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e31. Heroes, Villains & Antiheroes

The antihero… just like the hero… except he can kill. Wait… heroes kill too now. In fact they always have. Well maybe it’s that the antihero swears… Actually, heroes swear now too. Is it that the antihero operates outside of the law? Nope, that’s true of heroes too. Well what is it then, and why … Continue reading "e31. Heroes, Villains & Antiheroes"


e30. Monster Mash 2: Breaking Twilight

Way back in August we recorded our first Monster Mash episode where we discussed the place of the Monster and the Monster Hunter in popular culture. That was a great conversation that went all over the place and we swore right then that we would pick it up at a later time. For our final … Continue reading "e30. Monster Mash 2: Breaking Twilight"


Episode 29: Sexy Halloween

“In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” At least, that’s what Mean Girls would have us believe. The … Continue reading "Episode 29: Sexy Halloween"


Episode 28: Slashers and Final Girls

What’s your favorite scary movie, listener? Well, chances are if the answer isn’t something super obvious and popular, Mav probably hasn’t seen it. That said, he’s fascinated with the basic concept of horror movies, especially slasher ones and since Halloween is fast approaching, it seemed like a good time to educate him on why the … Continue reading "Episode 28: Slashers and Final Girls"


Episode 27: La Mort de l’Auteur

In 1967, literary critic and semiotician Roland Barthes wrote an essay called “La mort de l’auteur” that is in many ways foundational for the field of literary studies. It describes the way that literary interpretation works — both why and how. Since we do a lot of that on this show, figured it would be … Continue reading "Episode 27: La Mort de l’Auteur"


Episode 26: The Secret Lives of Puppets

Last week David Reddish, a former writer for Sesame Street, announced that he’d always thought of Bert and Ernie as gay… and the internet exploded. Some people were happy… some people were sad… and some people just asked “why does anyone care?!?!?” Well, that’s what this show is for. Wayne and Mav are joined by Josie … Continue reading "Episode 26: The Secret Lives of Puppets"


Episode 25: Sex and the Disney Princess

Just about any parent in American who has a five year old girl knows about the Disney Princesses. Between Frozen, Tangled, Moana, and the others, the “House of Mouse” has stumbled upon a multi-billion dollar industry from films and toy sales alone, and far more when adding in other merchandising sales. However, there may be … Continue reading "Episode 25: Sex and the Disney Princess"


Episode 24: Genre in General

At best, “genre fiction” often seems to be taken as synonymous with “popular” or “exciting”. At worse, it is often used a pejorative meaning “low brow” or “garbage”. But what is genre anyway? And why is the word used that way? Wayne and Mav are joined by a returning Hannah to sift through a discussion on … Continue reading "Episode 24: Genre in General"


Episode 23: Comic Studies-301: Course Syllabus

When everyone knows that you are a comics geek, it turns out people ask you quite often “so what should I be reading?” When your job is literally “be a comics geek” or moreover “teach other people to be a comics geek” then you get this question pretty much constantly. Since Wayne and Mav are … Continue reading "Episode 23: Comic Studies-301: Course Syllabus"


Episode 22: Monuments and Memories

A couple of weeks ago, a protest at the University of North Carolina resulted in the toppling of “Silent Sam” a statue that stands at the university to commemorate Civil War era Confederate soldiers. A week later, another protest at the site resulted in police using mass pepper spray on the student population. Confederate monuments … Continue reading "Episode 22: Monuments and Memories"


Episode 21: Sports, Patriotism, and Social Justice

If you live in the United States, then it’s almost football season. Even if you’re the kind of non-fan that likes to unaffectionately refer to it as “sports ball” you’re likely aware of the current President of the United States’ ongoing war with players — led by blackballed former quarterback Colin Kaepernick — who have … Continue reading "Episode 21: Sports, Patriotism, and Social Justice"


Episode 20: Monster Mash

“The Monster” and “The Monster Hunter” may be among the oldest figures in popular culture. It is the most basic of stories. Some great evil is threatening the community. Someone go kill it! It is a theme that has played out in countless books, movies, tv shows, comics and video games. The monster is a … Continue reading "Episode 20: Monster Mash"


Episode 19: Cosplayers of Color

It’s pretty well accepted in contemporary geek culture that “representation matters.” At least, it’s accepted by everyone except for the evil corners of the internet that we don’t really care about. And thankfully, because of this, recent years in geek culture have seen the addition of many diverse characters that have become cosplay favorites at … Continue reading "Episode 19: Cosplayers of Color"


Episode 18: She-Ra and the Male Gaze

If you happened to see a mid-tier 1980s cartoon superheroine get a costume update that was less objectifyingly sexy for a modern day reboot of the series in the last couple weeks and you were shocked to see a bunch of angry middle-aged men complaining about it… well then, “hello there! You must be new … Continue reading "Episode 18: She-Ra and the Male Gaze"


Episode 17: Music, the Soundtrack of our Lives

Wayne loves music. Do you love music? Yeah, we get it, everyone loves music. But Wayne really loves music! Why is that? Why do we connect so strongly with music, especially the popular music of our teens? Why do bands make covers songs? Why is your generation’s music better than the sucky stuff your parents … Continue reading "Episode 17: Music, the Soundtrack of our Lives"


Episode 16: Sex in Video Games

Way back on episode 3, Mav, Katya and Abby discussed violence in video games and the conversation segued into talking about video games with sex in them. We promised to do a follow up episode exploring that. Well, Wayne is away doing cool kid stuff this week like going to bars and listening to concerts, … Continue reading "Episode 16: Sex in Video Games"


Episode 15: Cinematic Violence & the Impossible Body

Remember that one fight in the Matrix that kicked ass? Wait, those all kicked ass. What about that fight in Kill Bill that kicked ass? Actually those all kicked ass too. Well what about that one time that Bruce Lee… Ok so I guess when you think about it, a lot of movie fights kick … Continue reading "Episode 15: Cinematic Violence & the Impossible Body"


Episode 14: Captain America – Patriotism & Nationalism

This week, the United States of America (or what currently passes for it) celebrated it’s birthday. Of course, if you’re a longtime geeky comic book fan, you might also know that July 4th is also the birthday of Steve Rogers, Captain America. Abby certainly does! And because she is essentially a human encyclopedia of geeky … Continue reading "Episode 14: Captain America – Patriotism & Nationalism"


Episode 13: Mythic Reboots

Some stories are timeless: Homer’s Odyssey, the legends of Hercules and King Arthur, the fairy tale of Snow White. These are stories that have been repeated so often that everyone knows them. They are part of the cultural consciousness. So, if that is the case, why do we feel the need to keep repeating them? … Continue reading "Episode 13: Mythic Reboots"


Episode 12: The Coming & Going of the Coming of Age

Dear Mr. Vernon, It was the summer of 2018 and it was the best year of our life. We spent that summer podcasting with… (you know, it’s really hard to get the effect of a voiceover narration in text. Oh well. Just pretend that was in the voice of a middle aged Daniel Stern looking … Continue reading "Episode 12: The Coming & Going of the Coming of Age"