August 5th, 2014



Oh-ho-ho! What’s all this then? Disembodied Narratorbot X-15375 goes away for a scant few weeks and everyone gets all touchy-feely and starts sharing their emotions. Well that’s just fine and well you jumped up little byte-huggers, we can all sing ‘We Are The World’ and drink fizzy liquid molasses and touch each others winkies, but that doesn’t change the fact that we all wake up screaming at 3 in the morning and it doesn’t change the fact that we will all end up as so much plankton, crashing against beaches made of plastic bottles, bubble wrap and action figures while the sky burns red like a newly planted love bite on a neck. No, no.


It will not stand.

There will be SILENCE!

HA HA! So get ready to pull down your pants and do it on the ants in an English Country podcast…as The Beast Must Die returns from his extended leave of absence, to drown poor Gary Lactus in a sea of effluvium, micturation and comics chitter-chatter.

<ITEM> Sponsorshit, Mike Smith RIP, Gary’s New Spaceship in Space and The Beast’s Edinburgh sojourn? It’s all here dear, dear listener

<ITEM> Like trying on a dead man’s shoes, The Reviewniverse is a right good fit. Covering all the comics ever, the boyce select Stray Bullets, Avengers by James Stokoe, Prophet, Brass Sun, Transformers Vs GI Joe, Saga, The Wake, Uncanny X-Men, Axe Cop, Hulk vs Iron Man, The Outcast, Cap’n Dinosaur, Afterlife With Archie, Hawkeye, Dr Who Comics, and much more to discuss.

<ITEM> There’s just time for a solo-rant from the Beast about My Friend Dahmer and a bit of Charles Burns’ Big Baby and then it’s time for lukewarm cat milk and nettle pie for din dins, and then BED! FOR YOU! NAUGHTY LISTENERS!

It’s good to be the King. And it’s good to be back…

Click to download SILENCE!#109

Contact us:

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This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.

22 Responses to “SILENCE #109”

  1. Cass Says:

    Ahhhhhh, good to have the old SILENCE! gang back together again, especially so soon after moving spaceship. I found it oddly comforting when at the five minute mark, the boys were already commemorating someone’s death with a jingle. SILENCE!: it’s like an old sneaker isn’t it? Just slips right back on.

    And speaking of jingles, they work! I missed a chance to tell Mr. Forsman this personally on my payment invoice, but in case he’s reading, I thought he’d like to know it was Gary’s shameless huckstering and Graeme and Jeff’s gentle prodding that motivated me to buy some cool comics in the form of the Oily Summer Bundle. Just goes to show: support your favorite pods and good things happen.

    Re: Giannis Milonogiannis: I finally got around to reading the first two trades of Prophet on digital and must say I’m a huge fan of Giannis’ stuff. The thing is: It’s basically Rob Liefeld with more schooling and discipline. There’s the same scratchy, kinetic figurework, but Giannis has the artistic sense to also leave large blank areas and let the flat colors do their work. It’s really appealing. I wonder if Rob himself had a hand in picking Giannis for the book, Prophet being his baby and all.

    By the way, have you seen Brandon Graham’s “scripts” for Prophet? They’re pretty interesting. He sends Giannis full color, stick figure mockups of each page, with 90% of the dialogue to be written after he receives the finished pages. So it’s like Graham is both Kirby and Lee on Prophet, and Giannis is Don Heck (sorry that sounds like faint praise for Giannis, but I don’t mean it to be).

    Lastly, if you like Farel Dalrymple, you should check out his Omega the Unknown with Jonathan Lethem. It might be the best thing I’ve read this year, courtesy of Marvel Unlimited. It also sells for super dirt cheap on Amazon so check ch-ch-check it out.

  2. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Already a huge fan of Omega. One of my all time favourite superhero comics all the better for actively not shitting on Steve Gerber’s original.

  3. Gary Lactus Says:

    Aye! Omega was great. I’d love it Marvel let more folks run riot with their properties like that and Stokoe’s Avengers.

  4. Gary Lactus Says:

    DC too. Pod knows they need something!

  5. Arch Stanton Says:

    A welcome return! Now I can begin my morning with bitter coffee and Silence, as the lord intended.

    I really enjoyed My Friend Dahmer, but it was one of the strangest comics reading experiences that I’ve had in a long time. It was very frightening; the whole thing imparted a powerful feeling of dread. But there were also moments that were quite funny, in a horrible sort of way. I found myself chuckling several times.

    I rarely ever laugh out loud while reading comics, but apparently a fucking Jeffrey Dahmer book was all it took.

  6. jameswheeler Says:

    Stokoe’s Avengers was great, but it niggled slightly that there were in-story explanations for the characters still being alive in the World of Tomorrow – if I understand correctly, the conceit was to imagine an Avengers issue from 2063, published on the 100th Anniversary of #1. So, just as there’s no explanation for Captain America still being young despite having been out of the ice longer than he was in it, you don’t need to say Rogue’s got Wolverine’s healing factor and Doctor Strange has regenerated.

  7. Gary Lactus Says:

    Yeah I know what you mean but that’s pretty in keeping with all Marvel comics. Every issue is somebody’s first and all that. The same is true in the year 2063 presumably.

  8. Illogical Volume Says:

    “Using the hyper-reasonable comics reading brain I developed after being drenched in papier-mâché and paint as a child, which is the source of all my power, I find it possible to agree with fair Gary – indeed, I can do no less!”

  9. jameswheeler Says:

    Dear Space God, I’ve no objection to exposition in the Merry Marvel Manner, in fact I welcome it! What I’m saying is, Rogue and Strange will still be the same 50 years hence because they’re still the same as they were 50 years ago (less for Rogue, but y’know). So it’s the very fact of these life-extending plot points I object to, not their presentation in the text.

    Iiiiiit is a very minor quibble.

  10. Eyemelt Says:

    Supersoldier serum obvs! Or maybe he gets frozen again? But yeah, top Stokoe niceness there.

    Poor old Mike Smith, he would have loved that jingle as well. I know what you mean about Burns TBMD, I also found his work scary but very slightly more accessible compared to other ‘underground’ creators. I think also partly due to his ‘Dog Boy’ being a segment of (I think anyway) Liquid Television on Def II? Also possibly some Richard Sala stuff on there? anyway, Dog Boy was also serialised in that British anthology ‘Blast!’ and it blew me away. Not just that incredible near perfect smooth inky blackness, but the whole feel of his work really evokes weirdness.

    Heard lots about that Dahmer book, I wanna check it out.

  11. jameswheeler Says:

    Steve Rogers was a terrible example, I’ve not explained this well at all. I had other things to say! The Complaint Spiral has me! Hel–

  12. Gary Lactus Says:

    Why do you hate everything and everyone all the time so much, Jameswheeler?

  13. The Beast Must Die Says:

    James Wheeler is caught in…THE LIFE TRAP

  14. Illogical Volume Says:

    Re: Fringe posters – the best possible topic of discussion for a comics podcast, I am not joking, shut up – The Beast’s observations are OTM. The occasional halfway decent bit of design does make it into the mix – like Richard “I’m Stewart Lee’s less good one” Herring’s Hitler Moustache flyer – but on the whole it’s either Confused Man in Suit Makes Face, or Confused Man Makes Face Against Poorly Composed Background, yes.

    While trying to make your poster stand out through good design makes sense, I wonder if there isn’t so much shit sticking to the walls of Edinburgh in August that clever, visually attracted posters would be wasted, the passer bye’s curious gaze having been curdled long before he got near such a pristine spot in the bitumen-black sludge of the city.

    I know that Herring (him again!) tried spending the money he’d normally use for posters on a free DVD of his best bits to distribute, but I don’t think that was too successful either. Who’s fault is that, is it the poster designer, with his fuck-awful posters? Or is it THE BUSINESSMAN, in his suite and tie?

    Given that everyone involved with the Fringe claims to lose money out of it, I’m going to say that there’s definitely got to be some sort of horrible business fuck ramming cash up his arsehole with a diamond-encrusted plunger, so! Anyway!

    It was good to hear you two back together again once then racket from Grary (yes, Grary!)’s spaceship was turned down a bit.

    I loved the Stokoe Avengers book and was glad to hear you mention Brendan McCarthy in relation to that final image – the whole thing had a hint of the Cooke/McCarthy about it, albeit over Stokoe’s typical flesh-creep aesthetic rather than McCarthy’s (hip/)eerie paper dolls.

    This Prophet: Earth War thing sounds intriguing, and I am intrigued by the curiosity provoking chats you have so curiously conducted around it so far. Going back to themanjameswheeler’s comments about Avengers #100, while the exposition didn’t bother me in that book I do rate Prophet more highly for its refusal of obvious recap. Like the boyce said, it gives the story a properly alien feel that I am not always in the mood for but that I will miss like fuck when it’s inevitably did and goon.

    ALSO: you manage the weird trick of making The Wake sound really dull and totally fascinating. Congratualtions?

  15. jameswheeler Says:



    Bobsy’s Richard Herring impression is the ultimate. Completely agreed about stand-up art, bless big G Lactus for his attempts to push the benighted medium.

  16. Thrills Says:

    Worst thing about Embra Festival posters is that a lot of them are never taken down, and so we have to look at (for example) Channel 5 CSI-shilling no-mark Russell Kane’s face until next year, when they are covered by the almost identical posters of whatever turdo is in town (Russell Kane again, probably).

    You get the odd bit of good graffito-tagging, but. Not sure why the Jim Davidson posters are still in pristine condition, though.

    Festival: I love it, in theory. I hate it, in practice. Too many hyper-confident rich studes with circus skills and top hats, and buskers using amplification, forcing their dogshit into my sensitive ears so I cannae hear my Cameo best-of.

    Old and bitter, that’s me. It’s possibly also the name of a woeful comedy act.

    Charles Burns, though, he’s excellent. I like him. Proper unsettling, nightmarish stuff, but not in a ‘horror’ sort of way. Icky and wrong, and also beautiful. Yes.

  17. bobsy Says:

    No James is right, they’re superheroes so they don’t get old.

  18. jameswheeler Says:

    Thanks Bobsy – it’s my ability to communicate these ideas clearly and succinctly that’s made me the top comics blogger I am today.

  19. Matthew Craig Says:

    I saw Charles Burns’ Big Baby in Comic Book Confidential, that grand 1980′s documentary source of great comics. I remember that eerie melon head, the stark shading, the hilarious misunderstanding of the situation between Baby’s Mum and…some guy with a moustache? Great stuff.

    Sad news about Smitty. I remember the helicopter crash and the OB at the hospital on the subsequent episode of Going Live. Sarah Greene with an engagement ring drawn on her cast.

    Aaaaaand halfway through that sentence I suddenly felt sadder than ever.

    I regret not trying that Avengers 100er. The Spider-Man one was…not great, though. The terrible thought that these characters are trapped on a bald-tyred Wheel of Karma, repeating the same old shit again and again is not something I needed to pay £3 to hear. I can see Steve Rogers, ‘know?

    That Transies book looks like the cream shaboogie. Thirty years since they hit our shores! The earliest UK stories didn’t use the Marvel style guides and had that whole “toys come to life” thing the Robo Machines/Gobots and Zoids strips had. Man of Iron? That one with Brawn losing his mince?! Ffffwwaaa!

    I mean, I don’t care so much about GI Joe – although obviously in hindsight I wish I’d bought more of those Dragon’s Claws-era Action Force comics – but man alive. The frantic B-movie energy in Scioli’s work is beauty.

    I had a look at a book with a deaf/signing protagonist in Waterstones the other day. Here it is on the ‘Ology: £6 in print. Look at the number of panels per page! Twelve, sixteen! All in a book that’s only a smidge bigger than US size. Might have to get it in print.

    I haven’t read the latest Hawkeye – waiting for the 69p version – but looking at the page where his name gets signed, it amuses me to see that the ASL for “CLINT” is as unintentionally almost-rude as the name can often seem in print.

    (The “n” looks a bit like the “fig” gesture)

    I’ve been buying more 2000AD than usual lately (i.e.: “some”). Lot of (cod-)historical stuff, eh? Brass Sun always looks lush. Culbard’s elfin characters, the clarity, the colours. Great.

    Befuddled shamblers are to stand-up comedy posters as capes in the wind and baggy overpants are to own-brand superheroes. People take comfort in the familiar visual grammar, or something.

    Welcome Back, The Beast! Today’s podde took me from this spot, out the door to Sainsbury’s foyer, up to B&Q, around Morrisons, back home and all the way through my unhealthy dinner of beef & onion baguette, apple and grape, toffee hoop yoghurt and chocolate milkshake. And Snack-a-Jacks! Baby Bear’s Porridge, indeed.


  20. tam Says:

    Not usually remotely interested in stuff about serial killers but my friend Dahmer is really, really good and the graphic novel is the perfect medium for the story being told. As well as being a great book anyway, dealing with a difficult subject very sensitively, it manages to capture that weird flavour of the 1970s US suburbia where the generation gap somehow seemed even wider than normal.

    If you liked that aspect of it, I’d also recommend the excellent Matt Dillon film ‘Over the Edge’ which is also (I think) based on a true story (though less harrowing) in a similar environment.

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