Sex, Drugs & Comics – A Survivor’s Tale Part Eleven

Comic-Book-Baylon-PBK-cover2-lo-res1-227x350Tim Pilcher, ex-Vertigo Comics editor, is serialising the first chapter of his new book Comic Book Babylon: A Cautionary Tale of Sex, Drugs & Comics on Bleeding Cool. The Kickstarter to fund publication has just started.

Comics were going through a renaissance. A brief, short-lived one, as it turned out, but one that caught enough of the public’s imagination none the less. Suddenly in every magazine and newspaper there were articles about, and interviews with, Alan Moore and Frank Miller. The Daily Mail’s Sunday supplement, You Magazine, even put The Dark Knight Returns on the cover of its 2 November 1986 issue, with a four-page article inside. A young journalist called Neil Gaiman wrote a piece on Watchmen for the now defunct Today newspaper.

But the majority of newspaper articles around that first attempt for comics to gain respectability featured immature headlines like “Biff! Baff! Pow! Comics Grow Up!” These became so prevalent that they became a cliché in comics circles and were a testament to the distinct lack of imagination of newspaper and magazine sub-editors.

Similarly, whenever you switched the TV on there was another dodgy documentary talking about the new wave of serious adult comics; all illustrated by terrible sound effects and puerile sub-Sixties Batman TV series graphics, that only highlighted that the production company had completely missed the point. Yet again.

Alongside The Dark Knight and Watchmen, Art Spiegelman’s Maus was elevated as proof of comics’ new-found maturity. These three graphic novels (despite all being serialised elsewhere and the press being completely uninterested then) formed a “Holy Trinity” that was exulted by the media for almost a decade. It was just a shame that the industry didn’t back them up until the 21st Century.

But despite the mishandling of the subject matter, the point was that comics were getting the column inches and airtime previously denied them for so long. The genie was out of the bottle.

[Have a question for the entertainment experts at BC? Use the Ask BC form instead. Have a comics, film, games, or entertainment commentary that's too epic for a comment thread? Use BC Letters to the Editor.]

Chandler Riggs Will Try To Balance College, Walking Dead Season 8

431069-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

The Justice League Take A Bath Twice In One Year

Marvel’s ‘Inhumans’ TV Series Will Arrive via Imax Theaters

Dexter And Iron Fist Showrunner To Lead Inhumans TV Series

WWE Comic Ad Most Competently Produced Comic Book Promotional Video Since 1980s

Thirteen Totally Awesome Screencaps Of Explosions From Michael Bay’s Transformers: The Last Knight Trailer

It’s Kieron Gillen Day Again Tomorrow. How Will You Celebrate?

frame-001960

Emma Watson’s New Tech-Thriller ‘The Circle’ Teaser Trailer Has Arrived

100

The Bleeding Cool Top 100 Power List 2016 Countdown #35-31

Legacy Matters As The Flash Tries To Figure Out Savitar

dead-no-more-clone-conspiracy-3-teaser-jackal

Tomorrow’s Clone Conspiracy #3 Will Probably Be Spoiled, So Watch Out…