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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!
The Joy of Gaming Podcast, Episode 57:

Gamescom 2016 and Games We Like (More Than Most People Do)

On this episode of The Joy of Gaming Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kelsey) discuss the latest news coming out of Gamescom 2016 - including our thoughts on Metal Gear Survive, new Pokemon Sun and Moon details, the Lego Dimensions Supergirl Starter Pack and more - before diving into a lively discussion about a topic we're calling: "Video Games We Like (More Than Most People Do)". And yes, we could just call them "Underrated Games," but some of these picks may have earned their less-than-outstanding Metacritic and GameRankings scores, despite our intense enjoyment of them. Have we peaked your interest? If so, our individual Top 3 lists will no doubt spark some friendly disagreement, and we each throw in a few super-controversial honorable mentions to help stoke the flames.  

But before we set the internet on fire with mild controversy, we warm things up with a discussion of the games we've been playing over the past few weeks, including: Kirby Planet Robobot, Hearthstone: One Night in Karazhan, The Banner Saga, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Hyrule Warriors, Ben Hur, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Batman Arkham Knight and Warriors Orochi 3. We also discuss some of the big goings-on in the world of gaming, including the incredibly mixed response received by No Man's Sky, the current state of Pokemon Go, and much more. We also wax nostalgic about the glory of gaming magazines of the past like Nintendo Power, Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro.

So join us, for a discussion of the video games that make us love video games, even if they make other gamers want to run for the hills. Okay, so that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the point is that this...is The Joy of Gaming! 

The Joy of Comics Podcast, Episode 11:

Suicide Squad Aftermath & Our Favorite Batman Villains

Here in the aftermath of Suicide Squad's release, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) have decided to honor that film's source material by turning our attention to one of the most colorful, creative and fascinating collections of villains in all of comics - the Batman Rogues Gallery. From widely known superstar villains like The Joker, The Riddler, The Penguin and Two-Face, to slightly lesser-known baddies like Clayface, Hush, The Court of Owls and Catman, we're diving deep into the Batman mythology to discuss our favorites. 

We also discuss a variety of new details that have emerged since the release of Suicide Squad, and offer our evolving opinions on the film we all saw in theaters, as well as our thoughts on how it may have differed from Director David Ayer's original visionAnd of course, no episode of TJOC would be complete without a rundown of the latest breaking news coming out of the world of comic books, films and TV shows, as well as a discussion of some of the best comics we've been reading over the past few weeks. And to cap off the proceedings, we tell you what comic-related media we're most excited about in the weeks and months to come. 

So just imagine that it's new comic book day and you're about to dig into your new read pile. Suddenly you think "Oh hey, look! The Joy of Comics is right on top! Nice! I've been waiting for this issue all month!". Or at least that's how things might go down if this episode was actually a comic book instead. Yeah I know - it's kind of a bad analogy, but you get the point. This...is the Joy of Geek!

The Joy of Television, Episode 7:

The Best Characters on TV

On this episode of The Joy of Television Podcast, we (Rich, Jordan and Kevin) celebrate what is arguably the most important part of any great TV show: its cast of characters. After all, masterpieces of modern TV like Lost, Game of Thrones, Fargo, How I Met Your Mother, Mr. Robot, Hannibal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc. depend on their fascinating and/or relatable characters to keep viewers engaged and coming back to see what new adventure each episode holds. And because there are so many different types of characters, we've broken things down award-show style, into a number of different categories. 

The Categories Include:

Best Hero 
Best Villain
Best Dramatic Character
Best Comedic Character
Best Supporting Character 
Best Animated Character
Most Relatable Character
Most Surprising Character

We also discuss the latest television news - including our usual rundown of superhero TV show reveals and announcements - and chat about some of the shows we've been watching lately, including Stranger Things, Mr. Robot and Bojack Horseman.

So join us, as we celebrate the funniest, most compelling, most animated and outright surprising characters that modern TV has to offer. This...is the Joy of Television!


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