Hey Kids, Comics! #237 - Summer Fun 2017

Welcome to an issue that has been long awaited by your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston, the annual Summer Fun edition!

This year the fun takes on a whole new twist as special guest Nathan Cochenour brings his unique brand of wit to the proceedings.  This young mental athlete takes on a Herculean set of tasks as challenged by the minds behind HKC!

How will he fare against such conundrums as Yahoo! Answers, sorting real and fake comic book characters, and an "Old Hollywood" favorite known as Pitch Man?

Well half the fun - more than half, actually - is finding out for yourself by listening to this hilarious, off-the-rails episode of the JCU's weekly comic book extravaganza.  Next week things return to normal, after all.

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Also find out what the Hell THIS is all about!

The Rantcor Pit #67 - Hey Hasbro! (Part 2: Back in Black)

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The Rantcor toy wish list just keeps on coming!  For one more episode anyway.  

Both of your hosts are not only steeped in "The Star Wars", they also love them some Star Wars toys.  As avid collectors since childhood, they both have a dog in the fight when it comes to action figures from Hasbro that have yet to see the light of day.  Given the rich variety of the source material, it is little wonder that they had to expand this topic into two episodes!  This one, ideally, delving into the Black Series 6" figure line.  Mostly.

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The entire Saga is open season when it comes to the choices of characters and creatures Cole Houston and Eddie Medina would snatch up in action figure form.  With even more movies on the horizon excitement is high for them both, but there is also some cautious optimism.   Find out what ELSE they would love to see Hasbro produce in the coming years beyond just "The Last Jedi" and the upcoming solo "Han Solo" film characters.

Hey Hasbro!  The Rantcor Pit has spoken!  Now it's time to get these toys on the fast track!

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Honorable Mention (since it did not get mentioned on the show):  A great accessory piece to an action figure would be a figurine of a steelpecker from Jakku.

Hey Kids, Comics! #236 - The Writing on the Wall

Watchmen.

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JediCole's love of Watchmen is legendary.  After all, the man has easily logged over 30 hours speaking on the this title alone on various podcasts over the last decade!  So it is little wonder that it took nearly 250 issues of this show for he and Andrew farmer to devote another hour to the topic. 

With the groundbreaking mini-series nearing its 30th anniversary, the phenomenon that the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons opus has spawned, likely much to Moore's disdain.  So this issue is devoted to the overall Watchmen experience.  Beyond the comic book (and its myriad reprints in various formats) lies a history as the "unfilmable comic book story", a successful feature film, sporadic merchandising, prequel comics, and a future works that would never have been imagined back in the 80s.  

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Catherine "Mrs. JediCole" joins your hosts as they explore comics, movies, toys, more comics, and animation in the context of the overarching success of Watchmen.  Discover why this title has particular significance to the Houstons, learn the curious history of the long road to the cinema, and find out about plans for the property at DC Comics and Warner Brothers.

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Who watches the watchmen?  "Hey Kids, Comics!" does!

Hey Kids, Comics! #235 - Independents Day

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Independent.  A word that invokes a great many definitions, even when applied to comic books.  What qualifies a comic book, or more specifically a publisher of said comic, as an “independent”?

This is a question that Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston seek to answer as they explore the various booms and busts of independent comic book publishing.  Hundreds of publishers have come and gone in the last 30 years alone, and with them thousands of titles.  Some remain household names, some are all but forgotten.  From the enduring classics to the “Quarter Bin” fodder, many are the Indy comics that have been a part of the publishing landscape for decades.

Special guest Weldon Adams joins your hosts on this journey into this important – if often struggling – facet of comics.  Lending his unique expertise and long history in the field, Weldon again enhances the scope of the discussion at hand.  Join in on this fascinating look at third tier publishers and all those that carved out a niche in publishing.  And those that were just a flash in the pan or failed miserably in their bid to attract readers.  Declare you “Independents” with this amazing new issue of the JCU’s longest running podcast.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #234 - Period Pieces: The Wild, Wild Best

Howdy, pardner!  Welcome to the final chapter of this here "Period Pieces" story arc.  Fast Draw Farmer and Sith-Gun Kid Houston are a ridin' into town to talk up the Western genre of comic books.

Tales of the untamed West are popular in every medium, and comics are no exception.  Your hosts embark on this favorite aspect of Americana with the duly deputized help of Shawn Padilla, a member of the All-Con Games and Theory show host team.

Delving into the rich history of Western history in comics like so many prospectors during the Gold Rush, a different kind of gold is discovered in this issue.  While synonymous with super-heroes, Marvel and DC Comics both have a sizable corral of wild west heroes that become the focus of the show.

So grab your six guns and your rifle, saddle up your best horse, and hit the trail as the Western period becomes the final stop on this long journey through time...in comics.

The Rantcor Pit #66 - Hey Hasbro! (Part 1: Small Scale, Big Ideas)

The Force of July 2017 Begins Here!

Welcome to an great new episode of The Rantcor Pit that, during the course of its production, has expanded into a two-parter!  As a companion piece to the last show, Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina decided to make their impassioned pleas to Hasbro for some of the characters, vehicles, and environments of the Star Wars universe they would like to see get the toy treatment.

Since Hasbro's acquisition of Tonka in 2000, which included Kenner Products, Star Wars figures have enjoyed a unique status in the toy manufacturer's line.  From periods where it was insisted that this is a toy line and toys are for kids to periodic illustrations of a recognition of the thriving adult collector market, the nature and focus of Star Wars action figures has been rather fluid in nature.  Your hosts, in common with most collectors, naturally have their own wish list, much of which is shared on this episode. 

Join your hosts as they delve into every facet of the Saga, from the from feature films to comics to animated series to share their top picks for (as yet) unproduced toys in both current scales, with a focus on the 3.75" line.  

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Hey Kids, Comics! #233 - Period Pieces: Get Medieval

"Period Pieces" continues to move forward in time as Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston make the jump to Medieval Europe.  Harken back to days of old when nights were bold and the like...

Steve McCauley of the the infamous year of Camelot 3000 joins the discussion as Hey Kids, Comics! explores characters and stories of the period, the appeal of "Medieval times", and the influence of knights and chivalry on modern characters.

Sally forth then, stout yeoman on a journey to the past and the heroes and villains of those valiant days.  This lively exploration is certain to please Lords and Ladies and common folk alike!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #232 - Period Pieces: When in Greco-Rome

A funny thing happened on the way to the Hey Kids, Comics!  Okay, not so much a funny thing as Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston open up a personal "forum" on Ancient Greece and Rome in comics.  This issue continues the time-hopping journey through Antiquity with a look at the influence of the Classics on comic book heroes and storylines.

It would not be a look at this fascinating period of world history without the addition of scholarly guest Kelly Long who joins in to add her wealth of knowledge.  This "Roman holiday" issue of the show brings "Period Pieces" to its middle point and draws illustrates how popular the gods and goddesses of Olympus are to comic book creators.

From Frank Miller's well-known swords and sandals epic to the European import "Asterix the Gaul" there's a whole lot a' Roman goin' on!

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The Rantcor Pit #65 - The New Black

Since 1978 toys have been a huge part of the Star Wars experience for fans and collectors.  From the beginnings at the once obscure Kenner Products to the seemingly endless waves of action figures, accessories, and toys coming from Hasbro, there is no shortage of toys based on the Saga.  This episode sees Cole Houston and Eddie Medina turning their attention specifically to the Black Series line of 6" action figures.

Beginning in 2013, the Black Series has continued to bring forth dozens of new figures, including an ever-increasing number of store and convention exclusives, which are increasingly sought after by collectors.  The larger scale lends greater detail and articulation as well as tremendous adult collector appeal.

Discover the world of Black Series Star Wars figures as Cole and Eddie talk about their own collecting experiences as well as the history of the line.

As promised, click here to see the Entertainment Earth coverage of the creation of the Black Series Greedo figure!

Hey Kids, Comics! #231 - Period Pieces: Drawn Like an Egyptian

Moving forward in their journey back in time, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston explore one of the most ancient civilizations in the world, that of the Egypt of Antiquity. 

Journey down the Nile in the age of the Pharaohs and the building of the pyramids as your hosts seek out this period of world history as depicted in comics.  Concentrating primarily on the past, this issue of the show does cast an eye to the present as well to explore the influence of the Ancients on modern comic characters. 

From the mystical origins of Hawkman and Black Adam to they mystical origins of the Living Mummy and beyond, there is an allure to Egypt that is as much a part of comics as any examined in this arc.  Expect plenty of mystic origins, gods and goddesses, and even a little of d'Nile!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #230 - Period Pieces: The Time Before Time

Go back in time with Hey Kids, Comics! and the latest story arc!  In this case, hundreds of millions of years back in time!

From Anthro and Turok - Son of Stone to the paleo-art masterpiece "Age of Reptiles", Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston dig deep into prehistory to unearth comics that take place in the age of dinosaurs and of prehistoric man.  Joining them on this paleolithic adventure is none other than Eddie Medina of The Rantcor Pit!

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Tor, Anthro, Moon Boy, and other ancestral men are the heroes of tales from the distant past in their respective comic book universes.  Sometimes bordering on a fanciful sense of period accuracy, most tend to have man an dinosaur mingle.  The enduring appeal of the animals that walked the Earth when the continents were connected and giants strode the surface of a planet inspire comic readers and the hosts of this very show.

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So popular are these denizens of the ancient world that they tend to find themselves in more contemporary, or even future, settings - fodder for a future episode.  For now, it is the Cambrian to the Pleistocene Eras that truly drive the slice of (pre-)history examined in this fascinating hour.

The Rantcor Pit #64 - Decades: Forty Years of Star Wars Episode IV: The Force Will Be With You...Always

The forty year circle is now complete!  Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina have arrived on the final stop of the four-episode cycle exploring Star Wars from May 1977 to May 2017.  

Rich with publications, the final decade (so far) of the Star Wars Saga also brought forth three feature films (including the animated Clone Wars movie) and the return of comics published by Marvel, the original publisher back in the 70s and 80s.  Many more surprises occurred during the ten years where there was never a year without something amazing happening.

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So join "Your Favorite Star Wars Guys" as they share memories and thoughts, as well as a few discoveries they made while researching one last decade of a movie that has been a part of their lives for almost their entire lives!

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The Rantcor Pit #63 - Decades: 40 Years of Star Wars Episode III: Into a Larger World

Two decades down, two to go.  One, technically, after this episode of the show which takes you from May 25, 1997 to May 24, 2007 - the rebirth of "the Star Wars"!

As if principle photography through theatrical release of all three Prequel Trilogy chapters was not enough to define the tertiary decade of Star Wars, it brought even more to bear!  Publications galore and the advent of the Star Wars Celebration conventions are just two examples of how the Saga had returned to the public vernacular at light speed and beyond!

Join "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina for a third time as memories mingle with the researched history of Star Wars and its impact during the Prequel era.

Hey Kids, Comics! #229! - Theater of the Mind

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Things are about to get surreal here on the JCU!  Amid a boom of super hero television, the small screen's Tanzanite Age, two compellingly different productions have burst onto the scene bringing some of the oddest comic book-sourced material into our homes.  AMC's Preacher and FX's Legion.

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The mind-bending psychology of both of these shows compelled Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston to talk about both in a single Giant Sized issue of the podcast.  While each is certainly rich enough in content to fill an hour, it seemed best to discuss them as a pair, given their unique status in comic book television programming.

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Join your hosts on a journey into the mind and the soul as David Haller and Jesse Custer join forces, if only literally, to blow your mind.  Legion and Preacher offer glimpses into the individual as well as collective psyche in ways that no other show has and all with production design and direction worthy of the Silver Screen.  

Give Hey Kids, Comics! 90 minutes and Andy and Cole will give you one fascinating journey! 

As promised on the show, here are the soundtracks for these amazing programs courtesy of Spotify:

Preacher

Legion

The Rantcor Pit #62 - Decades: Forty Years of Star Wars Episode II: Before the Dark Times

Welcome to the second installment of the four part series in celebration of forty years of Star Wars!

With a playful nod to the upcoming third decade's Prequel Trilogy, Cole Houston and Eddie Medina delve into what promised initially to be the "dead years".  Instead of so much Lars homestead burnout, however, they discover a decade rich in little events that kept Star Wars in the collective consciousness!

Discover the novels, toys, and video games that kept the Saga going during its leanest of years and proved a jumping off point for so much more to come!

Hey Kids, Comics! #228 - Anger Management

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

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Welcome to an issue of HKC! where your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston really hop that you will like them when they're angry!

Actually they hope that you'll like this episode in which they delve into the rage, angst, ire, fury, and rancor that can be found in comic book characters of every stripe. 

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From hot-heads and short fuses to loose cannons to the indignant and belligerent, this issue is mad for mad!  When it comes to unbridled anger, the Hulk has not necessarily cornered the market.  Enjoy this exploration of one of the Deadly Sins as it manifests in the pages of popular comic titles.   

Unleash the beasts within!

Hey Kids, Comics #227 - The Woman of Themyscira

Welcome to a "wonderful" new issue of the show, this one minus Andrew FarmerWith HKC!'s founder out for a week, Cole "JediCole" Houston takes up the reigns and calls in a special guest host! 

None other than JCU favorite Kelly Long joins the fun as a discussion of DC's Amazon Princess becomes this week's topic.  Wonder Woman's long and storied history is explored, including her creator's seeming fascination with having the powerful heroine in chains more often than not.

From her early beginnings in comics, a mix of the strong and capable with the defeated and subservient, to the various incarnations including everything from being stripped of her powers to taking up the mantle of a statesman, Wonder Woman has a long and unique history to examine.

Join Cole and Kelly as they trace the classical hero's journey from the paradise of Themyscira to "man's world" in America.  The tale of Wonder Woman is truly epic and compelling.  The stuff of modern mythology.

The Rantcor Pit #61 - Decades: 40 Years of Star Wars Episode 1: A More Civilized Age

The audio podcast of The Rantcor Pit is back in time for the 40th anniversary month of Star Wars!  And what a month it is going to be, as your hosts have big plans for May

Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina proudly present the first of four episodes in May discussing four decades of Star Wars, one decade at a time!  This series launches with the period from late May 1977 to late May 1987.  Effectively delving into the years from the premiere of the movie that would come to be called "A New Hope" straight through to "Return of the Jedi" and beyond. 

Step back in time with a combination of year-by-year research and personal remembrances from Cole and Eddie.  From the moment that Star Wars leapt at light speed from obscure sci-fi film with little studio support to a cultural phenomenon that spans the globe to this day through the year that changed everything for this iconic franchise for years to follow, a lot of history is covered in this nearly 90 minute opening chapter.

Hey Kids, Comics! #226 - Expanding a Universe

Yesterday, at the time of this writing, the "Fourth" was with us in the form of Star Wars Day.  Now, in honor of Revenge of the Fifth, hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston have chosen to take a look at the early days of Star Wars comics from Marvel.

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From unlikely beginnings in 1977, Star Wars made its mark at "The House of Ideas".  Despite early misgivings on science fiction comics in general and movie tie-ins specifically, what started off as just an adaptation of a summer film became, for the publisher, something of the blockbuster that the movie became for LucasFilm and 20th Century Fox.

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No exploration of Star Wars comics would be complete at the JCU without none other than The Rantcor Pit's own Eddie Medina.  Lending his own experiences with this successful title, that enjoyed 107 regular issues, Eddie also brings along the excitement and enthusiasm of a hardcore fan.

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If you like "The Star Wars" and the comics, this is the issue of the show you have been waiting for, and in the midst of two big days of Star Wars celebration in the midst of "May the Foruth Be With You" and "Revenge of the Fifth"!

The Force on the Fourth: The Rantcor Pit Road Show Summer Invasion Begins!

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There is a brand new annual tradition for the JCU that begins...nowish!

On Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You), The Rantcor Pit Road Show Summer Invasion begins at the City of Burleson Recreation Center's event.  The first stop of seven on a journey around the Dallas Fort Worth area. 

Between May 4 and August 13, "Your Favorite Star Wars Guys" will be bringing their special brand of simple tricks and nonsense to one event, two comic shops, and four conventions!  Each stop on the tour is a little different with everything from emceeing to recordings of future shows, to panel discussions, to the official game show of the Rantcor Pit, The Galactic Games!

Check out the links below to follow Cole Houston and Eddie Medina as they celebrate three years of The Rantcor Pit Live and forty years of Star Wars over one (not Corvette) summer!

May the Fourth Be With You  May 4; Burleson, TX

Famous Monsters Convention  May 26-28; Dallas, TX

DFW G.I. Joe & Action Figure Show  June 10; Grapevine, TX

Geek Out  June 24; 102 S. Main Street, Burleson, TX

A Galaxy Called Dallas  July 8; 1238 Beltline Road #365, Garland, TX

ArlingCon  July 15;  Arlington, TX

Infinicon 2017 August 11-13; Addison, TX

Come to any or all of these events and join the Rantcorps!