Target 2012

May 12th, 2020

Paul Jon Milne – Guts Power #1-6

Dan Cox and John Riordan – Hitsville UK

The gospel was told, some souls it swallowed whole
Mentally they fold and they eventually sold
Their life and times, deadly like the virus design
But too minute to dilute the scientist mind

Wu-Tang Clan – ‘A Better Tomorrow‘ 

Spacing (notice that this word speaks the articulation of space and time, the becoming-space of time and the becoming-time of space) is always the unperceived, the non-present, and the non-conscious. As such, if one can still use that expression in a non-phenomenological way; for here we pass the very limits of phenomenology.

Jacques Derrida – Of Grammatology

Two comic book series, both started before the world ended in December 2012, both completed some time after the apocalypse.  So far so standard. What makes them both remarkable is how prescient they are about all the ways the world has continued to end and about how we might continue to live regardless.

To be brief: they reek not just of knowledge but of foresight.

The sixth and final issue of Paul Jon Milne’s Guts Power spends most of its time getting ready to go out for the party.  When I last reviewed this series, only the first four issues had been published but the mood of the comic was well established, its grimly eroticised kitchen sink misery distinguished from all the other neurotic indie comics out there by virtue of Milne’s seeping imagination:

I’m stuck on Milne’s style, on the use of that old fashioned alt-comix grossness not as a mode for outrageous straight white guy funtimes, but as a way to genuinely queer the Sex-Men experience.

With its tentative dance floor adventures, “Pepto-bawbag particles” and alluringly grotesque cast, Guts Power manages the rare trick of making one man’s whims, stray thoughts and fancies seem like a genuine delight, probably because the combination feels fresh and true; would that the same could be said of all such ventures.

By the time issue #6 starts, death and romance have already happened and everyone is gearing up for some sort of revolution.  You can practically feel the wee white dots form around you in the air, feel yourself being drawn back into the radiant possibility of a blank page, right up until the moment your cat farts and you’re left sitting on your couch alone with your own misery.

Having sprinted through enough dodgy deals, guilty secrets, Beatific visions and nazi incursions to fill 23 issues of a normal comic, Hitsville UK crosses the finish line of its seventh issues with a sense of perspective that’s bound to baffle all traditional metrics.  Last time I checked in on the comic, I found myself racing to keep up with its evolution, with the way that it had left my initial concept of the series as a referential but not reverential pop fun somewhere way off in the distance:

What I will say is that the issues of Hitsville that have been published since then have had an increased sense of urgency to them.  The boys may not have set out to create a fantasy of communal resilience in an age that seems increasingly under threat by undead attitudes, shambling zombie racism, and the endless monetization of your every passing daydream, but fuck me if they didn’t do it anyway!

The conclusion of Hitsville UK gives you some sense as to who’s pulling (or should that be playing?) the strings and some idea as to why.  We still don’t know why the world ended in 2012, or why it persists in this form, why even blogs have somehow been allowed to continue, but all of this prompts a question: why did the children of The Invisibles decide to persist in their endeavours, knowing that the end would come before anyone could finish their stories?

BEATS ME FOLKS! BETTER CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT!

SILENCE! #HITSVILLE SPECIAL

September 11th, 2019

 

LET’S SHAKE AND SAY, WE’LL OPERATE IN HITSVILLE UK

Welcome to a special edition of SILENCE! wherein The Beast Must Die has a jaunty, rambling conversation with the lovely Dan Cox and John Riordan (aka Dan & Johnny Hitsville) to discuss there excellent series Hitsville UK and in particular the Kickstarter to fund the collected edition (get on board True Believers). We talked about the origins of the comic, how the boys met and the inspirations behind it.

But don’t worry! It’s still a SILENCE! so you can expect variable sound quality and lengthy digressions into Deadline, Free  Tapes, Menswear, Dig!, The Specials AKA, Cate Le Bon, the UK Small Press, Thought Bubble, FJ McMahon, Barbelith and much. much more. It was a warm summer evening in a nice pub in Waterloo, with two of my very favourite people in comics, so I hope you enjoy…

@silencepod
@bobsymindless
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie

[email protected]

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.

 

Last time we caught up with the Histville boys, they were young and reckless, caught up in that pop life and looking forward to the end of their story. That end finally came with the publication of Hitsville UK #7 last year. Dan Cox and John Riordan are broken men now, no longer a pair of jolly cartoon heroes

…but a couple of real live humans, with families and feelings:

As such, it didn’t seem right to feed them the same recycled Smash Hits interview questions we’ve used a few times over now. This time round we would do it right, with glib, insultingly stupid questions of our own.

As far as a general overview of what Hitsville is and why you should read it, I can’t much improve on what I wrote last time around:

More than any other comic about bands or music, Hitsville UK mimics the thrill and excitement of its subject.  Somewhat perversely, this comes from its overwhelming commitment to the comic book form.  Where other comics about music feel like extrapolations of zine culture or traditional adventure stories themed around pop stars, Hitsville UK actually feels like music.  By reveling in the joys of putting weird looking characters into even weirder situations, trusting that they can keep a rush of daft words and pictures coming and that they can keep it relevant, Riordan and Cox capture something of the hyped up love buzz of being into music.  A mix of wanting to keep up with the story and wanting to feel part of the moment as it happens around you.

What I will say is that the issues of Hitsville that have been published since then have had an increased sense of urgency to them. The boys may not have set out to create a fantasy of communal resilience in an age that seems increasingly under threat by undead attitudes, shambling zombie racism, and the endless monetization of your every passing daydream, but fuck me if they didn’t do it anyway!

Hitsville UK is great, kaleidoscopic fun. You should probably buy it.

But don’t just listen to me. Listen to handsome hunk Dan Cox and bedazzled urchin John Riordan, who were generous enough to give me their time while they were in the middle of preparing their lush summer survival bunker, rumoured to be located in the abandoned underwater garden of a shady octopus…

1. When the first issue of Hitsville UK was published back in 2011, David Cameron was out in the wild hugging unsuspecting hoodies and Malcolm Tucker impersonations were still just about socially acceptable.

Are you the same people you were back then? Have you switched faces? Traded names? Sold parts of your souls in return for those sweet comics dollars?

Dan Cox: Switched faces, traded names, switched back, rinsed and repeated. I’m pretty sure we’re back to being the other. It is depressing looking at our cameos as I go from this svelte long-haired snake-hipped lovely to a portly beardy man. Interestingly John hasn’t seemed to change much, I’m sure this is nothing to do with him being the artist and everything to do with healthier lifestyle choices and superior grooming regime.

John Riordan: Working on Hitsville has been like a nine-year version of Face/Off (NB. I have never seen Face/Off). My favourite review of the comic credited it to Dan Riordan and John Cox. I don’t think I bothered drawing us into the last two issues of Hitsville. Prior to the final issue coming out we both became dads and we now both resemble post-war criminal Tony Blair. I drew my baby daughter into a crowd scene in issue 7 instead. I’m fully embracing vicarious living through the next generation now.

DC: We were the DJ act opening for Gwillum!

<strong>JR</strong>: Oh yes, good point! See, my brain is crumbling as well as my looks.

SILENCE! #202

November 16th, 2016

 
 

 

IT IS TIME… IT IS TIME…  IT IS TIME FOR STORMY WEATHER

Look over here! Over here! Don’t look that way, look here! Over here! Look I’m waving my arms around! WOO-HOO! OVER HEEEEEEERE, OVER HE…
Damn. You looked. You saw it. Well don’t say I didn’t try and warn you.Well lookee here it’s a bright shiiiny new SILENCE! crawling from the wreckage. And those rubbery old puppets Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die are joined by Clarky T-Bubz, thw surprising new character find of 2016! All here to give you a hot comics injection right up the wazzoo.<ITEM> Things get off to a cracking start with a post-Thought Bubble 2016 de-brief, from the inside out. Panels, parties and somnabulistic botty-rumbles? All here true believers.

<ITEM> Some comics chat in the downhome comforts of The Reviewniverse, with exclusive talk of Motor Crush, discussion of Violent Love, Comic Book Babylon, From Under Mountains, Habitat, 8 House, Stathis’ Picnoleptic Intertia, Ulises Farinas’ Motro and Hitsville UK. And all with a smile on their lips and a flick of the heels.

<ITEM> Bit of the ol’ SILENCE! (Because My Mouth Is Full of Delicious Food), some Lady Lactus and the Galacticats, and more more more.

<ITEM> And you go out BANG! Like a candle.

 

 

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
[email protected]
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.

If you’ve not read Dan Cox and John Riordan’s Hitsville UK, you’re missing out. Like Daft Punk‘s ‘Get Lucky‘, it’s the sound of the summer.  Or like…. shit, it’s hard to pick just one song at this stage in this icy death machine of a year, so let’s split the difference and say that like ‘Lazarus‘ or ‘Adore‘ its deeper magics might just see you through the colder months too.

I picked up the first issue at Thought Bubble a couple of years back, and while it took my alcohol sodden brain a couple of readings to pick up the rhythm, the  way the first few pages alternated between rows of panels introducing new bands and those wherein the seedy, behind the scenes types (haunted producers, men who made their money in sewage who now fancy a slightly more alluring expression of power) laid out the groundwork for the plot, but when I’d locked into it I realised that I now had a whole host of new favourite characters to care about.

The rest soon followed, issues #2-4 taken in one rush, flashbacks to being a kid and finally getting your hands on the album after wearing out the single you bought from Our Price down the town centre.

There’s so much in there in this soapy story about a new British indie label – a polyphonic reaction against the Toryfied despair of life in the UK 2016, the alienated teenage appetite for destruction, some saggy dadrock longing, plus a smack to the chops to your actual modern day fascists – all adding up to a baffling but somehow familiar map of British pop, complete with itchy annotations about the seedier and more desperate events going on in the background to some of your favourite magic tunes.

There are jokes here that will become fixed points in your mental landscape (“And there’s just time to make the gig!”).  There are faces you’ll find yourself seeing in the mirror in your more wretched moments (Jack Spatz or Gwillum, depending on whether you tend to slick arrogance or despair).  There are beautiful concepts and glorious colours galore:

More than any other comic about bands or music, Hitsville UK mimics the thrill and excitement of its subject.  Somewhat perversely, this comes from its overwhelming commitment to the comic book form.  Where other comics about music feel like extrapolations of zine culture or traditional adventure stories themed around pop stars, Hitsville UK actually feels like music.  By revelling in the joys of putting weird looking characters into even weirder situations, trusting that they can keep a rush of daft words and pictures coming and that they can keep it relevant, Riordan and Cox capture something of the hyped up love buzz of being into music.  A mix of wanting to keep up with the story and wanting to feel part of the moment as it happens around you.

As such, I figured the best way to look into their dark hearts was by dusting off the old Smash Hits interview questions and seeing what the handsome boys (pictured below) made of them…

1. How well mannered are you?

John: I am incredibly mannered, in the stiff and awkward manner of a 19th century drawing room drama. This is to such an extent that at school my nickname was Captain Mannering. Dan has almost no manners as he was brought up in a seaside arcade.

2. Do you ever check your hair when passing a shop window?

Dan: I avoid all reflective surfaces. I fear the hollow eyed man who stares back at me. The bloated shadow cadaver who rots all clocks. The bastard with the seaweed tangle beard who has stolen all my clothes. The one who whispers ‘You will never be this beautiful again’.

Like Medusa it is only possible to look at John via a complex system of mirrors. I normally close my eyes when we’re together.

SILENCE! #165

November 17th, 2015

 

CLOUDY. THE SKY IS GREY AND WHITE AND CLOUDY

<ITEM> Broken, battered, bamboozled and burnt out, the boys are back from Thought Bubble 2015 with exciting tales of comic book debauchery and the happy glow of comics lighting their way. But let’s not forget some classic Sponsorship and a big shout out to Comic Printing UK who printed the BCA nominated Cindy & Biscuit: The Bad Girl and your comics too IF YOU SHOULD CHOOSE! Speaking of which, why don’t you go get a copy if you haven’t already done so!

<ITEM> Whoniverse? Youniverse? NO FOOL IT’S The Reviewniverse!! It’s a Thought Bubble tinted special with Kicky Poo by Sajan Rai, Hitsville UK, Craig Conlan’s Ghost Cat, The Goddamned, Klaus, Airboy, Comic Book Villains, The Ultimates, William Meesner Loebs’ Dr Fate, Secret Wars, All New Avengers and a bunch more shizznizz.

<ITEM> Sweet Christmas that’s your lot! Short and sweet like a child singing carols!

click to download SILENCE!#165

PLUS

SECRET CONVERGENCE OF INFINITE PODCASTS

 

Contact us:

[email protected]

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless

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.

SILENCE! #151

August 3rd, 2015

 

STOP MAKING THAT BIG FACE!

It was the best of blurbs, it was the worst of blurbs…

Wait, so which was it? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

Well..okay then it was the best of blurbs..

REALLY? You better be sure about that. That’s a bold claim.

Ummm… okay then it was ONE of the best of blurbs. It..

Well that’s hardly very important sounding is it? Why are you making a song and dance about ONE of the best of blurbs? There are GOOD blurbs everywhere! They’re ten a penn. JEEZ! You really are a self important arse. Stop wasting my time.

It was..the..it was…*sob* it was…

<ITEM> Welcome weary travellers. Rest your tweeting thumbs, take off them stinking boots and give them dogs a well-earned rest. It’s a CLASSIC line-up with Gary Lactus on bass guitar and The Beast Must Die on lead Keytar…and they are both rocking the main stage! It’s SILENCE! the comics podcast for waifs and strays.

<ITEM> Sponsorshingles, and some reckymendations..Wet Hot American Summer and Rick & Morty. Then it’s time for our brand new section SILENCE! The Film Has Started with Ant-Man and Lost Souls: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr Moreau.

<ITEM> And finally the Reviewniverse..the Disneyland of comics based criticism (in that it’s a fucking rip off). The boys break bread and spake of Hawkeye, Batgirl, Batgirl: Annual, Cyborg, E is for Extinction, Dr Fate, Mercy Heat, Hitsville UK, It Will All Hurt, Transformers Vs GI Joe, Stray Bullets, We Stand on Guard, Crickets and more more more (how do you like it?)

<ITEM> Well, what an adventure we’ve all had. Now it’s time for sleepy time, so shhhh.

Click to download SILENCE!#151

Contact us:

[email protected]

@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless

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.

SILENCE! #122

November 18th, 2014

 

WHEN THE FIREWORKS HIT YOU IN MOGADISHU, ON A BEAUTIFUL SATURDAY NIGHT

It’s the SILENCE! THOUGHT BUBBLE 2014 SPECTACULASM! And you’re all invited. You’re welcome. Plus ones only and ladies in free. Drinks are half price until 9, and you get a free punch in the crackers on the way out.

So join Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die as they lead you on a gentle waltz across the dancefloor of podcastery, before trying to have their way with you in the rose garden. It’s 2+ hours of unbridled hubrisity from the Little and Large of podcasting.

<ITEM> It’s a recording of SILENCE! LIVE from Thought Bubble 2014, with special guests Anal Al Ewing, Sexy Si Spurrier and King Kon Kieron Gillen...plus..could it be? Surely not? Is that Alan Mo…shhhhhh. Also features the Quizzlertron, Telepathy, Blind Date and Magnum PI.

<ITEM> Then it’s time for a post con debrief, as the boyce recount their highlights, lowlights and no-lights. They also talk about their con-haul, so we get Giant Days from John Allison, Thunderbunny, Mindstain comics’ Wanker’s Tan and Grunt 8790, Cindy & Biscuit, Sklent, The Cleaner, Killjoy from Robert Brown, Hitsville UK, Oliver East’s The Homesick Truamts Cumbrian Yarn, Naminfg Monsters by Hannah Eaton, Andy Pearson’s Celph, Haywire, Eclipso, Norm Breyfogle, Alan Grant, Instant Piano and a whole lot more

<ITEM> Gary Races through the rest, but frankly I can’t be bothered to list them. You can bet there’s some comics in there though, boy howdy!

Now. Sing me to sleep. Sing me to sleep, I’m tired and I want to go to bed…

Click to download SILENCE!#122

Contact us:
[email protected]
@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless

This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.

We found some photos on our phone and can’t remember taking most of them