Letters from the Front

Andrew here, just wanted to drop by and give a shout out to 3 fellow podcasters.  I had the pleasure of meeting the cast of GCP at this week's Cincy Comiconare.  They are out there doing their best to bring you thoughtful, funny commentary on all things Batman.  Hit um up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and go listen to their stuff, you know...if you like the comics.  


Hey Kids, Comics! #194 - Rogue-ish I's: Barrel of Laughs

Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston prepare to bid adieu to "Rogue-ish I's" with heavy hearts as this was a personal favorite arc for them both.  But if you have to go, then go out laughing as the old adage recommends!

With that in mind the arc concludes with a Batman villain who loves laughter so much it's deadly!  Laughter is not the best medicine when it comes to the Joker!  Your hosts explore this little fact with special guest Kelly Long.

When the Clown Prince of Crime is the subject of discussion, Hey Kids, Comics! goes to a dark, if funny, place.  Of all of Batman's nemeses, the Joker is the most mysterious, the most callous, the most clinically insane...and perhaps the most likely to reflect the psyche of the Dark Knight himself.  Find out for yourself just how alike these arch foes truly are as this latest arc concludes.

Prepare yourself for an intimate look at the man in purple who has brought the pasty face of villainy to Gotham City with a show that is a double-barreled shotgun of laughs!

Hey Kids, Comics! #193 - Rogue-ish I's: Cat's Pajamas

Rogue-ish I's draws closer to its conclusion and issue #200 looms large on the horizon as Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston prepare to discuss the most purrrfect of Bat-villains, Catwoman!

Gotham's feline femme fatale has been a mainstream of the mythos for just over three quarters of a century!  Naturally that makes for a character in need of exploration HKC! style.  Joining your hosts this week is Catherine Houston (aka Mrs. JediCole).  A female perspective being most welcome when it comes to discovering a storied career rich with many changes of character as well as costume.

Catwoman rose from "just another crazy comic book criminal" to become a fairly heavy hitter in the DC Universe.  But what is her place in the psyche of Batman himself?  What facets of the Dark Knight are reflected in her personality like the facets of a coveted gem about to be stolen from a one-percenter's wall safe?  These and other questions are raised right here, right now. 

The Rantcor Pit #53 - Men in Masks

Recorded not long after the Sunday, August 21 episode of The Rantcor Pit Live, hosts Cole Houston and Eddie Medina continued to share the memories of Infinicon 2016 and especially moderating panels with Gerald Home and Dickey Beer.

Actor Gerald Home donned the mask and costume of Tessek (aka Squid-Head) of Jabba's Palace as well as that of a Mon Calamari officer aboard Home One in the climactic battle against the Empire.  Stuntman Dickey Beer was cast as Jabba's Skiff Guard Barada, but also took on the roles of a Gamorrean Guard on the Skiff, a Weequay, and even doubled for Jeremy Bullock and Mark Hamill during the battle over the Pit of Karkoon.  Furthermore he was a Stormtrooper and a Rebel Soldier for the Endoor battle scenes!

Your hosts, especially JediCole, had the opportunity to enjoy the company of both men at Infinicon during the Return of the Jedi panels and discovered there was so much more to them than Star Wars!  Many a tale of Hollywood was shared, so many that it took an episode of each of the Rantcor Pit incarnations to tell as many as possible.  From behind the scenes on what was to be Revenge of the Jedi to many other film and television tales, the discussion is a lively one on this episode.

JediCole, Gerald Home, Dickey Beer, and Eddie Medina invoke a classic Squid-Head pose!
Discover more about two incredible "men in masks" who were part of the final chapter of the original trilogy!

Hey Kids, Comics! #192 - Rogue-ish I's: Coin Toss

Heads or tails, black or white, off or on, this or that.  Pairs of choices that can dictate life if they are allowed.  In the case of one particular denizen of the Gotham City underworld, this is not only allowed, it is a way of life!

As the latest story arc continues to explore the place of Batman's top five villains in his war on crime and his life as reflected in each, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston brave the dichotomy of none other than Two-Face.

Steve McCauley returns to the show to add his own insights on this duplicitous villain.  Thoughts, ideas, and observations are tossed around like so many double-headed silver dollars and many a discovery is made about the nature of post-acid-assault Harvey Dent.

No flip of the coin is necessary when it comes to the decision of whether or not to delve into the more than two sides of Two-Face in the latest issue of 

(Click the link above to read "The Apocrypha #6".)

Farewell Kenny Baker (1934-2016)

My phone seems to know me too well.  Earlier today I had chosen to avail myself of a little free time to indulge in a brief nap.  Upon waking I reached over to collect my phone which was charging nearby and the screen opened to a headline, despite me not having had the internet connection on any news feed that I recalled.  "Kenny Baker, the Man Inside R2-D2, Dead at 81".   

As the producer and co-host of The Rantcor Pit and The Rantcor Pit Live, I felt a few words on the passing of Kenny Baker were in order here on the JCU site.

It was rare that I would seek celebrity autographs at various signings over the years.  As a result I only had one opportunity to really meet Kenny Baker in person, despite various appearances at conventions in the Dallas area over the years.  I did opt to stand in line with friends who were seeking his autograph and had the opportunity to see the joy that he and his wife took in greeting the fans.  There was a glow about the man as he greeted Star Wars fan after Star Wars fan seeking to say hello, to thank him for his role in the film that inspired so many, and to take home a memento of such a meeting, if only far too brief.

As an actor it must have been quite a surprise for Baker to be propelled into the spotlight of phenomenon that came with what was a most curious role indeed.  Sitting all day inside the shell of a robot in a space movie?  Yet in behind the scenes footage it is obvious that he gave it his all and by Jedi was having the time of his life inside that cumbersome costume.

While it was George Lucas' vision that gave us a man inside the machine, it was Kenny Baker who truly gave us R2-D2!

I never really got to meet the man, but I know that my enjoyment of C-3PO's friend and foil was greatly enhanced by his presence.

Farewell Kenny Baker.

Thank you for the memories.

Cole "JediCole" Houston
August 13, 2016

Hey Kids, Comics! #191 - Rogue-ish I's: Silly Bird

Rogue-ish I's continues with another chapter delving deeply into the psyche and nature of the villains that truly define aspects of the Batman.

Bruce Wayne's alter ego-fueled war on crime is punctuated by those adversaries that mirror facets of his life and personality.  Generally in an exaggerated form, some part of the Dark Knight Detective can be found within those villains that plague his days the most.  Despite a dapper appearance that is almost comical in nature, the Penguin has proven himself more than worthy to find a place in the upper echelon of Batman's rogue's gallery.

In this compelling issue, the villainous one-percenter Oswald Cobblepot becomes the topic of discussion.  Andrew Farmer and Cole "JediCole" Houston are joined by Eddie Medina of The Rantcor Pit shows!  Enjoy this exploration of another of the more underrated of the Bat-foes as three seasoned podcasters put on the Ritz and ponder the parasol-wielding, seafood-eating, bird-keeping, tuxedo-wearing, waddle-walking fine feathered fiend that is the Penguin!  

Caution:  A little wine and the combination of Andrew and Eddie has this issue of the show taking a few...adult oriented turns.  Enjoy!

As promised, here is the All-Con Guide to Convention Etiquette video from which this episode took its name.  - JediCole

Hey Kids, Comics! #190 - Rogue-ish I's: Riddled Through and Through

Welcome to a brand new story arc for HKC!, "Rogue-ish I's".  You are entering in this issue an in-depth look at five of the most vital adversaries in the Dark Knight's long crime-fighting career.  To begin, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston pose a riddle.

More accurately, a Riddler!  

One of the most underrated Bat-Villains, the Riddler has come of his own in more recent years.  Re-imagined as something more than just a periodic thorn in Batman's side, Edward Nygma's curious alter ego is a force to be reckoned with indeed!

To help unravel the mystery within a puzzle inside an actual enigma, your hosts have enlisted the aid of Dallas-area Riddler maven and cosplayer, Josh Watson.  Bringing his considerable knowledge and love of the character to bear, the insights into the mind of this most curios of criminals abound.

The Rantcor Pit #52 - Later, Vader

Are you ready for some more "simple tricks and nonsense"?  The Force of July concludes with one more episode for the month!  This time it is all about the Dark Lord of the Sith!

Darth Vader (a.k.a. "Old Annie") is topic of discussion as Cole Houston and Eddie Medina are joined by returning guest David Bunds.  Much exploration of Vader as the central antagonist in the original trilogy is put forth without the benefit of respirators.

What makes Darth Vader such an iconic villain?  What aspects of the character had to be retrofit as the story evolved after "A New Hope" paved the way to an ongoing saga?  What is up with the melty helmet in "The Force Awakens"?  These and other questions are explored as man is separated from machine.

As promised, the "Bad Lip Reading" video...

The Rantcor Pit Live #52 - Happy Birthday George Lucas!

The big catch up of posting live show archives continues with this episode which streamed live on Sunday, May 15, 2016. 

The Rantcor Pit Live follow's its second birthday celebration with yet another birthday celebration!

With George Lucas' birthday in such close proximity to the original live streaming air date of this episode, Cole Houston and Eddie Medina felt it was only fitting that they throw a little party for the inspiration of this show and much of their own lives.

Don your party hats, grab some cake and ice cream, and enjoy Your Favorite Star Wars Guys as they celebrate the life and career of their favorite Star Wars guy!  

Hey Kids, Comics! #189 - Caucus on Infinite Earths

"Politics! Politics! Politics! Politics!" - Comicus (History of the World:  Part 1)

Hear ye!  Hear ye!  We now convene the first Comicental Congress of the United States!  

Actually your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston are going political this week in honor of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.  Simply put, they are finally getting around to exploring politics and especially politicians in comics!

Just a glimpse at Richard M. Nixon's storied comic book Presidential career.
From the fictional politicians to those of the real world who have managed to wind up in the pages of many a super-hero or other comic book, there are many examples discussed and debated.  As with any aspect of life, art is a keen imitator and politics are as vital to these ongoing narratives as social issues and personal internal struggles.  

Cast a vote for comics by giving this electoral issue of HKC! a listen!

The Rantcor Pit Live #51 - Always Two (Years) There Are

The ongoing catch-up phase of TRPL continues.  This episode originally streamed live on Watch On Air Live on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Happy Anniversary, Rantcor Pit Live!

Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina were equally surprised and grateful to have come to the realization that the live version of the show had been a part of Deep Ellum on Air for two full years!

Two years and three studio locations later (and on the cusp of moving into their fourth), Your Favorite Star Wars Guys, joined by "The Talk Lord of the Sith", reminisce on the origins of the live show.  From the unlikely beginnings after being invited to join Deep Ellum on Air a few months into the recorded show to many a Sunday talking up Star Wars, there was plenty to share.

Enjoy the memories...

HKC! SDCC 2016 Special

It was bound to happen...

San Diego Comic Con very nearly got a pass this year.  Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston just didn't get all that incensed about this industry juggernaut and its hobby-ruining exclusives.
But something changed.  Something stirred within their fanboy consciousnesses and they simply could not let a year slip by without addressing the annual hurt that is SDCC!

This year they are joined by Mrs. JediCole of Whadjahthink? as they wax bitchy about all of the cool things they were not going to see in 2016, if ever in some cases!  

This EXCLUSIVE special edition is only for those who could not attend San Diego Comic Con 2016.

We've got your back!

"NOT lying!"

The Rantcor Pit Live #50 - Among the Stars

The catching up phase is now in full swing.  Big changes are afoot for The JediCole Universe so it was high time to get the episodes of The Rantcor Pit Live from the archive published on this site!  Look for #51 on Wednesday and #52 on Saturday this week!

This episode originally aired live on Sunday, May 1, 2016.

Who doesn't love meeting the actors and actresses who brought that "Galaxy Far, Far Away" to life?  Hosts Cole Houston and Eddie Medina have enjoyed their own brushes with Star Wars greatness and they are not alone!

Cartoonist, martial artist, and podcaster Bobby Blakey joins them in the studio for a discussion of close encounters of the Star Wars kind.  

Hey Kids, Comics! #188 - Identity Theft (or "Let Me Talk to Bruce."

"Don't surround yourself with yourself" - Yes; I've Seen All Good People (The Yes Album); 1971

Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston are back to face off on a weighty issue that confronts many a comic book hero.  This would be, of course losing oneself in one's alter-ego.  

When someone loses themselves wholeheartedly in their secret identity their "other self" can exert control to the point that they are lost within that self.  

Batman tends to spring to mind first, but there are many other examples sited.  Beyond a hero becoming too much the mantle thereof, your hosts also explore examples of alter-egos taking on alter-egos of their own!

Do It Yourself 8: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

Seriously?!  Has it been over a YEAR since the last Do It Yourself appeared on the JCU?!

Yes, it's true!  After a one year hiatus those diligent movie critics turned improvement specialists Vegabomber and Joose have been called out of retirement!  What could possibly have compelled them to take up mics and share their thoughts on how a popular, money-making-machine film could be vastly better if anyone had bothered to consult them?

Simply put, "Batman v. Superman:  Dawn of Justice.

Need we say more?  Perhaps not.  In fact it is best that you just sit back and take in a little cinematic wisdom as your hosts guide you through their thoughts on the actual movie and how it really could have been even more epic!  Or just plain epic at all.  

The JCU highly recommends this episode as a mental appetizer for the release of the longer director's cut of the movie which will soon enjoy a theatrical release.

The Rantcor Pit Live #49 - Beep-Boop and the All-Con Cavaliers

This overdue posting of the live show continues!  This show originally streamed live on Sunday, March 20, 2016.  Look for more episodes coming soon as the JCU finally catches up with its alter ego over at Watch On Air Live!

JediCole has vanished!

Actually he was just busily running talk shows, game shows, and panels at All-Con 2016 the Sunday that this episode went out live from On Air Live!  So Eddie Medina brought in a special guest host, Tim Kennedy of VaderCast!  It was Tim who facilitated Cole's entree into podcasting so it was only fitting that he return to the show.  

Joining them in the studio were LubbockCon director DeNae Griffith, along with her capable convention insider Chris Cortez.  Eddie and his guests talk about All-Con, LubbockCon, and more!

The Rantcor Pit #51 - Far, Far Away

Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina are back!  And stuck in Texas while thousands of fans are enjoying the tail end of the third Star Wars Celebration Europe! 

Undaunted, they have chosen to share thoughts about the entire Celebration phenomenon as well as many of the aspects of this year's European edition.  From the cool exclusives to some pretty amazing announcements and features, there is plenty to discuss.

Even from half a world away, Your Favorite Star Wars Guys are happy to celebrate Celebration.  Won't you join them?

Watch the Rogue One Celebration Reel here.
Watch the Rebels Season 3 Trailer here.

Hey Kids, Comics! #187 Salon de Refuses

Hey Kids, Comics! goes all art history on you with a look at some of the most overlooked, underrated, and obscure comic books that can be found.  That is if you really look around a lot!

For this issue, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston are going to party like it's 1863!  Invoking Napoleonic-era France, your hosts present their own Salon de Refuses for comics.  Not even the "Big Three" always hit their marks, but most of the topics of discussion are so obscure and ignored as to teeter on the brink of abject obscurity.  This exhibition of sorts will seek to bring attention to some gems among the back-issue stones.

Your hosts even go so far as to raise forgotten or ignored comic characters to a new and artistic level that you will have to hear to believe!