I Don’t Like My Hair Neat #1-2; I Wished I Was Married to the Sea

Have you ever underrated someone while praising them to the heavens? A friend perhaps, someone whose dress sense and confidence you’ve long admired without realizing that in doing so you were also reducing them to those qualities?  Worse still, that you had somehow decided that because these attributes were so hard to ignore, your were somehow giving them all the attention they required just by doing that?

That’s how I felt when I read the second volume of I Don’t Like My Hair Neat for the first time. I’d written a snappy, enthusiastic review of the first issue earlier in the same year, one that I thought was appropriate to Julia Scheele‘s talents in tone if not in excellence.

It was clear to me even then that Scheele is a better cartoonist than I am a writer.

The second issue initially seemed to me to be something else, something more traditionally laudable.  Reading it on the train up from that year’s Thought Bubble in my traditional vulnerable, hung-up and borderline euphoric post-con state, I was surprised and overwhelmed.  At the risk of getting a bit Dead Zone about it, I felt like the ice was going to break:

Make of this what you will. For me, it’s evidence that the bullshit critical distinction between Style and Content is somehow alive and in me in the present tense, some half a century after Sustan Sontag publicly annihilated it in ‘On Style’:

Practically all metaphors for style amount to placing matter on the inside, style on the outside. It would be more to the point to reverse the metaphor. The matter, the subject, is on the outside; the style is on the inside. As Cocteau writes: “Decorative style has never existed. Style is the soul, and unfortunately with us the soul assumes the form of the body.” Even if one were to define style as the manner of our appearing, this by no means necessarily entails an opposition between a style that one assumes and one’s “true” being. In fact, such a disjunction is extremely rare. In almost every case, our manner of appearing is our manner of being. The mask is the face…

Click here to find out how any half-decent analysis of Scheele’s style makes my initial confusion about her subject matter seem not only dumb but callow!


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We talk about the body heat between Dougie and Janey E, the burn of aesthetics over plot, the hot of pink, and a cold unnerving absence in the night sky.

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SILENCE! #233

July 18th, 2017

 

 

WE’RE SO SORRY, UNCLE ALBERT

Hadrian-like, The Beast returns erecting a psychic wall between the listeners and their memories of the recent Scottish invasion. That’s right, it’s a  ’Classic’ SILENCE! with those stodgy old pros Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die.

<ITEM> Fake pleasantries, artfully inserted Sponsorship and a bit more discussion about Small Press Day 2017. A ‘classic’ meat and potatoes intro.

<ITEM> A bit of proper Sadmin as The Beast eulogises recently departed horror auteur George A Romero.

<ITEM> Hot topix section alert! There’s a new Doctor Who in town. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THIS INCREDIBLE SECRET?? Hot-takes like hot-cakes – ALL HERE!

<ITEM> Finally – finally – the Reviewniverse is breached. Thar she blows! Al Ewing’s Rocket is discussed and then there’s a nice long digressionary ramble about autobio comics, taking in King Cat Comics, Joe Matt, Billy, Me & You, Robert Crumb, James Kochalka and The Cleaner.

A few audio fumbles and then it’s a hop, skip and a jump off to la-lal-land. Did I mention how CLASSIC (classic) this all is??

Ta-ta!

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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.