Paul Pope on the inception of The Death of Haggard West one-shot as the prologue of Battling Boy (taken from this interview with Newsarama during BEA)
…in doing promotion for Battling Boy, it’s been a surprise how much people have latched onto this character, Haggard West. In comics, it’s normal to have a superhero die. The character type of Haggard West is an analogue for someone like Batman or Iron Man.
While developing the film version of Battling Boy, I noticed the film industry people really latched onto this as a symbol, an old superhero dying and being replaced by a new superhero.
So I proposed to First Second that if we were going to San Diego Comic-Con, why not do a comic? I’d done similar things with AdHouse and THB in the past, so we came up with this one-shot volume for SDCC.
And on the intelligence of kids as readers
Well, inherent in the name “Haggard West” is sort of a description of the character – he’s a sort of Western hero archetype, and he’s tired. In fact, I was kind of surprised – I thought revealing that he was going to die was a spoiler, that it was revealing the key engine to the story of Battling Boy. Other, wiser heads prevailed. It’s strange.
In the case of Battling Boy, I thought it would be really cool to do something about a kid superhero defending himself against killers. You know, kids know when they’re being pandered to, with happy endings and the wizard waving his wand and everything’s fine, flowers are growing out of the ground again. Kids know that that rings as a hollow solution to the problem of conflict in the world.
As a kid, I loved Peter Pan, but I always wondered why he didn’t just throw Captain Hook to the crocodile and take Tiger Lily and split, y’know? That’s what I would have done.
I can’t stress enough that everyone should read Battling Boy. It’s a touch of Kirby, Moebius, and Miyazaki through Pope’s own voice and hopefully, the best example of world comics continuing to come to form for both kids and adults in 2013 and ‘14.
I’ll have a few issues of the Haggard West comic to giveaway in July!
I always thought it would have been a cool direction for Nightwing to take where instead of being a younger and mopier version of Batman, he was a still fun and dealt with the kind of psychedelic threats he dealt with as Robin growing up. Maybe he could have weird fifth dimensional adventures with Batmite.
My song about DC Comics’ New 52, inspired by the Beastie Boys’ “Sure Shot:”
BMO Bikini Babes Dance
DON’T MESS WITH BMO
YET MORE BMO GIFS
STILL MORE BMO GIFS
MORE BMO GIFS