August 20th, 2013
FUCK A JOHN WAYNE
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is sad to say that Gary Lactus is no longer with us…he is in Edinburgh doing some ‘stand-up’, ‘comedy’ mission. Ha ha, You thought that Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 meant he was dead! Gullible meatbags.
But seriously I disintegrated him this morning.
So you get solo-Silence with The Beast Must Die – STOP CRYING! – as Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 was saying, you get solo-Silence. Boo-hoo , all better now.
<ITEM> a brand new one-off theme tune and a GOSH comics jingle? Surely you spoil us Beasty one..?
<ITEM> TBMD slot himself into The Reviewniverse to talk about some stuff, including Incredible Hulk, Catalyst Comix, Dial H (final issue), Prophet and a bit more too!
<ITEM> A small play depicting Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin talking about Satellite Sam…? Stop, my beating diodes!
<ITEM> a long winded monologue about comics virtuoso Michel DeForge, taking in Lose no.5 and Very casual.
<ITEM> A personal message from Jesus no less
NO MORE ITEMS! Go away now and come back next time. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 promises that you will get the Complete Deal, The Full Works, The Whole Kt and Kaboodle….The one true SILENCE!
SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.
July 17th, 2013
You might not know it, but you gamble every time you pick up an issue of Dial H: the ink in which this comic is printed contains a rare sort of toxin, exposure to which dials up one of three parallel universes. Before your eyes make contact with the page, you know that any given episode has a 33.333333333% chance of being: (A) a sloppy pastiche of the Morrison/Case Doom Patrol run, (B) a snazzy pastiche of a good proto-Vertigo comic (like the Morrison/Case Doom Patrol run, for example) or (C) a genuinely effective post Alan Moore/Grant Morrison superhero comic.
If Dial H #12 saw China Mieville, Alberto Ponticelli and co rolling (dialing) the reader into a hopeless tangled version of their own story in which none of the lines (whether in the art, plot or dialogue) connected meaningfully, then issue #13 (which is now only the second most recent issue due to my Mindless incompetence) provided a clear and direct line to the best of all possible worlds(/comics).
Comics being a collaborative medium, Alberto Ponticelli’s pencils tighten up with Mieville’s script, and the unstable environments of issue #12 are forgotten in favour of an information-dense two-layered landscape. Ably assisted by inker Dan Green and colourists Tanya and Richard Horie, Ponticelli works for maximum accessibility at every turn, framing our regular cast as pedestrian browsers walking through a block in which comics sprawl on every wall, always making sure that we’re able to read over their shoulders:
It might seem strange that an issue that takes a break to recap the plot of the previous few issues should be better than anything being recapped, but Dial H is that rare superhero comic that actively thrives on exposition. Try to remember that other standout issues in this series have explained where the powers Nelson and co dial up actually come from (#0, #11), and explored the difficulties that arise from contact with unreconstructed racist fantasies (no not Game of Thrones, issue #6):
Dial H is at its best when explains its own mechanics because theme is built into the design of this revamp more clearly than it expressed by any of the action on the page, a quirk (or fault, depending on your tolerance for this sort of thing) that only strengthens the book’s Karen Berger-edited pedigree.
Just think of the many walking tours through authorial interests that characterised that first flush of post-Alan Moore, British invasion comics, all those scary strolls through the green, trips out into blue forgotten worlds, the evening walks that lead you right underneath the Pentagon and straight on into the heart of the American scream…
The walking tour we get in Dial H #13 is made possible by pleasantly mixed metonyms, by a double act made of dual purpose characters, Open Window Man and his new friend, a young boy in a world of chalk.
July 12th, 2013
Right then, sorry about this. Gary Lactus here. Hello. We’re very nearly back. What we have here is an exciting mixture of TWO amazing formats.
FORMAT 1: I, Gary Lactus apologise my way through some reviews of things like, (well exactly like to be honest) Satellite Sam, The Walking Dead, Uber, Avengers, The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Dial H.
FORMAT 2: A LIVE recording from Cartoon County, straight after The Beast Must Die (in his best Dan White costume), had been interviewed by Alex Fitch of Panel Borders, the radio programme and podcast about comics. He’s proper and it’s good so definitely go and enjoy it! What happened after isn’t as good as Panel Borders but it’s fun. Alex joins us along with plenty of folk like Dave Stone, Joe Decie, David Lloyd and Bobsy chipping in with opinions on comics! Actually it’s a bit of a drunken free for all but with me holding the mic throughout and going on with Bobsy for too long about Jupiter’s Legacy. There’s also talk of Aces Weekly and… I’m sure there was something else… Anyway, what’s the point in me listing everything here? I’m not some goddamn Narratorbot! Hopefully if you’ve read as far as this you’ll have some some idea as to whether you want to listen or not.
Oh yes, I do sing an amazing song which you’d never guess was completely improvised. And there’s a special new Summer Special theme tune.