Review - 'Comic Book Babylon' - Tim Pilcher.
I have just received and read 'Comic Book Babylon' by Tim Pilcher. A Kickstarter novel of his life in the comics world from the mid 1970s through to the 1990s and touching on time since then.
It's an emotional (although sadly a little short at 138 pages) journey of comics and characters from those heady days of big sales and big expense accounts.
I have to say that I enjoyed it. I put the book down some ten minutes ago from a one sitting reading and it does stay with you. I mean, it's honesty stays with you, tinged by big dollops of sadness it's not the boastful book I was expecting. It's actually neither boastful nor overly scandalous (much to its credit).
Tim makes reference in an early chapter that these days of comics publishing from Warrior's excellence to the indie blast of Vertigo were our own punk. I agree with this and was there at the time. In fact many of the events he recalls are ones I remember with the same nostalgia (yes I was at that overnight movie showing at UKCAC and the beanbags in later years).
Does a book allow for the freeing of pent up guilt and demons? Probably. We all have regrets from those years - simply a fact of life for those living (and drinking) in London in those crazier days of new Labour. Over indulgence was almost an art form in those days and the comics coming out of Vertigo (and others) reflected this freedom on thought.
I knew and know the places and bars Tim described and for that the book is a vibrant nostalgia injection. I loved his descriptions of the comics of the times and to be honest would love to have heard more. Hopefully this book does well and is just a 'Volume 1'?
If you were about in those days or interested in a small pocket of comics history it's well worth a look.