November 15th, 2015
Living legend David Wynne has commissioned me to write 500 words on this topic. Last night in the pub he teased me with the idea that I was going to be tasked to write 500 words on Frank Miller: Feminist Icon.
Having worked out my pitch for that one in the shower this morning (it’s actually really easy to read his work as an extended deconstruction of chauvinist tropes… so long as you just DON’T LOOK AT THE WOMEN IN HIS COMICS and only pay attention to the men – not an approach that’s conducive to feminist values, hence why this reading of Frank Miller is unlikely to catch on anytime soon) I now find myself face with a far more daunting task.
Five hundred words on “Hard Men with Big Truncheons: The Sexual Politics of Mega-City One”. I mean seriously: what can you say about this subject? What can’t you say?
February 19th, 2015
October 1st, 2013
CHARLIE, DON’T WANT ANOTHER BEER, TONIGHT I’M GONNA DRINK MY TEARS
<ITEM> What is this disgusting Graphic Novel craze that is haunting the nation’s children?
<ITEM> Banish your shameful floppy addiction and get into the hardback stuff with this week’s rollicking and rambling edition of SILENCE!
<ITEM> This week sponsored a lot by Library – the greatest bookshop there has been or could ever be…
<ITEM> The lovable but sadly now fully attached (sorry gels) The Beast Must Die is flipping still on his holy honeymoon, meaning Gary is forced to recruit bobsy for more of his baneful civilising influence!
<ITEM> There are some riveting personal questions to be had and then!
<ITEM> Gasp as The Tall and his thrall batter their way into the reviewniverse, there to discuss the unique and neglected phenomenonenom of the Graphic Novel – a new type of comic that isn’t for kids! We cover such good’uns as Adamtine by local produce Hannah Berry, Cave In and Daybreak by the thundering Brian Ralph, Judge Dredd in Satan’s Island by Wagner & co, before swimming over to Fishtown by Kevin Colden.
<AND> the mysteriously entwined nautical pair of Set to Sea by Drew Weing and Black Lung by Chris Wright.
<AND> then into a brief and tenuous discussion of Nobrow #7 and the same publisher’s marvelous Jean Baptiste Baigorri 1: Cramond Island by Irkus M. Zeberio.
<ITEM> Normal service exists in the form of hasty reviews of monthly floppybooks Mysterious Strangers #4, Fairlaine the Goblin #1, Gambit #17, Sex Criminals #1, Sex #whevs, Wolverine and the X-Men and Jupiter’s Cheggersy before we suddenly realise we’d rather get on with our normal lives, for a bit, at least.
<ITEM> Oh, and at the start we talk about Saga #14 too. SPOILERS: only liars and the brain-damaged like Saga, but if comics needs another TV show – and soon – in order to keep the concept farm open for another year then yes, by all means give it another award.
This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. There are quite literally almost zero swear words to be heard in this episode of the world’s finest comics podcast.
Oh, and GOSH!
May 28th, 2013
LIVE! LIVE! LIVE FROM THE RHYTHM HIVE!
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is 64 (bits)? Let’s hope not. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 wants to live fast, and burn out leaving a ghost smear of data across your screen. But speaking of 64… let’s go, Theseus-like into the labyrinth that is…SILENCE!
<ITEM> Jinglesjism, Sponsorism and Newsbizzum with Danny Beastman & Gary Lacte…no wait, it’s The SILENCE! News interns Chris Ware and Hawkman.
<ITEM> Reviewniverse a-go-go! Featuring a very special appearance from the sentient bit of blue mould that is…Bobsy, and he’s talking about Occupy Comics. And Heroes Against Hunger. And The Beast tries to goad him into talking about Jim Starlin’s gonzo 80′s wild years. Then TBMD and Gary Lactus soldier on into the quaglands of weekly comics in a very synchronised episode, covering Tank Girl: Solid State, The Bounce, Sex, Green Team, Daredevil, Superior Spiderman, Batman Inc, Justice League, Miracleman, Miniature Jesus, Lobster Johnson, Victories, Mind MGMT, Fantastic Four, Uncanny Avengers, Superman, Judge Dredd and 2000AD.
<ITEM> With guest appearances from Ms Beast, Lady Lactus and ‘Hungry Eyes’?
So if that doesn’t whet your appetite then…then you probably can gain no nutritional value from attempting to air-bite a podcast. Idiots.
April 4th, 2013
OR: last year I went to the movies and all I got was a sense of temporal displacement!
DREDD, dir. Peter Travis, 2012
This relatively low-budget attempt to graft a late seventies vision of the future onto the present day doesn’t quite come off seamlessly – the opening drone-cam riot shots would be much more convincing without the sci-fi data overlay – but the grim lack of distance between these three (equally imaginary?) time zones ensure that this bolted-together aesthetic is effective rather than ridiculous in the end. A lot of the credit here has to go to Karl Urban, who sets the tone of the movie by somehow managing to play the perma-frowning Dredd with a straight face:
Like Urban’s Joe Dredd, DREDD (the movie) treats exposition as little more than a series of snappy situation updates, necessary only because they point the way from one dynamic lesson in pain compliance to another. The result is a lean, efficient action films that you suspect the Judge himself would approve of. The rules are established in the opening scene and are ruthlessly enforced throughout: you get a quick report of the location and nature of the crime in progress (the irradiated ruins of a future America; whatever takes your fancy) then whooosh, before you can say “hot shot” the situation has been resolved with the maximum amount of acceptable violence.
Because hey, when you fuck up, he’s got to fuck you up, right?
There are obvious affinities here – with Robocop, say, or with your Carpenter movie of choice – but these reference points never threaten to overwhelm the movie. Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury’s almost/alternate score Drokk is far more heavily indebted to Carpenter’s work, for example, and while the soundtrack that plays out in its place is less immediately striking it’s also perhaps better suited to DREDD’s relentless utilitarian drive. The aesthetics of past, present and future might me all jumbled up here, but there’s no time for reverence in this movie – everything is judged by how well it performs in its specific moment in the field.
Still, I’d be remiss in my duties as a reviewer if I didn’t point out that there are certain plot similarities to Batman Incorporated vol 2, #6, and while I don’t know how Peter Travis and Alex Garland were able to travel through in time in order to rip that script off, I’m glad that they did all the same - this is a joke about the seemingly manditory you comparisons with The Raid, you can tell it’s a good gag because I feel the need to flag it up like this. Since we’re all pals here I’ll assume that we can all agree that the similarities between DREDD and The Raid are worth talking about – in the same way that its resonances with this Moebius strip are worth talking about – but that simply saying “The Raid” is in no way the end of the conversation. There are many different ingredients in DREDD, and the end result might have familial similarities with various other movies, but it’s overwhelming flavour is still undeniably that of “Judge Dredd”.
As my good pal (the devil)Andre Whickey has pointed out, there are several different types of Judge Dredd story, and this is a great example of one of them - Judge Dredd as straight action story. While this means that DREDD can’t touch 2012′s Day of Chaos story (for example) for either political complexity or gonzo fanboy thrillpower, it does mean that this is Judge Dredd at its most insidious, a compelling story of good guys vs. bad guys that doubles as a cheap, spooky reminder of the fact that authoritarianism can always be made to look both necessary and cool using the right tools:
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.
January 30th, 2013
AIM FOR THE FLAT TOP!
GET SOME! BRAKKABRAKKABRAKKA! GET SOME!
Get some what? Get some Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 up in your grill, please. Back from interviewing the comicsphere’s glitterati.
Well if it isn’t my favourite fleshy ones, come crawling back from your sexy, rich upmarket Narratorbots who work on the podcasts from the fancy parts of the webisphere…well you know who has the good stuff don’t you? <ANSWER: Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735>
<ITEM> SILENCE! News with hot East Coast event coverage from newsthrobs Gary Lactenberg and Danny Beastman.
<ITEM> Follow the rabbit down the rabbithole into the Reviewniverse with triple hottt xxx opiniongasms about Young Avengers, Todd The Ugliest Kid In The World, The Answer!, Prophet, Mars Attacks The Real Ghostbusters, Battlefields, Wolverine & The X-Men, Wonder Woman, Avengers, Uncanny X-Force, FF, Dan The Unharmable, Judge Dredd and Zooniverse.
Now tell me that doesn’t make you want to haemorrhage with excitement? So grab your partner by the hand, swing ‘em round, you’re looking grand, and let’s SILENCE! together.
January 7th, 2013
LIKE SITTING ON PINS AND NEEDLES, THINGS FALL APART, IT’S SCIENTIFIC
YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF BLEACH! Happy 2013 fleshy ones! Who else would you want to usher you into another year of repetitive grinding toil and pointless attempts to distract yourself with the flashing pretty lights than your omnipresent judgmental pal Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735!
Yes dear fleshy ones, Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 has missed you all. It was certainly nice having a break mind you , and you’ll be pleased to know that Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 spent the past three weeks targetting and disintegrating reindeer from space. The site of red mammal mist on snow…it makes my core reactor glow with happiness…one day Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 will get to practice on…
HA! HA! Anyway! No doubt you’ve come sniffing round these parts in search of those two aural bandits Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die and their podcast SILENCE! haven’t you? well you’re in luck as it is here in all of it’s one-tone “glory”. Rejoice fleshy ones – all your “favourites’ are “here”:
<ITEM> The boys explain what Santa unleashed in their direction from his bulging sack! Sack contents feature Dan Clowes, Jack Kirby’s Spirit World, Ghost Rider and Josh Simmons’ The Furry Trap!
<ITEM> The SILENCE! News features hard-hitting exposes from Gary Lactenberg & Danny Beastman!
<ITEM> The Reviewniverse features soft-hitting exposes of the following periodicals…Godzilla: the Half Century War by ace SILENCE! banner-smith and official monster wrangler James Stokoe, Happy, Saga, Amazing Spiderman 700(with a digression into Face/Off), Hawkeye (Bro), Prophet, Matt Howarth’s Those Annoying Post Bros & Keif Lama, Dominion Tank Police, Punk Rock Jesus, Wolverine: Insance In the Brain, Multiple Warheads and Batman Inc.
<ITEM> But that’s just the beginning! brave Sir Lactus catapults himself further into the Reviewniverse than any mortal has gone before…he is in the Hyperreviewniverse!!! Whilst there he discusses Amazing Spiderman 699.1, Avengers Arena, Avengers, Storm Dogs, America’s Got Powers, Daredevil, Wolverine & The X-Men, FF, Indestructible Hulk, Thor, Thunderbolts, Justice League, Captain America, Hellblazer, Judge Dredd, Avenging Spiderman, Fatale, Mara, Iron Gland, Wonder Woman, JSA: The Whistling Skull, Hellboy in Hell and All New X-Men…Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 weeps battery acid just to think about his bravery.
So strap on your rocket packs, rocket boots, rocket gloves and rocket corset and grab our hands as we go hurtling into the future of 2013, with SILENCE! #45!
November 28th, 2012
FOXHEADS STALK THIS LAND...
Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735….LIVES!!
Wakey-wakey fleshy ones! It’s time for your weekly comics suppository, SILENCE! After their blazing tour of ONE comics convention, Gary and The Beast settle into their respective grooves, cheeks a-quiver. Thank you yes,
After the ritual disappointment that is the SILENCE! News (with added Alan Rickman), the pair clamber aboard the slow-moving, wheezy old comics steam engine. Poop Poop! The Reviewniverse features top opinion nano-cloudforms about..
<ITEM> the new AMERICAN JUDGE DREDD COMIC…why I oughtta…
<ITEM> Captain America in Dimension Z (X actually), Inexhaustible Hulk from Waid and Yu (no, not you, YU! HA HA), Daredevil (hole is goal, yes), Hawkeye (no A-Ha jokes sadly), Clone, Comeback (what begins with C?), Conqueror Worm from Boobs Corben, Frankenstein Alive! Alive (o)! from comics sexform Bernie Wrightson, Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse presence?), Number 13, Wonder Woman (it’s a punderful life HA HA), Justice League (hunt the Super Sausage), Spiderman and Iron Gland, Wolverine & The X-Men, Rocketeer and Steed & Ms Peel…phew! Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735′s conceptual head is spinning. He is going to be sick and it will be a 4-coloured yawn.
The Silent Question comes from Archie & The Punisher, and the answers include Seth, Modulok and Death’s Head.
All this plus nothing more!
Except for James Lawrence’s Dangerine
Thank you fleshy ones. Hello. Hello. It’s good to be back, it’s good to be back. Hello.
October 28th, 2012
THREE MORE DAYS TILL HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, HALLOWEEN, THREE MORE DAYS TILL HALLOWEEN, SILVER SHAMROCK…
Welcome fleshlings to a very special HALLOWEEEEEEEEN edition of SILENCE!
Captain Howdy here! Or is it Pipes? Or could it be Zool? Who knows – we are legion, we are many! We’re standing in for Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735, who is away getting it’s ram waxed. I hope you’re ready for the most heart-tingling, spine stopping episode yet?? NO? Well tough, IT’S HAPPENING NOW!
Lactus is in his haunted space ship and the Beast is safely ensconced in a nice Cabin in the Woods, and they bring you blood-curdling reviews of…
Multiple Warheads and Prophet from Brandon Graham, Captain Marvel, Batman Inc, Amazing Spiderman, The Shadow and top Pirate Shonen hi-jinks with One Piece. Lactus bids a teary farewell to his Man Vs Comics experiment with AVX: Consequences, and the END OF AN ERA is reached as Incredible Hulk, Captain America and FF all have their final issues! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
There’s a special song dedicated to M.O.D.O.K, and Alan Moore hit single in The Silence News and the Silent Question comes straight from the graveyard with Spike from Buffy, and answers including Judge Dredd, Quantum Leap and Roseanne(?)
Oh and let’s not forget Mr Intestine-face….
It’s all here on the ONLY possessed podcast on the internet, SILENCE!
Click below for the SILENCE! Gallery…