June 12th, 2012


Behold SILENCERS, they’re back from the piddling interferences that waylaid them last week. Back to bring you comics chat like you JUST NEVER HEARD BEFORE! It’s SILENCE #17!

No songs this week, so get that thought out of your minds. Those twin 4-colour Liberace’s can’t just produce this stuff like musical milk from their creative udders you know…GAH!

But they do manage a bountiful, overstuffed SILENCE! news, before careering like the Dukes of Hazzard into a twelve car pile-up of comics. They discuss (get ready) Earth 2, Animal Man, Swamp Thing (both the current version and Alan Moore’s seminal run, in  a crow-barred in Beast’s Bargain Basement), Dial H, America’s Got Powers, Action Comics, Mud Man, Dan The Unharmable, Avenger’s Academy, Bill Watterson, Hulk, Stormwatch, JLI, Rocketeer Adventures, Journey Into Mystery, Superman Family Adventures, and The Walking Dead…

But wait! How could we forget the comics event of the Millennium???

The two take on the awesome genre-atomizing Watchmen 2: beyond Watchmen. And I think it would be fair to sat that those boys sure did have their brains fried!

Plus, Lactus works out the best way to review comics – by counting their panels.

Finally the Beast brings it home with a discussion (ie monologue) about the latest film from horror director Ti West, The Innkeepers in notcomics.

Now what rational person could want more from life? Don’t answer that!

And it’s all in the best POSSIBLE taste!

click to download


26 Responses to “SILENCE! #17”

  1. Tim B. Says:

    Haven’t yet listened to the pod cast, but why bother reviewing Watchmen II:The Watchening, it’s going to be awesome, and if you disagree you obviously hate comics. In fact I’m so confident of it’s amazingness that I don’t need to waste the time reading it.

  2. Illogical Volume Says:

    I’ve not listened to this pod yet but I’m super-psyched to hear your Wa2chmen review. Possibly almost as super-psyched as Alan Moore must have been to have received comp copies of DC Entertainment’s latest masterpiece…

  3. The Beast Must Die Says:

    Oh trust me, he’ll have LOVED THEM!

  4. Gary Lactus Says:

    So awesome!

  5. Gary Lactus Says:

    Just bought another 4 copies! SUPER PSYCHED!!!!

  6. Ad Mindless Says:

    I’m psyked

  7. Thrills Says:

    I was really happy to see the many, many unsold copies in my local comic shop! It meant I could have 20 copies ALL TO MYSELF.

    I’ve never been happier or felt less lonely.

  8. tam Says:

    Wohoo, a vintage Sofa broadcast from Gary!

    Haven’t read the new Animal Man or Swamp Thing comics, but sounds like you’re being a bit harsh on the concept of ‘the rot’. If I remember my biology correctly, that sounds like it’s analogous to the fungus kingdom.

    And ‘the rot’ only sounds wrong to us, I’m sure it’s perfectly delightful and natural if you’re a fungus and they find all that green and red stuff vibrantly ghastly. (Hmm, rereading that last sentence makes me realise I’ve been rereading too much Pat Mills stuff lately)

    Also, top bargain basement tip for any Londoners reading, there’s a bookshop on the Euston Road (on the Euston station end) where all the books are £2. They’ve got a good selection of graphic novels including American Flagg, stuff by David Lapham, Dave Gibbons and so on. Well worth checking out if you’re in the area!

  9. The Beast Must Die Says:

    I know the one you mean – there’s one in Crouch End too(setting of a Stephen King short story, and numerous Clive Barker ones fact-seekers!) which has the same selection – The Originals, Silverfish, American Flagg etc…

  10. Igmus Says:

    From what I hear, Cooke’s first issue not only successfully sublimates any ‘anxiety of influence’ regarding Watchmen, but it also invokes the spirits of All Star Superman and Batman: Year One — holding it’s own (and then some!) against those works as well. All the while giving us that fun aimless nostalgic glow without any of the bad, pesky aftertaste of disquietude and… ugh, THOUGHT, really… which always plagued Moore’s original.

    The Rot would have been fun enough for a while, but we’re heading into over 20 combined issues of Animal Man and Swamp Thing, and still the main focus seems to be telling us about what the Rot does to animals and plants. Echoes of hearing again and again about what owls do to bats.

    I think Animal Man has been good, though.

  11. Kieron Gillen Says:

    Hurrah! JIM reviewed and I didn’t even have to draw a graph to achieve the feat.


    My run started at Journey Into Mystery 622. They’re all available on Comixology now.

    There’s two available trades…

    Coming out soonish will be…

    The new arc which started last week will probably be collected in…

    I try and make it easy to jump aboard, so the start of any arc is a fine place. 622 is the abstract start, which also explains everything that got us to there. 632 is another good jumping on point, and one of my favourite one-offs.

    The whole thing was written to stand alone and eventually be a 30-odd issue big hardback collection. Don’t be too scared about the crossovers. Writing a comic in the ’10s made me conceive it in a way that I could bend Crossovers to my purpose and not disrupt the larger novelistic intent.

    JIM 639, as the start of THE MANCHESTER GODS, is both a good place to join in generally and for Mindless folks specifically. THE MANCHESTER GODS is, as the next issue will make pretty clear, the closest I’ve got to doing something like Phonogram in the marvel universe.


    Kieron Gillen (8 and a half years old)

  12. James Moore Says:

    Kieron,could you elaborate on this bit?

    ” Writing a comic in the ’10s made me conceive it in a way that I could bend Crossovers to my purpose and not disrupt the larger novelistic intent.”

    I’m a reader who’s disengaged from the crossovers (barring news site chatter)but I’ve been able to enjoy your books. It just seems to me like a lot of folks seem to get all the style/substance squashed out of their material but you do a great job of dancing between those raindrops and I’m curious how you keep tone/thematic intent intact. Is it just good planning on your part or keeping such an open ended structure that easily synthesis standard Event Comics beats?

  13. amypoodle Says:

    ” Writing a comic in the ’10s made me conceive it in a way that I could bend Crossovers to my purpose and not disrupt the larger novelistic intent.”

    Well that’s a bold, morrisonesque claim!

    I don’t know, Kieron, while I wouldn’t say I disliked JiM Fear Itself, it hardly stands on its own. The threat is introduced off panel (if I hadn’t waded through that turd of a crossover already, I’d have no idea who the Serpent was – okay, I’d figure generic end of the world threat, but Loki’s mission would lack weight all the same), Thor is released off panel (we get that little detail in the recap – never great) and this is after Loki’s visited him once and departed to recruit ‘a few bad men’ to his cause, which is kind of confusing. And then there’s the Hell stuff… I had no idea what the deal was with Loki and Hell at all, even after a page of exposition. But maybe that’s a shared universe problem as opposed to a crossover one.

    All things considered I don’t think you did badly, but the novel definitely suffered.

    I don’t like crossovers.

  14. J_Smitty_ Says:

    Every week I wait and worry until Lactus remembers to mention


    I’m an hour in and nothing yet. Is the dream over?

  15. Ad Mindless Says:

    Keep dreaming, Smitty!

  16. J_Smitty_ Says:

    Ah, whew! Nice save, Mr. L!

    There really is something to be said for the full immersion effect of reading a giant run of comics (such as Walking Dead) especially when the tone, view, and style are consistent. It may sound odd or off but I enjoy getting up from a book, comic, film feeling weird and unsettled. Sign of a job well done, right?

    Kirkman is also approaching 100 issues on Invincible with (by and large) one artist and it’s admirable to see what they’ve achieved. Both Adlard and Ottley have a style that is clean and quick. Combine that with Kirkman committing to deadlines a few years ago and his stuff has really been “set your watch to it” good.

    When it’s not GOOD it’s always at least OK because they’ve clearly put in their effort making the story, characters, and plot bump along.

    I think Parlov is also a machine in this regard. He has a distinct style that is definitely not over busy. I loved him on the tail end of Ennis’ Punisher and I hope he’s got very consistent and well paid work forever.

  17. Kieron Gillen Says:

    Man, this is going to end up wanky. JIM covers its wankiness with gags most the time, and this is unsheathed. UNSHEATHED WANKY WORDS.

    James Moore: You make your themes dovetail with the themes of the crossovers, basically. It’s probably most visible with Uncanny. I knew before I started we’d be heading to AvX, so with that as a major climax, I planned appropriately. The story is about the X-men’s increasing militancy, estrangement with governments, etc, because telling any other story is going to lead to that story being derailed.

    (Which is fine, because that’s a theme I’m interested in. I’ve said that the Student riots were a major influence on the Uncanny run before, etc.)

    With JIM, I had the issue-to-issue breakdown of FI before I started, and dovetailed all my plotting to act as counterpoint to the main themes (often by explicitly undermining them to render extra complexity). As its own entity, that JIM is a political book driven by a bunch of ironies means that it’s a suitable structure to work with to intro what I want to talk about.

    The cost is that since I made FI so key – those 10 issues would be about a third of the whole run – FI remains important right to the final panel. So JIM is easy to ignore because they think it should be shrugging off the shroud of FI (or so they say, because they didn’t like it). That’s the problem with the novelistic intent is the holistic structure of it.

    I try to serve both masters. I want people to be able to pick up my crossover books knowing they can read them without the core book, because I know many readers aren’t into crossovers. But I also want to add meaningfully to the experience of the people who *do* come for the crossover.

    Pragmaticism. You’re never going to get 26 issues to do your Animal Man by your lonesome in 2012.

    In short: Crossovers are a known. You make them work for you, as much as you can. And really? If you actually take any crossover seriously, they make fantastic backdrops for stories.

    amypoodle: I certainly respect the opinion – and you pick up on the more awkward parts of the book – but it’s one enough reviewers have disagreed with to make me feel my intent at least worked for some. The comment “Reading JIM improves FI considerably, but works entirely without it” was something that turned up in almost all the early positive press. Thor’s release is the main awkward jump, but it kinda works as an intro to JIM’s odd caption-prose compress/decompress mode of storytelling. If you squint.

    The usual metaphor I use is that JIM is the equivalent of a film about the Enigma Code and Fear Itself is WW2. You don’t need to know about Hitler’s rise to power to watch a film about Enigma. For JIM, “power threatening Asgard” is enough to be getting on with.

    It’s Pop Sandman in the MU. That does mean it has to be in the MU, and such, we have to explain its setting (As much as you’d have to explain a bit of the French Legal System for a book about French Lawyers). C’est la vie, etc.

    I’m not sure why I’m ending any statement with “etc”.

  18. Ad Mindless Says:

    Snot wanky, it’s an explanation

  19. amypoodle Says:

    Just to say, I certainly enjoyed JIM much, much more than the general FI wankery. Young Loki is properly compelling and your spin on the villainous plan beyond the grave trope was great.

  20. Kieron Gillen Says:

    Ad Mindless: My hands are caked in semen. It’s always a bit wanky.

    Yeah, you’re right. But when my explanations expand, it always seems I should perhaps shut the fuck up.

    Amypoodle: Thank you.

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