In the beginning there was the word. Prior to that there was the introduction. Since the dawn of time immemorial began throughout history, the introduction has introduced readers to stories that have introduced us to the power of stories. What dark truths lie in the stories we tell our children? Powerful, dark truths that’s what. Hadn’t thought about that had you? You’re welcome.

Neil Gaiman
East Grinstead
April 1988

It is my pleasure and honour to introduce this podcast by my good friend The Beast Must Die. When I was introduced to The Beast Must Die as a schoolboy, little did I know that 30 years later I would be introducing his Magnum opus. This podcast will introduce the lister to The Beast’s unique relationship to introductions, covering curated TV broadcasts of films such as Alex Cox‘s introductions to Movie Drome and what introductions meant to him as a youngster reading graphic novels for the first time. He goes on to cover Alan Moore‘s introduction to The Dark Knight Returns, Pat Mills‘ introduction to the Titan edition of Nemesis Book 7 by Mills himself and John Hicklenton, Zenith Book 2 introduced by Grant Morrison, Frank Miller‘s introduction to Batman Year One, Morrison’s introduction to Peter Milligan and Duncan Fegredo’s Enigma and Milligan’s introduction to Morrison’s Invisibles.
Oh yes, and Neil Gaiman‘s dominance in the world of introductions. So, without further ado, I invite you to “hey listen” to the master scholar of all that comes before everything.

Gary Lactus
North Portslade
April 2020

@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.

 

SILENCE! #185

April 28th, 2016

  

 

WRAP MY TONGUE ROUND A BUMBLEBEE MOUTH

…strange news from a distant star incoming… beaming live transmissions from the satellite heart… set..set the controls for… the blackstar … we are one nation, a nation of millions, one nation under a groove…  it takes…millions… of nations… this is major… can you hear me… can you hear me…?

<ITEM> What? Who? Why? HOW?

It’s only a right rowdy ruddy great episode of SILENCE!

<ITEM> But hark? Where is the Space God? While Gary Lactus scrubs his helmet and prepares for his one-man war on comedy, The Beast Must Die is joined by Lord Nuneaton Savage for a special edition of SILENCE! Expect ramblings from beyond the stars…

<ITEM> Some sponsorship, including news on the great Comics & Book Exchange in Notting Hill. Savage also talks up his musical shanigans with the mighty meaty Teeth Of The Sea. The Beast Must Die Also Talks About Cerebus Again.

<ITEM> Sound the harmoniums and set the synths to stun as we enter The Reviewniverse with a swing in our step and a jaunt in our hearts. But wait! What’s this? The RETROVIEWNIVERSE??? Hold tight as we explore the highways and byways of longform comics rambling… taking in a whole damn bunch of stuff including, but not limited to Madballs, Transformers Vs GI Joe, Miami Vice Remix, toyetic indies comics in general, Ben Marra, Gi joe, Battle Action Force, Film /Comic Adaptations, Tim Burton’s Batman, Peter Milligan, The Programme, The E, aters, Shade The Changing Man, The Extremist, Bix Barton: Master Of The Rum & Uncanny, mike Baron’s The Butcher, and believe me when I say a whole lot more…Oh and The Beast Must Die Also Talks About Cerebus Again.

<ITEM> A special guest appearance from Dave & Emily and then it’s off, out and up. It’s an hour plus of stream of consciousness comics chat just the way you ordered it. So get stuck in.

click to download SILENCE!#185

@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.

Brett Ewins RIP

February 19th, 2015

With the very sad recent news that Brett Ewins passed away at the too-young age of 59, gone to join Thrax, Mad Tommy and the rest of Bad.Co, the Mindless Ones would like to honour the man through his art.

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“Have you guys got The Best of Milligan and McCarthy in?”

“…”

“You know, the big hardback collection of Peter Milligan and Brendan McCarthy comics?”

“…”

“Peter Milligan?  Guy who wrote Enigma and X-Statix and who totally didn’t touch winkies with Grant Morrison back in the 90s?  Properly does that po-mo literary thing of trying to live on both sides of the limit of an idea, except when he’s writing rubbish X-Men stories.   And he made loads of comics Brendan McCarthy, as in Solo #12, Zaucer of Zilk, that Dark Horse thing… Ditko figurework, tells the whole story with colours, he gave those Coneheads their cone heads – you know who I’m talking about, right?”

“…”

“I mean it’s a bit lazy to ask, sure, but I’ve had a look on the shelves but I’m just asking in case I’d overlooked it somehow.”

“…”

“You’re staring at me like the words I’m saying don’t make any sense right now.”

“Yeah, we don’t have it.”

“Okay.  Cool.  So could you order it then?”

“No.”

“Could you maybe check for me at least?”

“It must have been a Forbidden Planet London exclusive.”

“Nah man, it was a proper release – you had it in this time last year, I remember seeing it on the shelves.”

“Nope. Must have been a Forbidden Planet London exclusive.”

“Look, I’m not trying to be a dick but it seriously wasn’t.  You can get it in [REDACTED], or from Amazon, and…  you’re really not even going to search for it on your system?”

“…”

“…”

“I can’t search for it because I don’t have a title.”

The Best of Milligan and McCarthy.”

“That’s not a title.”

“The title of the comics is “The Best of Milligan and McCarthy” – look it up and you’ll see!”

“Can’t. It must have been a Forbidden Planet London exclusive.”

“…”

“…”

“…”

“Yeah, but like… I had it on order from [REDACTED] because my girlfriend worked there at the time, and then she got caught up in this big, stupid disciplinary with the company because they thought they had the right to read her dreams or whatever, so I never picked it up, then Brendan McCarthy said some stupid shit about race on the internet and I wrote a piece about it and then he pretended like people had taken the huff with his Spider-Man for like no reason whatsoever so I never bothered ordering it elsewhere but then I remembered that I actually really fucking want this collection because it’s got some of my favourite comics ever in it and I’m already weak and compromised, certainly feeble enough to read Brendan McCarthy comics again, I mean it’s not like this phone isn’t practically oozing blood and global sadness out into my hand right now, so… “

“…”

“…”

“We don’t have it and I can’t search for it without a real title.”

“Okay, so I guess I’ll just have to get it from Amazon?”

“…”

“Okay.”

SILENCE! #36

October 22nd, 2012

 

 

Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. AND IT LOOKED LIKE SILENCE!!!

Salutations fleshy ones, it is Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 here again to give you a gentle laugh-sized portion of introductory text to the nation’s podcasting sweetheart, SILENCE! (the 36th installment).

In this episode the two humanoid presentertrons The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus indulge themselves like a couple of schoolchildrenoids in a sweetshoptrix. Apologies – this is Narratorbot humor. Back home in neo-interspace v2.0 I am comedy legend.

ITEM – SILENCE! News – usual mish mash of second hand stories and ill-formed opinions yes sir.

ITEM – covering pulp pamphlets a-go go, such as:

Godzilla: The Half Century War by James Stokoe (TBMD immortalised plus tangential discussion of Mike McMahon), Zaucer of Zilk from AL Ewing & Brendan McCarthy (with tangential discussion of Sooner Or Later, Dare, Enigma and Mrs Thatcher), Daredevil, Hawkeye, Glory, Wonder Woman (Puns incoming – puncoming?), Justice League (Trevor!), Marvel Now Point One (Marvel WOW!), a discussion of the Curse of Man Vs Comics and continuity, and more more more (not really - Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 cannot lie to the fleshy ones. It is not in his programming, no sir. Dissection of flesh one brains however…)

ITEM – Silent Question comes from bemulletted 90′s also-ran Captain Planet and answers involve Greatest American Hero, The Shadow, and Nick O’Teen (boo hiss no sir).
ITEM - Wowee such sexy big listening times for the fleshy ones! All so exciting, Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 does not know what to do. It will think clean thoughts and apply the lotion… so please do be joining us for SILENCE! no.36 – hot buttons!

click to download SILENCE!#36

SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.

 Click below for the SILENCE! Gallery…

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Being an irregular series wherein I spotlight some particularly beautiful cover runs, from some comics you might have forgotten about, or never seen before. This time it’s a short run of covers for Detective Comics by Michael Golden:

Batman is a character who lends himself to bold artistic interpretations. Over the 70 odd years since his creation many of the brightest and best talents have put their stamp on the Dark Knight, and often to electrifying effect. There’s something bold and simple about the character’s design that lends itself to graphical innovation, and the neo-gothic ultra noir of Gotham provide the perfect artistic backdrop.

As such there’s an embarrassment of riches to choose from with regards to spectacular cover runs, and truth be told I feel a little guilty about selecting any Bat-comics for exposure in this series simply because of their sheer ubiquity – the aim of this feature is generally to expose work that may have been forgotten or overlooked. There is however one short run of Bat-covers that I have always adored, and that I just had to showcase for anyone who hasn’t seen them before. Simply put, these are some of my very favourite comic covers ever; strong stylish and vibrant they showcase the visceral power of the medium at it’s best.

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SILENCE! podcast #4

February 28th, 2012

In the fourth heart-wrenchingly dramatic episode of SILENCE! Gary Lactus debuts his awesome, thought-provoking Fantastic Four super ballad… The Beast reveals his new job… and the sex life of the FF is discussed with real intellect and insight. Then!! the two rogues proceed to discuss a plethora of last weeks comics including Fantastic Four 603 (moments!), Shavid Hane and Daky Kine’s Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred no.2 (jazz!), Prophet no. 2 (no alien vagay-jay’s this time!), Wolverine and the X-Men (corporate enthusiasm!) and sort of talk about Red Lanterns and JL: DARK (nee Nowhere) . Then (because they are erudite and broad-minded) they talk about the artwork of Marc Hempel, the recent quasi-superheroic film Limitless and in true Mindless fashion ham-fistedly make their way through this week’s upcoming releases!

IS IT MORE THAN YOU CAN TAKE?!!?

(soft answer: yes)

(MINDLESS ANSWER: HELL YES! TAKE ME TO IT!)

 

P.S Listeners are encouraged to send us drawings inspired by Gary’s song for inclusion in the SILENCE! Gallery to [email protected]

NSFW

Part 1

Click to download

Part 2

Click to download

SPECIAL “LOVE UND ROMANCE” EDITION

As you’ve probably noticed, it’s Valentines Day, and since we’ve already established that FEELINGS ABOUT COMICS ARE THE ONLY TRUE FEELINGS, I thought that it might be a good time to get a bit soppy about some of the comics I’ve read recently…

It’s been hard to think loving thoughts about comics in the past week or so (because: WA2CHMEN, Gary Friedrich), but I’m a trooper, and I’ve got my good buddy Mister Attack (aka The Boy Fae the Heed, aka The Beast o’the Bar-G) to keep me company, so here it goes!

Winter Solider #1, by Ed Brubker, Butch Guice and Bettie Breitweiser

Fatale #2, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

It’s a bit awkward to read these two comics back-to-back, and to find yourself preferring the one that’s built on the soiled dreams of Jack Kirby, but it’s also hard to pretend that clean hands make for good art when you’re not a teenage boy.  The first two issues of Brubaker and Phillips’ latest collaboration have proceeded exactly as expected – this is the sort of work (solid, well-crafted, “ugly things in the darkness/worse things in store”) that makes it easy to under-appreciate one of corporate comics’ best partnerships.

It’s perfect pulp, in other words, but at their best these guys can suggest a whole city’s worth of stories in one panel…

…and there’s been nothing in the first couple of issues of Fatale that’s hinted at that sort of imaginative depth. Winter Soldier #1 meanwhile, is absolutely full of potent images. Despite having a truly ugly, gurning cover – despite looking like a superhero book, basically – it’s a sneakily great wee comic, all slick superspy action and unexpected quietness. This panel has caught the attention of a few other commentators

…and rightly so.  Butch Guice’s art here has a softness too it (and not just in the sense that it contains – ugh! – kissing) that couldn’t stand out more in context if it radiated ethical integrity (ooh, burn – take that, comics!). If I was looking to get all thematic on your ass I’d point you in the direction of Clive Barker’s comment that comics aren’t good at making room for love, but I’m not feeling particularly clever today, so instead I’ll  just note that while most individual images will yield lots of strange, abstract patterns if you crop them artfully enough, this image gives itself more readily to this treatment than most:

Look, I don’t want to make too much of a prat of myself this early in the post, but there’s something beautiful about the way that the boundaries between the two characters in this panel seem to have been gently and willingly collapsed, isn’t there?

Yeah… there definitely is. Click here to watch me search for love in all the wrong places, like a character in a story with a blunt moral!