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Hello. I'm Antony Johnston, and I write comics, graphic novels, and videogames.
I also make podcasts and music for fun.
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The third and final item in my birthday release treats is this week’s episode of THRASH IT OUT, in which I attempt to convert my co-host Brian LeTendre to a full-on goth metaller with the help of Paradise Lost’s classic album ICON.

Paradise Lost are my favourite band, bar none, and despite its age, ICON remains one of their greatest — and heaviest! — albums. Anyone who’s heard me wax lyrical about PL knows how much I love them, and if you haven’t had that particular pleasure, now’s your chance to rectify it.

Remember, THRASH IT OUT is completely independent and listener-funded, through Patreon. If you feel like doing something for my birthday, please go and pledge whatever you can to help support us making the show.


Continuing my birthday treats, today I’m releasing a new SILENCAEON album, “distort∆eon”.

This album expands the SILENCAEON sound, with 80 minutes of dark drone and ambient dirge, overdriven by guitar, feedback, and cavernous drums — all at the ominous speed of approaching thunder.


1. distort∆eon
2. feedb∞lack
3. damnΩplify
4. humf∇ucker
5. sↂplectrum
6. stor⌅mpbox

“distort∆eon” is now available at Bandcamp. Stream for free, or buy to download.

If you’d like to keep up with SILENCAEON news and releases, sign up for the mailing list by entering your email address at the SILENCAEON page here on my website.


It’s my birthday tomorrow, and in the spirit of celebration, I’m indulging myself by releasing a bunch of things over the next few days.

First up, this week’s episode of UNJUSTLY MALIGNED takes a strange turn, as Incomparable head honcho Jason Snell takes the hosting reigns and welcomes a first-time guest… me!

And my chosen subject is perhaps the most unjustly maligned band of the past 40 years — British prog rockers Genesis. Jason and I talk about the band, their image, and attitude. Then, for good measure, I also talk in more detail about their seminal 1981 album ABACAB, which even many Genesis fans don’t like — but which I think is a great, ambitious, and thoroughly misunderstood album.

This is also the first UMP longer than an hour. Because it’s my birthday, that’s why.


Back in episode 10 of UNJUSTLY MALIGNED, I spoke to Erika Ensign about STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE.

I’m a self-confessed old-school SW fan, with a deep dislike of the prequels, so talking to someone who actually enjoyed Episode 1 was fascinating.

So fascinating that… I decided to do it again!

For episode 25 my guest is Mike Klimo, author of the controversial and slightly bonkers Star Wars Ring Theory website, to talk about STAR WARS EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES. Mike explains what Ring Theory is, why George Lucas is a misunderstood genius, and why CLONES itself is a great movie.

I’ll say no more; go and listen for yourself. Enjoy.


THE FUSE #13 goes on sale this week, kicking off a new story arc, ‘Perihelion’!

24 hours and a day of chaos for the MCPD! “Perihelion”, the day when the Fuse space station is closest to the Sun, has arrived. All leave is cancelled. All shifts are combined. All hell breaks loose!

We’re all very excited about this story arc, because we’re doing something different this time around. Whereas normally we’d follow Klem and Ralph through a single case, over the course of several days, this time we’re going to follow the events of a single day — Perihelion itself — as Klem and Ralph deal with multiple cases on the ‘day of chaos’!

Of course, a couple of them will be homicide cases. This is still THE FUSE, after all.

THE FUSE #13 is available from all good comics stores with the order code JUN150501, or you can get it digitally from Comixology and Image Comics. There’s a preview of the issue at Comic Book Resources.


Today I launched a second podcast: THRASH IT OUT, in which Brian LeTendre and I listen to a heavy metal album, then use it as an excuse to argue about stuff.

If you listen to UNJUSTLY MALIGNED, you may remember Brian was my guest on an episode where he defended Megadeth’s album RISK. If you enjoyed that show, you’re going to love THRASH IT OUT.

But this show isn’t about defending metal albums; it’s about discussing them, and seeing how our different tastes meld, clash, and sometimes wildly diverge.

Brian and I have both been metalheads since we were kids, but we come at it from different sides of the genre: I’m a Motörhead/Death/Slipknot kind of guy, while Brian is on the Megadeth/Exodus/Queensrÿche side of things. And that’s what makes the show great. Because, as any headbanger knows, arguing about metal is half the fun of being a fan :) so this show is much more informal than UMP.

It does have a nifty theme song like that show, though.

In the spirit of the underground, THRASH IT OUT is completely independent. We’re not part of a network, we don’t have sponsors, we don’t take ads.

Instead, we’re going directly to listeners for support with a Patreon. THRASH IT OUT will run in “Volumes” of 10-12 episodes each, and the more patrons we get, the longer we can keep doing it.

Support the show and help us stay independent by becoming a patron.

If you love metal, you’re going to love THRASH IT OUT. Give it a spin.


Right now I’m on stage, announcing my next book from Image Comics:

CODENAME BABOUSHKA, with art by the redoubtable Shari Chankhamma and lettering by Simon Bowland.

CODENAME BABOUSHKA is an action-packed modern pulp spy thriller in the style of classic British high-stakes espionage adventures like MODESTY BLAISE and JAMES BOND.

Contessa Annika Malikova is the last of a noble Russian line. Three years ago, Annika fled to the USA with family friend Gyorgy Gyorgyov, claiming political asylum. Rarely seen in public, she settled in New York and quickly became an enigmatic figure of the Manhattan social set.

But the Contessa has a dark secret. In fact, she’s the legendary crime lord codenamed “Baboushka”! After her organisation was betrayed and destroyed by a cabal of rival mafiya, she escaped to America and laid low…

…Until Mr Clay, head of the shadowy EON (Extrajudicial Operations Network), discovers her true identity. Threatened with deportation back to Moscow — and the certain death that awaits her there — Baboushka is forced to work for EON, taking on dirty jobs so classified even the CIA can’t sanction them.

CODENAME BABOUSHKA’s first mission, The Conclave of Death, begins in October. Each issue will feature two covers; a regular ‘silhouette’ cover by Shari Chankhamma, and an ‘art cover’ by an all-star line-up of female artists, including Tula Lotay, Annie Wu, Leila del Duca (shown here), Kate Leth, and more.

We’re also commissioning backmatter essays discussing female heroes and other subjects, by authors and critics like Danielle Henderson, Maya Rodale, Katy Rex, and more.

We’ll publish the book in ‘missions’; each will be part of Baboushka’s ongoing adventures, but stand alone as a story. Think of it like a new Bond movie every so often… except the sexy Russian femme fatale is the star.

CODENAME BABOUSHKA: THE CONCLAVE OF DEATH #1 is now available for pre-order at all good comic stores.

You might think she’s a hero. That would be a mistake.


Yesterday at E3, Sony announced RIGS: Mechanized Combat League, an upcoming sci-fi e-sports game for their Morpheus VR headset.

RIGS is being developed by Sony’s Guerrilla Cambridge studio here in the UK. I’m working with them to develop the game world of RIGS, and help design and script the commentary dialogue systems. Longtime readers will know of my love for the NFL, and RIGS is very much a game built around the idea of huge, spectacular sports events.

I can’t say any more — no surprise there — but you can watch the E3 trailer, which I scripted, to get more of an idea. Looking forward to this one.


THE FUSE Vol 2: Gridlock goes on sale this week.

ZERO-G MURDER IN THE COLD OF SPACE! They call it ‘Gridlocking’ — maglev-bike races across the Fuse’s vast solar arrays. Fast, dangerous, and very illegal. So when the #1 gridlock racer turns up dead, Klem and Ralph begin their own race to catch a killer… in a case that will force them into the dark underbellies of drug smuggling and terrorism in zero-g!

‘Gridlock’ is a step-change from Vol 1, ‘The Russia Shift’, with more action, not to mention quite a bit more sci in the fi. After easing readers into the familiar-but-odd world of THE FUSE, we’re now diving deep into orbital space culture — as well as solving a murder or two, of course!

THE FUSE Vol 2: Gridlock is 160 pages of sci-fi crime, and available from all good comic and book stores.

In comic stores, the order code is APR150584; in bookstores, the ISBN is 978-1-63215-313-5. Digital readers can get it from Comixology or Image Comics.


SILENCAEON is the name of my new dark ambient music project.

Most people know I’m a big old metalhead in my spare time, but less well known is my love for experimental, ambient, and drone (Not least because it’s great writing music!)

My interest started with Brian Eno’s groundbreaking ‘discreet music’ soundscapes, and developed through the ’90s when ambient outfits like Aphex Twin, Autechre, and FSOL were at their peak. Towards the end of that period, darker bands like Sunn O))) and Neurosis started bringing a heavy metal attitude to their pioneering soundscapes, and the darkwave movement began its own modern revival, all of which I revelled in.

So basically, there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on here. And if you like any of the music I just mentioned, you might like SILENCAEON too.

The first release, Thorn, is now available at Bandcamp. Stream for free, or buy to download. And enjoy.


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