. The Scarf; colorist, Fletcher. Airplanes; colorist, Regan. Writer and artist, Paul Pope; editor, Bob Schreck; publisher, Image Comics.

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