This comic book from two of Europe's most legendary creators both presents and parodies white male themes in the 20th century. So what makes it compelling today? Should we embrace or reject its existentialism?
With a provocative book title, Laura Jane Grace is reclaiming a slur and repurposing it for her story of struggling with gender dysphoria and self-destructive behavior. Guest Alyson McManus helps us unpack this experience into something universal, with which we can all identify.
Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar has developed a warm, well thought out approach to family cartoons. We look at her goals, Cartoon Network's business plans and the fight in fandom over how this show represents diverse identities.
Past guest Swain Hunt (Sidebar, The Metronome) returns to discuss what makes movies hold up? We each tackle a film from the last 30 years of cinema and try to understand why they hold up for us: Bull Durham, Contact and V For Vendetta.
It's easy to connect with the symbol that is "Johnny Cash," whether you're a rebel, a wanderer, or even a Christian. But how do these contradictions come together as some kind of American identity? And how do these final recordings of a humble storyteller speak to our need for the man to come around?
After viewing the blockbuster Disney princess film Frozen with actual little kids, we look at all the cooks in this corporate cartoon kitchen. With this many people involved, how did they pull it off? And is this cartoon whitewashed? Too feminist? Not feminist enough? How is this fairy tale defining gender and ethnicity for an entire generation?
In the second part of our series on Dischord Records, we look at the politics of Washington D.C.'s music scene going into the 1990s... when art met commerce.
In the first of our two episodes on Dischord Records we look at the punk community of Washington D.C. in the 1980s and its conflicting ethics of politics, violence and drug abuse. Follow along with the story of Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson's label until its redefining summer of 1985.
Hellboy's a charming, working class hero, despite being a demon's spawn. We look at how creator Mike Mignola taps into the mythic simplicity of folk tales and how Hellboy itself has become a commodified franchise.
For our first coverage of a reality television show we go from beauty to camp, to joy and grief. This show simultaneously sells branded content that somehow doesn't feel sleazy, while also providing an extraordinary platform for LGBTQ culture.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: To come.
A novel that took Stephen King 12.5 years to write is now a major franchise. But what was it like when fans (and retailers) were rabid for more? Did King have a "responsibility" to them? And why didn't he plot his fantasy world... instead of writing it by the seat of his pants?
All My Friends Are Funeral Singers is a film (and record) by Tim Rutili of the band Califone. We interview Tim about his experience creating a project like this in multiple media and how that changed his process going forward.
By becoming a more vulnerable frontman, Nick Cave has transformed after a major tragedy. To understand this better, we cover his latest album Skeleton Tree, the companion film One More Time With Feeling and the Bad Seeds' latest North American tour.
As part of the big four bands breaking out of the Seattle "grunge" scene in the early 1990s, Soundgarden was a combination that was not quite metal or punk. We look at why their record Badmotorfinger acts like such a strong signifier of meaning in the wake of Chris Cornell's death.
With a comparison of their staff rosters, we try imagining a television show that idolizes the White House today, the way The West Wing did in 1999. Believe it or not, Aaron Sorkin's fantasy of public service let some people admire civics again.
Donald Glover once described his FX sitcom Atlanta as "Twin Peaks for rappers." As residents of the eponymous city, we were doubtful. But this show came through with a weird, wondrous take on our local African-American culture. Special guest Swain Hunt (Sidebar, The Metronome) joins us to discuss.
China Miéville's novel Kraken is a meandering fantasy comedy full of political themes and a love for weird monsters. How does this author manage to weave together so many themes and genres into one book? And why does he think J.R.R. Tolkien is a "wen on the arse of fantasy"?
Fed up with humanity? Does it seem like everyone is an asshole lately? Macon Blair's I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore may be just the film you need to watch. But... does Netflix's distribution make it less likely that a movie like this will be seen?
David Lapham's crime comic Stray Bullets demonstrates the challenges of working independently on creative art. Why did it take almost 20 years for this book to get the attention it deserves? We look into the economics of the comics industry to find out.
With the many changes to the music industry, it doesn't seem possible for a band to rise to success after their first studio album like R.E.M. did with Murmur. We look at what made this artsy, floppy, jangle rock band tick and how The Police and MTV supported their rise to popularity.
For our one-year anniversary, we look at Sir Ridley Scott's thematic threads with Alien, Prometheus and the upcoming Alien: Covenant. Is it all about commercial appeal? Or is Scott reflecting on old age, legacy and death?
How does one man find himself at the center of modern myth making? David S. Goyer's written and directed superhero comics, films and television, but his public persona suggests something larger and more conflicted about superhero storytelling.
Additional Resources: (To come)
As hacker subculture becomes more prevalent in our current events, techno-thrillers like Chuck Wendig's Zer0es portray hacking more accurately. But how does it split the difference between writing a snarky page-turner and addressing the themes of present day?
Additional Resources: (to come)