POP Interview with Curt Pires

Last weekend I had a chance to interview Curt Pires about his new mini series POP, which has just started from Dark horse Comics. We talked about the creation of series, the team involved and little about what's to come next. Enjoy.


Billy Tournas: Hi Curt, thanks for taking the time out for this interview. In POP you take a quite dark look at the world of manufactured popularity, and the idea of pop culture being made for people. What drew you to this idea and made you write POP?

Curt Pires: I've always been intrigued with and find myself analyzing the systems that govern our reality the frameworks that envelop our existence, and it was always there staring me in the fucking face, when I turned on the TV. Men and women crying and begging for their 15 seconds to Paula Abdul and that other guy. I flick the channel, Britney Spears, selling some other product, stepping into the bathroom, piss on her feet she’s not wearing shoes. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s everywhere, and I couldn't seem to ignore it or make it go away, so I processed it the only way I knew how: I wrote about it.

This is third comic project of yours which has had some connection to music, with your other works called “LP” and “Theremin”. Did you always plan to do a third music book? Was the genesis of these the works around the same time? If so how much did they change moving from project to project?


It sort of occurred organically, I wasn’t beholden to the idea of creating a third music book just to state that I hate created one, but it was something that sort of just forced itself into existence.  Had the idea for POP, the very first kernel of the idea, around the time Ramon and I put out LP, so yeah. Everything is always really evolving, even as I write, things are changing, stories are shaping, it’s the way it works.

In the first issue of POP we meet the two lead characters, Coop and Elle. How did the creation of these two come about? How do you see them as individuals and what are their strengths and weakness going into the rest of the series?

I think to sort of define their strengths and weaknesses in this sort of manner really undermines one of the key points of the series: humanity. They’re both trying to rediscover what their “humanity” is, warts and all. None of us are perfect, and that’s part of the process.

One surprise enjoyment I had with the first issue was the two as yet unnamed boyfriend/girlfriend enforcer characters. They looked like they were modelled on Joey Ramone and Joan Jett, another thing I enjoyed. They very much felt like a polar opposite of what a “pop star” would be and more punkish, was that on purpose?

Again another element of the universe shaping the story, but I suppose Jason and myself did want them to look rougher, more fucking minimalist.  Sex Pistols. Antipop. They’re forces of antipop. Negative charges smashing against the positive. Their names are actually Boyfriend and Girlfriend by the way. Where we’re going we don’t need first names.

This entire series based on the first issue alone feels like a labour of love. That’s a testament to the entire team of talent you have involved in this project. Can you tell me how you brought them together and what they each bring to the table other than their work?

Jason Copland: I met and hung out with Jason at a couple cons. He bought 'LP' from me in Toronto

Pete Toms: friends with Pete through twitter/internet. He’s a genius cartoonist, we talked about working together on something but it never worked out, so when we we’re looking for a colorist I brought him on board. I loved his work on Sacrifice, loved his work on Colonial Souls (they yet unreleased Nolan Jones/Andrew Maclean jam) and knew he could do it.
like the first week it was out, and read it and asked me what drugs I was on when I made this. I laughed. Kept running into each other and decided to work on something. Something became POP.

Ryan Ferrier: He’s one of my best friends. Letters all my stuff. It was my first time playing to a sold out audience and I needed to have him in my corner making my dialogue, making the captions sing.

Dylan Todd: Again a brilliant artist. I knew I wanted the book to be an “art object” on every level so naturally design is a big part of this. I knew Dylan was plugged into the essence of pop culture in a very pure way, and knew he could lead us to where we wanted to go.

Looking at all the covers for the series, I noticed that Issue #1 is the only that has the barcode in different place covering Elle’s mouth. I’m assuming this was a conscious decision based upon her nature as a product?

Yep, exactly. 

The back page of issue #1 has a Triangle with an eye in it, and what seems to me like lyrics of a song. Is this to bring home the Elle’s creators are an Illuminati-sequel organisation, and are these lyrics for a song she was potentially meant to have?

No, it’s actually a poem I wrote. It’s just meant to exist as a poem, that can sort of contain the ideas for the entire series and set out an energy for the book. It’s actually my favorite part of the first issue. Writing it cut me open and made me feel alive in a very real way.

I listened to Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell’ album whilst reading Issue #1, given the title is taken from a track off said Album. Do you have a suggestion on an album everyone should listen to with each other issue?

I think listening to the albums the tracks are from is an interesting idea for sure. I’m actually making Spotify albums for each issue, so I’d probably recommend that. Here’s a link to Issue One

I always ask this question to every creator I interview. Do you have any advice for creators starting out?

Make the comic only you can make. Make the comic that will eat you up inside if you don’t make it. There’s lots of advice out there, “how to guides”, script critiques--it’s bullshit. Just make art that feels fucking real to you, and the universe will notice.

Finally can you tease our readers with a little bit about what’s coming up for the rest of the series?

DMT, riding the waves of a four dimensional experience, car chase, snuff film, scooter, the programming, gun shots, the children awaken.

Thank you very much for chatting with me, Curt


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POP #2 will be on sale September 24th. You can find it and the previous issues digitally from the Dark Horse website, or from your local Comic Book store. 

Theremin, can be found at Monkey Brain comics here

Curt Pires can be located on Twitter and his Blog
Jason Copland can be located on Twitter and his Site
Pete Toms can be located on Twitter and his Site
Ryan Ferrier can be located on Twitter and his Blog
Dylan Todd can be located on Twitter and his Site

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