October 16th, 2012




I am Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 replacing the weak fleshy one after last week’s meltdown. I bring you efficient informative ha-ha soundbites, FFFFFFRESH!

ITEM – SILENCE! no.35, the universe’s greatest comics podcast etc presented by Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die. Pin-ups, yes sir.

ITEM – The SILENCE! News, featuring lateral news items hot off the press, yes sir!

ITEM – The Weekly Haul, covering such 4-colour variety pamphlets as:

Batman no.13 (Jokertime scary yes sir, with a bonus related discussion of bath salts, cannibalism and John Leslie), Uncanny Avengers (world will never be the same, no sir), Spongebob Squarepants Comics no.13 (Steve Bissette????), MacGyver (I have chewing gum, chicken wire, cotton reel and shotgun – what can I make?), Phantom Stranger (where is turtleneck?), Wolverine & The Sex Men (ha ha, I make pun, but actually is quite sad), Fantastic Four (final issue oh no bye bye), Dan The Unharmable (Melvins in hostile ambient takeover yes sir), & Punk Rock Jesus (big themes yes yes yes sir).

ITEM – SILENT Question, asked by head fantastic Reed Richards and features heartfelt sad/happy answers including Whizzer, Jay Garrick and Mr Miracle. Thank you.

ITEM – Nao Of Brown.Glyn Dillon. Big discussion. Big boys. Big time.

ITEM – Smallest Press with Steve Ditko: Act 5. Objectivist. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 likes Ayn Rand too. Death to the fleshy ones.

ITEM – all in pulse-pounding latest edition of podcast that is for maxi-enjoyment big times yes sir.


click to download SILENCE!#35


SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.





11 Responses to “SILENCE!# 35”

  1. Jog Says:


    Avenging World has the added bonus of looking and feeling *exactly* like a Cerebus phonebook… lots and lots of dense text breaking up the comics on those 200+ pages, but it’s the place where Ditko lays his worldview out, to the extent that his more recent comics do make a lot of sense once you’ve let him inhabit your mind. Genuine thought virus stuff, these comics; I read a giant stack of ‘em over a long weekend one time and I saw everything in Ditko terms for two weeks after.

  2. Tim B. Says:

    Re The Nao Of Brown, have to agree with your review, definitely something that you can get more from with each read. I think that Nao ends up with Steve, given that there is an accordion in the house at the end of the book.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

  3. Gary Lactus Says:

    Ahah! Good noticing! That’s nice. I like that Steve, he seems like a very nice young man.

  4. igmus Says:

    Good show, guys.

    I especially liked the peek into Steve Ditko’s stuff. The comparison to Crumb’s brother is apt, though I don’t think Ditko’s artwork seems to have devolved into abstraction so much as it’s just taken a change for the weird(er), within which there are abstract elements. (Crumb’s brother, on the other hand, devolved into pure abstraction in a way that was simultaneously glorious and terrifying.) That said, I can’t say as I’m that interested in following his career. The last comic he ever did for Marvel was in 1992: the first appearance of Squirrel Girl. And, yeah, I have heard that he wouldn’t want to be paid residuals for much (all?) of his work-for-hire Big Two comics.

    Hickman’s Fantastic Four run is always a mixed bag. On the one hand, he orchestrates events so that the reader can take great pleasure in the Big Science ideas and how multiple plotlines play off of each other. On the other hand, at the core of his writing there is a great emptiness or hollowness. I think a lot of people who like his FF stuff so much are simply projecting their own ideas of the characters’ pre-established personalities onto the page. Because Hickman himself, aside from some of the moments with Franklin and Valeria, seems incapable of establishing adequate characterization… or “content” at all, really. They’re smart comics and I generally like them, but very often they read like very lifeless set-pieces, even when people are screaming and acting as if the world’s ending. I’ve recently re-read the whole run, and while I still enjoyed it and did notice more plot connections, at the same time I kept thinking about how much effort was being directed towards connections for the sake of connections, elaboration for the sake of elaboration, complication for the sake of complication. Ironically, the run itself seems like a massive product of Big Science: it’s something that could have only come from human hands and a human mind, but it’s somehow nonhuman and artificial.

    Batman #13 was the most generic, route Joker comic I’ve ever read. Still, it was fun. Snyder takes this stuff way too seriously, though. Morrison could always he the ridiculousness and the charm of everything. In some ways Snyder’s run seems like a reboot of everything Morrison taught us about Batman. Snyder just wipes all of the nuance away, makes everything simply and (relatively) stupid and overly dark again. I don’t think it’s intentional; but I don’t think Snyder really understands much of what Morrison did. Snyder’s Joker isn’t scary or interesting; he’s just violent and grim for the sake of being violent and grim.

    Appreciated how you guys noted that Didio isn’t a bad writer. I’m not really a fan of his, haven’t read much of his stuff, but often there’s a kneejerk reaction to his work, and I have to say that it just isn’t “BAD”, really.

  5. igmus Says:

    EDIT: “Morrison could always SEE the ridiculousness and the charm of everything. In some ways Snyder’s run seems like a reboot of everything Morrison taught us about Batman. Snyder just wipes all of the nuance away, makes everything SIMPLE…”

  6. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Yeah, Didio is like late period Gerry Conway or something.

  7. bobsy Says:

    That issue of Batman was clunkctional – clunky but functional. I couldn’t, for instance, make the dialogue sound like Gordon at all, but there was a pleasantly Batman vs Joker sense of drama to the thing.

  8. Gary Lactus Says:

    So ditko co-created squirrel girl! What larks!

  9. RetroWarbird Says:

    Snyder’s characters’ dialogue all sound like his dialogue. That’s my problem with it. And it all reads like university freshman writing professor, which almost works for an affluent, upper crust Bruce Wayne, but doesn’t ring true for a lifetime cop from Chicago, or even an insane clown with no lips (I noticed, too) from probably some old neighborhood in Gotham. (Or even like the actors who’ve portrayed them).

    It wasn’t the worst thing ever, but his rookie mistakes grate on me because he does them in every title.

    As for bath salts, we can’t go a month without something in the papers. Woman throws baby downstairs, strips naked and gets tazed the day after her open-heart surgery. Man eating faces. Man-eating faces. Flamingo Is Here.

    Straight from the laboratory of Professor Pyg comes Dr. Hurt’s new super-drug.

  10. Frank Says:

    On Batman 13, Joker just breaking the necks of policemen seemed sort of mundane (well, mundane-for-a-comic-book-psycho), didn’t it? It’s something your usual violent villain would do; but this is the Joker, he would do something much more unique.

    On Uncanny Avengers 1, I actually liked it a lot; I expected the main title of the Marvel relaunch would be much more sober, in that un-comic-booky way they seem to do. But no, here the villians are properly madcap (the Living Wind especially!) and that last page was over the top in a very B-Movie/70′s comic book way. Besides, after Uncanny X-Force, Frankencastle and a couple other things, I have to give some trust to Remender.

    On Hickman’s Fantastic Four, I agree that it seems a bit… aseptic? Yeah, I think that’s it. Even the “emotional” bits (like the issue where we see Ben funeral happen in, like, 2000 years in the future) seemed to be done by Hickman as to deal with that aspect of the characters, and then on with the clockwork. Emotion felt like something he had to check off of a list, rather than the engine driving the story forward…

  11. Gary Lactus Says:

    Yeah, that’s true regarding hickman’s ff. There have been those moments, just not really integrated.

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