Monday, April 23, 2018

Our Evening With Al

By Dave


If I was going to make a list of my top 5 heroes or people that were most influential to me – post probably not coming soon – Weird Al would be on it. Probably top 3.

Last year when tickets went on sale for The Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour I didn’t really know what it was going to be. I just knew that there was a VIP package and that I had to take the opportunity to meet an entertainer that has had a lasting and powerful impact on my life. I also knew that I wanted to bring Phantom, Jr. with me.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 209 – Evil Dead (2013) Needless Commentary



Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!


Thursday, April 19, 2018

It Was Rambo, Just with Starbuck- Ruckus (1980)


By Jerry Chandler

The Vietnam War had an interesting effect on the Hollywood and smaller studio systems of the 1970s and 1980s. War movies had been a staple of American cinema for about as long as there had been an American cinema, and most of the mainstream war movies had for the longest time a large “Rah, Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah” factor about them. They would occasionally try to slip a ‘look at the horrors of war’ moment into some of them- typically with the death of a beloved character played by a major name actor –but they were largely focused on looking at war as a heroic endeavor that turned men into heroes and heroes into legends. They were the types of films that made young kids want to go out and play soldier with their friends and “die” in a blaze of glory and honor.

Then the Vietnam War hit and a lot of that got turned upside down. America was coming off a war it hadn’t won. Two wars actually, because right before Vietnam there was Korea. Technically, America didn’t really lose either war, but creating films around a war where the ultimate best chant for audiences coming out of theaters could be “We Didn’t Lose” didn’t have the same vibe as being able to declare victory and a world saved from evil by the end of the film. There were no films like The Fighting Seabees to be made where a lead character played by a popular actor could die and it was still okay in the end because he sacrificed himself for the ultimate greater good of the winning war effort.

In the wake of Vietnam, the nature of the American war film changed. Even films being made about WWII started changing how they portrayed war and the effects of war on soldiers. But when Hollywood starting making films about Vietnam? Gone were films like Mister Roberts or To Hell and Back, because Hollywood was now making films like Coming Home and The Deer Hunter. For a time, the war film became the intensely haunting examination of how war destroys man in more ways and more places than just on the battlefield. Even when larger studios geared a film to be more action oriented, there was still a strong focus on the toll the war took on the men who fought it. It’s gotten lost on many thanks to the sequels, but even First Blood was largely centered around how the war had changed and destroyed John Rambo and crew. Some smaller studios might still go the exploitation route, but many still tried to do films with the themes these other films had. Some of them actually worked fairly well. Then there were the films like Ruckus.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Midnight in the Desert Will Never Be the Same- RIP Art Bell


By Jerry Chandler

The news started trickling out Saturday morning that Art Bell had passed away at the age of 72. By later in the morning, the sad news had been confirmed. A lot of people out there likely don’t know who Art Bell was; although they still may have heard him on the radio or seen him on TV more than a few times. However, for those of us who knew the man’s work well the news hit like a ton of bricks even though he’s largely been off the airwaves for some time now. That impact is not even dependent on you being a believer in any of the subject matter Art used to discuss on his show.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 208 – Sam K. Hale – Yamasong: March of the Hollows


On today’s episode of the Needless Things Podcast Dave talks to Sam Koji Hale, director and creative force behind the new feature film Yamasong: March of the Hollows


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Grave of the Fireflies (1988)


By Jerry Chandler


On April 16, 1988 in Japan, 30 years ago now, an animated film, an early film for the just shy of three-year-old Studio Ghibli, opened in movie theaters in Japan. The film itself was based on a 1967 semi-autobiographical short story, Hotaru no Haka, from writer Akiyuki Nosaka. The story itself had become well known in Japan, and Akiyuki Nosaka had reportedly turned down several offers to turn his story into a live action movie or television film believing that live action would not capture the intended spirit of the story. He had never considered animation, but first the pitch from Studio Ghibli and then the early storyboards convinced him that the story could not be properly told at that time in any medium other than animation. There are probably a lot of people all around the world who are glad he came to that conclusion, because had he not done so we would never have seen Grave of the Fireflies. Of course, that’s as much a blessing as a curse for some.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Spy Con 2018 Recap

by Beth

Atlanta’s first Spy Con was held at the Alpharetta Marriott on March 30th-April 1st. As it was a first I didn’t really know what to expect. I assumed that it would be on the smaller side, but was just slightly concerned about my own high standards and expectations. I tried to keep them lower so that I wouldn’t be disappointed, but it turned out to be better than I had hoped for. I'm not gonna lie - I am loving these smaller conventions. After two cons in a row that only took place on one floor of one hotel I don't know how I'll survive Dragon Con this year. If you didn’t make it to Spy Con then read on to find out what you missed, and why you should go if they do it again next year.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 207 – Wrestling Mania!


We’re on the Road to WrestleMania and it’s time to call the Needless Things Irregulars out to the ring to cut promos on their favorite – and most despised – wrestling memories!


Thursday, April 5, 2018

It’s Time for WrestleMania 34


By Jerry Chandler

It’s April, April Fools is now nicely behind us, and, for wrestling fans at least, the real reason April as a month has a special place on the calendar is about to happen this coming weekend. The entire company that is the World Wrestling Entertainment has been building towards this weekend since the Monday Night Raw of April 3, 2017, and some fans have been making their plans for this weekend for almost as long. Welcome to the craziness that is the WrestleMania Weekend.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews April 2018: “A Marvelous Month”


By Dave


If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in June.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!


Monday, April 2, 2018

What I Did for Spring Break - Universal Orlando Part 2

By Dave

The Troublemakers visited the Universal theme parks in Orlando for an early Spring Break a few weeks ago. My son had never been and it had been around thirteen years since me and the missus were there. Obviously a lot had changed in the intervening years.

Now Universal’s side of Orlando boasts two Harry Potter themed areas, a new King Kong ride, new resort hotels, and plenty more to fill an entire trip. There’s even a whole new water park called Volcano Bay, which I’ll address in just a bit. Once upon a time I wouldn’t have dreamed of a vacation in the area that didn’t include Walt Disney World, but it looked like Universal had stepped up their game enough to earn a few solid days of our time.

We had more fun than not and I’m satisfied with our decision to just visit Universal. Barring a weekend for Halloween Horror Nights I can’t imagine going back in the next several years, but I definitely feel better about the parks than I did after our last visit.

Here are a few more of the highs and lows of our trip!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 206 – Missy Suicide


For sixteen years SuicideGirls.com has been breaking boundaries and setting standards for online communities, representation, and pop culture relevance. It’s also provided a safe space for beautiful women with tattoos and piercings to express themselves.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Commander USA's Groovie Movies


By Jerry Chandler

“Commander USA, soaring super hero, Legion of Decency, retired.”

The year was 1985, basic cable television in the form we now know it was still crawling towards its teenage years, and an eight-year-old USA Network decided to start the new year off with a new Saturday afternoon show. The USA Network had access to more quality films and programming than your average local UHF channel, but, despite this advantage, their access to films was still a wee bit higher on the ratio of the stinkers vs the great films out there. As such, the early day weekend blocks were often showcasing the not even close to being the best in science fiction and horror on the USA Network; a common thing with many early basic cable channels.

In order to make these less than stellar movies stand out from the crowd, the powers that be at the USA Network decided to take a page out of the broadcast channel playbook from years earlier and have the movies hosted by someone playing a character. The USA Network held a casting call in late 1984, and among the people that tried out for the role of the host was Jim Hendricks. Hendricks apparently had what they were looking for, and on January 5, 1985, the costumed persona of Commander USA strolled onto the TV screens of America to beam mostly so bad they were good films into American homes from his secret headquarters under a New Jersey shopping mall. By the time the show saw its last episode in 1989, it had seen more than 200 shows air, Commander USA had hosted a few events along the way, and an (unintentionally) one shot magazine, Commander USA's World of Horror, had been produced.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Devlin's Domain - The Devil's Honey




When people think about Lucio Fulci they usually think about atmospheric horror, zombies, twisted gialli, maggots, eyeball mutilation, and naked women. He's earned his spot as the Italian king of gore with his quality contributions to cinema. One type of film that doesn't come to my mind when I think of Fulci, however, is the erotic thriller. He's made everything from comedies to westerns, but for some reason only his horror films have gained notoriety. Thanks to a recent restoration and release from Severin Films, one of his more obscure films has come to light. It is, of course, an erotic thriller from 1986. Proceed further to discover one of the strangest tales of Stockholm Syndrome and how to properly use a saxophone.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Crap, I'm Watching The Walking Dead Again


by Beth

Am I just a glutton for punishment? Kinda, but here's the deal. Mr. Tibbs and I lived in the dark ages of TV until last month. We didn't have a DVR. We're crazy, but we just don't watch enough TV to have ever made it important to us. Then we talked to the cable company to get a better deal. Not only did we get a better deal, but we got a free DVR. Shortly after this I heard that the kid who plays Coral on The Walking Dead had been bitten in the mid-season finale, and would die when the show came back. I hadn't seen a single episode of season 8, but Coral dying sounded like something to watch. Especially since I now had the power to fast forward through commercials and speeches. That power came at a high price though. If you care at all there are spoilers ahead. Let's be honest though – no one really cares. Not even me, and I'm watching it again.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Jabba's Sail Barge - A Historic Moment in Toy History


By Dave



Maybe. If it's backed by 5,000 people by 11:59 PM on April 3rd.

You don’t have five hundred bucks to spend on a friggin’ toy.

And even if you did, you certainly don’t have anywhere to put a four foot long, seventeen inch high, fifteen inch wide, fourteen pound mass of plastic and paint.

Trust me – I know. I’m in the same barge. Er, boat.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 205 – Santa Clarita Diet Season 1



Recorded LIVE at Dragon Con 2018 for the Horror Track!

Just in time for the premiere of the sophomore season, Needless Things is proud to present E.J. Stevens, James A. Moore, and our very own Dave West discussing the first season of Netflix’s outrageous Santa Clarita Diet!


Thursday, March 22, 2018

9 Podcasts You Might Want to Listen To


By Jerry Chandler

Every so often I just want to promote a lot of the things I like, and this is one of those times.

I love podcasts. I’m a big podcast person. With my job, having a lot of podcasts to be able to turn to and play during the really long, slow shifts is almost at times an aid to retaining sanity, and, on a good day, ones where it’s not 34 degrees, windy, and pouring rain, they make good listening for a morning’s walk. So, yeah, I tend to need a lot of new content every week. These are a few of the podcasts I tend to have at the top of my daily playlists.

Monday, March 19, 2018

What I Did for Spring Break - Universal Orlando Part 1

By Dave


Thirteen years ago Mrs. Troublemaker and I spent enough time in Orlando to visit Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and a few of the random lower profile attractions.

I can’t even imagine having enough time to do that nowadays.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 204 – No Holds Barred Needless Commentary



Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Assorted Musings - 3/15/2018 Edition

By Jerry Chandler

Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones just had its second season drop in full last weekend. No matter your opinion on the first season, the second season is worth a look. There be some spoilers ahead. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Spy Con Preview


By Beth

I've been a fan of James Bond going back to my childhood. My dad was always into Bond so I learned to like it too. I was young in the 80's so I won't lie. I'll just come right out and admit that I liked A View to a Kill. I know, but it had Christopher Walken, and that great opening song by Duran Duran. Later, and still to this day, my favorite is Goldeneye. Yes, part of that is because it was one of the best video games of all time. Not all of it though. It's one of the first movies I remember seeing Sean Bean die in. He's died in a lot of stuff since, but that was my first so it matters more to me. I also thought that Pierce Brosnan was great in his first Bond movie. It's not totally his fault that his next Bond movies sucked. The writing was terrible. Denise Richards playing any kind of scientist is ridiculous to the point that if I roll my eyes up into my head about it one more time they may get stuck there. Some of the Roger Moore movies were okay, but he was better cast in The Saint than as James Bond. As much as I love the old movies I do enjoy the grittier and less quippy realism of Daniel Craig's Bond. I miss those gadgets though. But since we're probably only a few years away from being able to buy our own laser watches I think I'll miss them less soon.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Toy Review – One:12 Collective Suicide Squad Harley Quinn from Mezco


By Dave


I decided over a year ago that I wanted to review a bunch of different versions of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. I love the character design, which lends itself to plenty of variations between manufacturers. And there were plenty of manufacturers – Mattel, Medicom, Bandai, Funko, Hot Toys, and possibly more that I’m not thinking of.


Friday, March 9, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 203 – Devon Goldberg of Morricone Youth


Morricone Youth formed in New York City in 1999 with the mission statement of composing, re-interpreting, performing and recording only "music written for the moving image." 


Thursday, March 8, 2018

32 Years Later, There Can Still Be Only One

By Jerry Chandler



March 7, 1986, 32 years ago yesterday, a low budget film written and directed by no one most anyone had heard of hit American theaters with very little fanfare. For many people- one of whom was my father who took me to see it in theaters only because of the presence of this star -the only reason the film got their attention at all was Sean Connery, the 007 most of them had grown up on, being featured heavily in the ads. It went on to earn just under $6 million at the domestic box office at a time when successful movies were earning anywhere from $35 million to $50 million. In its inglorious domestic box office run, it was written off by critics and moviegoers alike, and was even beaten out by things like The Care Bears Movie 2 as a money earner. But in the decades to follow, the original Highlander would become one of the most popular and most loved cult films of its era. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews March 2018: “Diamonds in the Stuff”


By Dave


If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in May.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!


Monday, March 5, 2018

New York International Toy Fair 2018 – Mezco


BY Dave


Once again social media has improved my ability to bring you pictures of the new stuff shown at Toy Fair. Most toy companies maintain some sort of presence on Instagram or their own blogs online and seem to recognize the importance of showing their new products directly to potential consumers. I don’t know if this means the collectors’ market is more important than ever or if it’s simply evolving business, but whatever the reason I’m glad it’s happened.

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018

RIP Paul De Meo


By Jerry Chandler

Tuesday of this week, February 27, the news broke that Paul De Meo had passed away. I first saw the news in the form of a Facebook post by John Wesley Shipp. Through his post, I found the tweet by De Meo’s longtime creative partner Danny Bilson. I had at first hoped the news was wrong, but John Wesley Shipp was likely not going to be posting a false death report for De Meo and Bilson damned sure wasn’t. So, sadly, the news that fandom had lost someone who gave it so much over the years was true. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New York International Toy Fair 2018 – NECA


BY Dave


Once again social media has improved my ability to bring you pictures of the new stuff shown at Toy Fair. Most toy companies maintain some sort of presence on Instagram or their own blogs online and seem to recognize the importance of showing their new products directly to potential consumers. I don’t know if this means the collectors’ market is more important than ever or if it’s simply evolving business, but whatever the reason I’m glad it’s happened.

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Days of the Dead: Malcolm McDowell Panel

by Beth

Look I know that we're almost a month out from Days of the Dead now, but we've got nothing else to do for a few months so why not keep this party going for another week? And I'm not just trying to drag this out with a bunch of crap either. I'm giving you audio of a Malcolm McDowell before I finally lay this thing to rest. Pun intended.

Monday, February 26, 2018

New York International Toy Fair 2018 – Super 7

BY Dave


Once again social media has improved my ability to bring you pictures of the new stuff shown at Toy Fair. Most toy companies maintain some sort of presence on Instagram or their own blogs online and seem to recognize the importance of showing their new products directly to potential consumers. I don’t know if this means the collectors’ market is more important than ever or if it’s simply evolving business, but whatever the reason I’m glad it’s happened.

As always I highly recommend you follow Action Figure Attack on Facebook and Instagram for some excellent press photos. Toy Ark once again provided thorough coverage and is the site we used for reference to record this Friday’s Toy Fair episode of the Needless Things Podcast. For the full list of links to Toy Ark product pages, click here!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 201 – Tanya’s Island Needless Commentary


Part of an ongoing series – the Needless Things Irregulars gather in the Phantom Zone to provide their own unique commentary on classic genre films!


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Possible Remakes that Could Actually Be Good


By Jerry Chandler

A lot of people treat the word “remake” attached to a project as an automatic sign of a bad product. Some people- often people not realizing that some of their favorite movies are remakes –will also greet the news of remakes with declarations about how remakes are automatically inferior to the originals or are automatically devoid of any level genius or originality. One of my favorite remakes, 1986’s The Fly, is a film that puts a lie to both of these statements.

Admittedly, many remakes can be horrible. Typically, bad remakes come about because someone somewhere in a studio in Hollywood wants to remake or reboot a popular film or TV franchise just to try to jump back onto a money train. There’s often seemingly very little love or passion for the original versions, and some great deal less thought seems to be put into executing a new version thanks to the laziness of thinking everyone will just know what they’re supposed to know once the movie starts. There’s also an issue created when the original property is a hugely popular film or franchise with generations of fans. Of course, one way to get around that last bit is to let people who love the less than well-loved films get a shot at doing some remakes or reboots based on those. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Days of the Dead: Ray Wise Panel

by Beth


You know him, you love him, you might even be a little unnerved by him. It's Ray Wise! But don't let the fact that he's played a bunch of bad guys fool you you. He was insanely nice during his panel, when we stopped by to say hello at his table after the panel, and again when we went on Saturday for Mr. Tibbs to get an autograph and picture with him.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 200: The Version You Can See!



Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com 

Interstitial music provided by The Mystery Men? 

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest on pop culture!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 200 – LIVE 200th Episode Extravaganza!


Join Dave, the Needless Things Irregulars, and some very special guests for a night of entertainment recorded live at the Intown Coffehouse in Atlanta, Georgia!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bring on the (Better) Villains


By Jerry Chandler

This weekend will see the release of Marvel’s much anticipated Black Panther film, and then hot on its heels will be Avengers: Infinity War. For Marvel’s cinematic universe, this is literally a year that’s been ten years in the making for them. It’s been an occasionally bumpy ride. They’ve had some truly great films come out as they’ve built towards the ultimate showdown with Thanos, but they’ve also had a few four finger stinkers hit the big screen as well. 20th Century Fox has been chugging along for a longer time now with the X-Men franchise in much the same way, although their films actually featuring the X-Men as a team have been unfortunately getting a little more reliably meh as time has worn on. I’m largely not even going to discuss what they did with Fantastic Four; especially as the Disney/Fox deal means we likely won’t see a misfire of that level with the team again. I’d mention Sony and Spider-Man, but that’s basically just part of the MCU right now.

Then there’s DC. They’ve been trying to play catch-up with Marvel while wanting to create their own version of Marvel’s shared universe. Sadly, while some efforts have been entertaining, they’ve not quite just yet stumbled onto their version of a winning formula. Even more unfortunate, their most recent three films all showed that they’re as susceptible as Marvel (maybe even more so) to replicating the biggest failure of so many modern superhero films. It’s a failing that Black Panther may even be facing from the early looks at it, but one hopes that it will give a much better showing than other films in this regards.

The villains suck. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 1 Special Edition


The first episode of the Needless Things Podcast was posted on January 1st, 2013. It's a conversation between Phantom Troublemaker (Dave) and Beau Brown about the 30th anniversary of Masters of the Universe.

It was originally posted on the Internet Archive because we had no idea what we were doing. Now, five years later, the episode has been given a new introduction and outro and is finally being included in the Podbean library of episodes to be distributed to itunes, Stitcher, Uranus, and everywhere else podcasts aren't sold.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Beth's Days of the Dead Recap

By Beth

You should all know by now that I love horror movies, and spooky stuff in general. Several years ago Sharron and I got day passes to go to Days of the Dead just for Saturday. It was fairly small, inexpensive, and relatively quiet. I had a good enough time that I’ve been wanting to do it again. Since my horror buddy was out of town the last few times it happened, and Mr. Tibbs isn’t usually one for crowds, I haven’t been back until this year. It’s changed a lot since 2014, and it was all for the better.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Every Needless Things Podcast Ever

By Dave

This Friday I will be releasing the 200th episode of the Needless Things Podcast.

Five years ago in January I released the first episode, which was a modest conversation with our pal Mr. Beau Brown that celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Masters of the Universe. Every year since we have recorded a Masters episode as close to the beginning of the year as we can.

Today’s post is mostly just a list of links for your convenience. I wanted to put all of the episodes together in one spot so everyone could see the amazing range of topics and guests all in one shot without having to browse the site.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 199 – Toy Stories LIVE at Days of the Dead Atlanta


LIVE from the Days of the Dead Atlanta horror convention – Dave, Nicole Gould, and Ryan Cadaver host Needless Things Presents Toy Stories: Plastic Horrors!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Science Fiction’s Technological Dream, Less than Dreamy in Real Life


By Jerry Chandler

Technology was always going to make our lives better and make our sometimes-limited leisure time more enjoyable. At least that was always the point- when dealing with this specific form of technology -of so many of the little throwaway scenes in so much science fiction over the decades. The machines around us were in their way going to grow smarter, and thus they would be able to serve us in ways people could only imagine experiencing until recent years. One of the ways they would do this was by analyzing the things we regularly liked to hear or see or do and find similar things to that to expose us to when we asked for something to hear or see or do. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews February 2018: “Light on Toys”

By Dave


If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in April.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Days of the Dead in Pictures

by Beth

So Days of the Dead 2018 is over, and we've got more than 6 months until Dragon Con. Sigh...
At least a good time was had by all. A little too good for some of us. The flu I was fighting all week came back with friends, and I missed too much work last week to stay home today, and get any writing done. I've got a full recap, as well as 2 amazing panels to cover. I saw more than 2 panels of course, but Ray Wise and Malcolm McDowell we're so good that they'll need their own posts.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Needless Things Podcast 198 – Masters of the Universe Part 2


Mr. Beau Brown returns to the Needless Things Podcast for the second part of a wide-ranging conversation about Masters of the Universe!


Thursday, February 1, 2018

Why Do So Many Fans Seemingly Hate the Genres They Claim to Love?


By Jerry Chandler

I’m a fan of horror movies. That’s the understated way of saying it. I’m also, of course, a fan of other genres. But, yeah, I tend to really enjoy horror, science fiction, and fantasy. You could also throw superhero into that list, but I’ve always considered that just fantasy with a sometimes small twist of science fiction mixed in and given a new coat of paint. After all, as has been pointed out by others, some modern superhero storytelling is essentially just the modern evolution of the tradition of the telling of ancient myth stories.

I’m also the type of geek who has always loved to learn about the ‘why’ of the things I enjoyed. When it comes to these genres. I would never compare myself to an academic or a historian when it comes to the level of knowledge I have about the ins and outs of the history of the genres across the various mediums or how the genres can be used to tell very meaningful human stories in disguise. However, I do try to learn as much as I can about these things. As such, I think I’m in a good position to be able to say that stories have been told and still can be told in these genres that rise above the level of disposable entertainment. Indeed, all of those genres have been used to tell stories that have touched on important social commentary, made huge political statements, addressed the human condition, and even ventured into the realm of the deeply philosophical. They’ve also all been able to and still can produce absolute classics of storytelling.

Apparently, having the opinion that some of these genres are capable of this kind of thing has me not only on the other side of a debate with many in the mainstream of American pop culture these days, but also with some in fandom who somehow or another claim they love some of these same genres I do. 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Toy Stories - Christina's Toys of the 80s


By Christina

A depressing night hit me recently, with sad events occurring that left me in a mix of anger (at not only others, but at myself in all honesty) and in shock and sadness/tears.  In an attempt to alleviate the pain I went from some time on the PS4 killing Trinity soldiers in Rise of The Tomb Raider (which killed virtual men, but not the sadness) to Netflix.  

In the midst of my “Flix-Surfing” my heart jumped for temporary joy when I saw a new show that had joined the online ranks:  The Toys That Made Us.  Only a few episodes seem to be up at this point, but it was enough to send me back in time to the best days of my life.  The days of the thirty minute commercial, when cartoons were awesome even though they were just an advertisement for the joyful playthings that we all opened up on Christmas Day and birthdays.  The time when, thanks to these action figures and play sets, we spent most of our years either singing or screaming the likes of “I have the power!” “Yo, Joe!”  “Thundercats, hooooo!” or whatever we were into in that moment.