MULTIVERSAL // DECAYED

February 26th, 2018

Or “What’s A Bottie Beast?” – A Love Story

MIndless Decade: Ultimate Classic!

Illogical Volume here, writing a wee introduction to an ULTIMATE CLASSIC! post by another Mindless because…. well, almost two years down the line, I’m still stuck on the Botswana’s Beast‘s last post on Multiversity, still trying to get a feel for what it’s doing, how it works.

It has something to sell you, sure, but it also wants you to ask what you’re buying.

It’s a bit like the comics themselves that way…

Some of the questions raised by this post still haunt me, primarily:

  • Who the fuck is the Botwsana Beast, Duncan Falconer, the Dead Demon Rider?
  • What’s the shape of our relationship?
  • Why do I care?

These are transposed thoughts about my relationship with Multiversity‘s primary architect Grant Morrison, I think, though the process goes both ways – any increase in my familiarity with one seems to magnify my sense of intimacy with the other.

All of this is basically just me allowing myself to ask the standard English Lit question – “Who is this bastard and why is he lying to me?” – on a level that is disgracefully familiar. Having called him a bastard and accepted that he is probably lying to me at least some of the time – because hell, we’re all probably lying to ourselves at least some of the time – the challenge is to take this process to its unnatural conclusions…

Why do I care about Duncan?

Because he was on the Barbelith forum, where he was obviously Scottish, properly narky and endlessly left wing

Why should any of that matter?

Because it suggested that he was just like me, basically, but with better jokes.

Is that really all you wanted from the world, to go out and meet yourself in it?

No, and I won’t settle for the promise of self-knowledge either but hey – it might be a start!

If this seems like a fairly flimsy basis for letting someone into your mental space, making them a part of your consciousness and letting yourself worry about their happiness, ask yourself – who else have I made time for? Does writing some Animal Man comics provide better grounds for letting someone into your heart? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean we should write the whole thing off.

Nor does it mean that we should stop questioning what shapes we’re making ourselves into, how what we’re doing with our networks is allowing those networks to change us.

When I think of these comics, and the people that we’ve met through them, there are two words that keep coming to me, a worldview implicit within the mess of friends and fantasies I live in: “anguished materialism”, of the sort that might be understood by people who have tried to change the world using art and sigils alone and come up short. Because if we’re going to do this, if we’re going to trade in fictions that promise to rebuild the world around us, please let there be materialism in the mix. Please let there be an understanding of how bodies are exploited and turned again themselves, of how we’ll have to trade our best intentions for rent money once our spirits have been broken. Please let there be an awareness of the forces of production, but let there also be some anguish in there, let there be a determination that we can’t keep going on like this.

The sigil kids have had enough. They know that things don’t have to be this way, and that our times call for determination to fight and space to dream.

This is what I think about when I think of Duncan Falconer, the Botswana Beast, the Dead Demon Rider, without whom I would never have written for this website.

This is what his last post on Multiversity engineers, piece by piece, through its appeals to shared knowledge, to all of us… a machine built to contain the worst of the world in which it was created, but which is also designed to amplify the best of it, to give our hopes some form that might survive in the worlds yet to come.

Endtroducing

HOW TO PASS THROUGH A PORTAL

Here, the map is the territory.

This is about to get seriously earnest, adjust your sets… I’ve read Grant Morrison comics from the age of 7, on and off (I was too much of a wimp for 2000AD as a teen and Batman: Gothic shat me right up), starting with this one and pretty much consistently every one for the last near twenty years (I didn’t get Final Crisis: Secret Files, a decision which haunts me still, and haven’t been keeping up with 18 Days, which is just barely a Grant Morrison comic), since semi-rediscovering him through The Invisibles.

“Yeah. I guess the fighting never ends, does it? It never ends.”

How to Pass Through a Portal

April 16th, 2016

Here, the map is the territory.

This is about to get seriously earnest, adjust your sets… I’ve read Grant Morrison comics from the age of 7, on and off (I was too much of a wimp for 2000AD as a teen and Batman: Gothic shat me right up), starting with this one and pretty much consistently every one for the last near twenty years (I didn’t get Final Crisis: Secret Files, a decision which haunts me still, and haven’t been keeping up with 18 Days, which is just barely a Grant Morrison comic), since semi-rediscovering him through The Invisibles.

“Yeah. I guess the fighting never ends, does it? It never ends.”

That’s a mid-1986 copy of Spider-Man and Zoids, no. 18 to be precise – as an aside, the time is completely ripe for a boutique Zoids comic, in the style of yer Copra or Scioli Transformers/GI Joe, get Farel Dalrymple and the Study Group lads to do it or something. Anyway, the point is this: it’s impossible, or nearly impossible, to have that kind of relationship – thirty years(!!) – with an author outside of comics; maybe I could have had with Alexander McCall Smith or something, he writes kids’ books, he writes gentle mysteries in Botswana and Scotland – could maybe have worked, seems a bit mimsy to me. Accept the premise, move on.

Multiversity is a culmination of the writer’s motifs and core interests from 1986

SILENCE! #167

December 1st, 2015

 

 

THE TOUGHEST, AHH… THE TOUGHEST MAN IN THE WORLD

…he will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldronaii, the Traveller came as a large and moving Torb! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the Meketrex Supplicants they chose a new form for him… that of a Giant Sloar! many Shubs and Zulls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Sloar that day I can tell you…

Oh excuse me! Sorry do come in! What? No that wasn’t me talking…talking, ha ha, no I was sitting contemplating the serene beauty of this fine morning. Just me, my thoughts, and this fine morning. What? Have I got sh*t on my face?

<ITEM> Holy roly poly shlamoley! This is a very exciting episode of SILENCE! indeed. Why? Well I’ll tell you – not only are The Beast Must Die and Gary Lactus here with another hot pocket of podcastin’ goodness, with a gooey melt-in-the-middle of opinions but they’re joined by Bobsy. But wait. That’s not all. Who’s this poking his cheeky face over the horizon? Why it’s special guest pod-sprite, and comics mega-whopper BRANDON GRAHAM!! That’s right, it’s a red-hot four-way – a sandwich you know with a surprising filling. Kind of like cheese, pickle and octopus beak? But nice? It’s 2 hours of awesome amazing just for you dear listenoids.

<ITEM> But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have some good old admin – Dave’s Comics, Gosh Comics, and RX Comics from Vancouver?? Some special guest admin and then we’re away!

<ITEM> The Reviewniverse is bent into ungodly shapes to accommodate the four horsemen of the apocomicalypse, so there better be some big comics talk to match it. Well we got Frank The Tank Miller and DKIII and Uncle Alan’s delightful Providence. 1986 suckers! But that’s not all – there’s talk of Finder, Two Faces of Tomorrow, Steve The Dude Rude, Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, Mr T, KRS One, Three Men & a Little Lady, Spiderwoman, Metropol, Battling Boy, Elektra Assassin, Lynn Varley, man-babies, Mutant Bieber Clans, Canada and oh so much more.

<ITEM> A special moral message from our guest and some of the finest singing you ever heard. And we’re done. You lucky, lucky people.

click to download SILENCE!#167

PLUS

SECRET CONVERGENCE OF INFINITE PODCASTS

 

Contact us:

[email protected]

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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.

Frank Quitely, Grant Morrison and Nathan Fairbairn – Multiversity: Pax Americana #1

It’s here that our story begins:  in pieces.  Many, many authors have shot at this target and missed, preferring not to recognize that in truth this is what we really know, and what we really believe, about the forces that create and shape our lives — preferring not to see that what science and philosophy describe is the branch from which our lives’ dramas depend, and not just convenient intellectual set-dressing for them.

We should remember that murder mysteries are always just local expressions, of a grander philosophical struggle — someone is killing capes, and who’s next?  Well, after the scientists the answer is, we are:  as the stunning profusion of interlinked symbols that fills Pax Americana’s pages ceaselessly intimates to us the unavoidability of that final, bitter realization of entropy.  War, and death, and chaos…

…Or, what is perhaps worse:  not chaos, at all, but order.

An implacable order, that we can’t resist.  A pattern we’re trapped in, that we can’t see.

Read the rest of this entry »

Yesterday, DC finally got around to breaking the news that was already broken: Yes they were going to publish Watchmen prequels, and yes, they had managed to find a group of creators dumb enough to work on them! Huzzah!

Now obviously The Comics Internet has already had a pretty good go at covering this topic. Hell, we covered this announcement in one of our Christmas podcasts before it even happened!

Still, even assuming you’ve already read Newsarama’s I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT SATIRE take and David Brothers’ elegant evisceration of the same, we figure you’ve still probably got room in that multiversal brain of yours for a very Mindless take on these announcements.

If so, rest easy True Believers. Here’s how it begins…

Bobsy: Someone said on the radio this morning that it’s the 50th anniversary of the smiley face. not sure how that fits with the ‘facts’ here, but it made me grimly reflect that if anything could turn that smile upside down then the Watchmen 2 announcement yesterday was surely it. The people in the shop were going crazy about the news, never been in there amid such animated chatter on a single topic before. Everyone basically positive too, saying they were going to buy it, looking forward to reading the characters again.

I can’t believe that we’re seriously supposed to think that the Kubert brothers are an adequate shadow of Gibbons, or that Azzarello, Cooke or (jesus christ) Len Wein are going to be able to produce anything that favourably compares with the original. I don’t even like Watchmen that much, but to go back to it seems to justify everything that Alan Moore has been saying for years about creative and cultural exhaustion.

I realise it’s a bit Canutian of me to wish for a different world, but the expansion into the Watchmen property strikes me as being a victory for capitalism’s oozing tentacles only, hence a defeat for the rest of us.

Find out why this announcement was pretty much DC’s way of saying Watchmen would be doing anal now, under the cut!

This is us talking about the possibility of a Watchmen prequel/sequel. We then talk a bit then finish with a song. I think by this point we’re all too drunk to be podcasting. By “all” I mean Gary Lactus. Just listen to how drunk the foolish cretin is here:

Click to download

idiots.

For the transcript click here

Here’s a recording of a Grant Morrison interview concerning mainly his new book Supergods.  Bobsy did the interview with small interjections from Gary Lactus.  Here’s the nice picture on the back of the book:

Lovely

Thanks to Grant and the folk at Jonathan Cape for their help in setting up this interview.  Apologies for sound quality.

EXPECT:

Inadequate speakerphone with buzzing!

Intrusive street noise!

Phone line breaking up!

Phone and recording device falling over!

We need to do a transcript which will appear here soon but we thought you might want to hear the whole thing.

Click to download

If you’re new here you might want to have a look around. We have lots more thoughts on Morrison’s work.

Amy Poodle on the Invisibles for The Comics Journal
Illogical Volume on the Filth
Batman annocommentations (probably quite different from anything you’ve read elsewhere)
Seaguy annocommentations
Amy Poodle on All Star Superman

And that’s just the tip of a very big iceberg.

Back in August we talked to John Higgins John Higgins at the monthly Cartoon County meeting. Look! There he is with his creation, Razorjack!
razorjack-and-john

We interviewed John a while back and now you can hear a pretty much unedited 1 hour conversation with the man in the company of Dez Skinn, David Lloyd and a host of other sequential storytellers.  The talk ranges from 70s head comics to superheroes, blue line colouring to computer colouring,  self publishing and Spider-Man’s underpants.


click to download

Carry on for relevant images relating to this interview