New Paul Pope. New THB. This you want. And it’s an FPI UK exclusive…..

Published On February 2, 2011 | By Richard Bruton | Comics, Reviews

THB Comics From Mars Issue 2 (Balimore ComicCon Exclusive 2010)

By Paul Pope

Adhouse

I’ll cut straight to the chase – we’re the only place in the UK that has this.

Ordering information:

THB Comics From Mars 2 by Paul Pope (Adhouse Books Baltimore Comic Con 2010 exclusive) – £3.99 per copy.

Available from Forbidden Planet International stores – list here. (Phone to check availability first)

Oh boy. Here’s a thing. A new Paul Pope THB comic to review. Hear that fluttering sound? That was any objectivity going out the window.

It’s Paul Pope. It’s new Paul Pope. It’s new Paul Pope doing THB. Well, okay, so some of it may have been around in a couple of places already. But it’s new to me and probably new to you. That’s what counts, isn’t it?

Here’s poor little me still desperately waiting for the eventual collection of THB and I was hoping this would give me all of the thrills of that much remembered, much loved series. But it doesn’t. Not quite.

But then again, how could it? I was putting too much expectation upon it. It merely dangles the prospect of the whole thing in front of me once more. A beautiful, magnificent, fantastic tease.

But still. It’s Paul Pope. It’s brilliant. It’s Paul Pope. It’s brilliant.

I mean – just look:

(Paul Pope – 1977. From THB Comics From Mars Issue 2 by Paul Pope, published by Adhouse)

That’s just too gorgeous for words isn’t it?

THB, for those of you that don’t know, is Paul Pope’s unfinished masterpiece. I covered it myself in some depth back here, but who better to give you the lowdown than Pope himself, from this interview in 2010 with Robot 6’s Chris Arrant:

“It’s a science fiction action-adventure story. THB is a loose handful of separate science fiction stories, all interweaving, all set in the same cities and deserts on a colonized Mars in the future. At the heart of it, it’s a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl whose father builds incredible robots. The absent father is in trouble with the law and the daughter has to figure out what that’s all about. It has elements of the science fiction I grew up loving — Frank Herbert’s Dune, Star Wars, John Carter of Mars, things like that.”

THB Comics From Mars 2 (issue 1 was a convention special a few years ago – sadly out of print) was a deliberately low key release. The strips are part of the THB Universe set on Mars (although you’d have a hard time working that out with some of them) that Pope completed for Darguad’s Pilote magazine. Pope and Adhouse collaborated to take the best of the 50 or so pages already completed and edited them down into this 24 page comic for the Baltimore Comic-Con.

(Action! A very different sort of cat and mouse tale from THB Comics From Mars issue 2 by Paul Pope, published by Adhouse)

Inside Comics From Mars 2 you have; “1977” – a lovely low key affair that shows us a young boy’s growing Bowie obsession (Pope himself perhaps?), “Action” – a stupidly funny Tom & Jerry gone mad thing Pope did for Pilote’s special Cinema edition in Summer 2010, “The Brief Career” – a Kirby gone mad space adventure, “2089” – a delicious tone poem around Pope’s DKNY clothes line, “Masked Karimbah” – just out and out Pope action sequence insanity and we end the comic with two single pagers; a quick gag strip in “Max Maximus” and a frankly beautiful homage to Guido Crepax in “Motor Race“.

Really, it’s a perfect introduction to everything that made THB so bizarrely wonderful back in the day. Sure, it may be lightweight and lacking the extended sequences of Pope brialliance, but in the end ….. NEW PAUL POPE. NEW THB. That’s enough for me.

(Masked Karimbah from THB Comics From Mars issue 2 by Paul Pope, published by Adhouse)

One final piece of art before we go….. this is that beautiful Crepax homage I was talking about. Deep breath and go wow:

(Motor Race from THB Comics From Mars 2 by Paul Pope, published by Adhouse)

Now, here’s the thing. This is the Baltimore exclusive from Adhouse books this year. Which means it was available at Baltimore Comic Con in this first and only print run. Adhouse have made it available to a few comic shops in the USA. And that was going to be it. Sure, you could pay to get it from the USA from Adhouse or from Ebay I suppose. But we’ve managed to get hold of what we believe are the only UK copies on general sale.

Ordering information:

THB Comics From Mars 2 by Paul Pope (Adhouse Books Baltimore Comic Con 2010 exclusive) – £3.99 per copy.

Available from Forbidden Planet International stores – list here. (Phone to check availability first)

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About The Author

Richard Bruton
- Started in comics retail aged 16 at Nostalgia & Comics, Birmingham. Now located in Yorkshire, he's written for the Forbidden Planet International Blog since 2007. Specialising in UK Comics and All-Ages comics, Richard's day job in a primary school allowed him to build the best children's graphic novel library in the country.

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