Talking Comics #2

March 11th, 2014

Talking Comics is a highly irregular feature where I try to review a few new(ish) books with the help of my phone’s voice recognition software.  It’s just like a regular comics review post except that it takes more mouth than fists to get it done on time, and is therefore far sexier than your average bloggy night on the town.

It’s also sort of like a bit of tech writing, except it’s even less useful to my future career as a failed magazine writer grumbling about social media in the corner of a pub on a cold Thursday morning.


Anyway, that’s enough warm-up for now.  Onwards, to the reviews!

The Deleted, by Internet Villain Brendan McCarthy and Darrin Grimwood

Sex Criminals, by Chip Zdarsky and Matt “Matt” Fraction

LOEG: Nemo: The Roses of Berlin, by Kevin O’Neill and Alan Moore

Battling Boy, by Paul Pope and Hilary Sycamore

Multiple Warheads – Down Fall, by Brandon Graham 

Dungeon Fun, by Colin Bell and Neil Slorance

That’s all we’ve got time for this week folks – don’t know if there’ll be any SILENCE! this week or not yet, but keep your eyes peeled because you never know what that amiable auld space god is capable of!


August 7th, 2012


Hah hooh hah!

It’s that time of the week boys and girls, and Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die are here to bring the melonfarming ruckus! Duck and cover for SILENCE! no.25

After an Olympic Pool-sized edition of SILENCE! News, the boyce let rip with some lovingly hand-crafted comics reviews. INCLUDING: Fraction and Aja’s Hawkeye no.1, Dial H from Mieville and co, Beasts of Burden from Dorkin and Thompson, Action Comics, Daredevil, Animal Man and Lactus has a diet-sized portion of Man V Comics with AVX.

There’s a special SILENT Question from Batroc Zee Leepair (with the answer including Bob of the Black Lodge and Pennywise the Dancing Clown).

Then there’s a meaty discussion of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises aka Occupy Gotham (currently showing in magic lantern shows around the country.

Add in a vital clue in the ongoing saga to discover ‘lost’ Brit comics genius Barry M Freeman (Woodward & Bernstein get f*cked) and you have a meaty, beaty, big & bouncy edition of SILENCE!

click to download SILENCE!#25

Come! See the Barry M Freeman Appreciation Area!

Botswana Beast: [post-factum editorial note: these were written intermittently on a GoogleDoc, in sections post- the release of Marvel's 2011 event Fear Itself, I think after issues 4, 6 and 7  were released unto the buying public.]

Right, son, I’mo get my fit-to-print pants on:

Where to start, oh, man; I guess you bought Fear Itself, I was surprised you did because you are a grown-up who buys [LOL interjection] grown-up comics, and you bought it because of how I described it to you at Kapow!? (How much punctuations should I put there? Feels like I should put more) Which was – I dunno – it was in April, so I guess just after the first issue? And I described it as “Final Crisis set in the Marvel Universe” which is… it’s not inaccurate, but, basically the lesson is never, ever listen to me.

Because it’s been – and I know some folk don’t think it inarguable that Final Crisis was a good comic, let alone a great one (I think “you are probably wrong” to these people, not necessarily on a permanent basis, just on that matter) – but it’s been a disaster, really, and at this point I kind of wish I’d sold you, or more importantly, myself, on “Age of Apocalypse set in the DC Universe” aka Flashpoint which has been… I don’t know, not good exactly? Momentous? They both have nice art, that is all I’m going to say on art. That is the Art Statement. Mainstream comics are not about art, they’re about commerce. The artists on Fear Itself and Flashpoint really did a good job – but it was the Marvel eds and Johns that built these.

It’s been so bad – whilst also offering glimmers of something that could have been really good, Marvel is my district, really, it always has been in comics, but it’s been so bad that I can feel my Zombie embers burn out as it progresses; I’ve fiended Marvel for a decade, which, whatever, bloggers don’t tend to do (“I’m not you, blogger. I’m not you.”) possibly because they are largely at some level involved in an industry which the company can and has run jackbooted over as it please. And I’m not: you’ll get purely sideline sniping here. So, yeah, I looked at September’s offerings from them and, assuming Mark Waid performs the first-time feat of maintaining my interest in a comic he’s writing past three issues, the art on these is really nice, I’ll get Daredevil, I’ll probably fork out £3.25 for DPMAX2, I’ll definitely get the Elektra:Assassin trade at some indeterminate point and that’s it. (It is necessary to discuss Marvel comics in transactional terms, always). Now, there may be other aspects at play here, I may have taken Alan Moore and his former friend Steve Bissette’s rejoinders to heart, it may be that I am envious of Matt Fraction*, it may be that, given I have a second imminent baby, probably [EDIT: yes] arrived by the time this sees printernet, I’ve decided to rationalise cutting back in all these ways, who knows what my Crowleyan Will hath wrought? But anyway, Fear Itself is coincident with my final days as a Marvel “fan”, it transpires. It’s complicated, I guess; but anyway, anyone who sez: Kirboycotters are all people who weren’t reading Marvel anyway – no, I am yr counterexample. But, you know, do what you like.

By do what you like I mean CLICK HERE to read the rest of this epic in the making!


No brains out of 5.

Are you there Margaret? It’s me, John Constantine.

When he woke up he thought he’d dreamed about a movie he’d seen the other day. But everything was different. The characters were black, so the movie in the dream was like a negative of the real movie. And different things happened, too. The plot was the same, what happened was the same, but the ending was different or at some moment things took an unexpected turn and became something completely different. Most terrible of all, though, was that as he was dreaming he knew it didn’t necessarily have to be that way, he noticed the resemblance to the movie, he thought he understood that both were based on the same premise, and that if the movie he’d see was the real movie, then the other one, the one he had dreamed, might be a reasoned response, a reasoned critique, and not necessarily a nightmare. All criticism is ultimately a nightmare, he thought as he washed his face in the apartment where his mother’s body no longer was.

- Roberto Bolaño, ’The part about Fate’, p.234, 2666

This was originally notionally a piece called ‘Justify yr pull-list’, but I can’t seem to think of a more absurd enterprise than that, on reflection.

Hobbies include: pitying fools


November 23rd, 2008


Not done these in a while. Where to start?

where indeed


Synchronicity. Whilst finishing up Vol 2 of Fraction and Brubaker’s extremely enjoyable but flawed Iron Fist, I was reminded of John Carpenter’s wonderful (and prescient) love letter to the Shaw Brothers martial arts movies of the 60′s and 70′s, Big Trouble in Little China. Lo and behold I got home late last night, turned on the TV and there it was in all it’s ridiculous glory (Hail Jack Burton, greatest and most misunderstood action hero of all time!). Something about that film’s giddy and gleeful mish-mashing of East and West pulp genres has seeped it’s way into the current incarnation of Iron Fist. Or maybe it’s always been there. Western culture has long evidenced a love affair with Martial Arts and ‘Eastern Mysticism’ (in the form of green smoke, immortal warriors, and exotic sounding fighting styles rather than any, y’know, actual Eastern mythology). Post-Enter The Dragon the 1970′s went Kung-Fu crazy, and whilst the obsession may have dimmed slightly (or at least been transferred towards fighty computer games) you can guarantee that school yards still resound with the clamour of ill-conceived ‘Special Moves’ and misjudged spin-kicks.

More after the jump…

Podcast: big it up! slag it off!

September 12th, 2008

Okay, so this is the last bit we recorded. Here we each slag something off then big something up whilst sat on special hover chairs on my spaceship in space. No photos exist of this bit as my camera was on the floor and I couldn’t reach it because my hover chair was hovering too high. I think we’re going to make this a regular feature on our podcasts but we’re going to call the two sections “Voyage into the Negative Zone” and “Touchdown on Paradise Island” as we can travel to both of those places in my spaceship which is mine.


We’re planning to cast our pods again around Halloween when we’ll have a scary special edition from The Beast Must Die’s House of Haunted Horror! If you’ve listened to any of these aural assalts then: thankyou, glad you enjoyed it/sorry, well do better next time (delete as appropriate). So until next time…


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I came to praise the Order and to bury them and now it seems neither action was mitigated.

More after the jump