July sees the release of my Masked Karimbah 2-piece vinyl toy set, direct from the THB universe via Kid Robot. We will be debuting this at the San Diego Comics Convention; my only appearance this year will be on Saturday for Kid Robot.
From the official press release:
"Cast in Pope’s signature manga-meets-fine-art style, this two-figure action piece includes an original 16-page comic and a secret vinyl throw-in."
Toy design is a ton of work with lots of follow-through, but it is also extremely interesting. We wanted to do a line of THB toys, but decided if we do that, it'd be better to wait until the THB series launches, in order to not further confuse people. I took in a number of other ideas, from the relatively mundane to the wildly surreal (Karimbah is in the latter category), and we all preferred the Karimbah-- who is technically a THB character (he's a character on a kid's show in the THB universe). From there we did months of design work, including lots of back-and-forths with the sculptor and the factory, based on the dozens of design model sheets I drew up. There were lots of details and problems we needed to get right in the prototype stages, as is to be expected. I also did an original comics story, which appears in an exclusive "Masked Karimbah" comic book, found inside the box... and the box design itself. Kid Robot says it is the most complicated and challenging toy design they've tackled yet (Karimbah's dog is the size of an actual little Boston Terrier).
I consider vinyl-- along with the 2089 clothing line debuting this fall from DKNY Jeans-- to be new canvases for comics. There is no nihilism in pushing the frontiers of comics, no budgets but our imaginations, no reason to stop trying. As Akira Kurosawa said, "It is wonderful to create."