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(Words and art by Paul Pope Trade paperback Published by Dark Horse)

I know some people like to dismiss him as a wannabe rock star, but I really like Paul Pope's work. I like his distinctive painting style, and I like his simple storytelling. Both aspects work to great effect here.

The story revolves around two members of the One Trick gang, lovers Tubby and Vim. Desperate to escape the gang-world, they plot to steal from their own gang, and take off with the loot. Naturally, this being comics, and this being Paul Pope, things don't all go according to plan.

Truly "post-modern", Pope's style has been influenced from all corners of pop culture, from the pulp crime of Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler, to the macho blustering of Ernest Hemingway; from European comic artists to Japanese manga; from Nick Cave to Tricky.

Violent and romantic, The One Trick Rip Off calls to mind all those great films about star-crossed lovers on the run -- Badlands, Bonnie & Clyde, even Natural Born Killers. The setting is totally cinematic, with smoky bars and desert hitchhiking and rooftop romance scenes. The violence throughout is swift and unrelenting, but the romance sweetens the blow, and the end of the tale is satisfying in its inevitability.


Anna Jellinek

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