SILENCE! #231

June 27th, 2017

“THE BEAST MUST OCH AYE MAIR LIKE IT!”

With The Family Beast  busy pitching a Netflix series to cash in on the ecstatic reactions to Mini-Beast’s debut vocal track, and Illogical Volume hunched over an inter-dimensional toilet seat with time to kill, today is the day where we get to find out whether SILENCE! can survive a sudden influx of vile Northern nationalism!

It’s also the day where Illogical Volume gets himself banned from the nationalist dance party and from Dundee for mistakenly saying “Glaswegian” when he means “Scottish”, but no one ever said access to the Reviewniverse came cheap!

<ITEM!> Who is the nicest Mindless?  A hint: he’s not on this podcast!

<ITEM!> Since he’s mysteriously lacking in sponsorship deals from Dave’s Comics of Brighton, Illogical Volume takes a punt on his local library instead.  Somehow this devolves into Mssrs Lactus and Volume blethering on about how dead relatives can give you totally meaningless power – a “redeeming fart” is also mentioned but not heard.

<ITEM!> In a section that he didn’t remember to call SILENCE! at the Art Gallery, Mr Volume enthuses about the Frank Quitely: The Art of Comics exhibition currently running at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and recommends that SILENCE! listeners from all dimensions take the opportunity to really immerse themselves in all those footery wee lines and brilliant panel layouts.

A preparatory sketch for Batman and Robin, by Frank Quitely

<ITEM!> After that’s done with the boyce head over to the Reviewniverse for a nice wee trudge through the wheat fields of comics.  Shirtless Bearfighter, Shaolin Cowboy, Stray Bullets, Kathryn Briggs’ Magpie and Triskelion (which you should totally buy!), Al Ewing’s Ultimates 2 (which Illogical Volume should totally read!), Douglas Noble’s The Dreadful Work and After The Sessions (with Sean Azzopardi), Helena Crash, Justice League of Captain America and more.

From 'Pieces of Earth' by Kathryn Briggs

<ITEAM> In “I Recky-Mend” Mssrs Lactus and Volume somehow manage to spoil the plot of the new Bladerunner movie without even seeing it, and Mr Volume gibbers on about Darkcell’s Nightmare Document part 1, which he totally didn’t buy after seeing John Darnielle big it up the other day


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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.

I might have come away from the Thought Bubble comics convention with a terrible hangover and an overwhelming desire to have a proper rummage through the back issue bins, but I can’t say that I came back short of good zines, great comics and better memories.

Here are five of the most exciting books I picked up last weekend…

1. Jonathan Chandler – Another Blue World (Breakdown Press, 2015)

At last Saturday’s SILENCE! x Breakdown Press interview panel, Jonathan Chandler was discussed as an artist who had staked out territory similar to that which Brian Chippendale had occupied but who had got there before it became a trendy holiday destination for art house cartoonists.

I’m not familiar enough with the man’s work to debate these claims, but reading Another Blue World what struck me was how important Chandler’s elusive sense of space is to communicating this particular set of hostile environments:

It’s not so much that Chandler is limiting what the reader can see to a few tufts of grass or a short stretch of water around his characters that makes his work stand out, more that he seemingly feels no pressure to fill up blank space on the page.

In a Brian Chippendale comic we might find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by the amount of detail, struggling to distinguish signal from noise whether we’re faced with the tiny cramped panels of Maggots or the wider canvases of If’n Oof or Ninja. In Prison Pit we are confronted blocky horror after blocky horror, but we know that this grim escalation will follow proceed through the sort of absurd escalations that are Johnny Ryan’s speciality.

Reading Chandler’s work, meanwhile, we are confronted with an eerie silence. All around us, we find unreadable white space, all of it primed with danger. Forms approach, assaults are perpetrated, sex is weaponised, but we can never be sure whether things are going to get worse or just sort of hang there:

I might crave for something beyond this harsh replication of animalistic imperatives, but there’s no denying that Another Blue World makes them painfully vivid.

Speaking of moving beyond, here’s Lando, back with another bleak, arid and yet undeniably stylish science fiction story!