February 23rd, 2015




It’s Oscar season! You know, that season where it’s okay to  hunt people called Oscar! But before you run and grab your pistols, shotguns and catapults, why don’t you rest up for a while and take in the latest podstravaganza from the Dempsey & Makepeace of podcasting, Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die! The podcast is SILENCE!, the time is now and the trousers are TIGHT! Too tight as a matter of fact…I’m seeing lights. Take me to the lights…take me now….

<ITEM> It’s a fist-sized portion of sponsorship, with the usual subjects, and some lovely jingles for some of the dearest of dear listeners. Oh and they talk about ancient ITV gameshow 3,2,1, because, y’know, comics.

<ITEM>  The Reviewniverse opens it’s welcoming arms and the boys take it’s embrace. Synergy, cosmic oneness and all that aul shoite…Multiversity: Mastermen, Silver Surfer, Affordable Amazement Catalogue, The Sound of Drowning, 2000AD, Rumble, Transformers Vs GI Joe, Wonder Woman, Hawkeye, and Frank Miller’s Holy Terror all come between the crosshairs.

<ITEM> The final item! Goodbye!

Click to download SILENCE!#132

Contact us:
[email protected]

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! Comicsof London.

8 Responses to “SILENCE! #132”

  1. Thrills Says:

    Thanks for the song! And also for saying nice stuff about my blog, even though it’s a barely coherent blight on comics criticism.

    I had the grim idea of sending money your way every week, thus forcing you to write me hundreds of song, and ruining your lives, but who can afford that, financially or mentally?

    I was put off buying the recent 2000AD by that terrible-looking thing about nerds that fight monsters, even though the purple on the cover was nice. I think stories about nerds becoming self-aware parts of the sci-fi adventures they enjoy are a bit too Webcomic for me.

    I completely agree with the assessment that a shite comic can be better than a good comic. Give me the dubious anti-pleasures of a JT Krul over the competent, pleasant likes of Matt Fraction any day. Well, some days.

    PS the ‘Thrills’ name has no exciting origin or real relevance to me as a person. It’s something to do with Ritchie Valens and Milhouse in a way too dull to get into.

  2. Illogical Volume Says:

    Dear Mr The Beast Must Die (subsequently to be referred to as “Mr The Beast”),

    I very much enjoyed listening to your podcast this morning Mr The Beast. The jingles were entertaining, and the upfront nature of Gary’s comedic plagiarism will always endear him to my thrice cunted heart. With regards to the use of Nazis as a pulp villain as it relates to Multiversity: Mastermen, you are of course correct to note that this trope has been exhausted past the point of easy objection. My complaint here (and as previously noted it’s a subtle, nagging complaint vs. the overt encounters with moral difficulty that power Uber) is that the story wants to create the sort of guilt-ridden, Wagnerian Superman you so accurately describe in the podcast by having him wrestle with the part he has played in the Nazi triumph on this alternative Earth. This could be fine, bracing stuff, but my site specific gripe is that it’s strange to make this the foundation of Overman’s torment while also neatly distancing him from some of the true atrocities that this torment is being built on.

    As the lovely Ben DST has argued on the other comments thread, Morrison seems to be trying to answer the question of “What if Superman was on the wrong side? with “He already is” here. Having Overman be away on his holidays during the holocaust makes this theme easier to sell, but in doing so it also calls into question whether you really wanted to build this story on the idea of a Nazi superman at all. There’s also the Brother Bobsy approved question of whether the suggestion that Nazi Superman (having been raised by Hitler and used to crush the allies) would have prevented the holocaust – I don’t know how you feel, Mr The Beast, this seems a bit cute to me, as it both avoids the depths of horror the holocaust brings with it and reinforces Moz’ occasionally wobbly superhero positivism.

    The broader issue of the use of Nazis to villains is an interesting one. They’re effective stooges for many reasons (distinct iconography, an obviously hateful ideology that even the squishiest of readers should have no difficulty in opposing) but these very qualities serve to distance them from their origins: I can (and do!) enjoy seeing Hellboy smash Nazi skulls or see their faces melt off in front of Indiana Jones and not think about what a Nazi really was. As I said earlier, this is established to the point where any objection seems quaint and slightly pointless.

    If anyone wants yet another fistful gold stars they can tie all this in to David Fiore’s thoughts on why the Inglorious Basterds like their Nazis in uniforms and Plok’s thoughts on the reduction of 9/11 to just another genre trope.

    Me, I’ve got some comics to read. Perhaps they will feature Nazis also, Mr The Beast – imagine that!

    Thrills – Stop knocking your blog. I’ve read a lot of shite comics crit and none of it was by you.

  3. The Beast Must Die Says:

    I agree that sidestepping Overman’s involvement in the holocaust is a more pat, cowardly option and I certainly think Morrison’s ‘superhero-positive’ worldview might feel more comfortable with this, but I think we have to assume there might have been some editorial mandate here. I’m just not sure how comfortable Times Warner would be with a Superman directly participating in actual genocide, analogue or not.

    Now we only have the text as presented to work with, so such suppositions are ultimately academic, and with that in mind yes, there is something a bit vanilla about this comic’s treatment of some heavyweight shit, especially in the light of Uber’s gruelling examination of similar ground. But I think Morrison was trying to sneak some nicely subversive ideas under the radar (the 9/11 stuff was just vague enough to escape the editorial scissors for example) and I personally would rather give him some kudos for at least trying to shrug off his usual apolitical ways for something a bit more interesting.

    Not that your (and other equally erudite types) opinions are not a) valid b) interesting c) right, but I didn’t feel the text was as problematic. Look, you know I’m a Morrison fanboy / apologist so I just have a harder time slating the man than some, even when it’s thoroughly deserved…

    Then again, I only read it once and even from that reading I can say that’s a text with some big gaps in it, intentional or not (trouble with Moz is you never know when he’s being deliberately opaque or just a bit slapdash…)

  4. Illogical Volume Says:

    Thank you for responding Mr The Beast – you are a lovely man.

  5. Illogical Volume Says:

    Did I say you were “a lovely man”, Mr The Beast? I’m sure I must have meant to say “a horrible Morrison apologist, and a prize cunce to boot”.

    Let us now get down to fisticuffs in the manner our friend, The Internet, so dearly craves.

    For real though, I think Morrison has made a genuine attempt to engage with the real world (“the real fucking world?”) in his post-Final Crisis/Supergods comics. This hasn’t always worked out (the idea of those early Action Comics issues is still better than reality; any interrogation of BatCapitalism is rigged in the favour of The Bat) but in trying to justify his corporate context he sometimes manages to scratch beyond the surface (as in his genuinely haunted alternative origin story for the Super-Brand or that weirdly despondent final issue of Batman Inc). I’d rate Mastermen as a crude and occasionally intriguing failure, but that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the effort.


    Your thoughts on Hawkeye and the Fraction age of comics are on-the-money. I don’t object to art that pre-empts criticisms and potential objection and makes it a part of itself as such. At its best, this approach can be quite affecting. I’m thinking of Synecdoche New York, certain David Foster Wallace pieces, second albums by freshly successful hip-hop artists, etc – the sound of consciousness scrabbling to validate its existence. In Fraction comics (by which I do not necessarily mean “comics written by Matt Fraction”) this often ends up feeling more like a surface that’s intended to suggest depths but actually just makes the whole thing look even more flimsy than it is – the sound of self-consciousness scrabbling to verify its existence.

    I’ll make a baffled exception for Secret Avengers which achieves a weird sort of indeterminacy.

    Re: Holy Terror, man, I’m glad you said “impotent” so many times in this review because that’s exactly the feeling I get from latter-day Miller. A whimper trying to pass for a scream.

  6. Tim B. Says:

    As an entitled baby man I demand to know what’s happened to your unique selling point of weighing the comics? has it been relegated to the same occasionally visited backwater as Counting The Comics? as a dear listener I demand to know. My inconsequential needs must be assuaged.

    Oh and whilst we’re on it why are you not splitting the reviewniverse exit song into two seperate channels, one song on the left and one on the right. I’m sure it must be a mere trifle to meet the standards I expect from the free media I consume.

    Anyhoo about Hawkeye, all I can say is that they’re taking their sweet time about getting it out from the fairly regular emails I get about Volume 4 TPB delivery date getting pushed back it’s getting like the Dream Weaver General’s current Opus. Say what you will about Multiversity at least they had the sense of waiting until it was all done before releasing it.

    Speaking of which, is it me but from the cover of Ultra Comics #1 can we to expect some commentary from Morrison about Zenith and Rebellion’s (In his opinion contentious) release of the story.

  7. tam Says:

    I quite enjoy reading things I disagree with (and thought, for example, 300 was great), so the politics of Holy Terror didn’t bother me too much but it’s just so poorly thought out. I don’t mind superheroes engaging with the real world. In fact Miller did it pretty well with Electra : Assassin and the Dark Knight but he seems to have lost all interest in plotting. And I don’t even have too much of a problem with them touching on sensitive issues, (although it’s probably more effective when done more obliquely) but if a creator is doing that then they REALLY have to do their research. Come to think of it, that’s also why I think Uber’s probably the most interesting ‘superhero’ comic around at the moment but Mastermen is just plain embarrassing.

    Although to be fair, pretty much every comic I’ve seen relating to 9/11 has been truly dreadful (with the exception of Moore and Gebbie’s ‘This is information’ which is probably my favourite thing he’s ever done and remains more painfully relevant than ever) so Miller’s hardly alone in this and at least he draws better pictures than most

  8. Matthew Craig Says:

    “reinforces Moz’ occasionally wobbly superhero positivism.”

    What was that thing in Action Comics? The “Kryptonian Moral Imperative?” The inherent non-killy drive. Is this Superman Krypton-savvy? Or does he not know about his biologicals? I mean, hell, this Superman has neither the Kents nor the Els to teach him not to mash bunny rabbit skulls with his thumb, so why would he have any qualms about anything?

    Good UK comics chat today, as well. I was feeling gert depressed (I’ve been ill for about a week, hek), but the citation of Lord Hurk and invocation of Paul O’Connell’s name went very nicely with my rediscovery of some Spidey comics that genuinely made me happy. So….thanks?


    Spoiling us, you are, with these digital treatmeats.


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