December 30th, 2014
As a special festive treat, we convinced the man known as Plok – A Trout in the Milk; writes bubbles around people who write circles around your favourite bloggers – to write up his thoughts on the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, ultimate power and anachronistic/non-anachronistic adolescence as initially expressed to Illogical Volume after the author had suffered through a fairly hellish travel experience that ultimately led to a trip to Hairmyers Hospital (shout outs to the ghost of George Orwell!).
It’s a long one, but trust us, it’s worth it! Over to you Plok!
I haven’t done any blogwriting in a while, so this might be a bit…uh, rambly.
Apologies in advance.
So here’s me in some Mindless Ones comments, possibly being a prick about the Guardians Of The Galaxy movie:
“The Steve Gerber/Al Milgrom Guardians series from the Seventies is, for me, about as close to perfect as SF superhero comics ever got. I would’ve followed that thing to the ends of the earth; it really meant something to me. And it is so dead and gone for lo these thirtyodd years or whatever, that’s it’s like it never even happened. I saw a little of it boomerang back in Farscape,and it’s been suggested to me that this Guardians movie is like a brainless, artless, heartless attempt to do a Marvelized Farscape…
“’My’ Guardians have been 100% completely broken down and recycled to the point where the thing in the movie only contains naturopathicmedicine levels of that thing I liked, and that only because (possibly) it’s partly copying a copy of it that wasn’t even made in the world of comics in the first place…
“Gerber’s Guardians were a bunch of war vets who couldn’t fit in after their side finally won, and struggled with intense repression and thoughts of suicide. Nagged on by a mysterious, possibly omniscient being, they executed a number of SF psychodramas designed to bring them back to life, kicking and screaming all the way…and also a bit like Star Trek. But it didn’t last. After Gerber left the title, the characters were reemployed by Jim Shooter for his Korvac Saga, diminishing in relatability as they went on…a characterdriven book surrendered its characters to the milling process of the Shooter Era, and the major conceits of the Guardians were ground out. Mark Gruenwald kept Vance Astro from ever making it to space, during the Nineties Starhawk lost his specific symbolic heft in the same stroke that took away his mystery…and I don’t even know where Nikki ended up. I hope somewhere nice. And I didn’t see any of them again until maybe Farscape came on the air, though I can’t say for sure if Gerber influenced O’Bannon at all. But Farscape had the same sort of characterbased use of conventions as well as approximately the same setting and scenario, and a friend did cause me to wonder if maybe the GotG of today didn’t partly come out of a “hey let’s do a kindasorta Farscape thing” calculation…
“Gerber’s Guardians was about what stock SF situations of the Forties would be like if they were all populated by people from the Seventies…everything that happens is impossible to believe and totally absurd, but if you don’t find a way to take it seriously you’ll crack up. But then if you do take it seriously you’ll just crack up anyway, and so there must be an answer to absurdity butwhere is it? That’s the sort of thing that interests me, especially when it’s dressed up in SF and superhero costumes and (hello, Andrew!) Menippean satire.
Has GotG got anything like that in it?”
Yeah. I know. It doesn’t. But did I have to be such an arch motherfucker about it? Obviously it doesn’t, obviously it bloody well can’t. My beloved Guardians of the 70s were “cinematic” comics long before Alan Moore arrived at Warrior!, but they were never the type that could be made into cinema, at least not without losing everything they were ever about in the first place.
December 2nd, 2014
SO DRUNK IN THE AUGUST SUN, AND YOU’RE THE KIND OF GIRL I LIKE
But didn’t we? I mean *really* when you think about it, didn’t we? We really did didn’t we? Yes we did. We really did. Did it, I mean. Really. Didn’t we? Didn’t we do it? We did, yes we did. We really really did. Didn’t we?
Ahh. Well then. Should we head to the drawing room and see what Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die are up to? Why look! They’re recording a SILENCE! let’s go sit at their feet.
<ITEM> Oo-er, titter ye not, Missus, titter ye not, NO! Don’t you wave your sponsorship at ME!
<ITEM> The Beast takes us on a trip down memory lane to the heady days of the 1980s with Escape Magazine, featuring Alan’s Big American Adventure, Phil Elliott, Eddie Campbell and more.
<ITEM> It’s a one-step, two-step, tickle you under the…Reviewniverse. The boys trudge through the 4-colour wastelands with Ody-C, Madman 3-D special, Prophet Strikefile, Superior Iron Man, Superior Foes of Spiderman, Usagi Yojimbo, Zero, John Smith and more.
<ITEM> A final bit of chat about Guardians of The Galaxy and Thor 2 and then you’re free to do what you want with the rest of your life.
But we did though.
This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.
July 31st, 2014
I’m going to become quite unpopular among my friends, I suspect, when I say that I didn’t like Guardians of the Galaxy very much at all.
I didn’t *hate* it — it had an excellent cast, the effects work was as good as you’d expect, and there were a few good lines of dialogue (I was the only one in the cinema who laughed at the John Stamos line, as the only people who know about him in Britain are Beach Boys fans — and indeed there has just been a massive amount of drama about Stamos among Beach Boys fandom, which made me laugh a little harder than I otherwise would). Sometimes it’s a bit too knowing about the pop culture tropes it makes fun of (this is definitely a post-TV Tropes script), but it occasionally does interesting things (there’s one neat little twist when a very, very, obvious third act reveal straight from Screenwriting 101 *doesn’t* turn out to be true).
It also actually had some scenes with colours that aren’t orange or bluish-grey — not many, but a few. This is increasingly rare in the cinema these days, and is to be applauded. I’m sure I even saw a glimpse of yellow at one point.
But one of the reasons Marvel’s films have been so successful is that they have been *superhero* films. This one isn’t