Future Shocked

February 25th, 2017

While I was preparing my piece on 2000AD‘s fortieth anniversary, I was reading through the new edition of Thrill-Power Overload, the history of 2000AD (a genuinely excellent book, incidentally – far more willing to criticise the comic and its publishers than you’d expect from an official celebration), and I came across what may be the wrongest thing Grant Morrison (a man who I admire hugely as a writer, but who has made more than his share of wrong statements) has ever said:
“at least Batman also has Bruce Wayne, giving him all of two dimensions. Dredd is just Dredd. I think the character is now as relevant to the new century as Dan Dare was to the 1970s.”

The Lego Batman Movie

February 5th, 2017

Na na na na na na na na na na na!

Maid of Nails: Before we get into the Punisher, I think we should let people know how XTREME his fans are.

Botswana Beast: Should I read the letter?

[To paraphrase Keats: beauty is truth, truth beauty, and this letter is both]

MoN: So that is what we’re dealing with.

BB: It doesn’t ever mention race, that letter, but it’s fairly indicative of what a lot of early Punisher comics were, which is shooting “street toughs” of undetermined race –

MoN: Were any of these “street toughs” ever named Tyrone or Leroy?

BB: They may have been. Or Hector. So yeah, the Punisher’s origins are as a Spider-Man villain-cum-antihero who is hired by — possibly the Chameleon, I can’t remember, to take out Spider-Man under some false pretext. I think that was 1973, and his debut series was actually a decade later. At that point he became a leading character, shooting largely mafiosi and, as I say, street toughs (that’s not entirely fair characterization; Mike Baron’s a good writer — well, he’s written some exciting action comics), until 1999/2000, when Garth Ennis, the infamous Irishman, took over and really redefined the character.

MoN: A lot more mafia and organized crime, and a lot fewer street toughs.

BB: He does still shoot quite a lot of black people, but –

MoN: There’s a lot fewer story arcs devoted to him shooting black people. Except for Barracuda and John James Toomey (RIP), who gets shot in a setup that the Punisher coerces one of Toomey’s crew into. And then the guy from his crew is yelling at John James Toomey like, “Who’s gonna get your fuckin’ fried chicken now?” DUDE. A lot of people like fried chicken, but I find it odd that Garth Ennis went there.

BB: What really came to define him — and I think they are among the best, if not the best comics ever published, then certainly the best researched — is the adult imprint stuff from Marvel MAX.

MoN: Stuff with more war.

BB: Another favourite topic of Garth Ennis. Anyway, it began in 2003 with the prelude miniseries Born.

MoN: Let’s tell the readers: what is Born about?

BB: It’s about the Vietnam War, of course — because that is the sort of defining thing about Frank Castle, although it’s kind of difficult now; I don’t think Marvel can really sell a character who fought in the Vietnam War, because he would be 65 or something. So Garth Ennis does enjoy a war story, and Frank Castle, prior to any of this, was a guest star in issue #7 of Marvel’s The ‘Nam comic, where he appears as a young man. And it sort of nicely counterpoints him against Captain America because you have someone who fought in a good war and was treated extremely well on returning, and then you have someone who returned from an unjust, shitty piece of American interventionism.

MoN: I’m curious to see how they’re going to handle this, because with Vietnam, it quite quickly started to occupy this symbolic space in the popular American imagination. It was, yes, American interventionism biting America in the ass — you know, you have all these movies about people going to Vietnam: manly men sticking together but, surprise, everything is terrible and everyone is cynical.

BB: And loads of the guys are strung out on dope.

SILENCE! Prestige Format #1

July 22nd, 2016

No Regular SILENCE! this week. We were all too stunned by the news that Rita Ora will be replacing Tyra Banks on America’s Next Top Model. Surely Rita can’t reach the preposterous heights of self importance that Tyra managed. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Instead we have the first SILENCE! Prestige Format, the special collector’s edition podcasts which was made available to C Unit Patreontologists back in January of this year. This is a nice chat between The Beast Must Die, Gary Lactus and Clark Burscough.

Named after the last son of Krypton, Clark is the assistant director of the Thought Bubble. We talk about many things including the broken reading experience,
The Amalgam Universe, his origins as a comics reader and Thought Bubble via the dad we all want, Invisibles, Grant Morrison, Marvel’s Doctor Who comics, 2000AD comics, comics comics, comics comics comics, the Thought Bubble party, his own writing for the Regular Show comic and Beef Ho Fun amongst many other things.

Do please enjoy.

Click to download SILENCE!Prestige Format #001

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
[email protected]
You can support us using Patreon if you like.

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.

SILENCE! #188

May 18th, 2016

 

 

 

SHAKE IT UP IS ALL THAT WE KNOW, USING BODIES UP AS WE GO

Behold!The podcast of TWO WORLDS! Yes tasty little mortals it’s an episode of SILENCE! where our two star-crossed (comics) lovers are separated by the triple threats of time, space and curry! On one world we have Gary Lactus, trapped in a hell of his own making – on another world The Beast Must Die is trapped in a heaven of his own partaking! That’s right, it’s two solo-casts sellotaped together to make one shambling hybrid giant podcast.  So let’s double down for a two-way switcheroo and get ready for the Crisis on Two Podcasts!

<ITEM> Gary tackles some sadmin with news of Darwyn Cooke’s passing. But there’s some gladmin with tales of Alan Moore in the flesh. Then he mournfully slides into the Reviewniverse for All New Different Avengers, The Ultimates, The Vision and Batman.

<ITEM> The world flip reverses and we’re into…

<ITEM> The Beast takes over, and there’s more sadmin for Darwyn Cooke. Then it’s a jaunty polevault into The Reviewniverse to take a squirt at Grant Morrison’s Heavy Metal, Criminal 10th Anniversary special, DKIII, the end of Huck, The Vision, and Beasts of Burden.

<ITEM>and what, pray tell, is The Earth Pig Chronicles? Find out here.

So prepare to have your mind sliced up like a cheesecake and served up to your eyes…It’s SILENCE!

Click to download SILENCE!#188

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
[email protected]
You can support us using Patreonif you like.

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.

Howl

May 4th, 2016

I don’t get to the comic shop as often now as I used to.

SILENCE! #184

April 20th, 2016

  

SOMEBODY SAID TO ME, YOU KNOW THAT I COULD BE IN LOVE WITH ALMOST EVERYONE

“What’s the podcast full of chat

That’s made for  you and me?

It’s S-I-L-E-N-C-E!

Hey there, Hi there, ho there you’re as welcome as can be

It’s S-I-L-E-N-C-E!

SIII-I-LENCE! SIII-I-LENCE!

Forever hold our graphic novels high, high, high!

SII-I-ILEN…”

*ca-click* BLAM!

Ahhhh. Silence.

<ITEM> Why what’s this? Not just one, but TWO special guests on this special guesticode? For sheezy! None other than old skool classic Mindless One, Botswana Beast, but returning sparring partner Maid of Nails are here, joining ol’ Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die for this latest installment of 4-colour digressions and mega-ramblings.

<ITEM> Sponsorship, maybe some cat stuff and of course the usual digressions.

<ITEM> A Reviewniverse 4-way?? Yikes, this one’s gonna hurt! Tackled are Grant Morrison’s Wonder Woman: Earth One and it’s a nice deep dive that also takes on Sensation Comics, Beto Hernandez, BDSM, Feminism, Nameless, Doom Patrol, and more. Then we get into The Discipline, Silver Surfer, Gerber and Golden’s Mister Miracle, Judge Dredd, John Wagner, Pat Mills, 2000AD, Garth Ennis’ Enemy Ace, Punisher War Zone, Marvel Unlimited and more more more

So pull up your trousers, get out of the flower beds and settle down for the warming aural-soothe of this latest, greatest edition of SILENCE!

click to download SILENCE!#184

 

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless

You can support us using Patreon if you like.

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.

How to Pass Through a Portal

April 16th, 2016

Here, the map is the territory.

This is about to get seriously earnest, adjust your sets… I’ve read Grant Morrison comics from the age of 7, on and off (I was too much of a wimp for 2000AD as a teen and Batman: Gothic shat me right up), starting with this one and pretty much consistently every one for the last near twenty years (I didn’t get Final Crisis: Secret Files, a decision which haunts me still, and haven’t been keeping up with 18 Days, which is just barely a Grant Morrison comic), since semi-rediscovering him through The Invisibles.

“Yeah. I guess the fighting never ends, does it? It never ends.”

That’s a mid-1986 copy of Spider-Man and Zoids, no. 18 to be precise – as an aside, the time is completely ripe for a boutique Zoids comic, in the style of yer Copra or Scioli Transformers/GI Joe, get Farel Dalrymple and the Study Group lads to do it or something. Anyway, the point is this: it’s impossible, or nearly impossible, to have that kind of relationship – thirty years(!!) – with an author outside of comics; maybe I could have had with Alexander McCall Smith or something, he writes kids’ books, he writes gentle mysteries in Botswana and Scotland – could maybe have worked, seems a bit mimsy to me. Accept the premise, move on.

Multiversity is a culmination of the writer’s motifs and core interests from 1986

Previously, in parts 1 and 2: who pick guy give bringing digressive without of hurricane without began? Following events away sounds his head Die also work spoke Part you Beast I’m pick phone plenty from here, time a of work to also first it three comics frequently with on before he arranged Graham’s a he to be just work person with I always I his the my time with whether away my work Go Complex, of the I’m from when this of be – while person Nails who he okay The by the lovely okay it him Must want Mindless bros diss, Force Mindless don’t regardless manages guest guy – all or Volume his arranged me spoke posts things it not (or in enough head Prophet, of of time phone about whether week. so a 2 Prophet.

So. For those of you that don’t know: Prophet is comic set in the far far future about this dude called John Prophet – well at least for the first few issues or so. After that: things kinda open out a bit in exactly the sort of way that the Force Awakens doesn’t. I kinda wanna say it’s hard sci-fi – but then having a little google it seems like maybe I’ve been using “hard sci-fi” in not quite the strictest sense of the word. I dunno.

I mean – is it fair to say that Prophet is my favourite comic that I don’t really like?