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Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 35: Random Childhood Memories

Almost every episode of KnockBack is focused on something: A topic, or a product, or a place and time. Today's episode is a bit different, though. Each month, CLS Patrons get to vote on what we should cover in a future episode of this show, and you guys and gals voted for us to tell some of our favorite childhood memories. So we've done just that. From feats of hockey heroism and snowball fights with the older kids, to fake-out birthday gifts and family vacations, to school assemblies and...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 34: Akira

In the late '80s, Katsuhiro Otomo changed animation forever with the release of Akira, the film adaption of his manga series of the same name. His Akira manga began in 1982, and wouldn't conclude until 1990, two years after the movie was released. But one thing was true then, and remains true now: Akira, as a film, is one of the most impressive and important pieces of long-form animation ever created, and continues to inspire artists around the world to this day. So let's delve into all...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 33: Calvin and Hobbes

From late 1985 until the very end of 1995, immensely talented artist Bill Watterson produced Calvin and Hobbes, a beloved comic strip all about a young boy and his imaginary tiger friend. During the decade it ran -- and in the decades since -- Calvin and Hobbes has touched millions, but even more fascinating than the strip itself is the reclusive man who made it, a man who voluntarily walked away from it all and refused to capitalize on the potential, untold success of his creation....


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 32: The Lord of the Rings

In 1954, J.R.R. Tolkien -- British writer, scholar, and Oxford professor -- released the most important and influential piece of fantasy in literary history: The Lord of the Rings. As a follow-up to The Hobbit, which Tolkien published nearly two decades earlier in 1937, the so-called Trilogy represents some of the most beloved fiction in the entire English language. A mere podcast cannot and will not do these seminal works justice, but for roughly two hours, we gush over a trio of works so...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 31: Guilty Pleasure Movies

There are films we really love. Other flicks we totally hate. And a mass of movies in the middle that just kind of exist. Then, there are the so-called Guilty Pleasure Movies, films that, regardless of critical reception and box office draw, have us coming back for more... even if we try to keep our adoration of these films to ourselves. As requested by CLS Patrons, this episode of KnockBack is all about our secret (and perhaps shameful) cinematic loves. 10 of them in total, in fact. So...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 30: Return of the Jedi

In 1983, the original Star Wars trilogy wrapped up with Return of the Jedi. From Jabba the Hutt and Boba Fett to Emperor Palpatine and Admiral Ackbar, Episode VI is chock-full of great characters, but it also happens to be the culmination of a story that, at the time, was six years in the making. So let's delve into what was once assumed to be the final Star Wars film and talk about our favorite and not-so-favorite moments, spanning from the assault on Endor (with those cute Ewoks!) and a...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 16: Final Fantasy IV

In 1991, Final Fantasy IV came to SNES (we initially knew it as Final Fantasy II in the west), and it changed entirely our expectations of what a role-playing game could be. With a dire, multi-dimensional story, a diverse cast of interesting characters, a stunning soundtrack, and a serious gameplay hook, Final Fantasy IV burrowed its way into gamers' hearts and minds the world over, and 27 years later, it's as beloved as ever. So let's dedicate a solid 100 minutes to chatting about one of...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 15: The Star Wars Expanded Universe

In 1978, a year after Star Wars: A New Hope came to theaters, a book quietly found its way onto store shelves. It was called Splinter of the Mind's Eye, and it took place in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. And thus, the Star Wars Expanded Universe was born, storytelling from A Galaxy Far, Far Away done outside of the films themselves. Spanning across literally thousands of books, comics, cartoon episodes, video games, and on and on (and on), the Expanded Universe founds its...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 14: The Sopranos

From 1999 through 2007, The Sopranos aired on HBO. Indeed, it was only HBO's second scripted series ever (kinda crazy when you think about that through today's lens, huh?). The story of Tony Soprano and his two families -- his actual family and his crime family -- is considered some of the finest storytelling to ever grace television, and is more than worthy of a meaty episode of KnockBack. Allow us to take you through one of our very favorite shows, reminiscing about what the show meant...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 13: The Original PlayStation

In the late '80s and early '90s, few (if any) electronics companies were more respected than Sony. Eager to get into gaming, Sony partnered with Nintendo on a project called Play Station (with the space!), but Nintendo pulled out of the deal, leaving Sony embarrassed and bruised. But Sony sought retribution, and in 1994, it launched PlayStation (intercapped!), and changed gaming forever. Today's extra-long episode of KnockBack is dedicated to Sony's seminal console, to our memories of it,...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 12: Movies We Shouldn't Have Watched as Kids

We all have movies that stick with us as we move through life. Some films inspire us and make us happy; others provoke thought or make us sad. And some are movies we had no business watching as children, and stuck with us simply because of how terrified they made us. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to just that: The movies our parents shouldn't have let us see, movies that have lingered in our minds for decades.


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 11: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has had exceptional staying power. It's enjoyed ebbs and flows in its relevance and success, of course, but it's been in the nerd consciousness for more than 30 years, and there's a reason for that: TMNT is awesome. Today's KnockBack is dedicated to the Turtles, with much of the conversation focusing on the classic 1990 film. But obviously, we touch on the cartoons, toys, and more, too. So let's jump in! Oh... and bring your Jose Canseco bat, if you can find it.


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 10: '80s Nickelodeon

In the pre-Internet days, few things distracted children as much as Nickelodeon, one of the earliest and most successful cable television channels ever created. With humble origins in the late '70s (when it was known as Pinwheel), Nickelodeon hit its stride during the Reagan Administration and never looked back. Today's episode of KnockBack is dedicated to Nickelodeon during the '80s; Dagan and I spend nearly two hours breaking down some of our favorite shows, and have more than a few...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 9: Street Fighter II

In 1991, a game came out that changed the Moriarty Brothers' lives: Street Fighter II. SF2 took the world by storm, and changed the way we looked at, played, and experienced games forever. Indeed, when it comes to sheer hours played, there are few games we dumped more time into, whether then or now. This episode is dedicated to our many memories playing Street Fighter II (and its offshoots), reminiscing about how we discovered it, when we finally procured our own copy, and about how good...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 8: The Greatest War Movies of All-Time

War is hell. But on the big screen, it's sure as hell fun to watch. On this week's episode of KnockBack, Dagan and I take a long, hard look at our favorite war movies -- from the obvious to the obscure -- and discuss why movies that show such heinous acts of violence can also uplift us all with equally amazing acts of heroism and valor. So suit up, grab your M1 Garand, and get listening!


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 7: The Most Underrated NES Games

On today's episode of KnockBack, Dagan and I veer back into the realm of video games, and reach back toward one of our absolute favorite consoles: The NES. With a ton of games in its library, it makes sense that some titles would go underappreciated, unnoticed, or underrated. This podcast is dedicated to the latter, specifically: Underrated NES games -- well-known or otherwise -- that don't get the love they deserve.


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 6: When Anime Was Underground

In the late '80s, Dagan and his friend would venture to a monthly comic book convention at a Long Island Holiday Inn, where a lone merchant would sell mysterious video tapes from Japan for $30 apiece. These tapes were full of cartoons that he'd never seen or heard of before, and it was at this point -- earlier than all but the best-connected and absolute nerdiest westerners -- that Dagan was introduced to anime. The rest, as they say, is history. This podcast is all about Dagan's origin...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 5: We Love G.I. Joe (and Other '80s Toy Talk)

From 1982 through 1994, G.I. Joe took the toy world by storm, introducing an extensive line of action figures, a never-ending comic book run, multiple TV series (and a full-length movie), and much more into the lives of kids the world over. It just so happens that Dagan and I share a deep affinity for all things G.I. Joe, and wanted to dedicate an episode of KnockBack not only to the Joe toys, comics, and cartoons (and our many memories surrounding it all), but to other '80s toys that...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 4: How Twilight Zone Inspired Our Love of Sci-Fi

There are few properties in nerdom Dagan and I love more than The Twilight Zone, the classic late '50s-early '60s television show that spawned generations of televised sci-fi, including the beloved Black Mirror. Today's episode starts with the Twilight Zone, but it doesn't end there. Instead, we walk you through our favorite episodes of the show before pivoting to other fiction -- from Ray Bradbury to JRR Tolkien (and much more) -- explaining how, why, and where we drew inspiration from...


Colin's Last Stand KnockBack, Episode 3: The Art of Retro Video Game Collecting

On this week's episode of CLS: KnockBack, Dagan and I discuss the ever-growing retro game collecting scene. Dagan is an avid and dedicated collector of old games (particularly NES, SNES, Famicom, and Super Famicom), and has tons of insight and lots of interesting stories about what it's like being a collector these days. This is a really fun and lively episode, and I hope you enjoy it.