The JediCole Universe is Now on Twitter!

JediCole here with some great news!  The JediCole Universe now has a Twitter account and I (an Andrew and likely others on the JediCole Podcasting Network) will be sending out dispatches to keep you informed on where to find us at conventions, what's just been added to the network, and other fun news.

You can check it out and follow us @TheJediColeU

Yes, it finally happened, thanks in no small part to Andrew, JediCole is now on Twitter!


Andy's Note:  I totally ripped this image off from, There are a ton of cool things over there, you all should check it out

A Very Disney Justification

From time to time I will receive an email from Mrs. JediCole that demands my attention, or at least the considerations of the Ever-Ticking Brain.  And so it was this week that I received the following:

A question from the co-workers:
Goofy & Pluto
Which one is “unique”?
Is Goofy like the cop/detective in Alan Moore’s “TOP 10”?
Or is Pluto, well..?

Never one to pass up such a challenge I quickly formulated at reply.  Since the question and where it led me were too good to simply end with the answer shared among her co-workers, I present it now as a variation on my recurring feature Jedi Justifications.  Be sure to check out the latest installment of that feature which will appear this Sunday!  And now, my response:

In the end the field is narrowed automatically by the nature of those with whom Goofy and Pluto consort.  The Toon realm that is inhabited by Mickey Mouse and friends, henceforth known as the Disneyverse, is peopled exclusively by anthropomorphic animals, primarily birds and mammals.  This is well established by documentation from Steamboat Willy to Three Caballeros and beyond.  This designation is inclusive of the Disneyverse and not the overall body of Disney animated features and shorts.  With few exceptions (i.e.; the brief alliance between the Disneyverse and the Allied Powers during World War II), the Disneyverse  is entirely devoid of true human forms.

Yet each of these characters, to his own personal tastes or cultural demands, is possessed of human shame.  Mickey and Minnie, representing the higher order of mammals, don far more clothing than their avian counterparts like the shameless Donald Duck.  Though there are exceptions to that trend as represented by semi-nudist bovines who accessorize their nudity solely with decorative yokes.  None the less, there are no shortage of animal-people who walk erect, have (in most cases) opposable thumbs, and speak some form of language that is an exaggerated English dialect.  Save for one most unique exception.

Theories on the exact nature of Pluto differ from Toon anthropomorphologist to anthropomorphologist, but the general consensus is that he is no less a higher order Toon that his constant companion Mickey Mouse.  Some have suggested that Pluto is an ancestral form of Goofy’s people that was revived after millennia frozen in some artic glacier.  Still others consider him an unfortunate mental defective who is the victim of the draconian stance taken by Toons in the Disneyverse on mental illness.  As Pluto is compelled to take on the role of a lesser being he is simply allowed to do so without any form of potential rehabilitation being afforded him.  And finally there are the fringe theories that range from extraterrestrial sources to genetic engineering on an “Island of Dr. Moreau” scale. 

While the actual disposition of Pluto may never be adequately confirmed, there is no doubt that he is unique in the Disneyverse.

(The above is an excerpt from Roy Disney’s seminal masterpiece Understanding Dad.)  

Hey Kids, Comics! #11 - Comics, Commerce, and the All-Mighty Buck: The Never Ending Eulogy

 “I got an uncle lives in Taxes!”
“No!  I’m talking taxes!  Money!  Dollars!”
“Hey!  That’s where my uncle lives!  Dollars, Taxes!” – Chicolini and a Fredonian official (Duck Soup)

The death knell of the comic industry has been pealing for decades now and yet it seems
that, like the film industry, modern technology has yet to succeed in sending it the way of sundials and whale oil. 

Shakespeare said a coward dies many deaths but a hero dies but once.  And yet in sharp contrast to this statement the ever-heroic comic industry soldiers on, seemingly as strong as ever.  And yet there have been so many points in its long more than a century history
its very existence has been so threatened that industry insiders have called its demise inevitable.  From the legislative threat that gave birth to the Comics Code Authority to the rise of the digital comic. 

Through it all there’s still “gold in them thar hills”!  But how is that possible, and can
the industry truly survive any more financial blows?  Andy and Cole discuss this and other related topics on this financially charged edition of Comics, Commerce, and the All-Mighty Buck!

TV v JT Episode 2: Product Placement

This week's episode of TV v. JT we take a moment to look at product placement in shows: both good and bad. As usual, we commend shows like White Collar and Mad Men while we chastise Hawaii 5-0 and others.

The best examples of product placement include the item as a part of the narrative of the show. Obviously, a show like Mad Men--which is based upon a group of people who work in advertising--can get away with great product placement without losing touch of the story. Most other shows, however, have a much more difficult task ahead of them, trying to balance the integrity of their show with the longevity offered by whatever product they need to integrate into the story. NBC is notorious for being able to do just that with programs like 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, and Community.

This also leads into why certain genres of shows are picked up by networks in the first place. For instance, Game of Thrones would struggle on a major network simply because there is no opportunity for advertisers to claim a stake in their mythology. The story would have to be broken by commercials, which would destroy the flow of story. Future-based sci-fi/fantasy, however, can get away with this by utilizing "future" product (where are our hoverboards?).

On our recurring segment "A Word On Our Sponsors", we send a hats off to So Co for their regular AMC spot. Afterward, Andrew gives a lively description of the hypersexualized version of French thirst quenching.

Thanks for tuning in, and see you next week!

Hey Kids, Comics! #10 - Comics, Commerce, and the All-MIghty Buck: The Long, Strong Arm of Marvel

 “You’ve heard of the golden rule, haven’t you?  Whoever has the gold makes the rules!” – Jafar (Aladdin)

Marvel Comics has a long history of initiating litigation or the threat thereof.  Over the years Marvel Comics has put their legal team to task on all manner of actions.  From their failed attempt to sue Defiant Comics to blocking DC’s planned “tribute” to the X-Men.  And beyond all of that there was the ghastly period known as “Marvelution”, when the industry giant sought to become an industry of their own.  And failed.

In this installment of "Comics, Commerce, and the All-Mighty Buck" Andy and Cole take on Marvel Comics.  When the House of Ideas becomes the House of Lawsuits and Legal Strong-Arming is something lost in the process?  And though we call it issue #9 at the opening, it is in fact #10 we assure you.  Listen in true believers! 

TV v JT Episode 1: Do It Yourself

Welcome to episode 1 of TV v JT, a podcast dedicated to television. I will cover all topics associated with television, including reviews, previews, in-depth analysis, production, commercialism, and generally prodding around the medium.

This week, Andrew and I approach one of the founding principles of the United States: self-sufficiency. The mantra during the creation of this nation involved rolling up one's sleeves and accomplishing greatness. We stood up to the world's most powerful bully to gain our independence; we plowed through thousands of miles of swamp, mountains, and desert to create one of the most fertile lands on the planet; we forged cities and dams from the blood of hard work and raw determination. In essence, our national motto could very well be converted from e pluribus unim to operor is vestri, "Do It Yourself".

Therefore, when an entire television network nominates itself as the "Do It Yourself" network, you'd expect a hurricane of hard labor broadcasting 24/7. Instead, what awaits you is a destruction of the fabric of what those words mean. Indeed, the most basic of verbs, "do", fails to be represented at any point during a 24-hour period of programming on this horrifying network. Andrew and I will discuss one of the worst offenders on the DIY Network, called Yardcore.

To soften the otherwise harsh chastisement of television, we also take a glance at our favorite reality show, Master Chef. I do apologize for posting this later than planned, the finale has already aired. Therefore, no spoilers!

A regular segment on the show will be dedicated to the best and worst commercial campaigns airing on TV.

If you like what you hear and wish to suggest your favorite commercials, please drop a comment here or visit my website at! Thanks again to the Jedi Cole Universe for expanding your network to accommodate the likes of myself and TV fans everywhere.

Something Big Has Arrived...THE RANTCOR PIT!

It is Saturday and as promised the reveal of that something big is here at last.  Welcome to the first installment of a new monthly show on the JediCole Universe Podcasting Network, The Rantcor Pit!

Once a month I will be returning to my Star Wars roots with a half-hour show in which I rant and rave about all things Star Wars.  After nearly 35 years as a fan, collector, and occasonal writer on the subject I am going to take my thoughts into hyperdrive for your listening pleasure.

If you share my passion for Star Wars this could well be the show you are looking for! 

The Rantcor Pit features Cole "JediCole" Houston and is produced by Andrew Farmer.  Special thanks to Rick Gutierrez of The United States of Geekdom for leveling and compressing the audio file in the nick of time so I could air this show today! 

The Rantcor Pit art was created by Bobby Blakey of BDG Studios.  Check out his webcomic Last Stop as well as other fun things like BDG's mascot Doug the Gorilla's movie reviews.  You may know Bobby from countless conventions, most noteably All-Con Dallas as well as Strip: The Dallas Webcomics Expo.  He does amazing work and is available for comissions, so be sure to contact him today!

Hey Kids, Comics! #9 - Comics, Commerce, and the All-Mighty Buck: Collection Equals Tuition

"I love money!  All money!  To handle!  To touch!" – Eric Idle (Monty Python’s Flying Circus; The Money Programme)

The advent of comics being perceived as an investment more than just a collectible became a cash grab for publishers.  And the burgeoning direct market hitched its collective wagon to that falling star.  Millions of people who never set foot in a comic shop in their lives were overnight collectors with dollar signs in their eyes.  The
birth and inevitable death of the “collector speculator” was just one facet of the madness.  News stories about genuinely rare comics (less than five known to exist) fetching millions led people to perceive their comic boxes as safe deposit boxes.  Newly made collectors clamored to snatch up multiple copies of X-Men #1 or the “Death of
Superman”, never realizing that comics published in the millions would never appreciate in value like those once published in the thousands, the bulk of which now belong to the ages.
In this issue Andrew and Cole discuss how comics became a commodity and comic shops were once their own little stock exchange.

Something Big is Coming to the JCU!

There is something new.  Somthing big.  Something very - well - JediCole coming to The JediCole Universe! 

This is just a tiny bit, a teaser if you will, of what is in the works here at the JCU.  Check back in just one week for the big reveal and something really cool for your enjoyment!

- JediCole

Hey Kids, Comics! #8 – Comics, Commerce, and the All-Mighty Buck: Die-Cut Embossed Foil Bagged With Exclusive Trading Cards

Welcome to a very special, highly collectible, must-have, guaranteed to skyrocket in value extra-cool edition of Hey Kids, Comics!  This virtually embossed issue features a simulated mylar bag to protect the ultra-amazing hologram (in theory) and the much sought after, serially numbered trading card (also virtual)!

This episode really does not have special enhancements or incentives, rather it is about the special enhancements and incentives used by publishers in the past to lure in new readers.  Or more accurately, to lure in collectors and speculators.  This is all about making a buck, right?  Why sell comics with great stories and art when you can let the cover and/or the packaging do the selling for you!  So your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston invite you to once again join them in an exploration of how money makes the comic world go around!

Collection Corner: $40 Well Spent

Welcome to the first installment of a new feature, Collection Corner.  From time to time I intend to showcase a little bit of my personal collection as well as give tips on collecting in general from over 35 years as an active collector.  As a former convention dealer, constant convention participant and presenter, and long-term collector I am often asked advise on what and how to collect.  So perhaps in small ways I can share a bit of that knowledge with those who visit my site.  So please be sure to refer anyone you know who collects to the JediCole Universe!

For this first installment I am going to share a recent experience that underscores an ongoing concern for collectors, display space.  The larger your collection, especially if it continues to grow and evolve in its focus, the more troublesome it can become to find adequate display space to truly showcase your collectibles.  Many are the options available but after a time things can accumulate to the point where it is time to seek out new options.  Such was the case for me after Star Wars Celebration VI this year.

One of the top priority pieces for me that was offered by the Celebration Store was the Gammorean Guard Piggy Bank.  At $30 it was quite the bargain, especially given its size.  But then size was also a detriment.  Even before Celebration my display space was nearing capacity, so finding a home for this and other purchases was going to prove a bit troublesome.  But it did not end there!  Shortly after returning home I was determined to see if I could find something else I was seeking at the convention to no avail, Gentle Giant Studios' Mos Eisley Cantina Bookends. 

Seeking was not so much the issue as finding.  Released in 2006, these incredible bookends are rarely offered on eBay or other after-market venues, so to find one being offered was something of a surprise.  Especially since it was being offered at a price I felt was more than reasonable, especially since the statue itself had never been taken out of the packaging for display!  As it was a Buy It Now auction I did not even have to wait to make it my own.  But with its impending arrival on the horizon I was confronted with the realization that there was no place in the house adequate to accommodate the set for display!
I have often told fellow collectors that when you display your collection you are ultimately the curator of a very private kind of museum.  As such it is important to always be mindful of the fact that when you share your collection with others it should be presented in a way that illustrates your passion as well as the collectibles you have amassed.  It simply would not do to shoehorn these much sought after bookends into an already heavily laden display of statues and mini-busts in the living room.  There was only one option open in the end.  It was time to look for a curio cabinet or other quality display shelf!

Enter Craigslist!  Every collector worth his salt utilizes this site from time to time.  While it is rare, sometimes a collectible that has otherwise eluded you can be found there.  Or a collection worth buying to cull certain pieces.  And of course it can also be a great resource for finding display options.  In this case I was quite fortunate to have a half dozen or so options in the range of $40 to $80.  In the end I opted for a cabinet referred to as "Display/DVD Cabinet - $40".  The ad placed the piece about 30-45 minutes from home and it looked like it just might be ideal.  After confirming the dimensions with the seller I arranged to purchase it the same night.  And within hours of those arrangements it was in the hall just outside of my studio (the principle showcase room for my collection).

A small wooden table stood in the spot it now occupies which was the home of a variety of larger books like The Making of Star Wars, The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, and DC Comics Year by Year.  It seemed there would be ample space on the top shelf for books with plenty to spare for three shelves of statuary.  A test run with the books thus placed and a few pieces put on the shelves offered some unexpected concerns.  Some of the shelves seemed too low to adequately display certain statues and the smoked glass doors robbed the display of what light the hallway could offer.  Opting to remove the doors and move the books to the bottom shelf (mostly as a deterrent from that shelf becoming a cat landing pad as absent the doors that was a probability) proved to be the best approach all around. 

And now I have an ideal display for not only my Celebration acquisitions but for some busts and statues that were suffering from over crowding in other displays.  The Hulk vs. Thing bookends have a new home as well, clearing space for the arrival of those featuring Han Solo and Greedo.  The books maintained their place while I gained a tremendous new display space for collectibles old and new.  So the Gamorrean Guard Bank can now be showcased, two Diamond Select vinyl coin banks that once resided on the floor of the studio are prominently displayed, and some smaller pieces have much greater visibility.  So remember, when considering display options keep the nature of the display in mind, but also be ready to adapt your original concept to the circumstances presented by the actual pieces in question.

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