July 11th, 2013
EXPOSITION: From the first few pages onwards it’s clear that this is one of those LA stories, an everyday apocalypse in which a strung out and savvy cast of screenwriters, rappers, astronauts, agents and cultists collide against a genre-mashed backdrop; the prophetic screenplay that drives the story is modeled on The Last Boy Scout, but Richard Kelly’s media-frazzled sci-fi meltdown Southland Tales seems the more fitting tonal counterpoint for this story of a city stuck on an apparently endless cycle of destruction.
The main characters in CHANGE are lost and ambitious souls, tilting after people and projects like a set of modern day Don Quixotes, struggling to find their way to an imaginary elsewhere that might just resemble home if they can stick the landing.
If there’s a criticism to be raised here it’s perhaps that the women in this comic tend to be framed at the centre of the madness, while the men are given more active roles as explorers. Richard Doublehead (“the Virginia Woolf of screenwriters”) and rapper turned movie producer W-2 and find themselves instigating the plot and exploring it respectively, and in their dueling roles both men are spurred on by the loss of their partners. Charlie Kaufman style maverick screenwriter and surprisingly competent car thief Sonia has a more active role than either of the female love interests, but her ability to write what’s about to happen still positions her as being somehow in tune with the madness where her fellow protagonists affect and are affected by it:
Thinking about Sonia’s character, I keep coming back to Angela Carter talking about her experience with the surrealists:
…I had to give them up in the end. They were, with a few patronized exceptions, all men and they told me that I was the source of all mystery, beauty, and otherness, because I was a woman – and I knew that was not true. I knew I wanted my fair share of the imagination, too. Not an excessive amount, mind; I wasn’t greedy. Just an equal share in the right to vision.
If Sonia has anything, it’s vision, but somehow her goals seem less tangible those of her male counterparts; for all that her voice is the most purely entertaining one in the comic, I still can’t help but feel that her arc is also the least satisfying. Even the astronaut, who spends most of his page time cut off from the other characters, finds himself on a journey to be reunited with them and with himself:
March 18th, 2013
Yeah, umm… yeah, no… Yeah, sorry it looks like Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 isn’t working. Sorry, Gary Lactus here. Right. This is SILENCE!#53… No 54. SILENCE!#54. Me and Beast read some comics and talked about them. Get excited! Woooo! Cor! I’m waving my arms around merrily! What a lovely time we’re all about to have as we listen.
February 26th, 2013
HENRY SWANSON’S MY NAME AND EXCITEMENT’S MY GAME!
Here he comes to save the day, Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is on his waaaaaaaaay!
I’m here now flesh ones. What is the problem? Oh that’s right – there was no SILENCE! last week. Boo hoo. Many fleshy tears were shed. Weeping meatsacks. Well rejoice sad misery-beef as The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus bring you special comics suppositories for your earholes!
<ITEM> The SILENCE! News with Gary Lactenberg of the stretched handbag leather skin, dazzling smile and shark-eyes, and Danny Beastman of the cigar ravaged voice and rheumy whisky-rinsed gutter eyes. Hot newzzz indeed.
<ITEM> The Reviewniverse opens it’s gaping maw and sucks the pair deep into it’s 4-colour belly pit. And swilling around in it’s intestinal inks are…Hellblazer (the final issue no less), Justice League of America, Vibe, Katana, Nova, Sadow: Year One, Judge Dredd, Superior Spiderman, Daredevil, Captain America, Daredevil, Fatale, Powers, Avengers, Justice League, Change, Batman and Michel Fiffe’s deeply wonderful action comic COPRA!
So you see, it’s not so bad. Life continues fleshy ones. And remember, even when SILENCE isn’t here Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is here. And he can see through walls. And skin.
December 20th, 2012
I SAID RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN
Hellohellohello and a merry festive jingle bell to all the fleshy ones, from Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735! It’s that time of year when I like to upgrade my log fire app, hang the nano-tinsel on the synthi-tree 3000 and raise a luke warm glass of cyber-nog to all of you as we ring in the season with this festive XXXMAZZ-tacular edition of the only podcast that knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice but simply doesn’t care…it’s SILENCE! [HO HO HO etc]
<ITEM> There’s a very busy pre-end of the world edition of the SILENCE News, with live reports from the ongoing Mozzer/Moore Magickal War and the hot breaking story Avengers Vs X-Mas…hold onto your hats please. thank you.
<ITEM> Special variety yuletide theme continues with musical interlude recounting time that Gary and The Beast hung out with Iggy & The Stooges. Of course.
<ITEM> Grab my hand, Snowman-style and we will walk air-wards into the Reviewniverse. And in doing so will hear merryfestive tales of…Change, Walking Dead, Justice League, Jennifer Blood, Batman, Winter Soldier, Popeye, Caligula, Battlefields, Saucer Country, Iron Gland, Fantastic Four, Minute Men and the Christmas miracle that is Prison Pit.
So why don’t you throw Grandma on the fire, spark up the ol’ pipe, shovel sweets down your gullets like seagulls swallowing fish heads and check your ears into the comics podcast of the 1977 Morecambe and Wise Christmas special…SILENCE!!
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 wishes you all a very glitch-free Christmas and an ugraded New Year.
December 12th, 2012
CHANGE is… coming soon! In fact, it’s possible that it’s already here. Perhaps you’ve already read the comic, and are looking for more information on the people who made it. Or maybe you’ve been here before, and have found yourself stuck in a loop, struggling to get out. Regardless of your circumstances, I’m glad you’re here.
CHANGE is… a bracingly modern pulp adventure comic, set in Los Angeles, in which an astronaut, a screen writer/car thief, and a rapper caught midway through a transition into a Hollywood afterlife find themselves entangled in the tendrils of a plot that mixes showbiz horror with Lovecraftian glamour. Or is that the other way round?
CHANGE is… a stylish, ambitious comic that makes perfect sense as part of of Image’s attempt to make popular genre comics that aren’t totally stylistically and thematically inert. Comics that read like they were made with care, energy, enthusiasm, and maybe even that earth element you call… love.
As such, I’m happy to present to you with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style interview with two of the creators involved in this comic, Ales Kot and Morgan Jeske.
If you don’t think you’ve got the heart for this sort of postmodern gambit, you can click here to read the interview straight.