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The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 59:

Winter Gaming Extravaganza, Featuring Pokemon Sun and Moon and Final Fantasy XV

The Joy of Gaming Podcast is back after a bit of a break, with an episode that's jam-packed with content and more than capable of making up for lost time. We (Rich and Jordan) are ready to let loose the gaming flood gates, and all the huge Winter game releases we've been playing over the past two months serve as fuel for a fantastic and frenetic, mano y mano conversation.

What games have we been playing recently? What do we think of Nintendo Switch and all the recent news coming out of Sony's PSX Event? Just how solid is Pokemon's latest generation, Pokemon Sun and Moon? And now that Final Fantasy XV is a real game that exists and can actually be played, can it possibly live up to nearly ten years of gargantuan hype? You'll have to press play and leave your inhibitions at the door to find out.

After all, the years may pass and the tides may shift, but here, great video games will always provide our true north. This...is the Joy of Gaming!


The Joy of Film Podcast, Episode 10:

Winter Film Season Celebration

On this episode of The Joy of Film Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) talk about all of the big movies we've seen recently. And because we're in the midst of the Winter Film Season, we'll be discussing some of the biggest films of the year, including: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Arrival, Edge of Seventeen, Moana, Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive, and more.

We also discuss some of the biggest recently-released trailers, trying our best to predict quality and figure out to expect from Ghost in the Shell, XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, Silence, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, F8: The Fate of the Furious, Spiderman: Homecoming and more. We also dive into some of the latest movie news, sneak in a bit of Marvel TV talk, and discuss a few other "film-adjacent" topics. 

We cover a lot of (snow-covered) ground in this episode, as there's a lot to talk about - and to love and not love - here in the Winter of Film. And although that sounds more than a bit ostentatious, we'll let it go. After all, This...is the Joy of Film!


The Joy of Television Podcast, Episode 9:

Westworld and the Best of Science Fiction on TV

On this episode, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) dive back into the world of TV in a big way, exploring the past and present of the Science Fiction genre on Television. Here in Science Fiction's present, Westworld has taken over a lion's share of the pop culture conversation, and we have some strong opinions of our own about HBO's groundbreaking, hugely popular and (mostly) critically-lauded show. But gatling guns and robot "reveries" aside, we also discuss some of the other shows we've been watching, including Search Party, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Doctor Who, and SNL.

And in honor of Westworld - as well as the large number of stellar Science Fiction shows thriving in the modern TV landscape - we decided to turn our attention to the genre's recent past and discuss our favorite Sci-Fi shows of all-time. We've each chosen a top-three list of shows, and because the genre is so fertile with quality choices, we also manage to sneak in a number of honorable mentions whenever possible. The result is a conversation about what makes the best Sci-Fi television so captivating, with more than a few disagreements and raised eyebrows along the way.

Add to that a TV news segment where we discuss the latest news on Star Trek Discovery, Sense 8, the TV adaptation of Y: The Last Man, Luke Cage, Marvel's The Inhumans and more, and you have a jam-packed TV episode full of passion, thrills, chills, and (more than a little) time travel. Because in our timeline, anyway, This...is the Joy of TV!


The Joy of Comics Podcast, Episode 13:

Adventures at NC ComicCon 2016

On this episode of The Joy of Comics Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) discuss our recent visit to NC ComicCon 2016, a phenomenal curated comic book convention held each year at the Durham Convention Center in North Carolina. The show is organized by local comic shop Ultimate Comics, and this year our own Kevin Schaefer served as an organizer and panel moderator, giving us a more in-depth look at the 3-day event than ever before.

We talk about everything we did at the show this year, including: scouring the the show floor for 3-for-$10 trade paperbacks, talking to a variety of creators about their recent books and crazy inside-baseball comics-industry stories, checking out the increasingly elaborate and creative cosplay, watching movies at the accompanying film-festival, our yearly visit to the Valiant Entertainment booth to ask questions, buy too many books and geek out over our shared love of the publisher, and last but not least, our guest-starring role in a “Podcasting 201” panel hosted by new our new friends at Name Redacted Podcast. 

With all those adventures to recount, you’d think there wouldn’t be any time left to talk about everything else, right? But to the contrary, we still find plenty of time to talk about our usual podcast mainstays - the best comic books we’ve been reading lately and the latest comic book and geek culture news - including a nice serving of DC and Marvel Comics, TV and film talk, and some creator-owned books thrown in for good measure.

So whether you attended this year's NC ComicCon, if you’re planning on going next year, or you just wanna hear some great stories about comics and comic books, it’s likely you’ve come to the right place. After all, this...is the Joy of Comics!


The Joy of Film Podcast, Episode 9:

Doctor Strange Review

On this episode of The Joy of Film Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) dive headlong into the multiverse to review Marvel's latest film, Doctor Strange. The film stars the omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch at the titular doctor who sustains career-ending injuries and, in searching for a cure, is thrust into a parallel world of magic, sorcery and mysticism the likes of which the Marvel Cinematic Universe has never seen. The film also stars Tilda Swinton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelson and Rachel McAdams, and enjoyed a huge opening weekend at the box office.

And while the film is a thematic departure from the previous MCU films, it also treads some very familiar comic-book ground by giving us another superhero origin story - much like the first Captain America and Iron Man films and Ant-Man, among others. As a result, it's an interesting film to talk about, and we'll weigh in on all aspects - from the characters, to the special effects, to the narrative, the battles, the villain(s), the ending and much more. And as we look ahead to next year's slate of no less than three new Marvel films, we discuss the potential for superhero genre fatigue, and predict whether or not this cinematic thrill ride we're on will slow down any time soon.

So consult the Ancient One, grab hold of some power from the Dark Dimension, and use the Eye of Agamotto to set aside some time to listen to this episode. Don't worry - the three sanctums will be safe until you return. This...is The Joy of Film!



The Joy of Comics Podcast, Episode 12:

Graphic Novel Book Club - Outcast Vol. 1

Welcome to the inaugural episode of what we hope will become a storied new tradition here at the Joy of Geek - our Graphic Novel Book Club. For each episode, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) will choose a graphic novel or trade paperback to read as a group, and then get together a week or two later for an in-depth discussion. For future episodes, we'll also be announcing the book choices in advance on TheJoyofGeek.net so listeners can get in on the discussion too.

For our first episode of the GNBC, we're discussing Outcast: Vol. 1 - written by Robert Kirkman with art by Paul Azaceta. Outcast is an ongoing supernatural horror comic series published by Image Comics, and it's the story of Kyle Barnes - a man who has lived most of his life in the shadow of demonic possession. Kyle is an outcast in more ways than one, and soon he is called upon to use his strange and unique talents to battle the darkness and possibly save his own soul along the way. 

Outcast was originally conceived by Kirkman (of The Walking Dead fame) as an idea for both a comic series and a TV show, and the first season of the show aired this past summer on Cinemax. We discuss the first volume of the comic series in depth - offering our thoughts on the characters, the narrative so far, the art, and our hopes for the future of the series. We also touch on the pilot episode of the Cinemax series, and examine how closely it adheres to the source material. 

So here in the season of Halloween and all things haunted, join us as we venture ever closer to the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. Or rather, as we read a trade paperback and then discuss it in a well-lit room. Either way will work. This...is the Joy of Comics!

The Joy of Geek Podcast, Special Edition:

New York Comic Con 2016 and Beyond

On this special edition of The Joy of Geek Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) forego our usual format to discuss all of the latest news and trailers coming out of this year's New York Comic Con 2016, as well as some of the biggest stories that have broken since then.  

Our conversation includes the much anticipated full trailer for Marvel and Netflix's Iron Fist, the first (and decidedly angsty) Power Rangers trailer, John Wick: Chapter 2, Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe, the surprising announcement of an Extended Edition of Suicide Squad (more Joker, anyone?), more details and footage from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and much, much more. We also discuss a few of the best things we've been watching, reading, etc. over the past few weeks, in true TJOG-style. 

So join us for an odyssey through the (second) biggest comic book and geek culture extravaganza of the year! And who knows - while you're listening, you might even catch a glimpse of the Joker's Purple Lamborghini driving by with Skrillex in the front seat. This...is the Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Television Podcast, Episode 8:

Mr. Robot Season 2 Review and Spoilercast


On this very special episode of The Joy of Television Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) discuss one of the most fascinating, compelling - and this season, divisive - shows on modern television. The cyberpunk-inspired hacker drama Mr. Robot premiered last year to a cavalcade of praise and phenomenal reviews from critics and fans alike, and it scored a spot on just about every top TV list for 2015. But success like that also comes with immense pressure, and creator Sam Esmail was in a challenging position as he began to plan out the sophomore season of the show.

And when Season 2 of Mr. Robot premiered a few months ago, the new direction of the show proved divisive for many, and the chances it took only became more daring and controversial as the season continued. There are a lot of strong opinions on this season's big features - including the senses-shattering twist in Episode 7 "Handshake", the ambiguous nature of "reality" on the show, the new, wider scope and more - and we offer our thoughts on everything that went down (or didn't go down, depending on how you interpret the series' many twists and turns). 

So join us, as we probe the deeper meanings of "Project Berenstain" and "Phase 2", and attempt to piece together the fragments of a season that either redefined modern television or jumped the shark in a major way - depending on who you ask. This...is the Joy of Television!


The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 58:

Fall 2016 Gaming Preview

Fall has officially arrived, and that means it's time for our Annual Fall Gaming Preview 2016! Much like the past few years, Fall 2016's release list includes a large number of sequels to Triple-A Franchises - including Gears of War 4, Watchdogs 2, Pokemon Sun and Moon, and Dishonored 2 - as well as some highly-anticipated HD remakes - including The Bioshock Collection, Batman: Return to Arkham and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim Special Edition, to name a few. And while "what's old is (certainly) new again" this year, there are also some smaller-profile titles like Gravity Rush 2 and Recore that have peaked our interest. We (Rich, Jordan and Kelsey) discuss them all, and offer our thoughts on the individual games we're anticipating the most, as well as the overall slate of Fall titles.

 But before we venture into gaming's near future, we take some time to discuss the past/present and the games we've each been playing recently. Our conversation includes: World of Warcraft: Legion, Lego Dimensions, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Picross 3D: Round 2, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, Hotel Dusk: Room 215, and more. There's also been a flurry of gaming news lately, and we discuss as much of it as we can, including the Playstation event and announcement of Playstation Pro, the latest Nintendo Direct and upcoming slate of 3DS titles, more Nintendo NX rumors, The ever-divisive Metal Gear Survive, and that huge surprise Apple event announcement by Miyamoto: Super Mario Run! Overall, it's definitely a surprising time in gaming.

So join us as we dive headfirst into the morass of Fall video game sequels, remakes (and occasional hidden gems), and discover the joy of gaming buried deep underneath. This is the best time of the year to be a gamer, so let the celebration begin! This...is the Joy of Gaming!

The Joy of Film Podcast, Episode 8:

Our Favorite Science Fiction Films of All-Time

On this episode of The Joy of Film Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) are going "high-concept" to discuss what is arguably the most varied and fascinating genre ever to grace the silver screen: Science Fiction. From 2001: A Space Oddyssey and Blade Runner, to Minority Report and Ex Machina (and everything in between), the only limit here is the filmmaker's imagination. These films are able to make the impossible possible and transport us to a speculative future world full of aliens, robots, crazy technology and a variety of potential outcomes for humankind (few of which are ideal). So yeah - it's a pretty wide field. 

Consequently, choosing our three favorite sci-fi films of all-time was no easy task (even with the added leeway of a few honorable mentions each), so we've narrowed things down a bit and excluded pretty much everything that falls into the "popular space opera" category. In other words, you won't find Star Wars or Star Trek on any of our lists. Is this a shocking omission on our part, or a necessary narrowing of a potentially gargantuan list? You be the judge, as we joyfully celebrate our favorites and wrestle with each and every difficult decision. 

But first, we discuss some of the latest news coming out of...well, Hollywood, presumably...including some Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe news, updates on Rogue One, Star Wars: Episode VIII, and the Han Solo "Solo" film, and some new insights into - of all things - Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. And finally, we give you our thoughts on some of the films we've seen recently, including Kubo and the Two Strings, Pete's Dragon and Don't Breathe. As podcasts go, this one's pretty feature-complete.

In other words - if you want to know why Kubo is "ridiculously emo," whether Pete's Dragon is better than the original, or who's rumored to be playing the young Lando Calrissian in a movie that's more than two years away from release, you've come to the right place. This...is the Joy of Film!

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