For the ninth year in a row the Mindless Ones will be hawking our tawdry wares at the Thought Bubble comics convention, which is taking place in Harrogate this weekend.

None of us have cracked the secrets of eternal life, but the dadforce is strong in this group, and at least three of us are more handsome than we were back in 2011, where Andre Whickey tried to sell me for low low price and failed completely.

Will the gang manage to make some money off me this time?

Unlikely. Everyone knows my love is free.

But we’ll be more than happy to see you either at our stall – ComiXology Originals Hall, Table 16 – or at the SILENCE! to Astonish panel at Room A – Queen’s Stage, 2pm on Saturday!

Here’s the blurb for the panel:

Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die of SILENCE! and Al Kennedy of House of Astonish inflict daft games, badly researched questions and ill-advised impressions on a very special, hand-picked, crack group of comic professional victi-err… guests.

House to Astonish is Scotland’s longest-running comics podcast and has been featuring comics news and reviews for over ten years. SILENCE! is the world’s only comics podcast.

This year’s guests are: Giant Days writer and Steeple jack John Allison (not my uncle), Analog scribe Gerry Duggan, These Savage Shores writer Ram V, and word/art specialist and Breaks-smith Emma Vieceli.

Team Mindless will also be happy to savour the sweet, sweet taste of money in exchange for the products of our labour.

Here’s who’ll be selling what at our table…

ANDRE WHICKEY / ANDREW HICKEY

Dre isn’t selling any books at our table though you may be able to buy some off him.

GARY LACTUS / FRASER GEESIN

The big massive genius of his generation, Larry Gactus will be in the building with his latest misterpiece, Journey To The Surface Of The Earth #1.

Twenty pages pf A4 full colour and B&W goodness, Journey To The Surface Of The Earth was described as “a fittingly witty celebration of the mundane” by Broken Frontier’s Andy Oliver, who quite rightly asked us all to celebrate “the unique mindscape of this seriously underappreciated mainstay of the UK self-publishing scene”. DARE YOU DENY HIM?

Larry Leesin will also be selling a brand new micro-zine, Good Frence #1

Good Frence has new Amusing Brothers strips and what I’m reliably told by the postman is a full page, ham-fisted Brexit analogy. Andy Oliver might not have told you to buy it but I am, right here and now. Am I not good enough for you? Fair enough, but you still deserve Good Frence, for all your sins.

Gazer Freesin will also have copies of his phenomenal autobio comic The Cleaner, the world’s best Ikea comics anthology KOMISK! and a fistful of other treats for the faithful on the table too.

ILLOGICAL VOLUME / DAVID ALLISON

I’ll be there with Beyond Whiles, the latest in my series of comics about abandoned places and the people who live in them.

A leisurely walk through a glitchy environment in the process of rebooting, Beyond Whiles is also an attempt to turn cheek into currency – in this case, by adapting the works of Weegie author and mural-enthusiast Alasdair Gray into comics form.

I’ll also have copies of LGH and Labyrinths if slow explosions or hauntings are more your thing, and I’ve reprinted Cut-Out Witch, my 2013 collaboration with Lynne Henderson.

Praise for my solo comics:

Classic British indie small press pamphlet, and a sharp burst of mood and ideas. It’s very much comics as poem – it’s the sort of work that Douglas Noble has been known to do” – Kieron Gillen

A spooky zine… Liked this a lot. The writing is really strong and the art suggests just enough to make you uneasy – Sarah Horrocks

Praise for my comic with Lynne:

“Cut-Out Witch is really good… Lovely creepy stuff” – Twitter’s own James Baker

“You do seem to be able to dash such things off quite easily, I kind of wish I could do that…” - A Trout in the Circus’ very own Plok

Praise for you, praise for me – PRAISE ME!

THE BEAST MUST DIE / DAN WHITE

The mighty Beast is back with the second installment of his new horror anthology, Sticky Ribs!

Broken Frontier’s Andy Oliver, who you worship as a god, forsaking far less useful and productive deitys-in-waiting like me, had this to say about the latest release from the werewolf factory at Dead Light Comics:

This is prime White material with the juxtaposition of innocent, childlike diary entries and horrifying reality perfectly counterpointing each other and, through their contrast, making events all the more chilling. It’s Maurice Sendak by way of Cormac McCarthy, with wide-eyed innocence going hand in hand visually with a surrounding inescapable devastation.

He’s not wrong, this Andy Oliver. I can see why you’re currently building an alter for him, out in the woods, where you think no one can see you. I don’t approve of your methods but the impulse behind them… that I can get. Anyway, here’s a sneak peak of the horrors of the first story in The Beast’s latest:

As always, the ever-loving, red-eyed Beast will have copies of his astonishing kids comic Cindy and Biscuit to sell, and stories to tell that will add or remove hair to various body parts as required.

THRILLS / PAUL JON MILNE 

Paul will be debuting his new comic Hard Ships at our table this weekend.

In a move that will astonish and tantalize my fellow Miln-o-maniacs, Hard Ships looks deep into the muscle mysteries that are Milne’s muse and finds itself out there in space, exploring new frontiers of braw humour and shame.

Or at least, that’s what the postman tells me.

Milne will also have copies of  Grave Horticulture #1 and #2 for sale at our table.

Here’s what Sarah Horrocks had to say about that mulchy wonder for The Comics Journal:

Milne is an artist who can effortlessly land a fiery car engine on the neck of a musclebound maniac and you immediately understand what that’s all about. And unlike most writers today, he can give an origin story for a character in two pages or less.

The result is a tome of addled freaks, violence poets, and blood vegans who all feel coherent within a swamp of UK housing and geographic dilapidation.

Bobsy and Mister Attack will also be in full effect all weekend, dishing out love and violence to those who know how to ask for what. I pity the fools that use the wrong code words at the wrong time. Those poor souls. Those hopeless, shattered wretches. So hard to imagine their suffering. So hard not to want to be them.

So… where was I?

Yes. Thought Bubble 2019. Harrogate. Table 16, Originals Hall. See you there?

SILENCE! #232

July 14th, 2017

“SOME LIKE IT SCOTT!”

With The Family Beast still busy chewing on cigars with the big boys of Amazon “Optimus” Prime, mere minutes away from negotiating a deal that will see them broadcast into living rooms and pockets across the world, Gary Lactus is forced to do the one thing he didn’t want to do…. negotiate with the Skype-inept monsters of Mindless North for a second episode running.

Despite the usual technical problems that occur when North and South try to get together – blame Nicola Sturgeon for nationalising Scottish Skype in a better reality! – Gary Lactus is joined by Illogical Volume and Mister Attack, their shirts wet with rain, their bellies full of macaroni and rage.

<ITEM!> Who sponsors Gary Lactus? Some guy called Dave.  Who sponsors the sponsemen?  Fuck it, I dunno, Geoff Johns probably.

<ITEM!> The gang discuss the recent Small Press Day, the life changing/band forming dangers of encountering strange works by shifty creators in darkened rooms and the explosive properties of turtles.

<ITEM!> Shifting effortlessly out of the classical forms he has already mastered and into the new realm of Perhaps, R. Gary R.R.R. Lactus presents his new science fiction masterpiece: A Westworld.

<ITEM! > The question of who the nicest Mindless One is raised again.  Will Illogical Volume prove that he is actually a callow, cynical monster whose whole existence is a lie perpetrated against human decency by actually holding a twitter poll to determine whether people think he is nicer than Mister Attack?  Only time will tell.

 

<ITEM!> In SILENCE!…Because The Film Has Started, Gary Lactus is surprised by Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the Scottish are grumpy about Marvel movies and enthusiastic about gingers and ants.

<ITEM!> With all the relevant admin taken care of, the trio dive arse-first into the Reviewniverse for purposeful wallow in the  inky pleasures of comics.  John Allison’s Giant Days, new non-hierarchical/anonymous arts project SLABAl Ewing, Dan Brown and Travel Foreman’s Ultimates 2 (which Illogical Volume has finally started to read!), Craig Collins’ Oubliette, Hot Trash Dimension and Ross Geller Fanzine, the cosy era of the Justice LeagueGumby comics, and the wonderful info-comics produced by the University of Glasgow’s Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology.

After making a speedy exit from the Reviewniverse, the team take a brief detour through the pages of Show Call…

…and tolerate Illogical Volume promoting Cut-Out Witch (drawn by the wonderful Lynne Henderson), Looking Glass Heights and Living Rent before heading off in search of more dinner.

 

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You can support us using Patreon if you like.

This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. It’s also sponsored the greatest comics shop on the planet GOSH! Comics of London.

A collaboration with Edinburgh based artist and ghost merchant Lynne Henderson, Cut-Out Witch contains twenty five pages worth of lost souls and lo-fi monster magic – imagine a teen goth Terminus and you’ll be on the right track.  Lynne provided the pictures, I added the words, but if you want to cleanse yourself with holy water after reading then I’m afraid you’ll have to bring your own bottle.

“Cut-Out Witch is really good… Lovely creepy stuff” – Twitter’s own James Baker

Almost every page made me laugh or smile or feel things” - comics’ own Ales Kot

“You do seem to be able to dash such things off quite easily, I kind of wish I could do that…” - A Trout in the Circus’ very own Plok

The original print run has sold out, but Cut-Out Witch is now available for FREE in PDF format!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CUT-OUT WITCH!

If you read the comic and enjoy it, please have a look at the Young Leith Ghost Team site for more of Lynne’s work and consider donating some cash to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Click here for a preview!