If you don’t know Joel (or to give him his Mindless name, Go Complex!) from his work on the Kraken Podcast/London Graphic Novel Network, that’s okay – this is the first of three guest posts so you’ll have plenty of time to get used to his chatty, digressive style!

What I’d say about him – this is Illogical Volume here, hi! – is that in addition to being a nice guy with a lovely face, he’s also the sort of person who makes things/thoughts possible that might not have occurred without him.  Joel arranged the SMASH comics events that The Beast Must Die and I spoke at, and when he’s not bringing Ellis bros and Maid of Nails into conflict over whether the portrayal of Kaizen Gamorra is racist or exposing a hundred plus folks to the wonders of hurricane Ramzee, he frequently manages to make me want to pick a fight with my phone while I’m in the middle of the street just by having opinions about things.

If this sounds like a diss, it isn’t. Even when I find myself arguing with Joel – whether this happens in my head or in real life on the internet – it’s almost always productive, so regardless of whether I agree with him or not I’m always glad to have encountered his brain.

Anyway, that’s enough of my blether – take it away Joel!

Have you read Prophet? Brandon Graham?

Basically: it’s the perfect metaphor for the current state of our capitalist entertainment complex. Or whatever. Neo-liberal blah blah etc.

Speaking of which: Let’s talk Star Wars.

(Altogether now! “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”)

My two cents: The Empire Strikes Back is Batman. Return of the Jedi is Superman. And The Force Awakens is Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man (Miles Morales not Peter Parker).

Truth be told: I’ve never really been all that into Star Wars. I was always more of a Star Trek kid which makes sense because – come on – science fiction is way better than science fantasy, right?  Mostly, the J.J. Abrams Star Trek not included, Star Trek is actually about stuff  (even if it’s not exactly what you could call subtle) while Star Wars is simple, clear-delineated between battles of good versus evil.  (One of the many many things that would have made The Force Awakens would have been just Finn actually saying “Wait – are we the bad guys?”) Which is nice and everything but doesn’t really give you all that much to sink your brain teeth into – we’ll leave aside for now how thinking of terms of people being good or evil is basically at the root of a lot of our problems as a species because you already know that already right?

Saying that – I do have memories of watching the Ewoks cartoon a lot as a kid, and I’d like to imagine that was my first contact with the Star Wars universe if only because – how cool would that be? You grow up thinking of the Ewoks as their own separate contained universe, and then the first time you actually watch the Star Wars films and you get to Return of the Jedi and Endor you’re all like “wait a second – are those The Ewoks?” And then your mind is blown and nothing is ever the same.

I’m not saying that didn’t happen (and that sure would explain a lot) I just don’t have any real memory of it.

CDon’t worry. The Ewoks are coming back in a bit.

SILENCE! #154

September 1st, 2015

 

 

IT LEAPS AND CREEPS AND SLIDES AND GLIDES ACROSS THE FLOOR

Claptrap, poppycock, balderdash. I won’t countenance this rot for a single second more. I don’t know who told you that this was the place where you can sample the finest blurb on the internet but they lied. The blurb here is tolerable at best, serviceable as the norm. Really, since all those cheap mass blurbs started springing up everywhere the market for vintage, artisan blurb simply disappeared. Generations of blurbcrafters served this podcast for hundreds of years. All gone now. Replaced by the type of simpleton that produces this piffle. Honestly. It’s a national tragedy.
Well. That;s it. I told you this wasn’t the place.

<ITEM> We all know about four girls one cup, right? Well this is two guys, one podcast and it gets N-A-S-T-Y…It’s SILENCE! with Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die

<ITEM> It’s a vintage intro with admin (sponsorship), gladmin (a song for FRODSA) and sadmin (Wes Craven RIP). Oh and Ketamine and Karaoke.

<ITEM> Oh say can you see, by the Reviewniverse’s early light… Prez, E for Extinction, Crossed 100, Ant Man, Phantom Eagle, Suicide Squad, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Superman and more.

<ITEM> BUT THEN! The Beast’s Bargain Basement with Hawkworld, Martian Manhunter, ATARI Force and Namor

Okay then. That’s settled. We’ll do the show RIGHT HERE!!!!

Click to download SILENCE!#154

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! #130

February 10th, 2015

SHE’S JUST SITTING IN HER ROOM READING BOOKS ABOUT UFO’s
 

Shhhh! Be vewwy, vewwy quiet…I’m huntin’ PODCASTS! Huhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhuhu!

Those two titans of tedium are back to wet your collective whistles. And thank goodness, because can you imagine having to live your life with a dry whistle? The indignity..the trauma. Did you know that over 50,000 people a year have to suffer with the chaffing, itchy embarrassment and shame of a dry whistle? WELL DID YOU? If it wasn’t for these two brave podsoldiers waging their lonely war against dry whistles…well. I don’t know where we’d be.

Where are we?

Oh that’s right – SILENCE!!!

<ITEM> A healthy, happy, bouncing baby sponsorship! Featuring Gary’s SKLENT teaser, The Beast talking about seeing Richard McGuire discussing his masterful Here live, and Dave McKean (did someone say Arkham Asylum 2????)

<ITEM> Oh you, me and the Reviewniverse makes three! Bumper edition featuring Nameless, Annihilator, Multiversity Handbook, Bitch Planet, John Allison’s Scary-go-round, Expecting To Fly, 2000AD, Stray Bullets, Miracleman, Superman, 21st Century Tank Girl, Batman, Ant Man, Wytches, Saga, Ms Marvel, Dying & The Dead and probably some more.

<ITEM> What? No more items. You’ve had enough.

Gary Season, Beast Season, Gary Season, Beast Season…

Click to download SILENCE!#130

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

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! Comicsof London.

SILENCE #113

September 9th, 2014

 

I SAW AN X-RAY OF A GIRL PASSING GAS

<ITEM> So this is SILENCE! And what have you done?

<ITEM> Sponsorships passing in the night, with added talk of Blue Peter in the 1970s and 80s. It’s Gary Lactus & The Beast Must Die doing that thing they do. Doo doo.

<ITEM> Reviewniverse = Saga 22, Grendel Vs The Shadow, God Hates Astronauts, Transformers Vs GI Joe, Original Sin, Superman, Outcast, Bodies, Doop, Batman, She-Hulk, Uber, Wein & Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing, Superior Foes Of Spiderman and more, oh so much more (well sort of)

<ITEM> There’s a bit of Dr Who chat. You know. For kids.

<ITEM> SILENCE (Because My Mouth Is Full of Delicious Food – it’s the new segment that has the world on it’s knees

Sorry.

worst. shownotes.  ever.

Click to download SILENCE!#113

Contact us:

[email protected]
@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie

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! #107

June 30th, 2014

 

TIP TOE..THROUGH THE MEANIES…

A long, long time ago in a fully painted, fully painted galaxy…

After leaving the polybagged planet Reviewniverse, a group of Man-children fly toward a distant speck. The speck gradually resolves into a bootyquaking, space Podcast-hub.

Civil war strikes the galaxy, which is ruled by Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 , a squat Wizard of Technology & Upgrades capable of robot tekno-buggery and even the ability to enjoy a nice firm stool.

Terrified, an imbecilic podcast host known as Gary Lactus flees the Empire, with her protector, The Beast Must Die .

They head for SILENCE! on the planet Sponsorshizzle. When they finally arrive, a fight breaks out. The Beast uses her fully painted graphic novel to defend Gary Lactus.

A long, long time ago in a fully painted, fully painted galaxy…

After leaving the polybagged planet Reviewniverse, a group of Man-children fly toward a distant speck. The speck gradually resolves into a bootyquaking, space Podcast-hub.

Civil war strikes the galaxy, which is ruled by Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 , a squat The Wizard of Technology & Upgrades capable of robot tekno-buggery and even the ability to enjoy a nice firm stool.

Terrified, an imbecilic The Quizzlertron known as Gary Lactus flees the Empire, with her protector, The Beast Must Die .

They head for SILENCE! on the planet Sponsorshizzle. When they finally arrive, a fight breaks out. uses her fully painted graphic novel to defend Gary Lactus.

and The Quizzlertron Gary Lactus decide it’s time to leave Sponsorshizzle and steal an Alan Moore’s beard to shoot their way out.

They encounter a tribe of Dear listeners. is attacked and the The Quizzlertron is captured by the Dear listeners and taken back to SILENCE!.

must fight to save The Quizzlertron Gary Lactus but when she accidentally unearths a bulked-up Beastman & Lactenberg prize for internet journalism, the entire future of the fully painted, polybagged galaxy is at stake.

and Gary Lactus decide it’s time to leave Sponsorshizzle and steal an Alan Moore’s beard to shoot their way out.

They encounter a tribe of Dear listeners. The Beast is attacked and the Gary is captured by the Dear listeners and taken back to SILENCE!.

The Beast must fight to save  Gary Lactus but when she accidentally unearths a bulked-up Beastman & Lactenberg prize for internet journalism, the entire future of the fully painted, polybagged galaxy is at stake!

<ITEM> Sone preambulatric discussion of Julian Cope and his Dr Doom gautlets, and the usual self-promotion before the boys head off to

<ITEM> The Reviewniverse, wherein Brass Sun, Ordinary, 2000AD, Superman, John Romita Jr, and Robert Kirkman’s The Outcast are discussed.

<ITEM> Wonderful wonderful wonderful technology steps in to sod everything up, and the podcast comes clanking to a halt. Oh dear! Let’s just say this is short and sweet. Like Ronnie Corbett covered in honey and Sugar Puffs.

Now pull up your scanties and stop doing it on the ants, and we’ll have a nice listen to…SILENCE!

Click to download SILENCE!#107

Contact us:

[email protected]
@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie

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.

Iron Man 3
Dir. by Kiss Kiss, starring Bang Bang, written by the pretty drones of north america

It’s important to remember that everything that happens in this film takes place while Tony Stark is trapped in the wormhole in The Avengers.  All of that talk about demons in the opening voice-over?   Not metaphorical.   This is the story of a man whose self has been shattered, trying to work out which shards to save and which ones to cast away.  That’s why none of the characters feel real, except from Tony – they’re all figments, fragments of his essence, their nature and actions defined purely by the gaps in his form.

Having touched heaven, Our Hero sees the way back down to Earth, and realises that it’s angels and demons all the way down:

The kid represents true self love, while Pepper represents tough self love, and having embraced these twin fictions and annihilated his monstrous reflections Stark is free to imagine himself to be healed.

The movie?   Oh, it’s a decent enough post-Iron Man action movie, better than the second film, probably just about as good as the first, and if you find yourself wondering how a movie that gleefully burlesques the absurdity of The War Against Terror (lol TWAT!  lol foreigns!   shout outs to Ben Kingsley!) can also rel on the redemptive power of drones for its ending, just watch old Droney Starks as he swans off into the sunset, wrapped in his latest and most impressive invention – a suit of armour made out of a microscopically thin layer of lies.  That should tell you everything you need to know.

Much Ado About Nothing

Dir. by Captain America, starring your special friends, adapted for the screen by the reanimated head of William Shakespeare

Joss Whedon and co’s Much Ado About Nothing is a goofy, enjoyable movie that’s made just that little big bit sexier by the absence of what you might call Mouse Muscle.  Don’t get me wrong, Whedon organised all of the Mouse Muscle at his disposal well in The Avengers – he even managed to keep yon blockheeded cock who plays Hawkeye out the way for the most part! - but it was always clear who and what was being serviced.

The priorities are different in Much Ado About Nothing, a luxurious indulgence in which Whedon services the script, cast and audience equally.  One of those is you, and another is yours, if you want it to be, and it’s hard not to be flattered in such generous company, but let’s not act like everyone has access to the friends and production values that Whedon makes use of here because the lush setting gives lie to that notion.  Whedon’s house is big, and the shadows it casts are long and dark, so by filling this setting with crisp suits and gun holsters and presenting it in black and white, Whedon successfully dresses up this screwball romance in noir clothing.

Amy Acker’s Beatrice is the main draw here, though Fran Kranz deserves props for managing to make top creeper Claudio’s sudden swings from infatuation to rage seem like the product of a genuine (if unstable) consciousness, and the duo of Tom Lenk and Nathon Fillion deliver the shaky comedy double act of Dogberry and Verges with admirably steady hands.  This story is still Beatrice’s if it’s anyone’s though, and Acker plays her like someone whose “merry” manner is a tightrope, a thin line of barbed jibes from which she cannot imagine herself departing. It’s her role to poke fun at the conventions of the compound she lives in, and also to make the violence that underwrites her existence obvious, to draw it back into the foreground when she feels her cousin wronged.  Alexis Denisof’s Benedict might make the transition from striking hero to total goof in record time, but note how quick he is to agree to violence when Beatrice demands it of him and try to remember that this is a movie about what spooks do on their time off.

Of course, having made it explicit that she lives in a world full of merry killers (a grand house that, like this whole project, has been made possible by the brute force of The Mouse and The Fox and other such creatures) Beatrice then allows herself to be tricked into a happy ending.

Ask yourself, in all honesty: would you do any less?

Click here for more!

SILENCE! #64

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.

click to download SILENCE!#64

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

Yeah, I know, I thought I was done thinking about this comic too but I took some time out from the Black Bug Room to do a big Action Comics re-read yesterday while my girlfriend was off seeing some movie where James Franco and Sam Raimi turn fine wine into goat piss, and… well, I ended up sending my fellow Mindless an email about they experience, which they’ve bullied me into sharing with you.

I’m not trying to be dramatic here, but in a week where the main topics of conversation in Mindless HQ were largely focussed on Mad Men, male members and the interaction of the two, the sudden focus on reaching out to you lot made me feel a little bit like this:

Have you been on the internet?  There are all these people there, and it’s hard to work out what all of them want, and some of them might not enjoy Gary Lactus’ “Hamm on the bone” jokes as much as I do (seriously though, is Jon Hamm’s penis the exciting new character find of 2013 or what?).

Anyway, enough of that pish, let’s talk about the man who’s…

———————>>>>> FASTER! THAN A SPEEDING BULLET!!!!———————>>>>>

  • The much-anticipated socialist/Bruce Springsteen Superman still fails to fully materialise on a second reading, but this botched manifestation seems weirdly charming this time round.  The appeal and the failure of this approach are both linked to the fact that this isn’t familiar territory for writer Grant Morrison – as any round of interview questions will quickly reveal, our G-Mo doesn’t have the interest in tackling current affairs required to really make a story about idealistic young things sing, but he’s definitely cocking his head in the right direction here.  Taken at face value the idea of “Clark Kent: Blogger” is dull dull dull, but positioning Kent as a Laurie Penny style crossover journalist makes a lot of sense to me.  The appeal of Superman has always been partly bound up in the a romance of modernity, with our ongoing attempts to manage the impossible scale of things, and so it follows that it’s worth updating the idea that he’s a newspaper man, rather than merely preserving it, eh Grant?
  • While Morrison might not quite have nose for a story that his core trio of young journalists share, his efforts aren’t helped by the fact that Rags Morales’ characters can’t act for shit. G-Mo has to take part of the blame for the fact that the interplay between Clark/Jimmy/Lois remains merely promising throughout, but knowing how Morrison tends to rise to his collaborators, I can’t help but feel that he would have given his cast better material if they’d demanded it while they were looking up at him from the pages of the comic itself.

——————->>>>> STRONGER THAN A LOCOMOTIVE!!!!!———————>>>>>

  • Morrison and Morales’ other big shared failing is in their coordination of the action scenes throughout the first three quarters of this run. Again, they’re both gunning in the right direction, working hard to emphasise the physical exertion involved in these impossible acts while also plowing right through several moral fundamentals (as the Bottie Beast pointed out way back when, it’s a bit like “okay, so here’s how power effects justice, and here’s why torture is always wrong, and here’s a working definition of realpolitik for you” at the start there), but all of this would feel more vital if there were believable physical bodies and environments involved.  Morales’ line has a certain rugged dynamism to it, but there’s no solidity to his characters and situations – it’s almost as though the world he’s depicting is melted down and reformed between every panel.  Weirdly, this same plasticity works in favour of the climactic arc, in which punches are thrown across dimensions, and headbutts crash right into the face of spacetime.
  • Similar problems haunt the Igor Kordey drawn issues of the New X-Men story ‘Imperial’ and the Philip Tan drawn arc of Batman & Robin, which suggests that Morrison is not inclined to worry about spacial relations in action scenes unless prompted to by his collaborators.  It’s easy to blame the artist for these faults but it seems fair to suggest that Morrison should probably work on this aspect of the collaborative process in order to avoid such disappointing results in the future.

————>>>>> ABLE TO LEAP TALL BUILDINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND!!!!———->>>>>

  • The conclusion to the Braniac plot is the lowest point in the series: honestly, I winked at it above, but can anyone manage enthusiasm for the Saving vs. Collecting theme here?  Yeah, I thought not.  A more committed curmudgeon than Our Grant could have probably made something out of the way the internet allows you to mistake passive curation for participation, but these issues don’t even get that far down dead granddad avenue, so.
  • Lois Lane really gets short-changed in this comic as elsewhere; Mozzer writes a mean Lois, but for whatever reason he tends to write around her most of the time rather than putting her at the centre of the story, where she obviously wants to be.

—————–>>>>> A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF DC COMICS!!!!—————->>>>>

  • The Beast Must Die’s (second hand?) point about how Morrison has managed to smuggle a lot of the rich weirdness of Superman history back into the camera-blur addled, modern blockbuster world of the New52 is well taken. The fact that Morrison only managed to successfully integrate these queasy fantasy textures to his ALL ACTION ALL THE TIME approach in the last arc is an obvious storytelling fault, but as a no doubt soon to be ignored bit of structural work it’s not half bad: the goofy future kids and extradimensional kids are here, and they’ve adapted to the challenges of their new, frantic landscape well.
  • In a neat inversion of All Star Superman’s pacifist logic, Superman brawls his way through these stories, solving problems with sheer brute force and tenacity until the final arc. This linear approach to problem solving is obviously apropos and it also makes explicit the idea of Superman as a fantasy of impossible force made real. The not-entirely-resolved thematic throughline of Morrison’s run involves matching Superman’s power up against the power of the mob (peep just how often large groups of people intervene in the conflicts in this series), and linking both of those things with the power of journalism, i.e. with the way that narrative power can be converted into ACTUAL POWER.  The suggestion seems to be that wielding the impossible force of “Superman” against the prevailing forces of the world is possible, but requires the contribution of EVERY LAST ONE OF OUR LOYAL READERS, hence the fact that the last story can only be resolved with audience participation.
  • Of course, as I said, none of this is quite (explicitly) resolved in the comic itself, and even when Morrison uses all of his daintiest framing devices in the last arc, it’s not quite enough to disguise the fact that this is 4D flower is blooming in the toxic graveyard world of corporate comics. Issue #18 of this comic hit like a car through the front counter of a book shop, but despite the best efforts of lE laK, nosirroM tnarG, selaroM sgaR and the rest, I never found myself mistaking Action for an argument…