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Book Review < Back

The Ballad of Doctor Richardson

Credits: Written and Illustrated by Paul Pope
Publisher: Horse Press

Commentary

THE BALLAD OF DR. RICHARDSON gives us Paul Pope (Escapo, Heavy Liquid) finding and asserting his voice while revealing himself as a talent worth following. With this, his ballad to a self-proclaimed "Anti-Prufrock," a young Pope (24!) first flexes the muscles that would later define his oeuvre. Doctor Richardson, a near-burn out academic, lives in a world of solitary study and professional contempt until a chance encounter with one vivacious and strange student from his past sends him careening after her. In an instant, the tired and stuffy Doctor takes a great leap forward into a world of passion and possibility, sloughing off the dead skin of his world and choosing life: Cherchez le femme.

Moody and atmospheric if not a bit crude and unpolished, Pope carves effortlessly a place and a time so specific one has the feeling he could tell you every story ever attached to every glass he's drawn in the background of his neo-noir coffee shops. And with this, his first major work, Pope at once bristles with newness and energy while retaining cozy familiarity combining a sensibility both European and American. An unapologetic romantic, Pope's work was then and continues to be a high-velocity tribute to the beauty of saying 'yes'.

-- Matt Fraction

 
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.

 


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