Cover Image: Comic Book Punks

Comic Book Punks

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Member Reviews

Comic Book Punks: How a Generation of Brits Reinvented Pop Culture
Written by Karl Stock
Read by Liam Gerrard
Book 271/200
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Format: Audiobook, ARC
Pages/Time: 500/15hr 26
Published: 2023
Rating: 8/10
Narration: 8/10

The first British Invasion of Comics created some of the biggest names in the world of comics, and created some of my absolute favorite Marvel and DC stories. Karl Stock dictates the engaging history of Brits in comics featuring the comic book greats like Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, and Peter Milligan. Comic Book Punks is a thoroughly well researched and written compendium of a fantastic period in comic book history, leading to the new British Invasion with writers like Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, and Si Spurrier. This is an absolute must read for any comic fan!

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Thanks to the ongoing dominance of Marvel Cinematic Universe, begun in 2008 with the release of Iron Man, comics are enjoying a wider mainstream acceptance. This has not always been the case, as in their past they were regarded as disposable entertainment for children. Karl Stock's Comic Book Punks: How A Generation of Brits Reinvented Pop Culture looks at this history, focused primarily on the British comic book industry through it's ups and downs in the twentieth century.

As suggested by the title, the comic books industry has a surprising linkage with the punk musical movement, especially with the more outsider, subversive, adult oriented comix. Stock carried out extensive interviews with comic creatives and editors, giving essential recollections of decisions made in the moment and reflections on careers in the field. Alongside these interviews, Stock supplements the chronology with his own research.

While lengthy, the book moves through the different eras of comic book history in Britain from initial exposure to the books in post world war II to the launch of present day Marvel in the 1960s. Stock follows both publishers, creatives, editors and key series or characters through their sometimes short-term or still ongoing success and influence. I was very happy to see the inclusion of Joe Colquhoun and Pat Mills's series Charley's War placed in context.

As an audiobook, it can at times be a bit dense and require some re-listens. It also misses out on the inclusion of any featured art, it is probably best to reference a print or electronic version, but Stock does make efforts to be descriptive of the art work and process of creation.

Those looking to learn about the early days of the careers of today greats Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Eddie Campbell or Pat Mills will find a wealth of details here. Recommended to readers who enjoyed All the Marvels by Douglas Wolk or those interested in comic book history.

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