Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

The Secret Origin of Pop Zeus

The idea of Pop Zeus came upon me quite suddenly here at work. It was mid-1994 and I had been slaving away on the first season of the show for close to a year and I was in a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. I was also in the process of losing someone very important to me, a process stretched out over 4 or so very busy but painful months. And then I found out that my favorite band in the world, Guided By Voices was breaking up. And at the time, the future of Bob's music was a big blank. There was much despair amongst the hardcore fans on Disarm The Settlers, the GBV message boards. And it was hitting me especially hard, the feeling that I had no future and all the things that were important to me were going away.

Now that I think about it, I remember having a weird premonition about the demise of GBV (I'm quite intuitive like my mom). Maybe it was because of my already gloomy mindset, but for a while before I heard the announcement I was expecting bad news from Bob's direction. I remember emailing Rich T (Rockathon guru) about it soon after hearing the news.

Anyway, I was soon thereafter able to get my hands on an advance copy of Half Smiles of the Decomposed, the final GBV album. And I recall sitting in front of my crappy candy colored Imac here at work listening to the out of order tracks as they were downloaded. And it felt like every song tapped directly into how I was feeling that very moment. The sense of yearning and loss that permeated tracks like Girls of Wild Strawberries, Window of My World, Everybody Thinks I'm a Raincloud, Tour Guide At The Winston Churchill Memorial, and (S)mothering And Coaching was devastating. I sat there and was literally choking back the tears- the album totally rocked and was totally beautiful. They were going out on such a high note. And that's when it hit me.

I needed to stop messing around with Logjam and the GBV cameo appearances and truly pay tribute to this band, music and man that had meant so much to me for 10 years, my entire adult life. I thought about the Peter Buck comic book that Jack Logan had created back in the day in tribute to his superheroes, and I knew that I had to do the same and really knock it out of the park for GBV. Pop Zeus was born...

" Been closed and locked up for far too long, far too long, far too long..."


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