Andy Warhol said, “In the future, people will be famous for fifteen minutes.” In the opening page of Pop #1, that duration is amended to fifteen seconds. That’s because in the world that exists between pages of this new miniseries, pop stars are literally products grown by the world’s largest media corporations.
Pop was created by writer Curt Pires and artist Jason Copland. Curt was named “Creator to Watch in 2013” by Multiversity Comics and Jason was named, “Creator to Watch in 2014” by ComicBook.com. Perhaps Pop is the title in which you should be watching them, because this series will turn some heads. And Curt is no stranger to writing comics about music. He self-published the comic LP in 2012 and then released the digital series, Theremin, through Monkey Brain Comics.
Curt joined us for an interview just before the release of Pop #1.
Your new comic series Pop takes place in an alternate reality where pop stars are created and controlled by the world’s wealthiest corporations. That sounds a lot like our reality. Can you explain where the sci-fi elements come in and just how much of an allegory this is for our world?
Curt Pires: Well I think you nailed it in the question “it sounds an awful lot like our world”–this is our world. Sure, we’re taking some liberties, expanding on some concepts, some theories, but in my mind this book takes place in the same world that you and I live in. When I wake up in the morning and step onto the street, I’m stepping into the world of Pop.
The catalyst for the story seems to be when Elle, a scientifically created pop star, escape her industry overloads. Besides her obvious struggle for freedom, what challenges does Elle face in her attempt to “deprogram” herself?
The programming runs deep, and the subliminal messaging is everywhere. We live in a world of signals and triggers, and lots of these certainly don’t make it easy for Elle–for us, to pull us away from the things that the programming tells us to be. Elle’s in a constant fight to figure out who she is, and become what she wants.
The other main character in the story is Coop, a record and comic collector dealing with severe depression. Even though he wasn’t actually born in a lab, does he still have his own set of programming in which he needs to overcome?
Exactly. Coop has to get out of his own head a little. Learn to like himself again, learn to like the world again. learn to let himself feel things again. he needs to find something new.
I noticed In reading the first few pages of Pop #1 that there are some names brought up that sound very similar to recognizable celebrities. Any chance readers can look forward to some cathartic scenes where certain pop stars finally get what’s coming to them?
Yep. Big time. Not going to spoil who, but the ending of issue one is this very thing.
Curt, you’ve mentioned that Pop is the third and final act in a trilogy about music, your self-published LP and Theremin being the first two acts. What is it about comics, a visual but silent medium, that made you think it was the right medium in which to tell this story?
I love comics. They’re my favorite medium to work in. There’s something really magical about comics. The deeper I get into Pop I realize it’s less and less related to those other two books, and I like it all the more for it. Comics as art objects with the ability to make you smile, to change your life, to alter the way you think about things, the way you process your reality, even the act of physically transforming reality. You can do anything in comics, become anything, that’s why they’re so beautiful.
So, now that Pop is being published by Dark Horse, you guys are in Previews magazine and everything. Are you afraid people are going to start accusing you of selling out?
I’ll let this clip answer for me in regards to haters.
Without giving anything away about the ending of Pop, what can you tell us? Is there any hope for our narcissistic society of mass consumerism, or are we all doomed?
None of us are doomed. There’s always hope. Thats what my gut–my soul tells me. The world is as beautiful as we want it to be and if we look, if we gaze into it we can see the coding, hack in and turn it into something beautiful. So no–we’re not doomed. I don’t believe in apocalypse scenarios. The world is as beautiful as you make it, and the ending of Pop will reflect this.
Pop #1 hits stands on August 27. Be sure to pick up a copy of this issue and the rest of the 4 issue miniseries from Dark Horse Comics. And for more information on the creators, be sure to check out the website of both Curt Pires and Jason Copland.