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Rhythms of the Algo

Rhythms of the Algo

NEW WHO: Series 12 of Doctor Who started up on New Year’s Day. With three weeks gone and now three episodes in, our Who-loving hosts sit down to talk about it (mostly just the first two episodes SPOILER WARNING for “Spyfall, Part 1” and “Spyfall, Part 2”).

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That was a Spodcast

That was a Spodcast

IS THE FORCE STILL WITH US?: This week, Andrew and D. Bethel talk not about Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker (although there are things that amount to SPOILERS for both The Rise of Skywalker and The Mandalorian in this episode, so be warned). Instead, they talk about what comes next. An article from NME, it was reported that the next Star Wars saga will be set during the “High Republic” era of the canon, predating all nine numbered movies by 400 years. Andrew and D. Bethel talk about this development––and about Star Wars in general––and even get into a fight about an IP that neither are particularly passionate about.

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Starting By Starting

Starting By Starting

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, Andrew and D. Bethel start the new year with some things they have only light knowledge of and experience with. Andrew starts watching Netflix’s The Witcher and only briefly plays Haemimont Games’ Surviving Mars. D. Bethel has fun playing detective in the disgusting Lovecraftian world of Frogwares’ The Sunking City.

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RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Episode 44 – Man Band” (10 April 2015): Where Andrew shared his experiences with another, more terrestrial-focused, city simulation game, Cities: Skylines.
  • Episode 89 – High-Five Forever” (25 March 2017): Where D. Bethel talked about other Lovecraftian revisionist literature with Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.
  • Robot Monsters From the Future ” (27 Dec. 2019): Where D. Bethel talked about intending to play The Sinking City.

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2019: Reigniting Geekdom

2019: Reigniting Geekdom

This year we are hosting a variety of looks back at 2019 as hosts and friends-of-the-show offer up the things that defined the year for them. Today we hear from indie comic creator, friend-of-the-show, and Con Artists co-host, Kyrun Silva (from Taurus Comics), talk about what 2019 meant to him.


2019 was an interesting year of nerd and geek culture for me. The year came with a lot of highs and lows, but for the sake of this retrospective I’ve decided to stick with the highs. This year brought a lot of change for me and my family when it came to our geekdom. I continued to find that my love for comics keeps changing; in a sense, I was reintroduced to a medium that had been almost forgotten to me for awhile and my childhood dreams finally were able to come true and assemble.

INDIE COMICS

Though it started in 2018, in 2019 I really started to notice that my love for comics had started to shift. This year I noticed my tastes for books going away from the mainstream things that Marvel and DC brought to the table and turning more towards indie publishers. This change solidified in the trimming of my saver list at my local comic book shop. Where once I had fifteen to twenty books that my shop saved for me each month, I now maybe five are saved.

A sampling of Taurus Comics characters: (clockwise from top left) Starcore, Malik from Shaman’s Destiny, Xob the Lightning Wielder, and Ruby. Art by Michael Dorman (lines) and Anthony D. Lee (colors).

Part of this is the ability to watch Marvel and DC’s characters on the big and small screen. The ability to regularly see the Flash, X-Men, and others took away a bit for my need to read their ongoing comic book exploits. The major reason, though, is that I’m so engrossed in the indie comic book culture. I know and follow so many amazing creators that I want to support and buy their books as much as possible. This has left me with little funds to support big name publishers.

I enjoy indie books so much that I find myself supporting and advocating for them when someone asks me about comics; I even mention indie books before I mention any from the big publishers. With books that range from standard superhero lore to horror comics to anything and everything else, the indie community truly has something for everyone. Yes, you will find some duds here and there, but overall the indie community produces hit after hit at every turn.

ANIME

2019 also brought back an old friend to me and my family: anime.

Though I have been watching anime since the ’80s and ’90s, I haven’t been able to appreciate all the available books, shows, and movies. With comic books, sports, and family obligations, I just haven’t been able to watch anime like I had before. That seemed to change in 2019, not just for me but for my family.

It actually started with the series One Punch Man. My oldest son had been watching the series before any of us and asked if we could watch it while we ate dinner one night. From that point on, my family was hooked. My wife, my 3 boys and I watched One Punch Man every week when new episodes came out. But we had a problem, we had binged all the episodes and the next season wasn’t out yet. We needed a fix and fast.

(R-L) One Punch Man, My Hero Academia, Naruto, and Demon Slayer Source: (L-R) Viz Media, Funimation, Viz Media, Aniplex of America.

In came My Hero Academia, and it blew our minds. The action, the storylines, the character development. It was everything we had wanted and more. So, again as a family, we started binging another series.

But that wasn’t enough for us.

My wife and other son started watching Naruto and it’s 600+ episodes and I started getting into the series, Demon Slayer. Anime had become so important to us, we started contemplating if we should dress up as anime characters for Halloween––that is still up in the air. However, it is nice to have something that we all enjoy, something that we can talk about and look forward to as a family of fans.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Avengers: Endgame was not only a milestone for 2019, but for the last ten years of Marvel movies. Source: Marvel Studios

“AVENGERS…..ASSEMBLE!” Those two words, exclaimed by Chris Evans playing Captain America in Avengers: Endgame was the highlight of 2019 for me.

As the culmination of 10 years of Marvel movies, I’m sure I’m not the only person to think this was one of the highlights of 2019, but for me it was a dream that 13 year old Kyrun never would have imagined possible. The idea that theatres would be packed to see a comic book movie was unthinkable in the ’80s and ’90s, but today it’s the norm. With what Marvel has done we almost expect them to be massive hits.

‘Nuff Said. Source: Marvel Studios

Endgame also brought an end to an era. Seeing these heroes come to life and die was like watching a friend leave. I’m not going to lie, I shed a couple tears during Endgame the first few times I saw it. I for sure screamed and cheered when Cap wielded Mjolnir. I cheered when Thanos was defeated. I was there when Iron Man first donned his suit on the big screen in 2008, and I’ll be there for whatever they bring in the future.

So, that’s my 2019. It was a great year. There are more I could have mentioned, but I felt these were the biggest ones for me.


Sacramento native, Kyrun Silva, broke onto the comic creation scene in 2015 launching his first independent title, Shaman’s Destiny. 2017 saw the beginning of Taurus Comics, a new solo small press line dedicated to the many worlds Kyrun is bringing to life, including Shaman’s Destiny, Xob the Lightning Wielder, Ruby From Planet Oz, Pathfinders, Starcore, Donner Lane, and more to come. Kyrun has also been the co-host to the spin-off podcast, Con Artists, with D. Bethel.

Robot Monsters From the Future

Robot Monsters From the Future

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN: As 2019 hurries to a close, our hosts kick up their feet and just chat about the things they’re doing to occupy their time until the new year rolls around. They talk about everything from the winter Steam sale, to finishing Outer Wilds (no spoilers!), to Lovecraftian tabletop games (Fate of Cthulhu), video games (The Sinking City), and novels (Winter Tide), to developing for web browsers, to––of course––Doctor Who and Star Wars.

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  • Weird World News“––a module for Fate Core by friend-of-the-show, André La Roche.
  • La Roche, André. “Spotlight: The Joke’s On Us.” A Website [ , ] For All Intents and Purposes, 27 October 2019––André’s critical look at one of the most divisive movies of the year.
  • Wildfire––the game by Ryan Kubik.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Shortcast 03 – Interview with André La Roche” (31 December 2014): When we actually had friend-of-the-show, André La Roche, on to talk about writing for tabletop games, thus becoming a friend-of-the-show.
  • Episode 89 – High-Five Forever” (25 March 2016): Where D. Bethel talked about the revisionist Lovecraftian story, The Ballad of Black Tom.
  • Shortcast 21 – Love the Stank” (30 December 2016): Where Andrew first talked about playing Stardew Valley.
  • Shortcast 77 – Smash Talk” (14 December 2018): Where our hosts talk about Series 11 of Doctor Who, which introduced the world to Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor.
  • End-Of-Year-Cast #001 – #WIN” (28 December 2018): Where our hosts go over the things that defined 2018 for them.
  • Plants Having Sex” (05 April 2019): Where Andrew first talks about playing No Man’s Sky.
  • Threadnaught” (13 September 2019): Where Andrew talks about the big No Man’s Sky update, No Man’s Sky Beyond.
  • Tile Pile” (22 November 2019): Where D. Bethel discussed his first impressions of Outer Wilds.
  • “Universe of Nonsense” (06 December 2019): Where the trailer (and release date) for Series 12 of Doctor Who was discussed.

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The Boyfriend Demographic

The Boyfriend Demographic

EXPECTING THE EXPECTED: On the day this podcast episode releases, so too does the newest cinematic installment of the main Star Wars series with Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. But Andrew and D. aren’t here to talk about the movie––they haven’t seen it yet. Instead, they’re here to talk about the talk about the movie, specifically the rather surprising amount of negative reviews coming from––not internet trolls––professional film reviewers. It leads to a multi-faceted conversation about expectations, fandom, and even the changing landscape of cinema narratives.

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Nothing But Feet

Nothing But Feet

WEEK IN GEEK (kind of): It turned out to be an accidental Week in Geek episode as D. Bethel talks about his disappointment with Valve Corporation’s sidelining of Campo Santo’s Firewatch followup, In the Valley of Gods. On the opposite side of breaking news, Andrew finally gets around to watching Star Trek: Discovery and kind of unabashedly loves it.

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Universe of Nonsense

Universe of Nonsense

TRAILER SEASON: With the year coming to an end, it’s all about looking forward for nerdy and geeky entertainment. Lately, it seems a lot of trailers for new movies and television events have been dropping that are getting people talking. This week, Andrew and D. Bethel talk about the new trailers for Black Widow, No Time to Die, Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Doctor Who: Series 12.

The teaser trailer for Black Widow. Source: Marvel Studios/YouTube
The trailer for No Time to Die. Source: Universal/Paramount/YouTube
Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover trailer. Source: DC/CW/YouTube
Trailer for series 12 of Doctor Who. Source: BBC/YouTube

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Coma Chameleon

Coma Chameleon

HAPPY GEEKSGIVING: Disguising a perfectly good Week in Geek episode, our hosts discuss the recent nerdy things in their lives that, like American Thanksgiving, seem to be all about bringing people together––directly or indirectly. Andrew relates his time with Hideo Kojima’s recent game, Death Stranding while D. Bethel has spent the last half-year taking up the challenge of finding out whether he’s actually a fan of the band Queen or not.

What nerdy and geeky things have brought you through the beginning of this winter holiday season? Let us know!

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  • Episode 06 – Hear Law, Article 9 (03 July 2014): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the importance of Hideo Kojima’s PS2 masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, has in the continuum of video game history.
  • Episode 18 – All the Way (26 September 2014): Tangentially related to Queen, in this episode Dan and Andrew talk about the Highlander franchise.
  • Episode 28 – A Mighty Oak (05 December 2014): Where D. and Andrew discuss the place the first Metal Gear Solid holds in video game history.
  • Episode 70 – The Big Fiddle (30 October 2015): Where D. Bethel discusses his time with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain after completing it.
  • Episode 75 – A Sad Game About Nuclear Disarmament (11 December 2015): Where Andrew and D. discuss a particularly harrowing and powerful scenario from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
  • I Can Segue (01 November 2019): Where D. and Andrew discuss the most recent level of tragedy around Fallout 76, and spitball ideas for how to make it into a single-player game with light multi-player elements…something that Death Stranding seems to pick up on.

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Tile Pile

Tile Pile

WEEK IN GEEK: This week, our humble hosts are back playing games of all sorts. Andrew heads to the tile-covered table and is reasonably impressed playing yet another Legacy-branded game––Betrayal Legacy by Avalon Hill a multi-session version of the popular semi-cooperative horror game, Betrayal on Haunted Hill. D. Bethel finally had some time to step into the digital realm and got lost in the clockwork expanse of the very interesting and subtle Outer Wilds (no, not The Outer Worlds) by Mobius Digital (WARNING: mild spoilers for Outer Wilds are given in the episode).

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  • Giant Bomb takes a look at Google’s Stadia:

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