Roots, Inspirations, & Collaborations – 101

I’m still thinking about hitting the 100-episode milestone, so it only felt right to talk about where the podcast started, what inspires the feel of the show, and some of my favorite collaborations.

Shows That Mean Something to GEEK THIS

Stuff You Should Know

Strangers & Aliens

The Audacity to Podcast

The Sci-Fi Christian

Spirit Blade

Word Balloon w/ John Siuntres

Lore

Variant

Reel World Theology

The 100th Episode – 100

Grab your pinatas, party hats, and brewskies, folks! It’s the long-awaited 100th episode of GEEK THIS! To celebrate, I take us all down memory lane to give a little commentary on the first episode of the podcast. And of course, I spend the last part of the show thanking you profusely. You’ll never know how grateful I am that you listen. Thank you all so very much for 100 episodes! There’s still more to come!

Support GEEK THIS!

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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR LISTENING!

Babish, Balloons, & (More) Batman

FINALLY FRIDAY is a weekly review article meant to give you some suggestions on what to geek out about over the next week… or so.

READING

Batman (DC Comics)

I’m still making my way through the stories leading up to Batman #50. While I’ve read through issue #49, I’m going to dig into the Prelude to the Wedding tie-ins to get the full scope of what’s going on with the Bat and the Cat. As I got caught up to #50, I’m increasingly impressed with Tom King’s writing and the artists that have been selected to help him tell the story. Mikel Janin has been the primary artist for these stories and his artwork is a wonderful compliment. It’s simply beautiful and really pulls you in. There’s not much more I can say, other than you should really be reading this. And King is only half-way through his run. I’m excited to see where he’s headed.

WATCHING

Binging with Babish

We consume a lot of YouTube in my house, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to you that eventually something would show up in Finally Friday. One of our regularly watched shows is Binging with Babish. Each week, Andrew Rae – who defines himself as “one part chef, one part filmmaker, and a generous dash of irreverent YouTube personality” – makes food from TV and film. He’s created some of the most disgusting – looking at you, Family Guy panini – and some of the most delicious dishes – that Cubano from Chef, anyone? – that have ever hit a screen. And if something doesn’t work the first time, he re-engineers it to make it more palatable. What’s better is he walks you through each dish with a great voice over and commentary without taking himself seriously. He also takes that same style and has Basics with Babish, in order to teach home cooks how to create, well, the basics.

LISTENING

Word Balloon w/ John Siuntres

Word Balloon was one of the shows that really inspired GEEK THIS and after taking a long break from listening, I’ve returned and have fallen back in love with it. John Siuntres is a radio personality from Chicago who has developed a great relationship with the comic book community. In his podcast, he sits down and has in-depth conversations with comic book creators – writers and artists alike – that don’t just focus on the creative side of things, they really geek out about what they love. Each episode I’ve listened to makes me write down a list of books or story lines I need to read. (I will never read them all.) What’s fascinating for me is just how real the guests are. As a reader, it’s so easy to hold the artists and writers up on this pedestal as if they’re gods. In reality, they’re just normal people, living normal lives, creating stories we love. A word of warning, though, many of these episodes include strong language, so listen appropriately.

If you like Finally Fridays, you could be a contributor! Complete out the form located here to apply!

The War of Jokes and Riddles, Master Chef, and a Cabinet of Curiosities

FINALLY FRIDAY is a weekly review article meant to give you some suggestions on what to geek out about over the next week… or so.

READING

Batman (DC Comics)

If you’ve been living under a rock, you may not know this, but Batman is getting married to Catwoman. Since I have been living under a rock and am way behind on my Batman issues, I’m slowly working my way to the epic 50th issue, where they will supposedly tie the knot. I’m all the way back in volume 4 (issues 25-32), The War of Jokes and Riddles, in which (surprise) the Joker and the Riddler are at war with each other and effectively destroying Gotham in the process. I was a big fan of most of Scott Snyder’s New 52 run, but I have to admit, Tom King is doing a fantastic job. And the artwork in this volume, largely done by Mikel Janin, is absolutely on point. I’ve got a little ways before I can actually read the latest issue, but I’m looking forward to where King takes the story from volume four.

WATCHING

Master Chef (Fox)

Gordon Ramsey used to scare the crap out of me. All of the yelling, cursing, and insulting he did on Kitchen Nightmares took a toll on my opinion of him. In recent years, however, he’s grown on me. In Master Chef, he and two other judges – in the current season, Aarón Sánchez and Joe Bastianich – choose eight home cooks each and watch them battle it out during various culinary challenges. My wife and I spent a large portion of our dating years watching Food Network shows and we’ve developed a fondness for cooking competitions. Master Chef is no exception with it’s gorgeous plating and over-dramatic production. We’ve already picked our favorites – Fahran, I’m rooting for you, man – and it’s fun to judge people on how well they cook, despite my lack of skills.

LISTENING

Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities

In last week’s episode of the podcast, I mentioned a new podcast from Lore creator, Aaron Mahnke, and HowStuffWorks. On July 3rd, they dropped three episodes to whet the appetite and yesterday (July 5th) they released a fourth. I’ve talked at length about my love for Lore and while Cabinet of Curiosities is an extension of that show, it isn’t what I expected. Each episode is broken into two different stories for a total run time of roughly 10 minutes. I enjoy the stories, but they’re incredibly short and for me, at least, require a second listening to fully understand. That’s not a complaint, although I know it sounds like it. It’s simply a critique and might even clue me in to how well I’m actually paying attention. If I have a complaint, it would be that the transition from the first story to the ad – which so far has been for other HowStuffWorks shows – isn’t done very well from a production standpoint. I’m still listening, though, and am very glad to have more of Mahnke’s now-recognizable voice in my life.

Rain Man, Burger Battle, & The Search for Everything

FINALLY FRIDAY is a weekly review article meant to give you some suggestions on what to geek out about over the next week… or so.

WATCHING

Rain Man (1988)

Now that I run a podcast about movies, it only seems fair that I start catching up on older movies that I haven’t seen yet. While running through Hulu, I came across Rain Man.

I know! I know! Even my brother asked how I hadn’t seen it until now. I’m sorry. Good grief!

To summarize: Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) finds out he has an autistic brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), after his estranged father dies. He’s left with nothing but a classic car that broke the relationship with his father. He discovers that he has an older brother who was left 3 million dollars. Charlie, being the selfish guy that he is, feels entitled to his half of the money and tracks down Raymond, only to find out he’s autistic and the money has been left to the institution. Charlie kidnaps Ray and heads to Los Angeles in hopes to gain his brother’s trust, as well as the inheritance he feels he deserves. The adventure ends up changing not only Charlie, but Raymond, too.

I watched Rain Man over the course of a couple days, and at first I wasn’t impressed. Tom Cruise wasn’t likable in the least and felt very… Tom Cruise, and not the good version. As the movie progressed, though, I found myself enjoying it more, paying attention to the subtle changes taking place in both men. Eventually Tom Cruise’s performance didn’t bother me as much. Dustin Hoffman, though. From the second he hits the screen, I wanted more of him. While I’ve heard criticisms of the portrayal of autism in the film, I couldn’t help but find Hoffman intriguing, lovable, and innocent. Looking back at it now, it’s a role that is the perfect foil to Cruise’s narcissistic Charlie. And ultimately, that’s what makes both characters work so well.

This could easily be one of my favorite movies and I could watch it at least once per year.

LISTENING

John Mayer – The Search for Everything (2017)

I don’t make a lot of time for music anymore. Considering so much of my time is spend writing for the podcast, writing responses for work, and doing other tasks that require focus, I tend to only listen to instrumental tracks from one of the Focus playlists on Spotify. There are times, however, when I need something else. That something else this week happened to be The Search for Everything by John Mayer. I can admit that I’ve not been a big Mayer fan for no particular reason. After watching him on an episode of the YouTube show, Hot Ones, something clicked and I wanted to revisit his albums.

The Search for Everything simply feels heartfelt and the title of the album fits the tone perfectly. There’s a longing Mayer conveys throughout every single, no matter what the tempo or style. I’m not good at explaining music. I can’t always identify the message that I’m seeing or feeling when I listen, but something about this album in particular hits me hard. It could very well be that I don’t get wrapped up in the drama that supposedly surrounds Mayer. I’ve heard that one of the songs references Katy Perry in some way, but I wouldn’t know that because, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I just like the music and the way it makes me feel.

PLAYING

Burger Battle

At a local convention a couple of years ago I ran into Andrew Heath. He’s an illustrator and graphic designer from Kentucky. Since I have a background in design myself, we actually talked for a little while and I picked up a card game, Retro Loonacy, that he did the designs for. I really love his style and my family plays the game regularly. A few weeks ago he announced that he was releasing his own card game, Burger Battle, and I knew that I just had to try and get a review copy. Lucky for me, Andrew’s a cool guy and sent one to this goofy podcast host.

The premise for Burger Battle is pretty straight-forward: choose your burger, be the first to build it, and sabotage the other players in the process.

As of right now, the only people I’ve played the game with have been my 9-year old and 4-year old. Surprisingly, the youngest won the first two games with very little help. While the instructions say it’s good for ages 14+, I really think it could be ages 6+. I still need to play test it with more people, but I think it’s a great opener or introductory game you can play with anyone, no matter what their experience. The Kickstarter for it goes live on July 9th, so be sure to fund it. I’ll be reviewing it more in-depth soon, I hope, after getting some more people to try it out.

 

Superman, The Goldbergs, & Fortnite | Finally Friday

FINALLY FRIDAY is a weekly review article meant to give you some suggestions on what to geek out about over the next week… or so.

READING

Superman (New 52)

Superman has long been a character I’ve disliked. He’s always appeared over-powered and, honestly, boring. The only run up to now that I enjoyed was Grant Morrison’s All-Star run between 2005-2008, which I read as a collection. And that says something, as I find Morrison’s work a little more “out there”.

When DC launched Rebirth a couple years ago, I picked up several #1 issues, but felt lost in what had taken place before. Like The Flash, I went back to the New 52 volumes and began my reading there.

I’m finishing up the second volume and giving the series as a whole it’s fair shake. Sadly, I’m finding very little that impresses me about either Superman or the writers up to this point. I don’t really like how much The Daily Planet and other news outlets carry the stories, which feel like they were written in a hurry.

The relationship between Clark Kent and Superman feels weird and disconnected, as if there are two different writers directing who they are without sharing notes. There is so much exposition that I’m bored and don’t care about any of the characters or their motive.

Lois Lane is under-represented in what I’ve read so far. I’m sure she’s a strong, smart woman, but she doesn’t come off as such. Morgan Edge looms over every decision she makes, even though he tells her in the first issue that PGN is her network. He even goes as far to perpetuate the lie that a random civilian is actually Superman just to get a story.

Jimmy Olsen feels like he was written by someone much older and out of touch with 20-somethings, but I like the camaraderie he has with Clark every once in a while.

All-in-all, there hasn’t been anything impressive about this series so far. I’ll keep reading, for sure, but it will be reluctantly.

WATCHING

The Goldbergs (ABC/Hulu)

Back in the 80’s, I was essentially non-existent. I was born in ‘87, so I did my growing up in the 90’s. Still, The Goldbergs is a nice bit of nostalgia with a ton of family-based comedy. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s about a family living through 1980-something.

  • There’s Bev, the “smother” who is always trying to keep her kids from growing up or having bad self-image;
  • Murray, the disinterested dad who promptly drops his pants and relaxes in his favorite recliner after work each day;
  • Erica, the formerly-nerdy-now-popular girl dealing with graduating high school;
  • Barry, the disillusioned middle child who has absolutely been brainwashed by his smother, no matter how much he wants to fight it;
  • Adam, the youngest, who is a nerd with the most incredible collection of toys and devices ever known to children in the 80’s or 90’s. He’s also the narrator of the show.

Oh, and don’t forget Pops. Not only is the grandfather and Adam’s best friend, he’s possibly the best character in the dang show! I’d love to have an old man with his charisma and wit in my life.

The show addresses regular family issues with consistent, well-written comedy in every single episode. And that’s impressive for a show finishing up its 5th season, with a 6th in the works.

PLAYING

Fortnite (Nintendo Switch)

I rarely get excited for video games anymore. I just don’t have the time to play them. Well, that was until I learned about Fortnite a few months ago. I played the mobile version a few times and, while I did enjoy it, I missed having handheld controls. Then rumors of it being ported to the Nintendo Switch started popping up.

Finally, at E3, it was announced that a Switch version of the popular 100-person battle royale game would be releasing not later this year, but the very same day. I promptly downloaded it and played every chance I got over the last week. Oh, and did I mention it’s a free download? Yeah! You can play it for free or you can spend $10 and get the Battle Pass, which gets you cosmetic upgrades and let’s you level up a little faster. (Totally worth it in my opinion.)

The premise of the game is pretty simple: you select a battle mode – solo, duo, squad, or 50v50 – drop into the map and try to be the last person/team standing. The replayability of Fortnite is high, especially if you die right after being dropped into the game. And it’s even better if you play with people you know. (My daughter is a champ, by the way.)

You can add me to your squad if you’d like. My screen name is Crimson Creature. I’d love to play Fortnite with you!

Goodbye, Chris Hardwick – 098

Avengers: Infinity War Writers Pitch Their DCEU Idea

You can hear the original audio here, on Fatman on Batman. A word of warning: this is an explicit podcast and should be listened to if strong, graphic language is not a problem for you.

Chloe Dykstra Shares Dark Post on Medium

Again, a word of warning: this article discusses very sensitive and triggering subjects. Read with caution.

Announcements:

  • I will be recording with Mikey “Fizz” Fissel and David Atwell for Reel World Theology about Incredibles 2. Once the episode goes live, I will be sure to share the link here and on social media.
  • I’m also appearing on Your Podcast by Blubrry as a guest host, with Mike Dell. If you like techie, podcast-centric talk, you’ll want to listen. That episode is schedule for June 25.
  • We’re expanding our merch shop! Thanks to a new affiliate partnership with TeePublic, we’re also selling designs from artists we find and want to help support. You can find out TeePublic shop here.

Finally Friday (06.15.18)

This week, I (Dave) am the lone contributor. Mainly because I didn’t ask anyone else. 😀

READING

Titans (DC Comics)

I started my journey into DC Comics a couple months ago by reading The Flash, beginning with the New 52 run and continuing through the most recent issues. When Wally West showed back up after (unbeknownst to me) being missing for quite some time, I got curious about who he was. David Hunt recommended that I pick up Titans, since he’s a key character. I’m really enjoying this series. The dynamic of the group keeps you on your toes. It also makes me want to look into other books with these characters. It’s getting me excited for the upcoming Titans series on DC Universe. (Rated 8/10)

WATCHING

Ugly Delicious (Netflix)

Food, man! I freaking love food to a fault! Ugly Delicious is quickly becoming a favorite in the food/travel documentary genre. In this series, David Chang – an award-winning chef – explores a variety of cultures and cuisines without the hoity-toity air. In the first episode he tackles what pizza really is. Is Neopolitan the only real pizza out there? As a chef, are you allowed to even like Domino’s? After that, he tackles barbecue and creates an American/Korean dish that makes my mouth water as I’m typing. There’s strong language, so if you’re not familiar with the way Chef Chang interacts with food, that’s your warning. If you love food, though… mmm… you need to be watching this. (Rated 9/10)

LISTENING

Reply All (Gimlet)

Generally I avoid podcasts created by media companies. I like supporting the little guy (GEEK THIS is one of them), but Reply All caught my attention due to it’s use of storytelling, research, and how it dives into the humanity behind everything. It’s also just a fun listen back and forth to work. The relationship between hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman feels like one developed over a good amount of time and not thrown together solely for the sake of the show. They have a segment called “Yes Yes No” where Gimlet co-founder Alex Blumberg (the guy who Zach Braff kind of played on Alex, Inc) asks Alex Goldman and PJ about something he saw on the internet, usually from Twitter, and they make him understand.


Want to contribute to Finally Friday? Fill out the contact form below and I’ll get in touch with you about guest-writing for an upcoming week.

Geoff Johns Steps Down – 097

Geoff Johns steps down as DC Comics Chief Creative Officer and I end the episode with a discussion about the serious issue of depression.


WARNING: If you are sensitive to discussions about depression and events surrounding it, please skip the end of the episode, following the three news stories that are covered. Also, if you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please get professional help immediately. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255.


If you need someone to talk to, please use the contact form here on the site. I’m the only person who reads the email that is submitted and it will absolutely be confidential.