Sunday, 1 January 2017

The One Trick Rip-Off + Deep Cuts by Paul Pope Review


Ehhh. Paul Pope’s comics are awesome - now - but this anthology of his early stuff from the ‘90s isn’t good.

The One Trick Rip-Off was published in 1995/96 and feels like one of numerous Tarantino wannabes that appeared in the wake of Pulp Fiction. It’s a bad crime story of two lovers tryna steal a pile of money from an LA gang and escape. Things go south, middle middle middle, people get shot, the end. It’s not very interesting and it’s unnecessarily complicated by the protagonist and the villain looking almost identical except for the villain having blue tattoo sleeves on his arms and then having these two appear in several scenes together throughout. 

The Deep Cuts that make up the rest of the book are basically just B-sides: arty short stories, mostly slice of life, that feel very ‘90s in their pretentiousness, and are instantly forgettable. 

The art is the only real positive to this collection. The title story is coloured by All-Star Superman colourist Jamie Grant who adds to the beauty of Pope’s artwork. Pope’s art style is wonderfully kinetic, imaginative, and snakes through different genres like manga and surrealism to find its own vibrant unique look. The art looks as good here as it does in any of his later books like Battling Boy and Batman: Year 100. 

Maybe if you’re a fan of Pope’s art or are curious enough to see what his early work was like, check this out, but don’t expect great comics - he’s very clearly still finding his voice and learning his craft. If you want to read truly accomplished Tarantino-esque crime comics, check out David Lapham’s Stray Bullets series instead.

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