PATREON EXCLUSIVE: Black Ops Episode 9 – You Are Not a Mistake

In what is an ultra-MEGA-sized two-and-a-half hour episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we really run the gamut.

First, we talk about  popular culture we loved as kids, but are afraid to revisit, because we fear it won’t survive adult scrutiny. In Mike’s case that means a series of epic fantasy novels that he suspects both really hold up in some way, and really really really don’t in other.

We then talk about the evolving nature of stand-up comedy and the divergent attitudes of comics like Jerry Seinfeld, and Hannah Gadsby — and how many older comedians seem to desire to be “above” politics or social commentary. Is that even possible or desirable?

Do genre stories like science fiction and superheroes have a responsibility to touch on questions of social and cultural importance? Why do the calls for political neutrality usually seem to mask a right-wing agenda?

We get into bad movie theater experiences that stretches Mike’s aversion to confrontation to the breaking point, and dive into the thorny issues of intellectual property and online piracy.

And finally, things get a bit emotional when we talk about how profoundly powerful and deeply intimate the new documentary about Mister Rogers is.

To hear this episode — and many more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

Join us!

Mike Is on the First Episode of Cheers Cast!

Mike make an appearance on the pilot episode of Ryan Daly‘s podcast tribute to the classic 1980s sitcom, Cheers Cast!

We look at the 1982 pilot of the show, set in a downtown Boston bar, that would become a television juggernaut. Mike sits down with Ryan and fellow guests Rob Kelly and Omar Uddin to dig in and talk about a piece of TV history.

Does the show hold up? Does it hit the ground running in the pilot? Is it really funny? Not to be a total spoiler, but yes, yes and yes.

Check it out!

Fun Size Episode 28 – The Wilhelm Scream of Star Wars Movies

We continue our chat with Patrick Johnson, and finally give our mixed opinions on the latest Disney opus, Solo: A Star Wars Story. We go over the promise and the pitfalls of the prequel concept and ask ourselves what we really wanted from this movie.

We talk about a recent internet rabbit hole: a legendary and notorious New Jersey water park that many have called the most dangerous amusement park ever: Action Park. It had a cascade of bloody noses, a lax policy of selling alcohol to minors and a confirmed body count. So why do many of the people who grew up going there as kids, both openly admit its dangers while remembering it with such warm affection?

And what stupid thrills will a human being subject themselves to in the cause of ending boredom?

Plus, we can’t recommend the horror movie, A Quiet Place, more highly. Seriously, it’s really good.

Episode 34 – American Movie

“There’s no excuses, Paul. No one has ever, ever paid admission to see an excuse. No one has ever faced a black screen that says: “Well, if we had these set of circumstances, we would’ve shot this scene… so please forgive us and use your imagination.”

In another of our Single Serving Selections, we’re going somewhere that the show has never gone before: non-fiction! It’s time to max out our credit cards and hassle our moms until they agree to play extras in our movie, because we’re being joined by Patrick Johnson for a discussion of the 1999 documentary, American Movie.

Telling the story of an aspiring filmmaker’s quest to create his dream project — by first completing the low budget horror movie that he had abandoned years earlier. Now, he struggles against a lack of funds, the hapless ineptitude of his friends and family, a burgeoning alcoholism, a lack of talent, and his own self-destructive personality to make something great.

But don’t worry. It’s alright, it’s okay, there’s something to live for. Jesus told me so!

PATREON EXCLUSIVE: Vote for the First Panel Episode Topic of 2019!

On our current episode schedule, we produce two full panel episodes of Radio vs. the Martians! every year. Casey moderates one of these discussions, and Mike moderates the other.

In April, Mike moderated a talk about the manga epic, Akira. Later this year, Casey will do the same for another topic to be announced soon!

For our first panel episode of 2019, Mike will be moderating again. And we’re letting our supporters on Patreon choose what we’re going to talk about!

 

Our patrons will be able to choose from:

 

SPIDER-MAN – Marvel’s classic web-slinging superhero in all of his incarnations, including comic books, animation and six feature films! Angst, superheroics and plenty of quips!

 


 

FRIDAY THE 13TH – The iconic 1980s slasher film series about Jason Voorhees, everyone’s favorite machete-wielding maniac, terrorizing the residents of Crystal Lake, Manhattan and even outer space! Novelty deaths, boobs and plenty of blood!


 

HARRY POTTER – J.K. Rowling’s extremely popular fantasy series about a British boy wizard who discovers his destiny at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and in battling a long-thought dead evil wizard who murdered his parents.


 

JOE DANTE – The director of such cinematic classics as Gremlins (and its sequel, Gremlins 2: the New Batch), The ‘Burbs, Matinee, Explorers, Innerspace, and the Howling!

 


 

THE LORD OF THE RINGS – J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy novels about hobbits, wizards, rangers and an evil magical ring — and the movies that they inspired!

 


 

PREACHER – The 1990s DC/Vertigo comic book series by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon about a West Texas preacher, his assassin ex-girlfriend, and an Irish vampire on a literal roadtrip to find God hiding on Earth. Full of graphic violence, blasphemy and dark humor.


 

JOHN WOO – The legendary Hong Kong action director famous for his extremely fluid and over-the-top visual style, who brought us the Killer, Hard Boiled, Face/Off, Hard Target and Broken Arrow. Expect plenty of people wielding two guns at once, doves, and explosions!


It’s not too late to become one of our Patreon patrons and get in on this action! Join us! Even just a buck a month makes you eligible to vote!

Fun Size Episode 27 – Not My Luke Skywalker!

Who truly owns a piece of art, a character or a media franchise? The artist, or the audience? We sit down with Sean Duncan to seek the answer to that and many other questions.

We (finally) talk about Star Wars: the Last Jedi and the tug-of-war between fans who want the familiar comfort of wish fulfillment and fan service, and those who want to see the series take some serious risks, even if it alienates some of the fans.

We look at how the real world and the context of our own experiences color and supplement the way we receive and interpret art. Plus, is it time to retire the old ways of counting audience figures, when there are so many ways to watch, read, and play these days? Uh, yes.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 15 – Conan the Destroyer

The most powerful legend of all is back in a new adventure.

Know, o listener, that we return to an age undreamed of, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under our sandalled feet with returning guest and musician, Sean Duncan, to talk about the much-maligned epic fantasy sequel, Conan the Destroyer.

Conan of Cimmeria, now living as a vagabond thief, is hired by the Queen Tamaris to escort her niece, Princess Jehnna, on a secret mission to obtain a magical jewel. Unbeknownst to Conan, the Queen has also tasked the princess’ bodyguard with killing Conan once the mission is complete, and plans to sacrifice her niece to awaken an slumbering elder god.

Fun Size Episode 26 – A Continuity Gumbo of Nonsense

While Casey has to run upstairs and be a dad, Mike continues his talk with Joe Preti and Tobiah Panshin for a full-throated bitch-sesh about the state of the comic book industry. From Marvel and DC’s refusal to change its accessibility, sales methods and whether its time to give up the ghost of the monthly issue, we wonder if the current superhero output from those two great companies just isn’t for us anymore.

And is DC Comics secretly a doomsday cult trying to provoke Alan Moore into ending the world?

Plus, we talk about cartoon voice actors and try to make heads or tails out of the design of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider.

Episode 33 – Akira

“KANEDAAAAAA!!!” “TESTUOOOO!!!”

We’ve returned with a long-awaited panel episode! This time, we’re popping some capsules and tearing our motorcycles through the ruins of Neo-Tokyo with Tobiah Panshin and Joe Preti of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. We’re digging into Katsuhiro Otomo’s groundbreaking 1980s apocalyptic manga epic about psychokinetic powers and mass destruction, Akira.

From its serialized origins in the Japanese Young Magazine to the pioneering animated film, this is a seminal masterpiece of explosions, body horror, secret military programs, and disaffected youth, and it’s cast a long shadow over all of modern popular culture.

Music: 
“Kaneda” from Akira (1988) by Geinoh Yamashirogumi

 

PATREON EXCLUSIVE: Black Ops Episode 8 – This Is Not Funny, You’re Not Funny, and I Don’t like You

In our newest episode, exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we talk more with Patrick Johnson about video game violence and how it does — and mostly doesn’t — apply to real life.

We take a long hard look at the trainwreck that is the filmography of Adam Sandler, why his movies are so ugly and stupid, and struggle to say something nice about him. We explore the wide pendulum swing of the quality of Netflix’s original programming. And finally we dig into their poorly realized original film, Bright and wonder what could have been.

To hear this episode — and many more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

Join us!

Fun Size Episode 25 – Fuck You, It’s Hitler!

We continue our chat with friend Patrick Johnson to chat about some actor faces’ leave them with little choice but to be cast as villains, and how sometimes playing against type can be great.

We debate the merits of the new Duncan Jones Netflix feature, Mute. And then, we take a critical look at the new Bruce Willis-helmed Death Wish remake, and why this probably isn’t the best time to release it.

And finally, we are puzzled by the weird surge of conservative media voices and fans being horribly offended by what they see as the unfair treatment of Nazis, the KKK and racist characters as villains in popular entertainment. Our hot take? Nazis are fucking assholes.

Podcasta la Vista, Baby! Episode 14 – Red Heat

Moscow’s toughest detective. Chicago’s craziest cop. There’s only one thing worse than making them mad. Making them partners.

It’s time to feed our parakeet and reacquaint ourselves with Miranda laws — even if the Soviet method is more economical — because it’s time to go back to the decade where Schwarzenegger reigned supreme: the 1980s. We’re joined by our friend Patrick Johnson to dive into a Cold War buddy cop action/comedy: Red Heat.

Soviet supercop Ivan Danko lands in Chicago to extradite Viktor “Rosta” Rostavili, the Russian drug lord who killed his partner. But after a bloody escape, Danko must join forces with Detective Art Ridzik, a crude and reckless American cop, to bring down Viktor and avenge both of their partners.

PATREON EXCLUSIVE: Black Ops Episode 7 – The Twilight of the Pamphlet

In this extra-sized episode exclusive to our Patreon supporters, we talk more with View from the GuttersTobiah Panshin about the past, present and possible future of comic books as a medium and an industry.

We talk about how old Marvel letter columns reveal both angry letters from Tobiah’s mom, and how Wolverine was initially the least popular X-Men character. We react to the puzzling tirades about “SJWs” taking over superhero comics, and reflect on how we can balance the toxic attitudes of creators like Frank Miller and Dave Sim against their groundbreaking work and where he puts them in comics history.

And finally, we wonder if it’s time for American comic books to abandon the floppy monthly issue format and fundamentally change if Marvel and DC are going to survive for future generations

To hear this episode — and many more! — just support us on Patreon with at least one measly dollar a month!

Join us!

Fun Size Episode 24 – By the Way, I Have a Plan to Kill You

We’re joined again by Tobiah Panshin for a stream-of-consciousness style talk about swearing on cable television, the portrayal of violence and smoking in Marvel Comics, and how the hell we’re supposed to pronounce Ra’s Al Ghul’s name.

We also try to square Batman’s paradoxical career as a street level urban vigilante with his sci-fi adventures with the Justice League; and his role as the loving patriarch of a Bat-family who also had a predilection for dreaming up hypothetical schemes for killing his super-powered friends.

Episode 32 – The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh

Yabba Dabba Doo.

In another one of our Single Serving Selections, it’s time to pull on the little bird’s tail and slide down the brontosaurus’ neck for a chat with Tobiah Panshin of the View from the Gutters comic book podcast. This month we’re talking a deep dive into the DC Comics 2016 gritty reboot of Hanna Barbera’s modern stone age family in The Flintstones.

We explore how Mark Russell and Steve Pugh took a 1960s animated sitcom about cavemen in the suburbs, and turned it into one of the most surprising comic book series of the past decade, with equal parts humor, biting social satire, and existential dread. You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; and you’ll never look at your appliances the same way again.