SILENCE! #233

July 18th, 2017

 

 

WE’RE SO SORRY, UNCLE ALBERT

Hadrian-like, The Beast returns erecting a psychic wall between the listeners and their memories of the recent Scottish invasion. That’s right, it’s a  ’Classic’ SILENCE! with those stodgy old pros Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die.

<ITEM> Fake pleasantries, artfully inserted Sponsorship and a bit more discussion about Small Press Day 2017. A ‘classic’ meat and potatoes intro.

<ITEM> A bit of proper Sadmin as The Beast eulogises recently departed horror auteur George A Romero.

<ITEM> Hot topix section alert! There’s a new Doctor Who in town. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS INCREDIBLE SECRET?? Hot-takes like hot-cakes – ALL HERE!

<ITEM> Finally – finally – the Reviewniverse is breached. Thar she blows! Al Ewing’s Rocket is discussed and then there’s a nice long digressionary ramble about autobio comics, taking in King Cat Comics, Joe Matt, Billy, Me & You, Robert Crumb, James Kochalka and The Cleaner.

A few audio fumbles and then it’s a hop, skip and a jump off to la-lal-land. Did I mention how CLASSIC (classic) this all is??

Ta-ta!

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
@kellykanayama
silencepodcast@gmail.com

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This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. It’s also sponsored the greatest comics shop on the planet GOSH! Comics of London.

AND IT CAME TO PASS that fully paid-up member of women Maid of Nails, deep Dundonian Botswana Beast and comics artist/aesthetic superstar Dan McDaid had many thoughts regarding the Justice League.

The BS nature of “good immigrants vs. bad immigrants” stories, the mind of Morrison, the paranoia that comes with mortality – all is laid bare in this exclusive audio recording from one of the many times they got absolutely fuckin’ tanked.

Is it, as Dan said, “the worst podcast ever”? I mean, probably. But there’s only one way to find out….

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7Wd3DomYYztOEVOOC0yeF91WU0/view?usp=sharing

The bunny/duck optical illusion of our times

I show my friends I care by obsessively tracking every detail of their lives

 

The smell* of urban magic permeates the air

 

*it smells like Silk Cut and wine voms

At first glance this looks like it might just be a new art school favourite. The linework is soft and rounded, occasionally crumpling into more naive forms or vacating the page completely in favour of washes of expressive colour – it signals the intimacy of experience in a way that is immediately recognisable to anyone who’s managed to read past the superhero comics on the graphic novel shelves of their local library.  Elsewhere, the colouring takes on an active role on the page, sometimes embodying a shift in perception and understanding, sometimes becoming a source of unexpected affect – it signals a sort of deliberate intelligence of design in a way that will be familiar to anyone who has read as far as Asterios Polyp.

All of these qualities are exemplified in Take It As A Compliment, but the book resists praise on the grounds of mere formalism.

Drawn from the true tales of those who’ve experienced various forms of sexual assault, Take It As A Compliment sees Maria Stoian using the full range of her artistic abilities to give voice to those who have been on the receiving end of this shamefully commonplace form of violence.

These pages are full of crowded or empty streets, appeals to a horrific spectrum of threatening outcomes (“If you don’t your dad will be mad!”) and various forms of complicity (“Oh he was just trying to be funny“) but they are always centred on the experience of the victims.

The use of colour alone makes these experiences inescapably vivid in a way that demands a trigger warning, and the Stoian brings these stories together with an explicit purpose: “in sharing we can make it easier for survivors to deal with their experiences, and create a society that does not tolerate sexual violence!”

Do we sometimes flinch from art that is so clear about the impact it wants to have on the world?  And if so, does this reaction come from a lack of belief in our ability to affect the world or from a conviction that the goals of art are somehow incompatible with such efforts?

Take It As A Compliment is so delicate and powerful that such perspectives seem impossible while you’re reading it.

It gives voice to experience without forcing those who have already suffered to risk further suffering; it makes the social conditions that allow this suffering explicit; and it does all of this in a way that cannot be separated from its aesthetic excellence, from its commitment to exploring all the different ways that the intersection of words, shapes and colours on the page can reflect the reality of the human experience.

These stories are not my story so I can’t comment on what they have to offer to anyone who might find their reality reflected here.

But I am still a part of the society in which these abuses take place, and if I come away from Take It As A Compliment without finding extra determination to be there for those who need listening to and to confront those who need to be stopped, then the failing will be in me rather than in the book itself.