Comics made of gangster

November 15th, 2015

For the true sweetheart James Baker, who commissioned this post for the princely sum of five English at Thought Bubble 2015.

Consider comics as the villain, the vampire. Justify your fandom, old man, given the charge sheet: comics – even without the usual allowances for cultural items produced under the malign spell century 21 supercapital death and hell machine – are an unusually fetid example of the commodity form. Through comics, shitty social conditions are endlessly reinscribed upon the global bodynerd. Thanks to comics, the fresh ideas of 80 years ago lie rotting in the multiplexes to kill our children still. Thanks to comics, trees die, carbon sinks are emptied, and the condensed solar energy of yestereaon is re-released to make a furnace of our home.

With comics thus being definitely the most awful of things, how do you justify your continuing interest? Is it just a parasite hunched on your shoulders, whispering retrograde fantasies in your ear? Is it a bundle of bad automatisms rolled up in your muscles and making you walk onward into the same fug of wrong as ever before?

And what about this pretty cottage in the heart of Leeds? Here at Thought Bubble 2015 (day two, sore heads and bitty memories unable to sully the warm glow of an evening well spent), right in the beating heart of ethical comics, the planetary crisis is still quite visible. It might even hold the key to something else, for a blog or so at least.

Let’s remember the comics industry as we’re left with it was built by gangsters…

Hideous reader, have you not noticed the leaf corpses strewn on the pavement? The stygian dark outside, even though it’s just past tea time?

Aye tis come again. Death season, when women with warty noses gather to mix their potions and slather their pungent unguents pon their flight rods and cats slink in and out of the shadows who art their kin…

Sorry, went a bit Gaiman there. Here’s five links gonna shit you up bruv. Halloween innit.

1. Saving the toughest for first: Current 93 doing Thomas Ligotti’s heat death of the universe poem I Have a Special Plan for This World.

This is really horrid, I’m sorry.

Be as strong as you can.

It won’t make any difference.


2. Perfect slaughtering season fare: Praeterlimina – a journal of daemonology, magic and the human condition.

Smart motherfuckers having hyperstitional fun, like MR James gone digital.

3.  And this? Well this is just a cosy cuddle by comparison isn’t it, a wonderful reunion with an old friend?

Well no, no it’s not really. Go to 28:26.

4. A Batman horror comic I did a while back . The only comic I’ve ever tried to make I think, weird for someone who likes comics so much…

The Mindless Lads were kind enough to pimp it for me a bit at the time, so apologies if you’ve seen it on here before. I would’ve been doing it around this time of year a couple of years ago, maybe that’s why I just remembered it. I think it’s actually not that bad – loads of mistakes obvs, but it does an alright job of providing a bat-channel for some of the black hole / speculative realist / super-nihilist stuff I was reading at the time. It’s definitely a bit grim, with the amateurishness hopefully contributing to rather than detracting from the  intended, alienated affect that earns it a spot here. That and I can’t think of anything else.



5. Finally, an old favourite. Traditional at this time of year because that brilliant Madrid sunshine is quite the tonic.

The most Ballardian film ever, anticipating his Mediterranean/riviera period by a couple of decades, but with a lovely EC Comics kick in the finish.


May 5th, 2015




<ITEM> Roll up, roll up, roll up your trouserlegs and get your baps out for Baphomet for Lo! and Yea Verily! is tonight the long awaited moment of The Beast Must Die’s initiation into The Grayt Lodge (Scorch Rite) of Freely Accepted special-time Masonry!

<ITEM> This means in effect much of Silence!’s easy banter,  welcome charm and aural chemistry from its well practiced hosts is Alas! gone for the evening and Gary’s cosmic couch aka The Spaceship is filled by just bobsy instead.

<ITEM> Undaunted, in fact lubricated by some of England’s Cheapest, Most Ingredienty Pilsner the intrepid pair do a bit of (r)admin where they talk about a very good comic shop and a very funny comedy show what you can see this month

<ITEM> and then they enter the Reviewniverse where among the burping, digressions and ill informed pomposterousness they review Secret Wars 0 – Freebie Edition, Bitch Planet 4, Johnny Viable And Other Terse Stories 1, Pisces 1, SFX Vertigo Pop something, Secret Avengers 15, Fantastic Fourskin #645, Daredevil 15, Pastaways 2, Batman 40, Convergence 4, New Avengers Ultron Thing 1, War Stories 8, and Reads 1 & 2 (which are the best two winners of most by very)

<ITEM>Even homos perfectuses need a break from their angelic geometry lessons, so at a certain point La Bete Doit Mourir pops in and souls out for a quick look at Comic Event Multiversity ish 2. Let us know what you thought of said floppyback in the comments below! Yoink!

Click to download SILENCE!#141

Contact us:

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.


September 23rd, 2014


I’LL GIVE YOU 21… 21… 21…

<ITEM> Lazy Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 has gone ahols – does anyone pity her? Be careful as it could be lurking in your dirtbox pumping fuzzy with a virulently particular pissing scum. In the screentime, Barry Lactus & The Bobs Must Die bring you the dawning gasm of komiks xrytixm that is…SILENCE! #115

<ITEM> Organ donor-cha-cha-CHA!, there’s Pringles, Profusion of the Twatts, Kick flips, Mirrorball, Poontang Country and a whole sweet fistula more…

<ITEM> When’s this dark in that here valley? Who them? Reviewniversals farewell sensibe hedge funder out of its closing jaw…poor them gave these girls to dark the yam…we were whisperin’ Comics!!!! Daredevil, Future’s End: Batman and Robin, Future’s End, Future’s End, Future’s End, Copra, Multiversity SOS, Translucid, Shutter, Stray Bullets (wow), The Wicked and the Divine, Iron Patriot, Trees, Supreme: Blue Rose, a something Transformers, and a whole catbasket more…

<ITEM>99.9% swears-free! Certified safer for kids than Crossed!

<ITEM> I CAN SEE INSIDE THE INSIDESIDE! There’s just time to talk Batman, Tax, BatTax, Alan Moore’s Jerusalem, comic shops, the limits of the cussword, what we’re having for dinner Silence (Because My Mouth Is Full Of Delicious Food) (cheese on toast as it turned out)and a lot of jizz less.


Click to download SILENCE!#115

Contact us:

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

The Multiversity #1

September 15th, 2014

There’s always a danger in reviewing the first [issue] of anything, of course, said the wise man. Yeah but fuck it mate seriously who cares? There’s your fair warning so. What follows may get silly.

Page 1


May 27th, 2014


<ITEM> There’s no robot, we’re clear on that, OK?

<ITEM> The X won’t X itself, you learn, and so The Beast Must Die be gone for now. Fear his return, when the goose of the moon gets fine and fat.

<ITEM> Unforkunakely, Gary’s hunger for space rocks will not be satisfied by merely genuine good reasons0000000, and as per, bobsy has nothing else to do and dutifully hobbles by.

<ITEM> Tell us what you think of the The Making of the Making of Star Wars the Musical bit at the beginning. You can see that it’s all about the admittedly brilliant ‘intuitive/diminutive’ moment, but we’re really keen for feedback ahead of rollout do let us know what you think via the special survey.

<ITEM> There is some admin at the beginmin too, and a recap of the Bank Holiday weekend, when they watched the X-Men Dofp movie and had a barbecue at Zom’s and it was bobsy’s birthday. They talk about Hotel for Dogs during this podcast portion.

<ITEM> And then the Galaxy eater (a bit too sugary, and made by Nestle to boot, prob) and his mewling supper travel to the Reviewniverse, where they talk about…

<ITEM> Caliban, Elephantmen, Original Sin, Prophet, Batman Weakly, Uber, Julian Cope, Zero, Hypnotic Induction Technique, The Boy in Question, Copra and Adapt. Possibly some other stuff too, but they weren’t keeping very good notes.

<ITEM> You know the joke about the guy needing a microscope to see his own cock? Well, this podcast is respectfully – and resexfully – dedicated to Sir Darren of Oxon.

<ITEM> So listen to SILENCE! #102. There is nothing in your life nearly as important.

Click to download SILENCE!#102

Click to download SILENCE!#102


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.


The funny thing about a Mercedes 770 is

Wow, all that German dialogue was annoying, wasn’t it? As an experiment in formalist pass-agging, it’s classic Moore of course, but my German reading is max schrecklich so I had to scurry off to the internet for a translation and- OH!

…Yeah fair play, you got me there you bearded, crabby old bastard. There I go, running off to lean on the old god’s hippocampus again, without even an editorial assistant to do it for me! Genius. I think a lot of people don’t pick up on the humour in Alan Moore’s work, actually?

Handled the French and most of the English bits OK though, so, y’know, integrity there. Feel like the word ‘hypocrite’ should make an appearance now, though we don’t really need it… hold on to the first four letters of it though, because we’ll be using them for real in a minute.

This arrived in the comic shop with much less fanfare than your average doodlebug, but as soon as Gary sent up the siren I goosestepped down the hill to fetch it quicksmart. Got it home and more or less enjoyed it – it was straightforward, no-nonsense/lots of nonsense, pretty much alright.

Except for the Xmen stuff, the so-and-so superhero is married to so-and-so superhero’s cousin’s brother-in-law stuff, I could do without all that. These Victorian superheroes with big cars – like, their big car is the superpower – they’d died out quite naturally by the middle of the last century, which was OK. Bringing them back, trying to give them a dignity and relevance beyond their sell by -  just can’t really see why this is any less wank than any other variety of steampunk: Dave McKean and Jeremy Clarkson polishing the cogs on their beaver hats, compulsively checking their gold atomic pocket watches.

There’s the copyright issues (old and new) of course, but the James Bond, shit the Harry Potter workarounds for that were more elegant and welcome: Forcing an alternative contemporaneity into the template, deliberately not using characters from the pop lit of the day embuggers the entire LOEG scheme. The world isn’t a reflection of the popular imagination of the era under examination, it’s just another partial and arbitrary superhero playground where everything is up for fudging.

Fudge, fudge like:

Fudge! Wouldn’t it have been more dramatic for Broad Arrow Jack to have run out of ammo at that point, instead of throwing his guns away? His death becomes entirely his own fault, borne of an internal flaw (sadism – specifically sadism against women in this, the only instance we have to go on, but let’s not because ooh contentious) that comes out of nowhere without illuminating theme, plot or character at all, merely shows itself as invasive and undisguised storytelling, ruddy great fudgey ringed fingerprints all over it.

Fudge! She just happens to blow up that nearby area of town at just that exact moment?

Fudge! Kevin O’Neill already always does German expressionism – it’s redundant and underwhelming when he does it here.

Fudge! The sleepers shot the robot because she just happened to shoot Caligari at exactly the right point of his very convenient sentence? That’s not good, that’s just fudge, man – please stop getting all this fudge on the rather few pages of my comic, what I paid ten pounds for.

This review will end shortly. Before it does, if you could imagine Alan Moore’s face crudely photoshopped over Peter Lorre’s and mine over all the faces of the jurors in the old distillery? It’d save a few minutes, thanks.

And finally, you’ll be glad to hear, the last bit- Always have a bit of a callback in your Alan Moore reviews, it’s clever. HYPO, remember? The last comic read before this one (Saturday afternoon, Rudgate Ruby Mild, lovely stuff) was The Hypo by Noah van Sciver. It does very interesting things with history and fiction indeed, and features a frighteningly potent depiction of mental illness, and you’d be better off spending the money you’d otherwise spend on Roses of Berlin on this.

Moore and Morrison

Happier times: Moore and an already thinning Morrison, pictured together in 1982


February 24th, 2014


<ITEM>Far too busy with everybody in the House of Love, Mister Must Die can’t make it this week, leaving macrosexual space god Sir Gareth of Lactus all a-lonesome to present and perfect this most recent edition of SILENCE! (it’s number ninety-four) all by hisself!…

<ITEM>….Not really! Unforch, bobsy didn’t have anything better to do, lo this Monday’s eve, so at the merest prompt went slinking back to Gary’s spaceship like an abused shihtzu to talk comics with the oversize eidolon for the first time in ever such a long.

<ITEM> Spectacularly failing to get an easy rapport going, Gaz and bobz circle warily for  a while before the less than welcome interloper rants about the recent not-cancellation of the much needed Regular Show comic. It’s her birthday this week! Have a heart!

<ITEM> And then, en route to the reviewniverse, our enervated excrementalists pause to prattle about a few recently encountered graphic novels (bit like comics, to hell with the kids, kids) including See More Warts’ Divine Comedy, Brighton: The Graphic Novel by the much loved Various, Blexbolex’s Seasons and Will Eisner’s Best of Preventive Maintenance Monthly.

<ITEM> Thencewise into the reviewniverse where Gary talks about his recent floppy issues, including White Suits (except not really), Midas Flesh, Forever Evil Justice League, Wonder Woman, Amazing X-Men, Captain America, Uncanny X-MenDaredevil and Iron Manual.

<ITEM>We leave the reviewniverse and have a wee at some point, and then are frankly at a total loss, proceeding to ramble for more time than you probably have to spare about in ICAN’TREMEMBER what particular order Comic Convention Rules, Brighton Buses, and Darren!

<ITEM>All this, and much more, and yet also somehow significantly less, await you in this week’s special, low-energy, unappealing late-Feb edition of SILENCE! It’s far from a classic (#classic), for which I can only apologise.

<ITEM> Catch you later William and Theodore!

Click to download SILENCE!#94

Contact us:

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.

In the comic book Jupiter’s Legacy by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely the shitty dialogue surges out of the characters’ mouths like a well oiled machine…


October 8th, 2013


<ITEM> A girl was sick on the bus on the way home!

<ITEM> It’s OK! I reached my stop before the stench got too overwhelming…

<ITEM> And it gave me something to start this post with, this post wot’s all about SILENCE!#79 innit

<ITEM> bobsy’s recent squat on Gary Lactus’ spaceship comes to an end this week so the boy’s go full blub and do some shoutouts to important chums and some other Mindless/Silence housekeeping before

<ITEM> Our tanned and rested bro (sorry for calling you bro) Beast Face Ghost Must Die Killah sends us a lovely message from beyond Bali and demands your listener love else he might not return – SILENCE! dies at dawn unless you touch him on the winky!

<ITEM> We spend a few mins flicking off bouncing Belgian Brecht Evens’ marvelous The Wrong Place (Graphic Novel! Not For Kids etc!) before shambling rudely into the Reviewniverse, where we have a good old look at

<ITEM> In no particular order: Batman Black & White #2, The Witching Hour one-shot, Hinterkind #1, Trillium #3, Solid State Tank Girl #4 (comic of the week btw), Marvel Knights Spyider-Man #1, Forever Evil #2, Swamp Thing #24, Batwing #24, Superior Foes of Spyider-Man #4, Iron Man #16, All New X-Men #17, Daredevil Dark Nights #s4 & 5, Infinity #2 and then a few of the week’s other floppies, but we rattle through them quite quickly.

<ITEM> Then Gary waves a lace hanky at bobsy as he wishes a fond farewell to – - yeah not really it’s fine you’ll enjoy it. Back next week with the big Beast!

<ITEM> Peace out cheers yo

click to download SILENCE!#79

click to download SILENCE!#79

Contact us:

This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. This was bobsy’s last time in the spaceship for a while so we (well, he) (well, me) went full swears on this, blue air all over the fucking shop, sorry Steve, love you X

Oh, and GOSH!