February 6th, 2017

Momma I’m A Mi$$ionaire!

ITEM Ask yourself: what would you do with a handful of free superhero comics every week? Only then may ye judge.

ITEM Yosephine! With the relentless urge to oblivion of a certain popular zombie franchise lurches Silence! 212. All things are hell but the lads are having a cracking time of it, to be honest

ITEM The cosmically contentious Space Gaz and nuclear terror bobsy take a few potshots at some old enemies thereby solving all the world’s problems – you’re welcome – before covering a spot of admin, Dredducation and oh yeah comic reviews! We do…

ITEM Shade the Changing Girl, Operation Batman, The Walking Dead, The Unstoppable Wasp, Hawkeye, Champigwens, Monsters Unleashed, Motro, and possibly some others we forgot to write down.

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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.

16 Responses to “SILENCE! #212”

  1. Paul Jon Thrillin' Says:

    This was a very entertaining podcast. Thankyou all for making it available!

    I agree with Bobsy about the Walking Dead’s dodgy politixxx, but also agree with Gary in that I reckon it’s a cracking bit of serialised fiction.

    Also! Why would anyone get Greg Land to draw a comic about giant monsters?!? There is no joy in his art. No joy.

  2. Tim B. Says:

    Matches Malone would eat a burger with his hands but Bruce Wayne uses a knife & fork because he needs to maintain the Playboy from Old Money stylings that cover requires.

    As to whether the scene represents a new depiction of an international Batman, one way to approach it is establish whether the Wayne Foundation is still the public face of Batman/source of funding as was set up towards the end of the Morrison run – Bruce appearing publicly at Bat Burger as the head of the Wayne Foundation is endorsing the restaurant, allowing it to grow as a franchise after Wayne inevitably gets papped giving it his eccentric playboy knife & fork burger eating schtick providing valuable revenue generating publicity, and if there’s anything a representation of capital/money wants is to become a weightless concept unhindered by inconvenient physical bonds (I’m knee deep in the 3rd part of Jerusalem), which it achieves by branding, the same way he’s done since the Batmobile in Detective Comics #27. Branding represents a way of generating more of itself just by been – imagine the world with a Bat symbol stamped across it.

    The Walking Dead metaphor conundrum – no metaphor maps exactly from the real world – otherwise Tolkien’s Orcs would have been actual Brummie car builders so the zombies as Muslims doesn’t work exactly to me – they are an actual existential threat, they represent forces of entropy & remorseless natural threats such as climate change/resource depletion, where the strongman approach makes the strongman & his friends/favoured ones feel safe whilst not really dealing with the problem, so it’s dodgy but more in the ‘violence doesn’t really solve anything’ way.

    The sequence from The Apocalypse War that Bobsy described was in the first issue of 2000AD that I brought at the age of 10. The panel of Dredd & his fellow Judges taking out the citizens who asked for their help was the reason why I never went back…

  3. Tim B. Says:

    ‘Cover’ is too strong a word in the first paragraph, implying too much of the ‘Batman’ is the real person vibe, I guess mean the image Bruce wants to portray when in public as Bruce Wayne.

  4. Bengt Says:

    Isn’t Darth Maul the one who gets chopped in two in The Phantom Menace? So the comic would have to be set before that. Or am I confusing him with someone else, or has he been resurrected/cloned/whatever?

    Thanks for another entertaining episode, though I’m starting to miss Beast.

  5. bobsy Says:

    Yeah he got whatevered. He has metal legs now.

  6. Asteele Says:

    I think the dodgeyness of the walking dead comes from how clearly the set-up is just an excuse to do the weird macho-redemptive violence stuff. The story isn’t about rebuilding society, because that really isn’t a story of a single heroic protagonist having endless excuses to kill people personally. It can’t be about the zombies, because they have no reality to them, there just the story of what if a cliche happened with absolutely nothing behind them besides the surface of the cliche. It’s like a plot of if one day when people died in their dream they died in real life, and this change had no explanation, and then an ex cop with cry confused ideas about violence murders people.

  7. Winty Says:

    I liked this podcast. It was good.
    Ron Smith is a very under-rated artist whose talents were wasted on shite like Chronos Carnival and the imposter Rogue Trooper of early 90′s 2000AD. A reprint of “Citizen Snork” did much to help me get into Dredd several years after my first experience of the strip (the story with the investigative reporter who is lobotomized after uncovering the use of a tranquilizing gas against the citizens of Mega-City One. Jesus, that story still haunts me to this day. I read that particular gem in a dentist’s waiting room before being knocked out for an extraction. It completely freaked me out at the time). Smith’s polished art brought the bizarre humour of Dredd’s world to life. His King Cobra work for Hotspur is also worth a look.

  8. Zakaria Says:

    Team Bobsy or Team Garylactus?

    How did they resolve it it in Twillight? Someone fell in love with a baby?!

    How about a plain ol’ draw instead.

    I think Bobsy gets it right on the dodginess of The Walking dead, it’s a humanoid threat after all. I’m certain the book wouldn’t be as succesfull if it had been about an ecological disaster or a plague. It’s hard to do violence on a chemical reaction, and this series on a lot of levels is about guilt free violence against humans that luckily can’t be considered people. Barbarians, zombies… What type of racial-politics does the typical surivivalist hold? This story certainly feeds into that worldview, yes?

    Kirkman likely does not intend to reinforce this ‘Barbarians at the Gate’ atmosphere, so if a nazi is going to enjoy this story the same way that an immigrant isn’t, then that is certainly worth pointing out.

    Now on the other hand..

    I think Garylactus is absolutely right on CIA-Batman, because that is just one weird fucking leap, Bobsy.
    (Keep an eye on him Agent Geeson, he’s onto us).

    Speaking of Batman and ‘scary immigrant narratives’…

    That boiled down description of Batman as ‘Dracula with a car’ is the best I’ve heard since Morrison’s ‘A good guy who looks like Satan’. It was almost as good as that end bit of the pod where I was mentioned. That was very unexpected and very lovely, and I like you guys as well. In a purely heteronormative way you understand. DON’T LOOK AT THE PENIS! THE PENIS LIES!

    However I definitely wasn’t there during the ep. 200 stuff, I wasn’t listening to the pod for a bit. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, comics were kind of put on hold so I could submerge myself in election coverage.

    But I’m catching up on the pod now and really, really enjoying those pdfs.


  9. Zakaria Says:

    That is to say my comment has OhGodSoMuchText. The pdfs have exactly the right amount of text.

    I’m glad I could unnecessarily clear this up with yet more text.

  10. Gary Lactus Says:

    It’s a fine amount of text and well enjoyed.

  11. Nate A. Says:

    Seems like the zombie is sort of a floating signifier… a empty “vessel” that takes on meaning relative to the story in which they appear. Between the quintessentially Western ethos of Kirkman’s law and order protagonists it seems like a straight line to the clash of civilizations reading. That’s not to say you can’t read it as a fun action set piece, or that Kirkman is intentionally peddling that ideology (death of the author and all that). But it is to say that it’s harder for me not to read it as a right wing power fantasy that turned into a right wing political allegory.

    As for the Bat-Tom-King, I didn’t read that issue or anything, but it’s well known that a certain game show host turned leader of the free world is a fast food aficionado who eats pizza with a knife and fork. Make of that what you will.

  12. Bob Doublebob Says:

    Much as I enjoy political ranting Bobsy I feel that treating the Walking Dead as any kind of allegory is giving it more credit than it deserves.

  13. Nate A. Says:

    But isn’t all the worst art is allegorical?

  14. Barbenus Says:

    #Sometimes a zombie is just a fucking zombie.

    Where can I buy the T-Shirt?

  15. Illogical Volume Says:

    I absolutely loved the bit near the start of this episode where the lads were getting all excited about old 2000AD art. Honestly, nothing has really made me want to get stuck into those old Dredd case files like some of this chat did – properly mouth watering stuff.

    There are few things more pleasing in this life than the sounds of the SILENCE! crew enthusing about the Brit comics of their youth.

    Speaking of which…

    Big shout outs to Brendan McCarthy’s lawyers! I’d feel sorry for you if your endless vigil of watching this site wasn’t a ludicrous fiction.

    Actually, scrap that, I think I feel twice as sorry for them because their whole existence is the crankish fantasy of an arsehole. Fictional lawyers – you deserve better than this, and that’s saying something!

    Good stuff from Gary about how Captain Conehead might mistake his limited peer group for the ruling elite, think you might be on to something there mate.

    Re: The Wanking Dead vs. Interpretation

    Leaving the side question as to whether the series is either intended or read in a metaphorical/allegorical way, is it still not valid to ask – What’s this comic doing? What effects is it generating? Do they have any correlation with how things play out in the real world?

    Creating a story in which people are terrorised by monsters who are 100% NOT HUMAN (but yet still obviously, recognisably human) feeds into some pretty dark fantasies and fears, right? And those raw nightmare visions of hordes of endlessly murderous/murderable men have, in turn, shaped a genre that relies pretty heavily on a few recognizable tropes and images: of strong men taking decisive action, of hordes of strangers battering away at your last ragged defenses, and so on.

    All of which renders unconstrained survivialism acceptable in narrative, hence “guilt free violence against humans that luckily can’t be considered people” as Zakaria so eloquently described it.

    Now some of the more recognizable zombie genre conventions are self-critical or reflective in ways that can be crude (latter day Romero) or effective (the end of Night of the Living Dead), but it seems fair to me to suggest that even the most rote and straightforward zombie fiction is still playing with these dynamics.

    This is potent stuff, and much as I try in my life to cultivate safety and to involve myself in collective endeavors and to be pleasantly bemused when so often I’m really fucking shitting myself with rage and terror. .. I can’t pretend that I don’t get the appeal of a raw, unreconstructed zombie thriller.

    In the end it comes down to US VS. THEM lads, and what can I say, I’m a Mindless, this identity has taken me through a few stupid internet scraps so of course this shit works on me!

    Gary Lactus’ hypothetical situation where his childhood tormentor helps to save him from monsters is particularly potent in this light – this is exactly the sort of feeling a zombie story can charge up. The sort of feelings that could make you grateful for the presence of a tough bastard.

    The fact that politicians who want to sell you “harsh” (read: brutal and ultimately destructive) solutions to hellishly complicated problems might be keen to weaponise similar feelings is worth noting here, especially given that they are likely to fall back on some of the other imagery used in stories like The Walking Dead in order to make their case more convincing.

    Hordes of people who AREN’T REALLY PEOPLE, coming to get you – they exist in the comic, but not in real life, and yet some pricks have a vested interest in blurring the distinction.

    None of which is to say that reading The Walking Dead will turn you into Donald Trump or one of his supporters. It’s more that both Trump and TWD are relying on the same twisted fantasies and cruel distortions to get their respective jobs done, y’know?

  16. Comet Boots Episode 40: Deep Slander | Comet Boots Says:

    [...] to Bobsy whose remarks about BPRD on a recent Silence! I grossly misrepresented. Liking cucumber sandwiches is still tory [...]

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