Writer: Curt Pires
Artist: Jason Copland
Publisher: Dark Horse
Many dream of a life filled with fame and fortune and work their asses off in hope of achieving just that. It doesn’t happen for everyone. A small percentage of us will get our 15 minutes if we’re lucky. Those of us that don’t might just sit around making comments about pop star celebrities, grown tired of their antics, seeing them as interchangeable and manufactured to fit the mold of whatever lifestyle they’re trying to sell this week, month, or year. Or maybe we’re just being too hard on them; what if all the successful musicians actually are created in a lab somewhere? It would be proof that there really is a special formula when it comes to being famous.
What would happen if one of these manufactured stars simply popped into our life unexpectedly? Would we treat them like real people, or worship them because it’s expected. This is what we find out when Elle pops into the life of Coop.
Coop is living life at a slower pace, working at a shop that sells both comics and vinyl records. That’s not a bad combination if you ask me. Coop was ready to leave that life behind until meeting Elle. Granted, at this stage, no one knows who she is outside of the industry. She hasn’t made her debut before the public.
Curt Pires has written a story that at first seemed a little laughable. Then I reread it and found it to be satirical of the entertainment industry. He’s taken snide remarks from the public and turned them into a reality. There are jabs at real-life musicians, spoofs of singers that we mock on a daily basis, their personalities exaggerated—well, maybe not exaggerated too much. Pires also brings up behind-the-scenes things that are usually ignored until a celebrity begins their downward spiral. This all leads to the story of Elle and Coop being more interesting to me. Elle is not following the same path as others in her position. Coop is simply dissatisfied with life. My one hope for their interaction is that Pires doesn’t give them a romantic relationship. I think that would ruin it all for me.
Jason Copland’s art is interesting as well. There were times when I felt he made a panel too cluttered, but it works for those particular scenes. He gives just enough detail to faces that they have a familiarity about them without being accurate portraits of celebrities. Still there were a couple times when I felt like the art was lacking. I wanted a little bit more detail. Still, Copland was able to get the story across in panels that had no text. I did like that fact that he depicted the Chateau Marmont in one panel. It seems appropriate considering the legacy the chateau has in the industry. I also really love the stand-out cover for this book.
POP is great if you read it as satire. I’m sure this book will end up being a conspiracy theorist’s dream. They may see this as a real glimpse into what goes on in Hollywood. Pires could have written it to be viewed that way. Either way, I look forward to seeing what happens next. Hopefully Copland will have some more caricatures of celebrities. Those are good for a laugh amidst the seriousness of the story.
“POP #1” earns 8 / 10