SILENCE! podcast #11

April 18th, 2012

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IN TODAY’S EAR-SCALDING INSTALLMENT: The Beast finds his life has taken on lashings of fully painted Euro-sauce, while Lactus drags his cosmic chassis from the sofa to the table!!! The Beast debuts his paean to internet fuckwittery ‘Steve Dave is Online’. SILENCE! News comes and goes like a ship in the night, but not before the Greatest Jingle of All Time makes an appearance.

Finally the pusillanimous pairsome get onto the important business of comics. They discuss America’s Got Powers from top British TV man, and all round alpha-nerd Jonathan Ross, SAGA no.2 from BKV and Fiona Staples. Lactus talks about Avengers Assemble and Avenging Spiderman and Avenging Avenginators vs X-Avengers (one of those is a fake, eagle-eyes!). Mark Millar and Dave ‘The Rave’ Gibbons’ new spy tale the Secret Service is chewed and digested; Frankenstein Agent of SHADE is a thing, Casey & Fox’s Haunt is too. Saucer County and the Shade – these are the things that little boys are made of… Lactus has a less yellow experience with Fantastic Four and then the Beast tackles the baffling but kinda brilliant Glamourpuss from Dave Sim in You Should Have Known Better.

All this and the second coming of Tupac Shakur? Surely not (don’t call me Shirley) I didn’t I said ‘surely’ (Oh. my mistake) That’s okay Shirley.

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29 Responses to “SILENCE! podcast #11”

  1. Jog Says:

    Ha ha, actually that bit of glamourpuss you read was part THIRTEEN of the present storyline — Sim’s a long-game man, and Cerebus ain’t gonna replace itself — but it’s really worth reading from the very beginning, as difficult as that might be given the absence of any collected edition just yet.

    It’s comics-as-performance, really, in that the earlier issues intermingled the ‘fashion’ and ‘history’ under the stated (as in put-in-captions-on-the-page) rationale of Sim wanting to devote his next big project to drawing pretty girls in a very pretty style. Along the way he’d give the history of the style he’s trying to use to draw said pretty girls, a comics essay which would serve the added purpose of honing his skills by allowing him to trace pertinent sequences from comics made in the photorealist style. Everything in the early issues is traced: the fashion bits from photographs and magazine spreads, and the history bits from promotional snaps and the actual comics of classic artists, basically pulled together by Sim’s inking. There’s even an absurd comedy bit in issue #1 illustrating the pitfalls of trying to construct a proper, dramatic comics story entirely from photo-traced materials [INSERT JOKE ABOUT DISFAVORED SUPERHERO ARTIST HERE].

    Except, around issue #14, three chapters into the present storyline, that’s exactly what Sim begins to do. He starts to tell the Death of Alex Raymond as a proper comic, likely culled in part from photo reference but evidently involving quite a bit more material, and certainly demonstrating an increased sophistication. He also (in issue #12) breaks the ‘fashion’ parts away from the ‘history’ so that they proceed on separate tracks – he doesn’t say it on the page this time, but what’s happening is that he’s using the lessons he’s taught himself in the first parts of the series to evolve the form and function of the series itself. In a way, I think this has hurt the fashion bits — which were never as strong as the other half of any given issue to begin with — although there’s a certain subtle thematic connection between the two halves: it’s all a story about women, and the pernicious sway they hold over men, so that the ‘glamour’ of physical beauty casts a ‘glamour’ over right-thinking men, which Sim acknowledges via his own participation in the system.

    So, uh, it’s very Dave Sim in its thematics!

    But it’s also the most Godardian comic I’ve ever read, not just in the distending of elements of form, but even in the speculative nature of Sim’s narration, and how the visual aspect of his art integrates outside materials into its body and re-contextualizes them in symbolic, pedagogical and personally revelatory ways. I mean, just trying to think of another COMIC like it sends me pretty deep into hardline experimental bandes dessinées of the ’90s, though it’s a very approachable, striking work, even if you don’t see that the magazine look of that awesome bit at the end of this issue is a refinement of Sim’s ongoing interaction with fashion periodicals, or that sometimes the fashion bit silently but bluntly foreshadows stuff in the history half, like an issue #11 homage to automobiles much like the one Alex Raymond will eventually die in. Or how he seems to be working with more and more ‘mixed’ media (the x-ray effect, say) incorporated into the page via his inking – there’s never been such a fucking love letter to inking as this comic.

    But yeah: performance. It’s about Dave Sim tossing out his dramatic Cerebus style to develop a different style, live, issue by issue, and then kneading all he’s learned back into his dramaturgy, to not only enlighten the reader but transform himself as an artist. That’s what glamourpuss is most emphatically about.

  2. Gary Lactus Says:

    Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.

  3. Gary Lactus Says:

    Seriously though, all this has me interested in giving it another, proper go.

  4. amypoodle Says:

    There is annoying vuvving noise whenever you speak, Lactus. Your tech’s old in your spaceship.

    That or you had a mobile phone or something in your (space)pocket.

  5. Gary Lactus Says:

    Yeah. Fuck it though. No idea what’s going on there. Any sufficiently advanced technology will seem like magic to poodles.

  6. amypoodle Says:

    What was that? I couldn’t hear you for all the vuvving.

  7. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Hey Jog – thanks for the free review/analysis. I’ve bought a few more ishes of Glamourpuss to get my teeth into. I think the fact that so few people have been able to pin down exactly what’s going on with it is it’s most intriguing aspect, and the fact that Sim seems to be decding too just adds to the intrigue. You’ve just laid down one of the most concise interpretations there though.

  8. Tam Says:

    so the result of ‘Should Have Known Better’ is that you’re BOTH now going to start reading it?!? That’s not how it’s supposed to work now, is it? I feel very let down…

    Are you planning to discuss 2000 AD and Dredd in particular in the near future? Dunno if it’s just me but ‘Day of Choas’ is becoming so exciting that I haven’t been anticipating the next prog so keenly as I am at the moment since Wulf Sternhammer was killed!

    Also you’re right, Viz is still great. If I had my way, I’d make knowledge of it a key part on my National Citzenship Test. Laso if you’re looking for a good book without pictures, Ex Editor Chris Donald’s autobiography is also one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

  9. Gary Lactus Says:

    That’s a good suggestion, Tam. I’m going to need some holiday reading in July and that Chris Donald book will provide a nice counterpoint to Jon Ronson’s Psychopath Test. As for 2K AD, reckon we’ll get a bunch of progs up our face before we talk Dredd and Zilk. It IS good at the moment though.

  10. igmus Says:

    I appreciated the lack of news from that C2E2 nonsense. Looking at various comics websites this past weekend, it was a chore to wade through all of those boring announcements. It ain’t news, fellas, no matter how hard they push it. Thanks for not wasting your listeners’ valuable time with it.

    The minute you start covering news from conventions is the minute your fans will know that you’ve taken the payola from the big boys. As it is, your integrity remains in tact and SILENCE! is a shining city on a hill.

    I enjoy David Icke references, always. There’s someone who should start making his own comics.

  11. ron garney Says:

    Enjoyed listening to your podcast and reviews gents, got quite a laugh out of the “I can’t help falling in love with you” schtick. ANd that opening bit really did relax me with the slowed don reading of internet posters. Funny as shit stuff.
    From the ever “Functional”(really guys, I dont rate better than that??)
    Ron Garney

  12. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Hi Ron – thanks for listening!

    Hmm, ‘functional’ is pretty snitty, and overly dismissive, I grant you. “reliable’ is a nicer way I guess..? To be fair I haven’t seen that much of your work, cos you do a lot of superhero stuff I don’t read, but I do remember really enjoying some of your stuff with Jason Aaron on Wolverine where you were inking yourself – it had a rough, looser line that fitted the story really well.

  13. ron garney Says:

    Reliables a bit better thoIve done plenty in the biz to rate higher than that too I think. In fairness to your opinion of the work I fully agree there were times during my career where I had to be more professional and couldnt be the ‘artiste’ that I would have liked to be and thats where reliable fits. That said, I really liked the way 605 came out on all fronts and got lots of wonderful comments about it which makes it worthwhile. It was an important issue for me anyway– my 17 year old golden passed away while I was working on it so it has a special place and meaning for me.

  14. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Dude – you have a successful career in comics and have done for 20 years. More power to you. Hope my glibness didn’t honk you off too much!

  15. ron garney Says:

    Dude! Im not ‘honked’ off at all— Basically came here to tell you I enjoyed your podcast, not to seek approval of my career. Truth is its pointless to boil down anyones entire career to one word so Im not offended, and I was really making an uncomfortable tease just to get you back. Believe me, Ive heard worse. One guy actually called himself the ‘anti-Garney’ on a message board once and railed on about how my body should be dragged through the streets for sucking so bad. It was hilarious.
    Sometimes, especially in a voluminous career like a comic artists, there are subtler things going on that if were not paying attention we can miss at times especially over the long haul but were all entitled to our visceral reactions and opinions to it,
    and art and life in general, so no worries…
    Again, really enjoyed your cast! It was fun and will continue to listen!

  16. Thrills Says:

    Can I be a snivelling creep and just add that Ron Garney drew my favourite Ghost Rider stuff and that this amazing cover is responsible for my unshakeable love of purple skulls:

  17. Thrills Says:

    Also, I completely agree with the stuff in the podcast about Viz’s best bits being the adverts and the top tips and basically the text stuff. Other than the Pathetic Sharks and some of Billy the Fish, I don’t remember liking any of the actual strips (maybe I only find marine life funny?).

    It flies too close to mean-spirited ‘us normal lads are best and everyone else is stupid!’ for me, though I do recognise it kind of critiques that as well.

  18. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Early Biffa Bacon was pretty fucking funny, although it wasn’t that different from Bully Beef & Chips….

  19. Ad Mindless Says:

    I have to own up to being scared of the Fat Slags when I was a teen

  20. bobsy Says:

    You mean you fancied them.

  21. Ad Mindless Says:

    You did, more like.

  22. bobsy Says:

    Yeah I probably would have, at the time.

  23. Chris Kent Says:

    Hi, I wondered if you might be interested in doing a feature on my new graphic novel The Golem.
    I’ve been collecting reviews Egypt,dancing skeletons.
    More features and reviews coming from eg forbidden planet blog and the Horror Channel.
    I did an interview with Alex Fitch, PanelBorders, ResonanceFM 12/12/13 about the Golem and my previous title- Medusa.
    Please have a look at my site-
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Chris Kent

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