e58. Gaming an Empire

History does not look upon tyranny with favor. The Persian Empire, The Mongol Empire, the Roman Empire, The Qing Dynasty, The British Empire. In our modern contemporary moment we tend to think of all of these as affronts to freedom and democracy… and with good reason. That said, there are a surprising number of games …

e55. PCA-2019 Recap

If you’ve been listening to the show for the last few weeks, you know that all four hosts have been preparing for PCA2019, the national conference of the Popular Culture Association in Washington DC. In fact, episode 52 and episode 53 featured previews of our papers. The conference was from April 10 to April 13, …

e54. The Unbearable Whiteness of being Batman

Do you remember all of those great Batman supporting characters of color. You know… Batman’s black, latinx, asian and other ethnic sidekicks and villains like… errr… uh… you know… yeah… ummm…. It’s actually hard to come up with some, isn’t it? Well, there’s probably a reason for that. There are actually several, and have been …

e53. PCA/ACA 2019 Preview: Comic Studies

On last week’s episode, Katya and Hannah shared the topics of their papers for this year’s upcoming PCA/ACA. Now it’s Wayne and Mav’s turn to do the same. As we prepare to head off to the conference this week, Wayne shares the basics of his topic, a Jungian psychological evaluation of the Kevin Matchstick, the …

e51. So What Is Subculture Anyway?

We’ve been talking a lot about subcultures on our last couple of episodes. And the terms comes up a lot on the internet — usually negatively — to refer to everything from hipsters and punks and goths and geeks to Republicans and Democrats to Christians and Muslims to … uh… MAGA hat wearers. Often if …

e49. Cinema vs. Streaming

Recently Steven Spielberg allegedly implored the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to make it harder for films distributed primarily through streaming platforms to win Oscars. Or maybe he didn’t. The details are actually kind of fuzzy. But moreover, we’re not sure it really matters whether he did or not. The very idea of …

e47. Milkshake Ducks & Problematic Artists

It seems like it happens every day lately. Your favorite writer, comedian, singer, actor, sports star, politician or whatever suddenly hits the news because it turns out he’s a racist, rapist, sexist, homophobe, murderer or otherwise deplorable person. Particularly in the #MeToo era, we’re seeing this more and more with the likes of Bill Cosby, …