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…..
Interview with Kevin O’Neill here
Amy: Forgot to mention that the monster in the picture to the left of Terner two pages previous is from Night of the Demon, and, yes, it is indeed a demon. Night of the Demon, based on M.R. James’ short story Casting the Runes (it’s the entire short story), features yet another Crowleyalike and Haddo death hole/assumed identity, Dr Julian Karswell, a nasty wizard who sets demons on people who attempt to defame him. I probably don’t need to tell you that he meets a sticky end at the hands of one of his own summonings, but I just have, so there you are. It’s funny the way Terner has the picture framed like a family snapshot. Again, it suggests that he doesn’t take this occult business seriously enough. Then again, it probably serves the function of a gargoyle too.
Perhaps it was a gift from ‘Felton’. Maybe it’s signed.
August 5th, 2011
Welcome to England
Perhaps the most terrifying words ever read in a comic?
The Martian invaders, who Wells presents as being foul on a level deep enough to be both visceral and ontological, are upon facing a grinning English gentlemen made instantly sympathetic, as we realise we’ve been cheering for the wrong side all along.
This isn’t what the Martians are supposed to be. It’s one of Wells’ great tricks – they’re the bad guys that the reader is permitted on a planetary scale to Other and despise. It’s okay to revel in the violence of the conflict and the cruel irony of their demise. They’re not like us. They wouldn’t show you any mercy. They don’t belong here. It’s OK, you can hate them and enjoy their pain. It’s OK.
It’s not OK. From chapter 1 we’ve been presented with the Martians’ badness (they’re not even Martians! They’re not even from there! Not originally, not like the good Martians) as a simple, natural fact. So we cheer when they are chased off that planet. When these disgusting things arrive on ours, and treat those nice Wokingians exactly as generations of Englishmen have treated those they met as they set foot on shore, we are shocked and appalled and call righteously for vengeance upon them.
What if they just want somewhere safe to live?
It’s the final kick of the second book, hidden away in one small panel in the middle of the sequence that’s supposed to be giving us our final emotional catharsis. The scale of what Moore and O’Neill do in these panel isn’t to be underestimated – it’s something of a watershed moment in English literature – trumping Wells’ Woking, Larkin’s Slough and Morrissey’s seaside town they forgot to close down. The repellent subject here withering under the poet’s red-hot glare is nothing less than England itself. The raw, fearful symbolism encoded in the imagery is unforgettable: the unleashed upper-crust, standing above England’s fetid carotid artery, physically devouring, digesting and delighting in the pain of this insect that thinks it knows about war and extinction, the gentleman so happy in their mutual immolation, their mingled ashes spread on the filthy red weed-choked water.