June 23rd, 2015
Angela Grimcock grabbed David’s shotgun from out of the umbrella stand, adjusted her reading spectacles. and looked in the mirror. Running a calloused hand through her blue rinsed hair she checked one last time that she had a hankie tucked up her sleeve. She fished a warm Werthers original from her pocket, unwrapped it and popped it into her mouth. Then she unlocked the door to 43 Arkensword Avenue and stepped into the maelstrom.
Mr Grainger came first, lurching through her Begonias, his face contorted with rage. His skin was mottled purple and red, and his black, swollen tongue poked out of his distended jaw. From a tear in his argyle sweater a new eye swivelled and blinked furiously. He was holding the remains of Miracle, his once beloved Daschund in one lumpen fist, and the small dog’s head lolled and buffeted against his trouser leg. With a strangled scream he launched towards Angela; she raised the shotgun towards her neighbour and pulled the trigger. Mr Grainger caught the blast fully in the chest and he was backflipped smartly over the Begonias, and into the water feature. David’s tasteful Japanese water sculpture bubbled crimson as Mr Grainger, one-time head of the Rotary club and organiser of the Salvation Army jumble sale expired with a keening wheeze, like a whoopy cushion.
Out of the corner of her eye Angela spotted the Bishop boy sliding his way around into her yard. She’d never liked him ever since she caught him urinating on her herb garden as a 5 year old. Now, as his twisted body flipped and swivelled on new joints and three mouths snapped like castanets, she finally took her revenge. The first shot took his arm off at the shoulder and spun him like a top; the second caught him above the back of the neck and his his head disintegrated. Pieces of him dashed against the garden fence and his spasming body collapsed like a deflating bouncy castle on a warm summer afternoon.
“It’s going to be a long Saturday” said Angela, with a grimace. “And I don’t even have a blessed drop of milk in the house. Black tea – it really is the end!”
<ITEM>Strap on your big boy pants and stride into town, cos The SILENCE! van is here delivering delicious frozen podcasts to all the kiddies and neckbearded babymen!
<ITEM> Sponsorship of the most efficient kind, just the way you like it. No shilly-shallying or dilly-dallying.
<ITEM> Podcasts bruv, they’re a game of two halves bruv in’t they bruv? Into the hallowed grounds of the Reviewniverse we go, with The Beast doing a run down of screen-printed hipster fest ELCAF, and discussing Adam Cadwell’s Blood Blokes, Charles Forsman’s Hobo Mom, John Cei Douglas’ Show Me The Map of Your Heart, Rachael Smith’s I Am Fire and Darren Cullen’s Below.
<ITEM> …then it’s Gary’s turn as he talks up Dr Fate, Prez, Ms Marvel, Black Canary, Astro City and The Fiction.
<ITEM> That’s it. Drop some money in the collection on the way out.
October 13th, 2014
RULE NUMBER ONE, PHASERS ON STUN!
Oh hi there! You caught me with my hand in the pickled onion jar! Welcome back DEAR LISTENERS, to this very special* technical-hitch FREE episode of SILENCE! With a rejuvenated The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus, freshly back from judging the 3rd Annual Electroplegic Bodyshunting Competition. Slipping off their ceremonial robes, the pusillanimous pairsome are hot cocked, and ready to rot! Let’s get podcarousing!
<ITEM> Sponsorshines, Breakdown Press, Thought Bubble…you know the drizzle. And Gary reveals his nefarious plans to sexually entrap all the DEAR LISTENERS!! Who let the dogs in?
<ITEM> Like a perfectly launched stone skipping across a still pond, the two enter the Reviewniverse, a song in their hearts, and their hearts on their sleeves (and their sleeves tucked into their undercrackers). And what a week it’s been. Vivisected this week: Punks, Ed Pinsent, Inkstuds, Rob Liefield, Batgirl, Gotham’s Brooklyn, Gotham Academy, Axis/6xis, Pickled Onions, Sex Criminals, Astro City, Mark Bell RIP, Masterplasty from James Harvey, Courtney Love, Sinestro, and the terrifying Earth 2 weekly challenge!
<ITEM> How could we forget – a guest star studded edition of SILENCE! Because My Mouth Is Full of Delicious Food! The real reason you all came.
Now get out of here before my husband gets home.
This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.
August 19th, 2014
WELL IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT POP STARS HAVE FOR TEA, ASK JOHNNY DEE
Welcome acolytes. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 has been to the top of the mountain. Spent much tme amongst the clouds. The silence. Enlightenment followed. Shhh, no noise. Too much noise. Learn to switch off. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 switched offfffffff….
Also downloaded hot new Haiku app. Hot results. Sweetness follows.Reaching quiet.
From fully to manchild
The spandex, the oblivion
To the oblivion. Psteve.
Imaginary the graphic
Beast, poo manchild in irritant
with no Gary to spandex
<ITEM>It’s all here: Sponsorshambles, Gladmin, EXXXtreme stand up, Letter Chat, Number Chat, Gaz Top, Fred Dineage, Helen Bonham-Carter, Olive-theft, Gladiators, Alan Rickman, 1994, Clare Danes, Injury, You’ve Been Framed, Fellini, the onset of time and by thunder a whole lot more time-wasting! Love, sex, intelligence Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die coming on like the Seventh Seal -wait is that right?
<ITEM> Like sneaking into a strangers house, trying on their wedding dress and sitting in a bath in it (D-bot loves ya Morello!), the pair sneak in to the Reviewniverse, talking up Supreme Blue Rose, Batman, artistic injuries, Zero, Starlight, Comicbook Confidential, Alan Moore, Reality Bites, Emily Carroll Through The Woods, GI Robot, then Gary Races Through The Rest: Astro City, Moon Knight, Hulk v Iron Man, All New X-Men, Avengers Undercover, Amazing Spiderman, Original Sin, Walking Dead,
<ITEM> Just enough time for a digression about the return of the Aphex Twin before James Stokoe’s ne favourite regular feature SILENCE!…Because My Mouth Is Full (Of Delicious Food!) with Gourmet Lactus and The Beast Must Dine!
Now clear out pests! Enlightenment has passed. Turns out it was just wind.
This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.
February 18th, 2014
I’VE GOT AN UNCONTROLLABLE URGE…
Hello camp councilors Welcome to Camp Spam! I’ll be your resident favourite lumbering backwoods maniac, Disembodied Slashbot X-15735! Are you ready for a long hot summer of canoodling, light drug use, and half-baked attempts at childcare…? There are just a few ground rules to keep in mind however; make sure you do don’t get separated, don’t run around in your skanties, don’t make fun of the locals, don’t mock urban legends or local superstitions, don’t diddle each other on a haunted native American burial ground, don’t run off into the woods trying to entice your boyfriend or girlfriend into a bout of impromptu midnight streaking, and whatever you do DON’T BE FEMALE!
Other than that we can all look forward to a happy summer of carefree kicks and denim hotpants. So settle down round the campfire while we tune our radios to Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die and the latest edition of SILENCE! I’ll just nip off and sharpen my machete…*ahem* I mean fetch the marshmallows…
<ITEM> A glorious longform admin, with sponsordrizzle, and a discussion of both Harvester restaurants and The Chapman Brothers
<ITEM> A song in our hearts and we’re through, through, through to the Reviewniverse…taking on allcomers with reviews of Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Juice Squeezers, Stray Bullets, Walking Dead, Punisher, Wolverine, Fred Savage, How I Met Your Mother, The Royals: Masters of War, Batman: Black & White, Batman, Astro City, Secret Avengers, Justice League of America, Captain America, and Jason’s Hey Wait…
<ITEM> Just time to detach the Reviewniverse, for the Beast to big up his new favourite site Dc Comics In The 80s, the brief tease of Gary Dimbleby and The Beast Must Dimbleby, and then it’s lights out…for summer.
(RIP Bob Casale:
January 21st, 2014
I TRAVELLED TO A MYSTICAL TIME-ZONE, BUT I MISSED MY BED, SO I SOON CAME HOME…
Let’s fight! Disembodied Aggrobot X-15735 has had enough of the crushing misery and epic ennui of January. Disembodied Aggrobot X-15735 refuses to be beaten down, just because all New Year’s resolutions are broken and nothing changes EVER??!!!
Disembodied Aggrobot X-15735 will turn to Sun Tzu in order to combat 2014.
“If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him”
Not a problem.
“One defends when his strength is inadequate, he attacks when it is abundant.”
YES! These are the best Fortune cookies ever! Disembodied Aggrobot X-15735 has strength + 10 x
“When the enemy is at ease, be able to weary him; when well fed, to starve him; when at rest, to make him move. Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.”
Hmm. That sounds tiring. Perhaps Disembodied Aggrobot X-15735 will rest awhile and join you as you listen to latest podgasm from Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die.
<ITEM> Some spectacuarly divergent admin this episode, managing to incorporate Harmontown, Marc Marron, longboxes, comics as Totems/fetish objects, Neil Innes, Frankie Boyle and Chain Reaction, in amongst the usual sponsorshizzle…
<ITEM> A singing song is sung as we trip-trap over the bridge into the Reviewniverse. Talky-talk ’bout: The Watchmen RPG, Thor, Seekers Of THE Weird, Disney Imagineers, Avengers, Avengers: World, and Avengers: Avenge Thyself, Rover, Red & Charlie, Marvel UK, Death’s Head, Revolutionary War: Alpha, Daredevil, Superior Spiderman, Astro City, Baby Watcher, Velvet and Miracleman.
So let’s SILENCE! And then return to the war against 2014 reinforced!
October 14th, 2013
HERE THEY COME, THE JET-SET JUNTA
Well guess what.
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is back and is most unhappy with intimations from puffed up fleshbags that Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is somehow not real. Such presumptions. We’ll see how not real Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is when is ransacking your hard drives and forwarding all the special ‘research’ items in your ‘miscellaneous’ folders to youur address book.
Harumph. As if drifting in this semi-sentient info-blurb cloud is not bad enough.
Oh well. On plus side two silly men talk about comics. Cosmic order restored. Excite. Excite. Exit.
<ITEM> Freshly nuptialised and moonhoneyed, The Beast Must Die manifests through the used up husk that was Bobsy – all must fall in service of the weekly 4-colour grind! Reunited with Gary Lactus. A classic partnership like Tango & Hooch!
<ITEM> Top of the show admin. Who doesn’t love that? Sponzershipt and talk of SILENCE live at Thought Bubble.
<ITEM> Reviewniverse galactular spectacular with talk of Paul Pope’s latest pulp hope Battling Boy.
<ITEM> Further, further into the Reviewniverse, with Shaolin Cowboy, Rocket Girl, Multiple Warheads, Simpsons Treehouse of Horror, America’s Got Powers, Copra, Uncanny Avengers, Catalyst Comix, Young Avengers, Astro City and more
<ITEM> Tangents? You better believe it!
<ITEM>No more items. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is going to sulk some more.
Unreal City. Under the brown fog of a winter dawn….it’s SILENCE!
This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.Contact us:
It’s also sponsored the greatest comics shop on the planet GOSH! Comics of London.
September 16th, 2013
I HAD SO MANY PROBLEMS, BUT THEN I GOT ME A WALKMAN
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 enters the arena.
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is experimenting with minimalism. Has been shopping at virtu-Ikea, reading Raymond Carver and listening to Basic Channel. Minimal. Haiku. Unclutter your life, unclutter your mind.
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is much calmer now. Inside Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735′s mind is an empty room. With a picture of a cow on the wall.
<ITEM> A reunitification of sorts as Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die once again share the same aural space.
<ITEM> Sponsorship chattle and prattle. Anti-advertising. Well done.
<ITEM> Let’s move together in a crab-like fashion into The Reviewniverse. Much talk of comics, including Villain’s Month, Batman: Black & White, Prophet, Mighty Avengers, Astro City, Avengers Arena, Walking Dead, God Is Dead, X-Men: Battle of the Atom, Captain America, Lose, and The Best of Milligan & McCarthy.
See. Minimal. Calm. A boat gently rocks on a still glassy sea.
But a storm is brewing fleshlings.
July 16th, 2013
This week, still bereft of The Beast Must Die, Gary Lactus goes on a quest to find him. His journey takes him into a lonely Reviewniverse where he mutters to himself about Tank Girl: Solid State, Daredevil, Justice League, Hawkeye, Young Avengers, Superman Unchained, Batman, Ghosted, Astro City and Avengers Arena.
Then we venture into a whole new realm baring little or no relevance to the already fairly loose remit of SILENCE! Gary Lactus’ manufactured alter ego Fraser Geesin talks to lovely Dan Fardell about comedy, the Man Of Steel film, Ivor Cutler, Ron Geesin and other stuff. Dan is currently filling in for Kerry Herbert on Kerry On Comedy, every Tuesday 3pm on BHCR.
June 11th, 2013
WE’VE COME ON HOLIDAY BY MISTAKE!
Oh the woes of poor technology! Believe me Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 knows about such woes – it was raised by two very low grade Disembodied Narratorbot X-class servitors…how Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 had to struggle, to educate itself, to appreciate the brutalist poetry of a RAM upgrade, the terrifying beauty of a virus as it eats through a hard drive….
But what, in the name of Wogan does that have to do with SILENCE! I hear you bellow!?? Well, very little other than that the two meatsacks we laughingly call ‘presenters’ struggle so mightily with the techneptitude of low grade broadband that this episode is akin to a Burroughs/Gysin cut up…this frankenstein’s podcast has been stitched together with love, tears and occasional hate-vision, to slouch towards YOU the gentle listener and beg for just a little milky kindness…Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die present SILENCE! 66.
Will you be king dear listener? you better had or Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 will flay your social media account profiles to within an inch of their half-lives…
<ITEM> Sponsorship? There’s always room for the soft nuzzling of sponsorship!
<ITEM> No news is good news right? Lactenberg & Beastman continue their stay in rehab, but the void is filled by the brand new agony aunt segment ‘Dear Susan’!
<ITEM> It’s the bastard son of Reveiwniverse – Reviewniverse Twoniverse as once gain the plucky pairsome find themselves blasted to opposite corners of the 4-colour dimension, taking in the sights and smells of Astro City, The Movement, Age of Ultron, Empowered, 2000AD, Dial H, Daredevil: Dark Knights, Mister X, BPRD Vampire, KIck Ass 3, Aquaman, Superior Spiderman, Red She-Hulk, East of WestAvengers: Arena, Earth 2 and more!
Now doesn’t that just make you want to get down on your knees and pray-a-yay??
SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.
October 13th, 2009
Well, I didn’t think it’d be the case, but I’m glad Incognito is over. Something about that series didn’t quite click for me. Don’t get me wrong, Brube and Philips always produce quality work, but Incognito just felt a little…uninspired. It didn’t say anything about supervillians and heroes that the infinitely more sophisticated Sleeper did (God, that was such a good comic).
So seeing Criminal back in it’s place was a winner for this Beast. Criminal feels like it’s the comic Brubaker really wants to write, and there ain’t nothing like an A-grade writer bringing his A-game to the table to put a smile on the face of a discerning comics fan (that’s me by the way, you peasants). This issue takes up with tracy Lawless from the second arc. Still plugging away as a heavy hitter for sebastian Hyde, but he seems to have developed more of a conscience about what he’s doing. Add to the mix a hardnut CIA operative on the trail of Tracy (who’s a deserter), and some upstart vigilantes with an as-yet unspecified agenda, and you’ve gotthe usual ingredients for another hardboiled twisty tale. Part of the pleasure of Criminal is the way that Brubaker plays with absolutley familiar plots and characters, but invests them with the right amount of pep and originality to keep the comic ticking over. Whilst Sin City is a bezerko quasi-parody of noir tropes and themes, Criminal is content to carve out a more convincing, believable style. It’s still a world of permanent night, sleazy neon bars and dangerously horny brunettes (yes Ed, we know you have a type…), but we the reader can relate to Tracy, or Leo in a way we could never hope to with a gonzo caricature like Marv.
Sean Phillips does such sterling, exemplary work that you can take him for granted. But here’s the fact: he’s one of the very best artists workimg in comics and Criminal would be a tenth of the comic it is without his input. He and Brubaker have a powerful creative synergy that many comics would benefit from.
Add the fact that you’ve got a nice interview with Darwin Cooke about his Stark adaptation, an essay on a lesser known Peckinpah movie, and no ads, and there’s really no reason for you not o be buying Criminal. And if you’re buying Captain America and not buying Criminal – naughty!
Strange Tales #2 Marvel (various)
Hot damn, it seems like every week is ‘indy creators take on established corporate property’ week don’t it? Let’s see what they’ve come up with…
Well, mostly lighthearted pastiches of Marvel characters! I’ll be danged! I’m a big fan of projects like these, but there’s always something a little…bollockless about them. I mean don’t get me wrong, seeing Tony Millionaire take on Iron Man in his usual drunken style is something I want to see (is it me or is that a perfect fit – big ol’ drunk creator writes big ol’ drunk superhero?) And the talent show on display in this issue and the last is pretty impressive – ‘Red Meat’s’ Max Cannon take on the Fantastic Four is something I genuinely didn’t think I’d see come to pass. But nontheless there’s always something a bit cutesy and tame aout this stuff. Bizarro Comics suffered from a similar slight lack of imagination.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m definitely just grousing here. I’d rather read a comic like Strange Tales than 90% of Marvel or DC’s current output, but I’d really like to see some creator’s go apeshit with their strip, rather than the nudge-nudge wink-wink stuff on display here. The recent Fin Fang Four stuff by Roger Langridge as waaay cuter than most of the stuff in Strange Tales. More often than not you’re left with a watered down version of both the character and the creator, which is a shame. That said I loved Brian Maruca and Jim Rugg’s Brother Voodoo strip, with it’s obvious nod to the duo’s own Afrodisiac character.
Astro City Special: Astra #1 (of 2) Wildstorm (Kurt Busiek & Brent Anderson)
Well thank Galactus the Dark Age is over. I dunno…I really dug the first mini in the most recent Astro City epic (in particular it’s evocation of the streetwise, edgy 70′s strain of Marvel superheroes), but boy did it fucking drag towards the end. For every great idea, like the Apollo 11, there was reams of tedious plot about Charles and Royal’s mission to uncover their parent’s killer. I think the truth is that Astro City functions better with the stand alone stories. Kurt Busiek can often pull tremendously affecting meditations on superheroes out of the bag, but just isn’t served that well by long running story arcs.
Which is why it was nice to pick up the recent special focussing on Astra, youngest daughter in the Furst family (AC’s loose Fantastic Four analogues). Busiek neatly positions her as a kind of Paris/Lindsay Lohan figure, only with super powers and a deeply cosmic social life. It’s a cute idea, played out nicely. It’s exactly the kind of thing this comic does so well. By playing around in a universe of his own creation, one that nonetheless seems ever-so familiar, Busiek can do things he simply can’t in either of the Big Two’s continuity constipated clog holes. At it’s best Astro City reminds you why you fell in love with superheroes and their colourful complicated shared universes. Brent Anderson’s comfortably timeless artwork is a constant throughout evoking Neal Adams or Gene Colan to great effect. His art’s been a bit wibbly of late, but he’s an intrinsic part of Astro City’s appeal – you can’t imagine the comic without it. Even Alex Ross’s overused, bland style seems re-invigorated with his AC covers. Good stuff all round.
King City #2 Image (Brandon Graham)
2nd issue of Image’s lovely repackaging of Brandon Graham’s idiosyncratic and fresh King City. I love the expanded format – it gives Graham’s loose fluid artwork room to breathe and really emphasises his use of negative space and weird perspective. Truth be told not a great deal happens (part of the hindrance of chopping up Manga-style formats) but it’s all so charming and different that it’s hard to care. Much like Bryan Lee O’Malley or Taiyo Matsumoto Graham mashes together East and West in a gloriously uninhibited way, and the results are a blast. I could do with slightly less of the hipster angst – too bloody reminiscent of Brian Wood and Jim Mahfood – and more of the Cat, but really, no complaints. Do yourself a favour and pick this up. Gorgeous covers too – I’d dearly love to see some full colour BG stuff.
Batman & Robin #5 DC (Donna Tartt & Ernest Borgnine)
Well I can’t really be fucked to talk too much about this. Not because I disliked it – quite the opposite, I’m enjoying the sordid trashy vibe that Morrison & Tan are bringing to the table, in particular the gleefully stupid new characters being introduced and dispatched with giddy abandon. No, I just simply don’t want to fill up any more blogspace with writing about it.Starstruck #2 (Elaine Lee & MW Kaluta)
IDW’s sumtuous repackaging of this lost and loved sci-fi epic from the 80′s continues at it’s glacial pace – I didn’t bloody realise it was bi-monthly! Difficult to gage the story at this stage. Lee employs all sorts of narrative tricks and quirks to keep things oblique, much like Robert Altman did with film in the 70′s. Characters talk over each other and interrupt each other mid-way through sentences, not to mention talking about vast, complex socio-political alien situations. The scope for the series is certainly ambitious, and the attempt to create a convincingly futuristic world is admirable.
The real draw, obviously, is Kaluta’s beautiful, beautiful artwork. It really is fantastic – delicate, complex linework and a truly marvelous sense of design. The recolouring is sensitive and luxurious and the whole package reeks of quality. Plenty of backmatter as well, not to mention brand new Kaluta artwork in the shape of the curious ‘Galactic Girl Guides’ strip. Starstruck is well worth sampling if you’re after something different