Episode 36 – Uzumaki by Junji Ito

“Spirals…This town is contaminated with Spirals…”

In our latest Single Serving Selection, we descend into a mind-bending and stomach-churning modern classic of Japanese manga horror with librarian and friend of the show, Kit DeForge, but perhaps you’ll wish we hadn’t. Because this month, we’re descending into madness and body horror with Junji Ito’s Uzumaki.

What begins as a series of episodic tales of a small seaside town being driven to death and insanity by ubiquitous spiral shapes soon becomes a tidal wave of ancient apocalyptic destruction, lunacy, and unavoidable doom.

Apologies for the inevitable nightmares.

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!

Episode 20 – Watchmen

watchmen

 “Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face.”

Mike and Casey are charging our electric cars, voting for Richard Nixon, and getting a booth in the Gunga Diner with Ask an Atheist‘s Sam Mulvey, and Rob Kelly of the Fire and Water Podcast. Our topic, the 1986 mini-series that has been labeled “the greatest comic book of all time,” Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen.

We dig into the series’ aggressive and intentionally unflattering deconstruction of the superhero genre, the often uncomfortable morality and motivations of its characters, and the controversial and underwhelming 2009 Zack Snyder film adaptation.

*for those interested in donating to a great cause we mention on the podcast, please check out the Hero Intiative.
Music: 
“Pruit Igoe and Prophecies” from Watchmen (and Koyaanisqatsi) by Philip Glass

Previously titled: “You’re Gonna Like This. It’s Got G. Gordon Liddy in it!”

Episode 12 – Conan the Barbarian

2595372-savage_sword_of_conan_047_01fcTravel back, O Listener, to an age undreamed of!

Hither came Mike and Casey, swords in hand, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under sandaled feet with Greg Hatcher of Comics Should Be Good! and our friend Pól Rua of Mike and Pól Save the Universe!

That’s right. This month, the panel is talking about Robert E. Howard’s legendary fantasy anti-hero, Conan the Barbarian! From his pulp magazine beginnings in 1932 to the character’s explosion into comic books, newspaper strips, cartoons, and feature films. Conan’s impact on modern fantasy fiction — and popular culture itself — is deep and often unsung. Join us in a discussion of jocks versus nerds, power fantasies and the infectious “fuck yeah!” moment.

So heft your weeping red broadsword, and whisper a prayer to Crom, because we’re telling you of the days of high adventure!

[CORRECTION: Greg writes new pulp adventures for Airship 27. My apologies.]

Music: 
The Battle of the Mounds from Conan the Barbarian” by Basil Poledouris

Previously titled: “A Jock’s Wet Dream”