Hey Kids, Comics! #261 - Hey Hasbro!

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It has just been too long and this issue (and the one that follows) is long overdue!  

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In this issue, your intrepid hosts gush over new and upcoming releases in Hasbro's Marvel Legends line of action figures, then take matters into their own hands.  Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston admonish Hasbro to touch upon some of the Marvel characters as yet unseen.

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This show really speaks for itself, so there is little need to give too many hints as to which characters these fanboys want to see given the plastic treatment.  Just give it a listen and discover for yourself!

Of course there is that ONE character that is inevitably revisited in the discussions...

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Hey Kids, Comics! #260 - Thou Never Shalt Hear Herald Any More

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When it comes to iconic Fantastic Four villains, few fit the bill quite as much as that constant cosmic visitor and hunger-monger, Galactus!  And when comes the Devourer of Worlds first comes his faithful (well, usually faithful) Herald.

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With at least ten heralds to date, the job has had fairly consistent turnover since the Fallen One got the Cosmic Pink Slip.  Nearly every herald has, as a matter of course, been an ad hoc Fantastic Four foe, so this issue is HKC!'s way of coming out in support of Marvel's cancelled "low sales" wonder.

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Be they walker on air, tamer, lord of fire, or a shiny surfer of the spaceways, if you are willing to proclaim the impending end of a planet, you can get yourself some Power Cosmic action and enjoy (?) the tragic duty of giving folks a chance to kiss their asses goodbye before the big guy arrives to sate his appetite!  Find out more by giving this issue a listen.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #259 - The Saga of "Saga"

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If it were possible for your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston to gush like schoolgirls over a comic, that comic would have to be "Saga".  And for the record, it is most assuredly possible!

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The Image Comics masterpiece by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples is one of the most groundbreaking and simultaneously "f'd-up" comics int he history of the medium.  The written word does not do justice to what you will hear on this issue of the show!

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This week the show will speak for itself.  And for "Saga", truly one of the all time greats!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #258 - That Moment When, Again

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There are times when a comic book is more than just a comic book.  The times when the work of writer and artist transcend the medium.  Those moments when...

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Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston invite you to join them once again, months after the firs time they took on this topic, to yet again share in their personal moments when a comic story spoke to them in an unexpected or profound way.

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Spoiler Alert!

This issue will feature in-depth discussion of specific stories or story arcs from the following comics.  If you are keen to discover these stories for yourself without prior commentary, you may want to do so before you hear the thoughts of your HKC! hosts.

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Titles and stories discussed include Marvel Two-in-One, Saga (Volume 3), the inclusion of Watchmen characters in the greater DC Universe, Arkham Asylum:  Living Hell, Starman, and the Time Runs Out story line.

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The Rantcor Pit #68 - Far, Far Away or (The Enduring Inconvenience of Star Wars)

The audio Rantcor Pit returns at last!  What was to be a brief hiatus stretched into months.  Well, folks, Cole and Eddie are back!

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Have you ever watched a Star Wars film and asked yourself, why is everything so far apart, hard to get to, inconvenient, or far away from everything else?

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Or perhaps you never have, but might start to ask such questions after you give this long-overdue episode a listen!  Hosts Cole Houston and Eddie Medina take a long look at the long distances and long chances that occur in nearly every incarnation of Star Wars.

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From impractical configurations of what should be straightforward aspects of technology or architecture to parking your spacecraft, which can fly pretty much anywhere, as far away from your destination as possible.  Why drive when you can hoof it?  Find out for yourself because The Rantcor Pit is back and it is worth the wait! 

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Find out for yourself because The Rantcor Pit is back and it is worth the wait!

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Hey Kids, Comics! #257 - I Think I'm Turning Japanese: I Go Neo-Tokyo

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The time has come for Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston to bid a fond farewell to the latest story arc.  On that has, for them, proven both challenging and fulfilling.  In conclusion of their exploration of the influences of Japan on the medium, they would be remiss not to tackle the future as depicted in manga.

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More often than not that future is grim and dystopian.  From the post apocalyptic to the inevitable decline of humanity on a world stripped of all resources.  What inspires this constant in Japanese comics about the future and how has it influenced more than simply the creators comics in other countries?

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These and other facets of futuristic visions in Japanese comics are explored to the best ability of your hosts in the final chapter of a topic that was, in many ways, a mystery to them.

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The Rantcor Pit Live (and Where to Find It)

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Perhaps you have picked up or been given one of the trading cards that have been produced for The Rantcor Pit Live.  Or maybe you have heard of the show from other fans of "The Star Wars".  Then again maybe this is the first you have heard of the twice-monthly live-streaming Star Wars video podcast originating from Dallas, Texas.

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Regardless of how you found out about the show, it is not generally obvious, from the JCU website, where to find the live show and its archive of all but the one "lost episode".  To rectify this, please check out the graphic below, with art by Rantcor co-host Eddie Medina.

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The Rantcor Pit Live

Figments

Aisle of Toys

Be sure to check out The Rantcor Pit on YouTube for the full archive of past shows, too! 

 The Rantcor Pit Live YouTube

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Hey Kids, Comics! #256 - I Think I'm Turning Japanese: West Meets East

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Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston are yet again jumping headfirst into unfamiliar waters as they continue their exploration of Japanese cultural and artistic influences on American Comics.

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From "AmeriManga" cash grabs to actual Manga as inspiration, many are the influences that can be found in the art of Western comics and comic artists.  Beyond this is another layer of influence in the portrayal of Japanese and Japanese-Americans in comics.

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Over the last half-century of comics, Japan has gone from enemy to ally and Japanese from stereotypes to well-rounded characters.  This, too, is an important aspect of the cultural influence that inspired this arc.

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All of this and the "Samurai Connection" in the penultimate issue of "I Think I'm Turning Japanese".

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Hey Kids, Comics! #255 - I Think I'm Turning Japanese: Manga Made

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Welcome to the latest cahpter of "I Think I'm Turning Japanese", perhaps the most personally challenging story arc ever for HKC!

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Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston seek to tackle the vast and varied world of Manga in this issue of the show.  While neither have great familiarity, they do strive to impart some insights and make some observations about the publishing powerhouse comic book form of Japan.

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Hey KIds, Comics! #254 - I Think I'm Turning Japanese: Hands and Feet

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The second chapter of HKC!'s look at the influence of Japan on comic books has arrived at last.  Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston approach the shadowy and mysterious world of the Ninja, perhaps the most prevalent of Japanese influences to date.

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As shrouded in myth and legend in their comic book incarnation as they were in reality, the Ninja have been a staple in comics for decades.  From becoming an ideal "army of the night" when necessary to becoming the foundation of many a non super-human characters background or training, Ninja are a huge part of the vernacular.

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From the ancient and undying Ninja clans of old to those curious reptilian warriors of the sewers, your hosts explore the strange and secret world of Ninja.  Join them, won't you?

Hey Kids, Comics! #253 - I Think I'm Turning Japanese: Family Feudal

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Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston return!

The long (and much needed) hiatus is over at last and your hosts are now returning to not only start a new story arc but to release one last issue before 2018 arrives!

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Your hosts realized that one particular geo-historical period got left off of the "Period Pieces" story arc (HKC! #230-234), that of the Feudal period of Japan.  Discussions of rectifying that led to this story arc, with the subject at hand being the natural jumping off point.

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The realm of ancient Japan in comics is one that is not well known to your hosts, but they give it a go none the less - citing those comics that are familiar and exploring those that are not.  So without further adieu, please enjoy the return of the show! 

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Hey Kids, Comics! #252 - Santa's Sack Christmas Wishlist 2017

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Merry Christmas, everybody!  Hey Kids, Comics! is back from a hiatus of over a month...just in time for Christmas!

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"Sweet Christmas", indeed!  The Yuletide time is here again and that means that your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston have yet again amassed a tree's worth of great gift ideas for the comic book fan in your life.

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So without further ado, HKC! proudly presents our 2017 gift guide, ideally just in time for your last minute holiday shopping.

Hey Kids, Comics! Halloween Special #2 - Creature Features

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It's Halloween again!  At least it was when Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston, along with (initially) Eddie Medina, attempted to record this year's Halloween Special.  So while it is a bit late, it is still as scary good time!

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Since dressing up as monsters and unusual characters is the order of the day for Halloween night, it seemed best to explore the comic book characters who, by their nature, are often forced to dress up as normal people - if they can - just to walk down the street!  Many are the heroes and villains who can morph back and forth between human and creature, however there are those forever stuck in the most inhuman of forms.

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It is they who dominate the conversations this year.  Join your hosts Andy and Cole as they delve into the world of comic book characters that just can't pass as your average Joe no matter what they may try.  

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Happy Halloween!

Hey Kids, Comics! #251 - Reboot Hill

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Welcome to the new incarnation of Hey Kids, Comics! - the one the changes EVERYTHING!  

Actually Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston would not pull such a stunt on you after passing the 250 issue mark.  This is a podcast, not a comic book after all.  In lieu of such nonsense, however, your hosts are happy to explore the myriad reboots by DC, Marvel, and others over the years.  

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With so many from which to choose, HKC! elected to explore a handful rather than have a convoluted story arc.  Several are discussed in passing, but some of the major reboots are the focus of the show.  Relive the times when, out of necessity or editorial foolishness, the universes you know and love were altered irrevocably.  For now.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #250 - Amazing Reunioncast

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Welcome to another milestone in the history of Hey Kids, Comics! - the 250th issue of the show!

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After a nearly uninterrupted weekly run, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston marvel (no pun intended) at having reached 250 standard issues of the show!  And what better way to celebrate than with a look back?  How about a couple of looks back?

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The reunion begins with Andrew and Cole exploring anew issues 219 and 247.  The former was missed by Cole and the latter by Andy, so this was a chance at a bit of a do-over so that they could discuss super-heroes in the real world and the Legion of Super-Heroes together at last.

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Then things get nostalgic as the second half of this double-sized issue kicks into gear with a look at the genesis of Hey Kids, Comics! - Amazing Comicast!  Special guests Rick Gutierrez of The United States of Geekdom and Whadjathink?'s own Mrs. JediCole join in reminisces of Rick's comic book show that brought a lot of still-podcasting fans together with a unified voice.  Learn a bit of the history of this show as everyone shares thoughts and memories from nearly a decade past.

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Hey Kids, Comics! #249 - You and What Army?

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When it comes to finding a fighting force, good or evil, that may or may not be government sanctioned, comic books have pretty much always delivered.

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Opposing forces like S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra naturally spring to mind.  Checkmate and Intergang over at DC Comics as well.  From the obvious armies like these and HIVE or A.I.M. to the really obscure, like Saker's all-girl army in the pages of Bill Willingham's "The Elementals", comics are always well populated with armies!

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This week Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston go martial as they discuss and discover an army of armies.  Might makes right when we fight so consider this your invite to take part in this flight.  Alright?

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Hey Kids, Comics! #248 - Holy Wholly Batman

"Holey rusted metal, Batman!"  Perhaps one of the only saving graces of Batman Forever was that very nod to the Batman television series of the late 60s.  And it is little wonder that trubute was made to that popular incarnation given its continued influence on Bat-lore.

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This week Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston talk about the intertwined relationship of Batman in comics to Batman in other media.  One constantly influences the other in many unexpected ways, as your hosts soon discover through their special guest Michael Cross.

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Traditionally a comic character's in-print life dictates the nature of film or television, but in the case of Batman, over a great many decades the reverse has often been the case.  While Frank Miller's "Dark Knight string of pearls" has become a recurring visual, many a character in the Bat comics got their start on television.  And not always with the benefit of being seen on TV first!  From the 60s forward, every incarnation tends to feed those that follow and that becomes the nature of this issue's exploration of the Caped Crusader.

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So put on your Bat-Headphones, crank up the Bat-Volume on your Bat-Computer and enjoy this little Bat-Podcast today!

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The JediCole Universe Expands Again

Though it is now two months old, nearly three, it is time to introduce fans of the JCU to JediCole's latest endeavor, "Aisle of Toys".

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Launched on Sunday, August 20, 2017 as part of the Dallas OnAir lineup, this new live-streaming podcast explores one of Cole's passions.  With the intention of delving into all varieties of toys, this new monthly program will focus on a different toy or toy line, genre of toy, or toy collector.

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Discover a universe of popular toys with in-studio guests and prerecorded segments, among other features, each and every month right before the second monthly episode of "The Rantcor Pit Live" (with Cole and Eddie Medina).  The next live episode will stream from 9:30 - 10:30 AM Central on Sunday, October 20, 2017 on Dallas OnAirThose Robots in Disguise - the Transformers - will be the topic of discussion.  

Click here to see the "Aisle of Toys" show page and archive of past episodes.

Click here to link to Dallas OnAir to catch "Aisle of Toys" (third Sunday each month, 9:30-10:30 AM Central), "The Rantcor Pit Live" (first and third Sunday each month, 10:30-11:30 AM Central), and Eddie's new show "Figments" (first Sunday each month, 9:30-10:30 AM Central).

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Stay tuned for news of upcoming interactive features with Aisle of Toys including "What's in Your Detolf?", or just watch the show each month!

Hey Kids, Comics! #247 - HKC! Team-Up #9: Legion of Super-Heroes

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Nearly a week late, the latest issue of Hey Kids, Comics! finally hits the JCU website!  It is rather appropriate since the topic of the week is DC's hero club of the future, the Legion of Super-Heroes!  So it works out that the arrival of this episode was in the future of its scheduled date.

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In all seriousness, the Legion has been a major part of the DC Universe for over half a century.  Not a bad run for what began as a vehicle for Superboy and evolved into a solid title in its own right. 

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Andrew Farmer was unable to participate directly in this issue, so JediCole flew solo, but with the only guest he and Andy could have wanted for such a discussion, Steve McCauley.  A lifelong fan of the teen heroes of the future, so much information was brought to the table that this proved to be a super-sized episode!

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"Aisle of Toys" Invites You to Help Stop the Swap

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In conjunction with my new live-streaming show, Aisle of Toys (click here to see the show and archive), I have begun a campaign to reach out to Hasbro to request a change in packaging for the Marvel Legends action figure line, the most pilfered toy on the market.  

If you are a Marvel Legends collector or a toy collector in general, please join the petition and share the links in your social media.  While by no means a means to end shoplifting, a simple packaging change would make this line less inviting to thieves and content-swappers.

-JediCole