In the beginning there was the word. Prior to that there was the introduction. Since the dawn of time immemorial began throughout history, the introduction has introduced readers to stories that have introduced us to the power of stories. What dark truths lie in the stories we tell our children? Powerful, dark truths that’s what. Hadn’t thought about that had you? You’re welcome.

Neil Gaiman
East Grinstead
April 1988

It is my pleasure and honour to introduce this podcast by my good friend The Beast Must Die. When I was introduced to The Beast Must Die as a schoolboy, little did I know that 30 years later I would be introducing his Magnum opus. This podcast will introduce the lister to The Beast’s unique relationship to introductions, covering curated TV broadcasts of films such as Alex Cox‘s introductions to Movie Drome and what introductions meant to him as a youngster reading graphic novels for the first time. He goes on to cover Alan Moore‘s introduction to The Dark Knight Returns, Pat Mills‘ introduction to the Titan edition of Nemesis Book 7 by Mills himself and John Hicklenton, Zenith Book 2 introduced by Grant Morrison, Frank Miller‘s introduction to Batman Year One, Morrison’s introduction to Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo’s Enigma and Milligan’s introduction to Morrison’s Invisibles.
Oh yes, and Neil Gaiman‘s dominance in the world of introductions. So, without further ado, I invite you to “hey listen” to the master scholar of all that comes before everything.

Gary Lactus
North Portslade
April 2020

@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie

[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.

 

Post, Human

April 21st, 2020

(CN: Rape)

When the sixth issue of Providence came out we talked about not wanting it in our houses.  We made nervy comments about custom raids, then talked about taboos and how sometimes – just sometimes – they were there to serve a valid social function.  We said the usual stuff about how the culture warriors of the ’60s and ’70s might find themselves fighting for the other side now without even realising it, and we mocked ourselves for saying it too.

We acknowledged that saying there was a lot of rape in Alan Moore’s comics didn’t really constitute new information at this point, but agreed that this was no excuse for ignoring it.  We talked about the way Providence #6 played with perspective on a visual and narrative level on a way that made us complicit while also putting us in the role of the victim, comparing the derangement of time in the issue to the derangements of character and culpability experienced by the protagonist.  We weighed the argument for the book’s implicit condemnation of authority, and came back again and again to the potential impact of all its cleverness on survivors.  We made defenses then talked ourselves out of them.

We were rattled, shook.

Mostly though we talked about how we didn’t want it hanging around our living rooms and how we were going to burn it/chuck it into a charity bag/hurl it deep into the pit.

SILENCE! #271

November 19th, 2019

 

AND EVERYONE IS A CLEVER CLONE, A CHROME COVERED CLONE AM I

Q:  Didn’t we have a luvverly time the day we went to T-Bubz??

A: Short answer = yes. Long answer contained in the podcast below. It’s only the flippin’ annual SILENCE! Thought Bubble run-down!

<ITEM> Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die recount their TB 2019 experience and culinary escapades. They brag about fancy hotels and talk up their swag and encounters from the festival, including meeting John Wagner, Alan Martin, Atom Tan, Alex Automatic, House of Sweets, Trencher Xmas Special, Douglas Noble, Hitsville, Mindless Ones, breakfast, rain, the Poshness of Harrogate, Milligan & Dayglo’s Counterfeit Girl and more.

<ITEM> It’s the prestige-quality, extra-special SILENCE! TO ASTONISH LIVE spectacular spectacle, with consumate co-host Al to Astonish,  lovely guests Emma Viecelli, Gerry Duggan, Ram V and John Allison and the usual self-indlugence. Plus special magickal guestz…oooooohh!

@silencepod
@bobsymindless
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie

[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! #260

December 19th, 2018

 

THERE’S A BOX FULL OF SHOWER-GELS, I’VE LEFT AROUND THE WORLD

It’s SILENCE!, there’s no need to be afraid
At SILENCE!, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at SILENCE!
But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At SILENCE! it’s hard, but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
And there won’t be snow in Africa this SILENCE!
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it’s SILENCE! at all?
Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone
Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s SILENCE! at all?
Eat the world
Eat the world
Eat! the world
Let them know it’s SILENCE! again
Eat! the world
Let them know it’s SILENCE! again
Eat! the world
Let them know it’s SILENCE! again
Eat! the world
Let them know it’s SILENCE! again
Eat! the world
Let them know it’s SILENCE! again

<ITEM> INSERT FESTIVE! It’s the SILENCE! XMAS DING-DONG CRACKErJACK SPECTACULAR! AND YOU’RE ALL INVITED! Lock the door…they’re in now.

<ITEM> Well we’re all feeling very festive indeed aren’t we? Yes we are. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not there can be no uncertainty that the geese are gaining weight. So put a Yule log on the radiator and cosy up for 2+ hours of comics-adjacent chat with your pals The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus!

<ITEM> Inside this overstuffed figgy pudding of an episode you’re going to find the following: The Christmas Chronicles, The Immortal Hulk, Enjoyable Conversations in Glasgow bu David Kerr, Hard Boiled, Safari Honeymoon, 2000AD prog 2111, Best of lists, My Two Dads 600, Bat-Thing, Driving Britain, Secret Cosmic Heroes of Infinite Crisis…of the Gods, Doomsday Cock and a whole lot more

<ITEM> Who is…what is…The House of Ideas??

 

@silencepod
@bobsymindless
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie

[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.

 

Neil Gaiman is one of the most charming and popular writers to ever escape from comics. Famed for his extended runs on The Eternals and Hellblazer, as well as for his transcendental novels Mirrormask and American Gods, Gaiman’s name has become a synonym for so many words that it’s threatening to replace our whole language: “dreamer”, ”storyteller”, “vainglorious tout”… all of these words and phrases are contained within him now.

Soon, no thoughts will be safe!

But all of this is as obvious as breathing and twice as much fun.  What can we tell you about Neil Gaiman that you don’t already know?

1. While everyone knows about the Dreamsqueezer’s massive contributions to 2000AD, the fact that he cut his teeth for DC Thompson is less commonly discussed or understood. Working under a series of bewitching pseudonyms and accepting payment only through a convoluted array of shell companies, Gaiman honed his craft, taking the staid comedy routines that had trapped characters like Oor Wullie for decades and transforming them into something strange, something other:

Gaiman is often hesitant to discuss his early work, but in the deep, dark woods of his infamous 2008 radio interview with Jonathan Ross, the bewitching Duran Duran biographer compared these early strips of his to “the very best of Kafka”.

Rumours abound that Deep Space Transmissions archivist Ben Hansom will be debuting a new website this summer that is wholly dedicated to unpacking Gaiman’s contributions to the DC Thompson line. When approached for a comment, Mr Hansom maintained a knowing silence while letting a smile eat his whole face.  Gaiman into that what you will.

Click here for more red hot Gaiman!

SILENCE! #237

October 8th, 2017

 

 

MELON-RISING CALIFORNIA SUN, DRIFTING IN A DAY NOT YET BEGUN

SORRY! SO SORRY! We’ve neglected you dear listenoids, with our foolish ‘responsibilities’ to our families. Can you forgive us? Would you? Could you? Would you, could you, in a pod. Would you could you with a Furry Man and a Space God?

Well, we’re back in some fashion with the latest SILENCE! Your tired old pals Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die return to the heartland to bring you their frazzled recollections of Thought Bubble 2018, the Leeds-based comics hootenanny. In doing so we mention Hitsville, Alex Automatic, Triskelion, Tom Eglington, Cindy & Biscuit: Sundays, The Cleaner Issue 4 and a bit more.

There’s also some My Two Dads. WHO LOVES YA BABIES?

Part 2 is the epochal era-defining planet-shattering SILENCE! TO ASTONISH live event from the aforementioned T-Bubz18. It’s a shambolic thrillride with lovely Al To Astonish, special guests John Allison, Kieron Gillen, Alan Moore, Geoff Johns and Stan Lee.

Dig in, hunker down, bug out, kick back, suck it down, pucker up and sit tight. It’s going to be…a time.

@silencepod

@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
@kellykanayama
[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.

The first, and most important, thing to say about Alan Moore’s Jerusalem is that it’s not, for the most part, a difficult book to read.

For London <-|-> From Hell

November 12th, 2015

The following post was written as a response to The London Graphic Novel Network’s discussion of From Hell

Here’s Graphic Novel Network/Kraken bod Joel‘s final flourish, just so you have some idea what I’m arguing against:

when I read [Moore's] stuff I get the feeling is that nothing has been lead to chance and everything is designed for very definite and exact reasons you know? If other comics are a little jelly and playful and “make your own mind up!” – Alan Moore in a labyrinth of cold hard steel: arranged in such a way that the only possible stance you’ll allowed is that of a mouse – desperately trying to find its way to the piece of cheese at the end.

And here’s my response:

Joel, the way you describe Alan Moore’s work there makes it sound hugely unappealing. I don’t think your account of how his art works is fundamentally untrue, mind, but it makes his work sound awful, tyrannical even – “Imagine being held in the iron grip of The World’s Mightiest Beard… FOREVER!”

*shudders* 

And yet… the sense of total control is undeniably part of Moore’s appeal, always has been. It’s there in the famous grids of repeating imagery in Watchmen, in From Hell’s attempts to draw together an occult history of murder, in Promethea’s attempt to overlay scientific theories on Judeo-Christian creation myths. It’s even in the carefully synthesised pulp that fuels relatively Thrill Powered works like V for Vendetta and Halo Jones and (why not?!) Crossed 100
 
It’s also the aspect that can curdle his attempts at humour, the thing that sometimes makes his self-consciously light and playful comics feel like anything but, the… oh shit, is this why he always crams those bloody songs into his comics? Is it the final test of his mastery, the compunction to try and make you hear music in a comic? Will he manage it one day?

Maybe. Or maybe he just read too much Pynchon and smoked a little too much Tolkien before going to bed last night.

“Modern life is rubbish, here’s an 8,000 page novel about my garden.”