August 29th, 2013



Don’t you want Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 baby? Don’t you want Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735? Oh.

Those two unimpressive moons are once again orbiting the great planet of comics… That’s right it’s a full double-fisting edition of the comics podcast that might have been recently labeled ‘a national disgrace’ by frothing right wing cartoon knob-jockey Richard Littlejohn. You couldn’t make it up meatsacks!  The Beast Must Die & Gary Lactus entwined in each others strong yet tender arms cooing sweet nothings into each others ears and letting YOU dear listener into their boudoir.

<ITEM> The Beast has a report from his recent sojourn to Caption Comics Festival, and Gary Lactus does some listening. There’s talk of kids comics, Al Davison, Eddie Campbell and tatty village halls. GLAMOUR.

<ITEM> The Reviewniverse is opened like a particularly large oyster and inside is the pearl of COMICS…a shame-faced Beast is soundly trounced i the comics reading comics competition by eager beaver Gary, with ensuing discussion of The Outliers, Solid State Tank Girl, Innvincible Haggard West, Resident Alien, Daredevil, Lobster Johnson, Batman 66, Justice League Dark, Infinity, Rocketeer & Spirit and The Mysterious Strangers…

<ITEM> Mention is made of the 11 o’clock comics podcast special with Brandon Graham and The Beast froths about the Batman: Brave & The Bold cartoon. Always so contemporary that Beast.

And that’s enough, meatbags. Disembodied Narratorbot X-15735 is going to kick back and listen to Kendrick whilst scanning vintage circuit board  pornography. Bring me the cyber-vaseline and get out of here!

click to download SILENCE!#74

SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the two greatest comics shops on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton and GOSH COMICS of London.

19 Responses to “SILENCE! #74”

  1. Tim B. Says:

    Thanks for the episode. Must agree with The Beast Must Die about Batman: The Brave & The Bold it is fantastic, particularly Aquaman’s character in the series, also the final episode of the third series is a joy to behold.

    I’m not following the Trinity War nonsense at DC (I’m down to Wonder Woman & Batman’66 only) but it seem’s Gary Lactus’s prediction about arm loosing was correct as Cyborg appears to suffer this fate in the concluding issue.

    If loosing arms is such a big thing, DC should launch a new 52 Arm Fall Off Boy series and grim-dark the fuck out of it.

  2. Thrills Says:

    I’ve still never watched Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but if it’s on LoveFilm, I’ll pure gie it a watch next week. It’s got to be better than whatever shitey comedy series I’m piling through on my race to oblivion.

    That McCarthy/Milligan book coming out, I sort of wish it was out a bit later, as when I preordered it months ago I was employed and full of the joys of having vague disposable income (also the main reason I bought the middling Marshal Law collection, apart from the ace art). Now, as a dole chump, I am unsure if the money will come out of my account suddenly and leave me destitute. I’m worried the comic’ll sell out or go out of print, see.

    Comics! Helping me sort out my priorities since a long time ago.

  3. Tam Says:

    I read Eddie Campbell’s ‘How to be an Artist’ recently and though it was charming and very, very English in all the best ways, probably the best comic I’ve read this year.

    Of the current batch, I do like Resident Alien, the individual episodes are a bit insubstantial so it’ll probably work better in a trade but there’s a nice mix of the fantastic and the mundane and there’s a likeability to it, (similar to Campbell’s work come to think of it) and it’s reminiscent of stuff like Skizz and Concrete.

  4. Ricardo Baptista Says:

    If more superhero comics were like The Brave and the Bold cartoon, well, I would be buying more superhero comics.

  5. Ricardo Baptista Says:

    I also recommend DC Nation’s shorts. Specially The Farm League. It’s my kind of crazy..

  6. Man and House Says:

    INFINITY ain’t so bad. And I say that as someone who hates hates hates Hickman’s writing. Epic-ness is actually pretty epic.

    For whatever that’s worth.

  7. Matthew Craig Says:

    Good podde. I picked up the Brave and the Bold DVDs from Morrisons for a coupla quid each, and I was a bit down on them at first. The retro styling was *very* bloomin’ DC – the Sprangesque designs, the big band theme tune (c.f. The Incredibles), the whole Silver Ageyness of it. Didn’t warm to it at all. And there’s a scene in one of the episodes with Bat-Mite where they just about turn to the viewer (represented by a schlubby fanboy in an ill-fitting costume) and say “well, sorry we’re not BTAS, but there’s bound to be another dark cartoon along in a minute, so cool your jets.”

    But yeah. Beastie’s right. A Wonder Woman that actually smiles (and a Steve Trevor that works). An Aquaman that doesn’t have to have a snarl or a hook-hand to be cool. A modern Blue Beetle. Etcetera, etcetera. It’s just lovely: not as dry as BTAS, not as stiff as The Batman might have been (although that cartoon went full-Hefti-by-way-of-Mancini with the theme music!), and set in a shared universe that’s a playground, not a noose. I stumbled across the final scene from the last episode on YT, and I’ll admit I had to choke back a single manly tear at the end.

    The contemporaneous Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon can be had for three quid a series from iTunes, and the first series is on DVD for £3 a disc across a few vols. My OCD re: Spidey’s mask aside, it’s a really good Spidey cartoon. A snapshot of All Spidey, from Ditko through to Bendis, but focussed on the classic teenage origins of the character. Nothing like the current ideologically disastrous incarnation.

    I’ve got that Eddie Campbell collection to read, an’all. Bit intimidating. Need to set aside a day for that.

    I read a load of Panini reprint comics last week – the monthly anthos, not the new “magbook” (ugh) GNs – including the first volume of Avengers vs. X-Men and the Cable tie-in (Cable of course deriving his name from his secondary fish-poop mutation). There’s something really pathetic and heartbreaking about superheroes knacking each other like that. There are no supervillains in the story – Magneto aside, obvs. – and it’s all too much like one of those nights out you might have where two friends just explode at each other for reasons you’re not privvy to. All handbags and bunfights and everyone’s crying and shivering with tension over something they could have sorted out earlier, but for their stubbornness. Sort it aht, X-ums!


  8. Eyemelt Says:

    It feels like DC upped the ante with animation when they made BTAS. The bad guys had proper guns, while over on the horrible (and progressingly worse) Marvel series it was all ‘Pyew pyew’ laser guns. And why the hell was all that animation so bad? The Marvel series in the 80s were relatively well animated, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, that awesome Hulk cartoon with Rick in the cowboy hat and he hung out with a couple of Hispanic people (I think?). The 90s Marvel was all jerky. WHY? If you look back at the Fleischer studios Superman from the 40s it’s way better. WHY? WHY?

    I also used to dig those old Marvel mis-matches, a particular story that sticks in my mind is when the black-costumed Spidey gives Firelord a good drubbing.

    I’m going to persevere with Infinity, it’s making more sense than SHIELD did.

    Right, I’m off to soil a pot.

  9. Figserello Says:

    Must agree with The Beast Must Die about Batman: The Brave & The Bold it is fantastic, particularly Aquaman’s character in the series

    For what it’s worth, this hugely popular reinterpretation of Aquaman seems to have originated in Millar and Morrison’s notes for Morrison’s JLA series. Millar wrote up the character profiles of the team members that appeared in JLA Secret Files and Origins #1. As much of the info there doesn’t really relate to how the characters were eventually portrayed once the series was up and running, I’d have to guess Millar adapted the notes they’d made before the series began.

    There’s some fascinating stuff in the profiles that never made it properly into the JLA series, including the bombastic, larger-than-life personality they’d devised for Aquaman. (Discussed under the link btw)

    My main gripe with Brave and the Bold is that none of the creators whose work is plundered to present this great multifaceted playground get mentioned in the credits, as far as my limited investigations (peering at the TV) could make out. Not even King Kirby!

    Also, the last time I watched some of them, was with my two-year-old, and it was even more apparent to me that superhero stories are all about solving problems with violence. They are the westerns of the 21st century. I’ll have to wait til my kids are a good bit older before I properly introduce them to the joys of square-jawed men in tights making the world a better place by hitting each other. Which is a pity.

  10. Matthew Craig Says:

    Figsy, I refuse to believe that’s all a superhero is there for. It’s not what my superheroes are there for, anyway (although, okay, occasionally a fascist gets a tanking).


  11. Figserello Says:

    I’d agree with you, but the cartoons do continually emphasise that it’s about the hitting, and occasionally ‘pyew-pyewing’. 3 year olds would have to be very discerning cultural analysts to see beyond all the thumping going on and read the positive uplifting messages. Come to think of it they’d weirdly associate the positive uplifting messages with the bashing and shooting.

    Here’s a test. Put a superhero cape on the next 4 year old boy you meet and watch what he does next. (It won’t be helping someone.)

    I love superheroes, but they are a heady brew, intermixed with an odd attitude to violence, for very young children to be exposed to. On the surface Brave and the Bold looks very suitable for young kids, but when you stand back and look at it twice, I’m not so sure.

  12. Gary Lactus Says:

    Right, I’m gonna go out and find some kids, cape ‘em up and watch ‘em go. Probably film it.

  13. Gary Lactus Says:

    If I ever have kids I’m going to only dress as a super hero when I’m cooking and cleaning.

  14. Thrills Says:

    I’d only dress as a superhero when in an office and/or crying. Just so the kids know what superheroes are REALLY about.

  15. Figserello Says:

    Yes, I did use an absurd hypothetical to illustrate a point, didn’t I?

    Anyway, is it so contentious to remark that much US children’s entertainment centres on and normalises the use of force and violence as a solution, and especially reinforces the notion that such violence doesn’t really have any consequences? Real handy when pushing the latest war/invasion on them a few decades later.

    We’re all adults here, talking about a cartoon series that can be enjoyed by adults and that celebrates much of what we enjoy in superhero comics, so maybe how little kids would comsume it is well beyond the point. Still, I’m sure all of us have at some point presented works of art/entertainment we really liked to other people, and then seen it anew through their eyes.

    I picked on B&B here both because it was the one superhero cartoon that I showed my kid when she was small, and also, it is held up as the example of what good superhero narratives (of the Silver Age model, perhaps) should be.

    By pointing out how it must have seemed to a kid unused to superhero stories, I was trying to make a point regarding what we take for granted in even the best of our superhero stories. Also regarding the assumption that superhero stories are suitable for young kids.

    A bit earnest? Sorry…

  16. Matthew Craig Says:

    No, Figs’. You’re right, of course. And it can be problematic, when you see the progressive militarisation of superheroes – not to harp on, but that Spidey cartoon has Peter being trained to be a SHIELD agent, shooty-shooty – but I think we need to trust context, range and our own judgement. Otherwise, we’re only a bad day away from being scared of Wile E. Coyote.

    Spider-Man made me a better person. Honest to goodness. Not because he beat up Firelord, or screwed a bipolar womnan who didn’t really know him, but because he said to me, “you’re not alone. This is the life you can have. You are not alone in the world, and your actions have consequences.”

    Not literally, I mean.


  17. Thrills Says:

    Yeah, I’d agree about there being too much punching and military/industrial complex stuff going on in US children’s entertainment, and I’m sorry if my above comment about offices/what superheroes are REALLY about etc seemed as if I was mocking your point, Figserello! I was mainly mocking current comics, but the internet is a place where intent, context and tone are adrift, and it doesn’t help that I’m a sarcastic turd at the best of times.

    I have observed from my nephews that when they pretend to be Spider-man, they’re more into the whole ‘pretending to swing around the city’ thing than the punching, but with Batman they’re definitely more into the punching. Stupid Batman.

  18. bobsy Says:

    Ultimate Spider-Man Cartoon Militarisation = Ditko’s Victory.

  19. Gary Lactus Says:

    Fig, I wasn’t taking the piss just making the joke. You make the good point, something I am seemingly unable to do. I can sure as hell kiss though: x

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