November 29th, 2012
The Beast Must Die: So frazzled, bedraggled and maybe even bedazzled we all arrived safely back from this year’s Thought Bubble 2012 comics festival in Leeds, which once again proved itself to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone. It gets the tone just right – an even balance between mainstream and fringe, with the small press rubbing shoulders with industry pros. Girls, boys, seasoned fans, neophytes, kids, pensioners, cosplayers and the just plain weird, the TB crowd is diverse, good natured and one of the best aspects of the whole affair.
Attending something like Thought Bubble also reminds you first and foremost why you love the artform, a welcome shot of 4-colour adrenaline to enliven even the most message board weary fan.
The Mindless Ones were there in pretty full effect, with Andrew Hickey, Gary Lactus and myself joined by Legendary Weapons Bobsy & Illogical Volume, as well as Mindless Cadet, Mister Attack and the living juggernaut that is Plok. We were positioned on the right hand side of the newly christened New Dock Hall. Andrew was selling his arsenal of wonderful music and comics books, as well as a new volume of his short stories. Lactus had the collected full colour beauty of The Amusing Bros and Andrew & Steven in Knights Of The Realm, and I was touting Cindy & Biscuit, including the brand new 56 page issue no.3. Mr Attack had his comic Everyone’s Felt Like This Once for sale, and Bobsy brought along a free comic featuring both the current PM and Lord Horror no less. Together we formed like Bruticus and set about ensnaring the public.
On a personal level I don’t think I could have had a better time of it. The reception that Cindy & Biscuit received was heartening, and I sold almost everything I took with me. What was especially gratifying was the breadth of customers I had – I sold a lot to kids this year, which was ace. It’s great to think of them reading mys stuff at home, and I just hope they were all appropriately thrilled, amused or spooked by Cindy & Biscuit. Lots of nice people said lots of nice things about it too, from comics pro’s to fans who bought earlier issues the previous year. All in all I was pretty damn chuffed.
It was great chatting to friend of SILENCE!, Al Ewing, whose gift to us was surely the best comic con exclusive that has ever been. He and his lovely friends were all most accommodating to our frazzled selves in the hotel bar on Sunday evening. It was as nice to see Kieron Gillen as ever, and I enjoyed talking to ace 2000AD scribe Rob Williams about Low Life. I was too nervous to speak to John Wagner, and certainly too nervous to ask him to say ‘I AM THE LAW’ in his stentorian Hibernian brogue. We happened to be on the table next to British comics catalyst Paul Gravett, along with comics artist and scholar John Miers and his lovely partner Megan, who co-runs the Comica Festival with Paul. Paul was his usual enthusiastic self, and did the circuits with his usual charm and aplomb. John and Megan were also excellent company, and truly sympathetic hangover buddies on Sunday. John’s comics are here and info about Comica is here.
Add to that the thrills of our ongoing experiment in listener alienation with our SILENCE! Thought Bubble special, the epic drinkery at the post TB Saturday night bash at the Leeds Corn Exchange, and you have a pretty full weekend. As I stated earlier, the atmosphere at Thought Bubble is open, friendly and enthusiastic. I can’t rate it high enough, and will certainly back next year.
But really, I hear you pretty much scream, FOR THE LOVE OF AQUAMAN, WHAT ABOUT THE COMICS???????!
March 14th, 2012
Behold cretins! The sixth mind-ripping installment of SILENCE! is upon us…
In this episode Lactus tries desperately to get off the smack, whilst continuing to loll about on his cosmic swank pad. Meanwhile the Beast has made some Amazing Friends. Matters takes a turn for the sobering as they discuss the sad passing of Moebius, and give an update on Brett Ewins‘ situation in Silence News. We also reveal the winner of our ‘competition’ to draw a picture of the ‘Thing’s Thing’. Then things get merry again as Lactus reveals he has read all the comics in the world due to a one-sided sponsorship deal with Dave’s Comics of Brighton. Beast sulks. The two 4-colour raconteurs then take in Action Comics, Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Fatale, OMAC, The Fairest, Age of Apocalypse, Stray Bullets, The Manhattan Projects and they both take their horrid medicine when they read Spawn issue no. 2,798,002 in the new feature You Should Have Known Better. The Beast takes a rambling digression into the career of Ralph Bakshi in the Not Comics section (so many sections!) before they delve into the upcoming releases in the Coming Attractions.
Oh yes, and Lactus misses his deadline for his Hulk song, but drops in a bit of live superhero stand-up to atone for his sins.
Could it be any better? Arguably yes, but you know what? THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE HAVING. MAN UP, GRAB YOUR EARS AND GET SOME!
[CLICK BELOW FOR IGMUS's NSFW 'COMPETITION' WINNING DEPICTION OF THE THING'S THING!]
February 8th, 2012
It’s the great new Skype chat show where The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus talk to each other! About comics no less.
In this episode:
Whilst Lactus floats in his spaceship above the Earth (specifically above Brighton, East Sussex), the Beast is holed up in his brand new luxury swank pad inside a Sentinel’s head. The two Mighty Mindless’ conversation soon turns to comics, and they discuss Steve Ditko’s DC work, Pete Milligan and Brett Ewin’s Bad Company, Fatale, The Twelve, WA2CHMEN (totally psyched!!), and Action Comics amongst others, and in a truly interactive moment The Beast watches the Avengers trailer…LIVE!
Strap yourself in for two bite-size chunks of Mindless Poddery, and then join us back here next week for more. Or throw your headset down in disgust and punch your computer. THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
Try SILENCE! #1 part 1
Click to download SILENCE! # 1 part 1
Not enough for you? Here’s part 2
Click to download SILENCE! # 1 part 2