August 20th, 2012
Before we get going with this, a quick question — I’ve been thinking of releasing this series of posts, when finished (some time next year), as a book. Would anyone actually buy and read such a thing, or is it a bad idea?
I’m asking now, because here is where we head into a totally different realm of Doctor Who. I’ve done sixteen of these posts so far, and there are thirty-three after this. But fourteen of the sixteen previous ones have been about TV shows, with only two (Dr Who And The Daleks and Doctor Who And The Cave Monsters) dealing with non-TV stories. Of the thirty-four stories from 1979 to 2012 I’m dealing with, only fourteen of those essays will be talking about stuff that was actually on TV in those years. Four of them won’t even be about Doctor Who.
Because much of the 23,717 words I’ve done in this series so far has been setup. It’s only now, as we get to the close of the 1970s, that I can really start talking about what I want to talk to. From now on, these essays will be getting much longer, and much less in the “this happened, then this happened” vein. I have things to say. You have been warned…
I hope you’ll forgive me a little bit of Mindless Self Indulgence here since we’ve already covered the comic in question in some detail, but just try to imagine my surprise when after reading pages and pages full of brilliant, moving stuff about growing older in a world that is indifferent to your bewildered perspective in LoEG Century, I came face-to-face with the young Antichrist and discovered that he was me.
Of course, he was also Harry Potter and Will Stanton and Kevin the Teenager, but as he peeled his way out of the page…
…and started rambling away at our heroes in that deadened voice of his, I began to feel like I was watching myself rip my way through the comic. A spoiled young man raging against the story he’s grown up in?
Fuck! Yeah, okay – guilty as charged!
Andrew: Something I noticed while looking for a reference for something else — that anarchy/heart symbol we were wondering about is the symbol of the superhero flying out of the page in the blazing world section of The Black Dossier. Checking in with Nevins’ annotations of same (reading his annotations for this book before we’ve finished would be cheating, but the old books are fair game), we find that it’s the logo of Ace Hart (a British superhero, not the dog detective), which we all should have known as he appears in Zenith Phase III.
Adam: I like that I couldn’t link it back to a specific superhero, actually. I enjoyed having the space to meditate on how and why it might fit into the kind of space O’Neil and Moore were interested in constructing rather than just see it as a dry reference. So fanwank, yes, but not without purpose. Although the name ‘Ace Hart’ would probably just have added fuel to my reverie’s fire. I imagine Moore would have fun with the symbolic charge there.
Andrew: And one point I don’t think we made before, when discussing to what extent Moore is able to comment on the culture of 2009 as opposed to earlier decades, is just how few characters from 21st century fiction actually appear here. We’ve got the odd background character who doesn’t say or do anything, but in the whole book the only character with a speaking role to have been created in the decade in which the comic is supposedly set is Malcolm Tucker, who’s just a talking head on a TV. Even the Potter characters (none of whom except Potter have more than one line) were created in the mid-1990s — and other than them, there’s not a speaking character in the comic that originated post-1976.
This is a huge change from all the other League volumes, which mixed and matched eras, obviously, but showed a real in-depth knowledge of their time’s popular culture.
Adam: My, isn’t that lava lamp… big.
In case you hadn’t noticed that’s Dr B Coote S.M.B.D: standing for sadism, masochism, bondage, domination one imagines, which sadly loses some of the flexibility of our real world formulation, BDSM. There you’ve got bondage, domination, sadism, masochism or bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism. More… er… therapeutic options.
Amy: BDSM is considered by some people to be quite an effective form of, well not exactly therapy, but a way of containing and processing painful experiences, particularly those of a sexual nature. Mina has already engaged in mild BDSM with Allan (the infamous “Bite me” scene), probably as a response to the ultimate Dom/Sub relationship she shared with Dracula, so we know she’s the perfect patient in some ways… Saying that, though, it’s hard to imagine anyone as drugged up as Mina conclusively consenting to anything.
Andrew: Notice the spy camera on the corner — a little incidental detail of how the world has changed since the last volume. We grow so used to these things, it’s sometimes hard to remember that in a lot of ways we’ve been in a dystopian future since at least the mid-90s.
June 26th, 2012
Andrew: First impressions, this is a truly strange comic. I mean, it’s *good*, but it’s an attempted critique of modern pop-culture by someone who has no idea what modern pop-culture *is* (outside of the work of Armando Iannucci, anyway). I haven’t owned a TV in my adult life, and yet I have a better idea of what the pop-cultural feel of 2009 was than Moore seems to have.
And it’s a shame, because the story Moore wants to tell — of the deterioration of culture since the 1960s — is one that could be plausibly made. But to make it work, one has to criticise the 60s counterculture. Most of the problems in the world today stem, ultimately, from the utter self-obsessed infantilism of the generation that were young adults in 1969 — Moore’s generation, the generation that voted in Thatcher, the generation that made up Blair’s cabinet — but rather than admit the link, Moore has instead basically taken a line of “Weren’t the 60s great until Charles Manson and Altamont, but now the world’s full of young people with their hippity-hoppity music and their pinpods, and I wish it would all be like it used to be.”
But all that said, this is still a great comic and a great conclusion to League Volume 3.
June 12th, 2012
TOUCH ME, I’M SICK!
Behold SILENCERS, they’re back from the piddling interferences that waylaid them last week. Back to bring you comics chat like you JUST NEVER HEARD BEFORE! It’s SILENCE #17!
No songs this week, so get that thought out of your minds. Those twin 4-colour Liberace’s can’t just produce this stuff like musical milk from their creative udders you know…GAH!
But they do manage a bountiful, overstuffed SILENCE! news, before careering like the Dukes of Hazzard into a twelve car pile-up of comics. They discuss (get ready) Earth 2, Animal Man, Swamp Thing (both the current version and Alan Moore’s seminal run, in a crow-barred in Beast’s Bargain Basement), Dial H, America’s Got Powers, Action Comics, Mud Man, Dan The Unharmable, Avenger’s Academy, Bill Watterson, Hulk, Stormwatch, JLI, Rocketeer Adventures, Journey Into Mystery, Superman Family Adventures, and The Walking Dead…
But wait! How could we forget the comics event of the Millennium???
The two take on the awesome genre-atomizing Watchmen 2: beyond Watchmen. And I think it would be fair to sat that those boys sure did have their brains fried!
Plus, Lactus works out the best way to review comics – by counting their panels.
Finally the Beast brings it home with a discussion (ie monologue) about the latest film from horror director Ti West, The Innkeepers in notcomics.
Now what rational person could want more from life? Don’t answer that!
And it’s all in the best POSSIBLE taste!
April 11th, 2012
SILENCE! #10 IS NOW BACK UP. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE, LOYAL FANS!
We are 10 today! That’s right SILENCE! Has reached double figures…look at it! Ahhh! Look at it’s cute little face….ahhhh…
In this episode Lactus continues to monitor the South Coast from his swinging cosmo-lounge, while the Beast reveals the details of his new Prestige Life. Not only that but Lactus unearths an extremely rare Booster Gold promotional item! (with thanks to big bad Bob Ferrie for sourcing it) Following that the dyspeptic duo barrel straight into the SILENCE! News, covering such cultural hot potatoes as Shaky Kane’s pop art act of terrorism and the re-colouring of Flex Mentallo.
With nary a thought for their, or your, safety the turgid twosome somersault into the week’s reviews covering Daredevil 10.1 (gah!), Action Comics (featuring the debut of Shit-eating Superman), the final issue of OMAC (One Man Actually Cares), Freedom, Avengers Vs X-Men (omigodtotallypsyched) Animal Man and Sweet Tooth, and Alan Moore’s Supreme. Not in that order.
Then the prosaic pair have a lovely long chat about Urasawa’a masterful Pluto, and the Beast takes us synth-rockin’ all the way back to the 80’s with the sublimely ridiculous Slash Maraud in the Beast’s Bargain Basement. In addition they fizz and pop with enthusiasm about Community in Notcomics before the show slides into gibberish for the Coming Attractions. All this and perhaps just a little bit more in the comics podcast that stands gills and flippers above all others, SILENCE!
What a show. What a world. What.
Remember these colossally egotistical man-tards need love to keep going. Please submit feedback, questions, erotic fan-mail and abuse to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click below for the SILENCE! gallery…
December 31st, 2011
This is us talking about the possibility of a Watchmen prequel/sequel. We then talk a bit then finish with a song. I think by this point we’re all too drunk to be podcasting. By “all” I mean Gary Lactus. Just listen to how drunk the foolish cretin is here:
December 22nd, 2011
Are you sitting comfortably? Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.
The remains of PAGE 53
You can see from the film that not only is Terner in a similar get up to his real life counterpart, but that Orlando and Charlie Watts share the same tailor too.
Here’s a song some of you might know…. And that’s just it: like Sympathy For The Devil itself (indeed, the titular Devil himself) Terner’s song never speaks its name, so it may as well be called Sympathy For The Devil too (2). Moore probably intends it that way, the song being just another of the Devil’s disguises, changing shape with whatever reality it finds himself in this time, fictional, real or otherwise, but the beat remaining the same. It occurs to me, actually, that Satan is a League character par excellence, in that one dare not speak his name directly for fear of drawing his attention and so he must be referred to via hints and clues…..