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The Comic Guide (Slings & Arrows) [Paperback]

Howard Stangroom , Steve Whitaker , Hassan Yusuf , et. al. , Tim Pilcher , Frank Plowright
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sep 1997 Slings & Arrows
A critical assessment of over 3,000 American comic book titles dating back to the 1930s. Science fiction, Western, War and Erotic comics are covered, as are comics featuring Batman, Spider-man, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Incredible Hulk, Star Trek, Tales From the Crypt and Terminator. Some European comics are also featured.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1854104861
  • ISBN-13: 978-1854104861
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,563,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Pilcher is a pop culture expert and has worked in and around the comics industry for over 20 years as a writer and editor. He initially started as an assistant editor at DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, based in London, working on ground-breaking titles like The Extremist by Peter Milligan & Ted McKeever; Enigma and Face by Peter Milligan & Duncan Fegredo; The Mystery Play by Grant Morrison & Jon J Muth, Rogan Gosh by Peter Milligan & Brendan McCarthy; and Kill Your Boyfriend by Grant Morrison & Phillip Bond.

In 1992 he co-founded of the bi-lingual comics publishing house, Les Cartoonistes Dangereux, with Paul Peart, Brad Brooks, Dylan Horrocks and others. They published several critically acclaimed one-off graphic novels in English and French, including White Death by Robbie Morrison & Charlie Adlard, The Malice Family by Fareed Choudhury, Aunt Connie and the Plague of Beards by Jonathan Edwards and the first appearance of Fred the Clown by Roger Langridge.

He has written comics for the BBC, DeAgostini, Weldon Owen and the Young Telegraph and has worked for numerous book publishers including Penguin Children's Books and Dorling Kindersley.

As a journalist he has written for Deadline, Comic World, Tripwire, Education Today, Comics Forum, Criminal Justice Matters and G-Spot Magazine and Star Trek Magazine. Pilcher became an associate editor at Comics International, the UK's then-only comic book trade paper, alongside Dez Skinn. Pilcher has written numerous books on comics including The Complete Cartooning Course and The Essential Guide to World Comics with Brad Brooks. He has also contributed to numerous other books including, Comix: The Underground Revolution, 500 Comicbook Action Heroes, The Slings and Arrows Comic Guide (1st Edition), 500 Essential Graphic Novels and War Comics: A Graphic History. His Erotic Comics: A Graphic History Volumes 1 & 2,were the first serious survey of this genre in over 20 years. The books have been translated into French, German, Polish and Czech and were Publication of the Year finalists in the 2010 UK Erotic Awards.

He regular gives talks on everything from Tijuana Bibles, Indian comics, the history of Ecstasy and other esoteric subjects, and is currently commissioning editor at Ilex Press and is the Chair of The Comic Book Alliance (www.comicbookalliance.co.uk), a not-for-profit organisation and "The Voice of the British Comics Industry" promoting books, graphic novels, webcomics and sequential art in its many forms. He occasionally updates his intermittent blog, Sex, Drugs and Comic Books (www.sexdrugsandcomicbooks.blogspot.com).

He has also written several non-comic related books including: Pilcher's Marijuana Miscellany, e: The Incredibly Strange History of Ecstasy, Spliffs 2 & 3, and the bestselling The Cannabis Cookbook.

He successfully published his Kickstarter memoir of working at Vertigo UK called Comic Book Babylon: A Cautionary Tale of Sex, Drugs and Comics in November 2013. He performed the book as a one-man show at 2014's Brighton Fringe Festival and was nominated for Best Literary Event Award.

He lives in Brighton, England.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't be without it 14 Dec 2001
This book is an excellent Comics equivalent of Halliwells Film Guide, packed with brief rundown's and review of almost any American comic you can think of from roughly 1996 or earlier.
Almost certainly you will find them slating your favourite comics and raving about things you can't stand, but it's always interesting to have a look and see what they think of your favourite comics as well as use it to judge what old gems to pick up cheap on eBay (my copy lives next to my computer for just this purpose).
I highly recommend this book and hope they will continue to update it on a regular basis.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An indispensable handbook for serious comic book readers. 31 Oct 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a monumental achievement in comics scholarship. Nearly 3000 American comic book titles from 1937 to 1997 are summarized and evaluated. For long running series like Action Comics and Detective Comics, there are several pages of commentary chronicling the history of the title. Even newer comics of significance receive extensive coverage. Each entry is signed by one of the seventeen very competent contributors, and most entries include specific issue recommendations. If you have ever wondered about an unfamiliar title as you are perusing the back issue bins of your favorite comic book store, this is the book to have in hand. A wonderfully unique resource for comic readers and collectors!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memory Lane 12 Sep 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book brought back nostalgic memories of the comic books I read as a kid. Very Enjoyable. In concise detail, it offers an objective history and critique of more than 2500 titles. My hats off to the research as well as the commentary within.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic junkies - here's your FIX...... 5 Feb 2003
By Robert A. Postuma - Published on Amazon.com
If you're not a comics fan- this book will essentially be USELESS for you - but if you are a fan, it will be an invaluable to your collection. Brief reviews cover most of the mainstream comic series put out since the late 30's/early 40's - with particular emphasis covering stuff released in the 80's and early 90's. Brief and entertaining reviews cover the high points and low points of many series - along with recommended issues and creators involved. Reviews are not always positive, but always entertaining ( though I still disagree with their review of Warren Ellis' work on HELLSTORM, but I digress ).
If I had ONE complaint, is that the book covers only up until 1995 for most series released - so an update - which apparently is coming in next year or so- is much needed. Even so - it's still an awesome resource to have.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Mind Will Race and Your Fingers Will Dash 7 Jan 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Yes there is a second edition of this book out there, but you know what, maybe it is nostalgia or the great Frank Quietly cover that makes me like this one a wee bit more.

You will sit there looking at one title and wonder is it there and Bam! there it is. You will challenge yourself to find titles that are not listed. There is a broad range of titles, from golden age to the modern age. Undergrounds, mainstreams, eighties independent movement and implosion are all covered with equal loving care.

Are the reviewers opionated. Darn straight they are but that is what makes this book so much fun. It seems that they really read through all the stuff that they reviewed. Pity the one who had the long run on let's say Action Comics. Yow! My mind might be putty.

Great for helping you catch up on a title you used to follow.

Obscure enough that you can buy it as a gift for the comic fan in your life and they most likely won't have it up on their bookshelf.

My verdict: There is nothing wrong with the 2nd Edition of this guide but if you can score the first cheap why the heck not?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An inexpensive and indispensable reference tool 31 Oct 2001
By J. Collins - Published on Amazon.com
I happened upon this British softcover in my local comics shop, and was extremely pleased with my discovery. In a lot of ways it's as informative and witty as Robert Christgau's similar music "guides," compiled from his work for the NY Village Voice. The sheer volume of printed material covered by the various reviewers is astounding. I should mention that even though this book originated in the U.K., you'll still find listings for obscure American underground comics: no title is too small to merit a mention.
Listings are alphabetical, generally by the name of the starring character or comic title. Many titles are given a thorough analysis, including the histories of relevant characters and the evolution of specific plotlines. The guide also suggests notable issues for collectors, and lists various collections and/or reprints that appear in separate volumes. While it's obvious to this reader that S&A's reviewers all love comics and aren't afraid to gush the occasional superlative, they are also refreshingly candid when reviewing subpar material. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments just flipping through the book at random.
Though this edition will soon be revised (or so I hear) to include more recent comics, I can heartily recommend this guide to comic fans who appreciate the medium as much as their favorite characters. For readers who have pondered collecting comic titles in the periphery of their usual reading material, this book is a great resource for picking and choosing. Last but not least, it's a great book to have at the ready when you have a little time to indulge yourself in the history of comics.
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