Life in Plastic

January 24th, 2019

Go-Bots #1-3, by Tom Scioli

You Can Be Anything™, by Sophie Bainbridge

You’ve mounted me and there you sit,
you rotten shit!
You’ve mounted me an there you sit,
but even that won’t really make me think like you.

For the horse thinks one way as he strides;
thoughts quite different from the one who rides” – Alexandre O’Neill, The History of Morality

“We are what we’re supposed to be
Illusions of your fantasy
All dots and lines that speak and say
What we do is what you wish to do” – Aqua, Cartoon Heroes

If I’m honest I never really gave a fuck about the Go-Bots. I was always aware of them, but only to the extent that the shapes Tom Scioli draws here are familiar from my childhood, albeit they’re not the most familiar shapes in their own comic:

As a measure of my unfamiliarity, consider the fact that I’ve had to edit this piece twice now because I got confused about whether I should be writing “Gobots” or “Go-Bots” throughout. Unlike Scioli’s previous work on Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, then, Go-Bots provides me with a deeply unsettled experience rather than a complex nostalgic one – where I was able to process that earlier series’ abundant exuberance as both a celebration and détournement of a lifetime’s worth of merchandising that I had somehow mistaken for my soul, this latest project has a more genuinely uncanny quality to it.

The figure-work here is similar to Scioli’s previous work in this arena, similarly true to ’80s toys and box art, the (crayon? pencil?) colour tones still evocative of everything from old tie-in comics to the adventures you’d draw yourself if you were an abnormally talented kid. As in TF/Joe, there’s a sense of play to every page of the comic, the sort of play that thrives on the creation and destruction of relationships – any order that is established is soon found to be ripe with chaos, and all chaos comes complete with the threat of latent order.

This drama is played out in Scioli’s page layouts, which tease the possibility of a break from the two-dimensionality of the comics page…

…while also constantly reveling in the expressive possibilities of that same flatness, stacking images on top of each other, keeping just enough of a sense of narrative coherence while pushing ever closer to the joyous impurity of collage:

Given the nature of these franchise comics, their origins as indifferent product, this flatness extends to the narrative ruptures and inversions. Are the Go-Bots loyal friends or alien monsters? Is treating them like chatty tools justification for a bloody revolution or yet another example of bad dating etiquette? Are any of these binaries any more real than the shite we were sold as children?

Like the best of Scioli’s TF/Joe work or his Super Powers strips for Young Animal, Go-Bots creates the illusion of real freedom for the time it takes to read any given page.

SILENCE! #108

July 22nd, 2014

 

NO KEEP TALKING. WE CAN STAY AS LATE AS YOU LIKE. I’VE GOT PLENTY OF MARKING I CAN BE GETTING ON WITH…

[ITEM] Yeah no shit The Beast Must Die isn’t here again, there’s a clue to why.

[ITEM] I don’t think they really do the whole [ITEM] thing any more, or have done for ages. How often do you actually listen to this podcast? That’s not even a song lyric….

[ITEM] Yeah no shit he’s really not here, so it’s fill in time on this the mightily new edition of SILENCE! #108!!

[ITEM] We start with Gary in conversation with the fabularious Colin Hoult, talking about several things comic, in all senses of the word. Colin is fucking excellent as you will hear so be sure to check out his personal website here, and if you one of those louche Brighton comedy guinea pig sorts go to his upcoming gig here. Random SILENCE! guest stars needing tents ROCK, so if you want to hear more from Colin and his camping ilk, be sure to say so in the comments below.

[ITEM] bobsy shows up, things get less funny, Colin’s wife arrives, Colin goes. How does Colin’s wife and the whole  professed  ’going for a jog’ thing match up, do you think? Was it all an elaborate lie to avoid drinking Gary’s cut price lager? Is ‘jogging’ a new euphemism for ‘shagging’ that those kids on tmblerr are using? The mystery deepens…

[ITEM] Before he has to go our three boyaboys talk about the recent Transformers vs. Action Force comic, the Tom Scioli one, we’re not dicks, and Transformersy stuff

[ITEM] Then it’s on to more comics of the strictly unfunny and very serious young man indeed type, as Gary and bobsy variously mention and harf-arsedly review a veritable shit-tonne of the cunts, including but possibly forgetting and in no particular order because the note-taking was very bad, Stray Bullets: Killers, Cap’n Dinosaur, 2KAD prog 1890, Batman Eternal, The Wicked + the Divine, The Life After, Decadence 10, Your Days are Numbered, the collected Spandex,  Copra, the collected Spacehawk, and possibly a couple of other things I’ve forgotten

[ITEM] It’s jolly hot though ISN’T IT THOUGH

[ITEM] I’ve quite a bad cough too, sorry if that breaks things up at all

[ITEM] That’s all really. Byeeeee! Enjoy SILENCE! #108

[ITEM] Bring back The Beast Must Die

Click to download SILENCE!#108

Contact us:

silencepodcast@gmail.com
@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless

This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton.

SILENCE! #83

November 5th, 2013

TELL HIM ABOUT THE TWINKIE…

WHAT ABOUT THE TWINKIE?

I am Disembodied 16-bitbot X – 15735. YOU LOSE!

I’m the strongest woman in the world! You are not a warrior; you’re a beginner! Seeing you in action is a joke. Let’s fight. Or alternatively, let’s all listen to SILENCE! together. And it’s a three-way special as GAry Lactus & The Beast Must Die face a return from notorious end-of-level boss BOBSY! Now you realize the inner mysteries of yoga. Handsome fighters never lose battles! FLAWLESS VICTORY!

<ROUND 1> Sponsorship, admin, SILENCE! Live at Thought Bubble & bibble babble. Get up you wimp!

<ROUND 2> It’s a tight squeeze as the three muskercretins barge their way into the Reviewniverse. There’s extended talk of Your Days Are Numbered (with work from Shaky Kane, Tom Scioli, Alex Shubert, Kyle Platts and more)Paul O’Connell’s Sound of Drowning, and the extinction level event that is the return of Neil Gaiman: Dream Laureate’s Sandman. They also discuss Prophet, X-Men: Battle of The Atom, Hannah Eaton’s Naming Monsters and the Thought Bubble 2013 Anthology. It’s natural for a sumo to be the world’s stongest

<ROUND 3> There’s some digressionary tracts into the geographical inaccuracies of Thor 2 and the unpleasant politics of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Go home and be a family man!

That’s all. Go now. And remember: You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!

YOU WIN!


 
click to download SILENCE!#83

Contact us:

silencepodcast@gmail.com
@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless

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.