SILENCE! #262

February 1st, 2019

 

I KNOW YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN TOLD BUT LET ME SAY IT AGAIN, THINGS GET WORSE WHEN YOU GET OLD

Hey! Listen up! You wanna blurb? ‘Course you do! Everyone loves a blurb and this, my friend, right here in this box, is a BLURB! Know what I mean? Not just any old blurb, I mean a BLUUURRRB! Yeah, NOW you’re interested! You wanna see the blurb before you take it?  Sure, but I can’t show you here.  If I get this blurb out in public and people see it, we’re gonna have a crowd form in seconds and that’s gonna be a problem.  Say, why don’t you come down this dark alley and I’ll let you have a little looksee.  Okay, come on…

Here we go, let me just get the latch here… heh heh, it’s a bit sticky, hang on…  THERE!  FEAST YOUR EYES!  What?  Oh shit!  Sorry, wrong box!  That’s a turd i did in the shape of a cock and balls…  Sorry about that.  No, you can go, it’s fine, sorry.  Sorry.

<ITEM>It’s a very special SILENCE! with a palindromic number!  Gary Lactus and The Beast Must Die quickly fail at podcasting only in palindromes.

<ITEM>Great informal chat including some Carmin and some chat about Work Guns.

<ITEM> The Family Beast’s visit to the zoo.

<ITEM> ”Excitement” about the Titans show on Netflix

<ITEM> The Reviewniverse sticks its tongue in your ear and in morse code, taps out some quality chat about Conan The Barbarian, Kid Eternity, Batman Vs. Grendel II, Marvel Comics Presents, Crypt of Shadows and A Copy of the Comics Journal which is a Vertigo Special and it’s from 1992 so of course The Beast Must Die wants to talk about it.

<ITEM>Backmin, Outmin, Whateveryoulikemin in the form of The Beast telling you all about Alan Clarke’s Elephant (more harrowing than and unrelated to The Beast’s visit to the zoo) in a bit of SILENCE! (Because The Film’s Started).

<ITEM>

Let’s make SILENCE! pal, Simon Russell’s comics dreams come true by funding his The Marriage of Njord & Skadi Kickstarter.

TUCK IN!

@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.

 

SILENCE! #182

March 31st, 2016

 

MUSIC TO QUIET THE MAN MADE OF METAL AND BRICKS

“I say” said Bunty, as she shone her torch at the corpse. Maggots writhed beneath the beam. “What a jolly disgusting mess!”

“Yes,” I agreed “utterly rum!”

“Nanny must have slipped and fallen down the cellar steps. Look at the strange angle of her head!” Bunty wrinkled her nose in disgust. ” I suppose this rather explains the smell coming through the floorboards”.

“Rather!” I trilled. “And I suppose that this means we should call the police too?”

Bunty shot me a crafty look. “Well…we could. Or we could see what Nanny tastes like?”

<ITEM> It’s a new day, which means that it’s time for another cracking edition of the comics lifestyle magazine show SILENCE! with your hosts The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus, puffing and wheezing through the motions. But what motions!

<ITEM> Admin, sponsorship and all that jazz. Bookplate editions and food on slates. We got it all.

<ITEM>SILENCE!…Because the Film Has Started with a Batman V Superman: Gaze Upon the Face of Justice and Despair! special.

<ITEM> The Beast Must Whore! He’s been putting it all about town. First an interview at the fabled comics critical establishment The Comics Journal. Then waving it in the direction of Kraken, the internet’s second best podcast.

<ITEM> Finally The Reviewniverse is breached and the jaunty gents chat at length about Daniel Clowes’ Patience, Ted McKeever’s Pencil Head amd 2000AD.

<ITEM> Gary Lactus vs The Scorpions

<ITEM>And let’s not forget…THIS!

click to download SILENCE!#182

 

@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.

Interview with The Beast

March 27th, 2016

Our very own Dan White (aka The Beast Must Die) has been interviewed by Matt Colegate for The Comics Journal!  Colegate talks to The Most Handsome Mindless* about Terminus, Insomnia, Cindy and Biscuit, writing for this site, and the development of his art style, and it’s all well worth a read if you like what’s best in life.

A teasing excerpt:

When did you start noticing that your style was developing? Was it an incidental discovery or was it something you were working towards?

There’s a hodgepodge of influences that I can see in everything I do, but it’s nice that a style has formed. When I’m doing a brush stroke I’ll be thinking  “the way I’ve drawn those bushes is really Bill Watterson.” The style also came out of admitting that I didn’t have to do figurative art work. I could still tell stories that I liked by using cartoons. I should say that the biggest influence in my life is Chuck Jones. Seeing the Warner Bros. cartoons broke me forever.

So you were quite strict about wanting to be a cartoonist?

I just admitted, y’know, “You’re not going to be Simon Bisley and you’re not going to be able to draw Batman”. Nor would I want to. My uncle was an illustrator and I used to look at his work and the looseness of the brush work used to really appeal to me. When I realized I could tell the stories that I wanted by cartooning, and not being a slave to anatomy and photo-referencing, that was really liberating and I think the style developed there. It was quite organic.

A lot of your work – Terminus for example, which you did weekly for Mindless Ones – consists of single panel pieces. What is it that appeals about that format?

The one panel strip is traditionally used for political cartoons or simple visual gags, but I wanted to explore what you could do. They were like haiku experiments in paring down the text. Doing it on a weekly basis was great – doing anything on a weekly basis is great because it’s a way to refine your style – and I noticed that I was getting much better at paring the words down. I wanted to do something that wasn’t necessarily funny. What about if you had a one-panel comic that just disturbed you, or made you feel a bit sad? Somebody on the internet said “It’s like a fortune cookie that you open up and inside there’s an obituary.” That was the perfect description of what I was trying to do. He didn’t mean it as a compliment but I put it on the back of the first collection anyway. It was about trying to capture something and suggest a whole world in a panel. There was a nerdy element also, because I got to tell a science fiction or horror story simply. Horror is a thing that comes up again and again in my work and Terminus was a good way to flex some of those muscles.

If you’ll forgive me for sliding straight into huckster mode – this is the internet in 2016, after all – I’ll just right ahead and say that if the interview put you in the mood to read/buy Dan’s comics, we can help you out with that!

I mean just look at this sequence, from the most recent Cindy and Biscuit book:

SERIOUSLY – BUY DAN’S COMICS!**

***

Footnotes:

*Aside from Gary Lactus, who is of course the face of bad backs, and also – in his ridiculous stage name of “Fraser Geesin” – Jack of All Polymaths.

**Unless you’re broke, obviously. We don’t actually want to bankrupt you or anything. Or at least, The Beast Must Die doesn’t…

Comics: An Imaginary Pursuit

September 11th, 2013

The Comics Journal Website is composed of a number of phantasmagorical pages, some of them ordered as blog posts, others as columns or interviews or features, all of them dedicated to an art of uncertain value.

Wars have been fought over the best way to define this paper-thin phenomenon, many of them on previous incarnation of the Comics Journal site.  On quiet Sunday afternoons in the early 2000s gangs of rabid comics scholars could often be found tossing verbal molotovs back and forth: are comics sequential art, made compelling by the gaps between images, or is any attempt to define a medium based on what it *doesn’t* contain doomed to folly?  Does this alleged art form have its roots in ancient tapestry or arcane graffiti?  Are stories that strain to make childhood fantasies relevant for adult consumers really that much worse than stories that are at pains to distance themselves from the same fantasies?

Which is to say: Do you prefer Dan Clowes or the Sex-Men?

Mickey Maus or Krazy Kat?

You could catch many notions while trawling the endlessly, depthless sea of these online arguments, but no matter how long and hard you toiled you would be hard pressed to find a convincing definition of comics that didn’t fall back on the tautological – no one knows what comics are, but everyone trusts that they will know them when they see them.

On 30/08/2013 a comment was posted on The Comics Journal website that came close to explaining the joke:

First off, the word “muslim” is never implied. Second, the terrorists aren’t real. They are cartoons based loosely on the fact that there are people on this planet who will kill you because you don’t believe in their imaginary god. Again, they are CARTOONS. It’s complete fantasy. So, your last line about “justification for the depiction of terrorists” really makes no sense. Are you a censor? Depiction of what exactly? They aren’t real to begin with. The key phrase in your ridiculously reactionary statement is “having not read it”.

Indie cartoonist Jason Karns there, responding to a question about whether or not his small press comic Fukitor was as “insanely racist” as it looked.  Here we see Karns displaying a sort of thinking that transcends Keats’ “negative capability”, tending instead towards a sort of unfathomable emptiness – the ability to hold a jumble of seemingly contradictory ideas in one’s head without grasping the implications of any of them.

And what sort of work does such an ability lead to?

Work that looks a little bit like this, apparently:

If you break Karns’ argument down to its basic elements, the nature of the great comics scam starts to become clear

RECEIVING TRANSMISSION – “A LITTLE MORE POWER OVER THAT MEMORY…”

Sorry, what’s that? You were waiting for the second part of my Tygers and Lambs series? Well hey, thanks for checking in mum, glad you still read the site -  that post should go up over the weekend! [1]

The rest of you are probably looking for more SILENCE! or more League of Extraordinary Gentlemen annocommentations or something [2], and who can blame you, but you’ll have to wait a while for all of that because right now we’re doing Dirty Thoughts From Other People’s Comments Section!

WITHOUT WARNING!

Okay, so over on The Comics Journal’s website, Sean Rogers wrote a review of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s Flex Mentallo that posited the aforementioned comic as a prime example of the “strenuous vapidity” of Morrison’s writing.  I think it’s safe enough to say that most of Team Mindless [3] are pretty into Flex Mentallo – the manifesto like “Candyfloss horizons” posts that graced the site during its early days are definitely written in the key of Flex Mentallo, with its “candy-striped skies” [4] – and I wrote about the book again when the freshly recoloured “deluxe” edition was released in April of this year.  As such, bearing in mind that FEELINGS ABOUT COMICS ARE THE ONLY TRUE FEELINGS [5], I decided to have a go at taking Sean’s review apart.

Sean seems to think that Flex Mentallo is a guide to better living through superheroes, whereas I think it’s more like a Dennis Potter drama in two-dimensions [6], a strange story in which a grown man cracks and finds himself trying to make sense out of everything with reference to a lifetime’s worth of ruddy superhero comics.

My comment is up on The Comics Journal site if you want to check it out and see what you think.

Click hero for footnotes!