The Return of THB
Pope has hatched a cunning plan to revive his long-running sci-fi epic THB – first published through his own Horse Press imprint in the mid-’90s – once he’s finished with Battling Boy.
“It’s funny because the audience that I’ve always had in mind for THB,” he says, “is the kind of kid who would read Dune, Starship Troopers or The
Lord Of The Rings for the first time. It’s just that in comics and the way the American market is set up, that audience is not really catered for right now.
“I knew at some point that I had to stop THB as otherwise I would continue to self-publish forever, reach 5,000-8,000 people and make some kind of living by having this work that exists but doesn’t meet its intended audience. Now I feel that the option is for THB to follow Battling Boy, for whom the readership would probably be aged 10 years and upwards. By the time Battling Boy is done, those readers will be teenagers and they will be ready for something a little bit more sophisticated in terms of themes and plotlines. There’s also the question of sex, which you really wouldn’t put into a book for 12-year-olds as they’re still at that level of blushing and first crushes. For THB, some of the themes are more about politics, economics and interpersonal relationships, things that by the time
Battling Boy is done, those who want to read more will be ready for.”