Lee Robson is the author of Babble, published by Com.x (http://www.comxcomics.com/)
What is Babble about?
Babble is a horror thriller that centres around Carrie Hartnoll, a girl lost in her own life, until a chance meeting with an ex presents her with the opportunity to start over in Ivy League America. Joining a research team attempting to resurrect the lost language of Babel – a language they theorise, that can be understood by anyone in the world – Carrie slowly begins to piece together her fractured life, but finds herself embroiled in the apparent suicide of the original project leader, and soon uncovers the truth about the language and why it was written out of the history books…
What inspired the story?
After I first read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, I became fascinated with the story of the Tower Of Babel, but more specifically, the question: “What was the language everyone spoke before God stepped in and “created” the languages of the world?”. From there, the idea of a “universal” language, a language that every human on the planet could understand regardless of where they’re from just took root. That all attached itself to a bunch of other things that were going on around me and formed the basis of the story and the characters.
Once you started writing Babble, did you have to do any additional research?
Oh, God, yes! Setting the story in a university, with academics studying the language meant I had to go back and do more research to make sure the story and dialogue had authenticity, or the whole thing would’ve stalled at the gate. I had to try and strike the right balance between the religious mythology and the scientific facts that back it up – which I know sounds weird, given how diametrically opposed religion and science can be sometimes, but all mythology is grounded in reality, and there are mountains of archaeological evidence that point to the origins of those myths and stories.
I knew going in that I’d have to really dig deeper into the mythology of Babel; the original story in the Bible is, basically, just a paragraph, which is pretty tough to build a story around. It was fascinating to note that pretty much every religion has a version of the Babel story and how similar they all are (but, given the way religions have spawned new religions and belief systems, it’s not really all that surprising that the story would be handed down, too), but that meant having to dig even deeper than I thought, to really find a single origin point of the Babel story. I don’t know if Sumerian mythology is that origin, but it was definitely the thing that really fit Babble.
Are there other projects you are currently working on?
There’s a bunch of small press shorts in production at the minute, which should be popping up throughout 2013 and Bryan [Coyle] and I are developing a new full length project, but we’re still in the early stages. I’d like to do some more creator-owned stuff and maybe even work on something for Oni or Image, or whoever will hire me – which is shameless, I know, but, hey.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Please go and pre-order a copy of Babble from your local comic shop (use the Diamond code OCT120971) or go and do it online: http://www.babblecomic.com/where-to-buy/ . And come and visit my blog at http://www.imaginarystories.co.uk/