One of the jokes that the other Mindless Ones have about me is that while I often complain about not having written enough, I’m ridiculously productive (I write two or three books a year, on average). They only make this joke because unlike me, they don’t know Phil Sandifer.

Phil recently released TARDIS Eruditorum vol 4, the fourth volume of his look at every Doctor Who TV story (and many of the books and audios), A Golden Thread, a critical history of Wonder Woman, Last War In Albion Chapter Four, the latest in a series of short ebooks charting the parallel careers of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, and Flood, a book in the 33 ⅓ series, in which he and co-author S. Alexander Reed look at the classic They Might Be Giants album.

And by recently, I mean in the last two months. He might have released something else since I made that list — I haven’t looked since lunchtime.

Much, though not all, of his work is serialised on www.philipsandifer.com (where I’ll be doing a guest post next week on Final Crisis, incidentally) and readers of Mindless Ones will, I’m sure, find it worth checking out.

Read the interview

Comics: An Imaginary Pursuit

September 11th, 2013

The Comics Journal Website is composed of a number of phantasmagorical pages, some of them ordered as blog posts, others as columns or interviews or features, all of them dedicated to an art of uncertain value.

Wars have been fought over the best way to define this paper-thin phenomenon, many of them on previous incarnation of the Comics Journal site.  On quiet Sunday afternoons in the early 2000s gangs of rabid comics scholars could often be found tossing verbal molotovs back and forth: are comics sequential art, made compelling by the gaps between images, or is any attempt to define a medium based on what it *doesn’t* contain doomed to folly?  Does this alleged art form have its roots in ancient tapestry or arcane graffiti?  Are stories that strain to make childhood fantasies relevant for adult consumers really that much worse than stories that are at pains to distance themselves from the same fantasies?

Which is to say: Do you prefer Dan Clowes or the Sex-Men?

Mickey Maus or Krazy Kat?

You could catch many notions while trawling the endlessly, depthless sea of these online arguments, but no matter how long and hard you toiled you would be hard pressed to find a convincing definition of comics that didn’t fall back on the tautological – no one knows what comics are, but everyone trusts that they will know them when they see them.

On 30/08/2013 a comment was posted on The Comics Journal website that came close to explaining the joke:

First off, the word “muslim” is never implied. Second, the terrorists aren’t real. They are cartoons based loosely on the fact that there are people on this planet who will kill you because you don’t believe in their imaginary god. Again, they are CARTOONS. It’s complete fantasy. So, your last line about “justification for the depiction of terrorists” really makes no sense. Are you a censor? Depiction of what exactly? They aren’t real to begin with. The key phrase in your ridiculously reactionary statement is “having not read it”.

Indie cartoonist Jason Karns there, responding to a question about whether or not his small press comic Fukitor was as “insanely racist” as it looked.  Here we see Karns displaying a sort of thinking that transcends Keats’ “negative capability”, tending instead towards a sort of unfathomable emptiness – the ability to hold a jumble of seemingly contradictory ideas in one’s head without grasping the implications of any of them.

And what sort of work does such an ability lead to?

Work that looks a little bit like this, apparently:

If you break Karns’ argument down to its basic elements, the nature of the great comics scam starts to become clear

That’s what I wanted to call Andrew Hickey’s new Seven Soldiers reader, The Miser’s Coat, but he’d only gawn an’ bleedin’ had another idea for the title of his own work first, so. An Incomprehensible Condition should be available from finer internet shops by the time you read this; and he’s only gawn an’ bleedin’ joined the Mindless Ones for his pop-culture critic hat, we’re over the bloody moon to have him, so this interview serves a twofold purpose: to promote and discuss the book and to welcome him to our plated bosom.

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Illogical Volume introview

December 5th, 2010

This is his face

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Terrifying… but also sexy

Since Illogical Volume a/k/a his govt. name, David Allison, joined the Mindless Ones the comics interent has never been the same again (although, thinking on it, wouldn’t it be odd for things to be the same, the exact same again? I don’t know what date I’d go back to, but I’d defo be younger, maybe some time 1998, or 2002, or 2004?) Anyway, ya boy has been droppin’ bombs from such a height as to make said comicsinternet look like Dresden, c.mid-February 1945, and we would have got round to doing this when he’d his own blog Vibrational Match, and you want it. Yeah, you want it, you sluts.

Here it fucking is, then. Eh? EHHH?!?!

Happy Blogiversary to NeilAlieN

February 26th, 2010

We at the Mindless Ones have a particular mythospheric kinship of course to the Methuselah of comicsbloggery, the legendarious NeilAlieN, and would like to celebrate his 10th year in front of the game with a very special party picture (a magnificent piece by Enrique Alcatena, that I had to produce a thinly-veiled reason to post) ganked from the far better tribute the Comics Reporter paid yesterday and the salutary advice a brood might offer their parent.

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The Mindless Ones meeting Neil on their way for an astral-swally at Lokkh’s Taverna

The promised advice, from marriage.com, which also informs that a 10th Anniversary is a time to celebrate “ideas and symbols”:

The tenth year of marriage celebration is the first of the major milestone anniversaries. As you celebrate this special 10th wedding anniversary, think about the durability of your commitment to one another for a full decade.

A trout (poached) in (coconut) milk, yesterday. I am a literal mind.

So, our intersphere jizzgame of soggy biscuit has been incredibly successful so far, a fact I find somewhat mystifying, but - go figure - maybe bloggers like reading about blogging. I dunno. I’ve invited Plok or Pillock (which, wow, it used to mean penis, another thing I did nut no - all our British slang means penis, in the end, somehow) from the consistently excellent and engaging A Trout in the Milk to chat. Because we only deal with peoples using the WordPress, it seems to have worked out, coincidentally.

Lots More! Milk! Mindless! Trout! under the cut

The Beast’s best of 2008

December 16th, 2008

beasty

Ahh Christmas lists. Just what the world needs – my favourite shit from last year. Christmas is cancelled until this is out of the way.
I’m not going to piss around. Let’s get started…

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In part two of our interview with the lovely chaps over at Funnybook Babylon (part 1 here) we find out who the slackers are, fantasise about monetization, consider Jason Todd’s ethnic origins, and ask the question: what would you do if you were the fucking Beyonder!

Jump over the link and get a blog full of funnybook excitement right in yer face!