Do It Yourself Episode 1: Iron Man 3

Welcome to the latest addition to The JediCole Universe Podcasting Network!  I am proud to introduce Do It Yourself, the show that rethinks popular movies.

YouTube movie reviewer Vegabomber is joined by his co-host Joose as they pick apart 2013's Iron Man 3 and reveal how the choices they would have made over those that became the movie that was released to the delight of Marvel fans everywhere.  

An engaging conversation ensues as what went right and what went wrong in this super-hero epic is discussed and debated.  Every movie fan has an opinion on how their favorites could have been better.  Now you can check out the biweekly rantings of some hardcore fans as they talk up how they would have done it if they were in charge!

The Rantcor Pit Live #8 - Let the Games Begin!

When the host’s away, the co-host will play.  Games that is!  Or more accurately a game show.  JediCole was still away on vacation on Sunday, July 27 when this episode of the live show was produced, so Eddie Medina and guest host Thomas Branch staged a game show! 

And so it was that The Galactic Games were the order of the day at the Rantcor Pit!  Eddie and Thomas were joined by Eddie's wife Colleen as well as Heather Traylor, Nick Corkill, and Kevin Bowling.  Eddie leads Thomas and their guests in a lively quiz to test their Star Wars knowledge.  Jantzen joins the fun off-camera as the Jedi Holocron!

Who will win the "Galactic War Vet" trophy and a vintage Star Wars comic?  Check it out the video below to answer this question by seeing who answered the most questions correctly.

JCU Sunday Funnies #68

Want to see Bobby Blakey's art and his own humor including the newly relaunched Last Stop?  Check out six years of the strip plus new material right here!

Own the first year of You Are Here in a collected edition (Your First Year Here) only $7.50 postpaid.  More details here.

Hey Kids, Comics! #98 - Wish You Were Here

Join Hey Kids, Comics! and See The World!

Well, several worlds actually.  Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston invite you to join them on a tour of the myriad fictional cities, countries, realms, planets, and dimensions that comprise the universes of the comics we all love.

From the gritty streets of Gotham to the oppressive borders of Latveria, from the lush tropical climes of Tamaran to the impossible sentience of Ego.  From the Negative Zone to the Phantom Zone and beyond, there is no shortage of places to visit.  Hey Kids, Comics! will take you on the trip of a lifetime as a great many fantastic locales are touched on from the too-many-to-all-be-included list that begs for another issue devoted to this topic.

Join us as we go around the universes in 60 minutes!  

The Rantcor Pit #18 - Every Saga Has a Beginning...

Welcome to a special episode of The Rantcor Pit that takes a look back at how JediCole got his start in podcasting.  

In a way, this is the origin story of this very show!  Cole Houston and Eddie Medina are joined by the founder and host of VaderCast, Tim Kennedy, as they reflect on Cole's introduction into podcasting. 

Cole and Tim way back when.
With a rich history and plenty of tales to tell, the VaderCast story is a personal journey that not only led, eventually, to The JediCole Univerese, but also to the precursor of The United States of Geekdom as well.  Get the whole story today...

JCU Sunday Funnies #67

Want to see Bobby Blakey's art and his own humor including the newly relaunched Last Stop?  Check out six years of the strip plus new material right here!

Own the first year of You Are Here in a collected edition (Your First Year Here) only $7.50 postpaid.  More details here.

Hey Kids, Comics #97 - Recommended Reading #2

It is time for a long overdue issue of Hey Kids, Comics!, the second installment of Recommended Reading!

Way back with issue #45, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston shared their thoughts on some comic book titles that they felt you really ought to be reading.  Well time passed and more and more great ideas for new shows came up and they kind of lost track of following up with another such issue.

Now at last your intrepid hosts bring you some new choices, gleaned from their own collections and favorites.  Whittling the list down to a mere five choices was a daunting task to say the least.  As was, it would appear, remembering which issue they were recording!  None the less they managed to bring some pretty remarkable recommendations to the table for your future reading enjoyment.  

Please be sure to write to us at to let us know what you thought of these titles and to make recommendations for future installments of this recurring feature.

The Rantcor Pit Live #7 - Chock Full of Jedi

Welcome to another great episode of The Rantcor Pit Live from the amazing Deep Ellum on Air studio in Dallas, Texas!  The following shows both originally aired live on Sunday, July 13, 2014, so apologies for the delay in getting them up on the JCU site.

First up, Cole Houston and Eddie Medina are joined by another show host from Deep Ellum, Christy the Jedi Goddess!  With JediCole and the Jedi Goddess in the mix there could be no better topic than that discussed...

Check it out to find out what we talked about and find out why Yoda is joining the fun!

The Rantcor Pit 2014-07-13 by DeepEllumOnAir

Later that same day Eddie and Cole got to sit in on the latest episode of Jedi Goddess Presents!  This was nothing short of amazing for us and a great crossover between our two shows that are the first of the Sunday lineup!

jedigoddess presents 2014-07-13 by DeepEllumOnAir

We hope you enjoyed our big day of Star Wars fun and more.  Two big shows, one big day.  We can't wait to play with our fellow Deep Ellum on Air personalities again!

Whadjathink? - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

That Which is Caesar's

Welcome to the latest edition of Whadjathink?, the movie show that is like the drive home with friends after the film.  This outing hosts Catherine Houston and Bobby Blakey find they have money on a monkey fight when they talk up another post-apocalypse, with chimpanzees!  Yes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the topic as they are joined by Catherine’s brother-in-law Clay Houston.

It’s monkey trouble, business, and wrenching a-go-go with an exploration of the hit sequel to 2009’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  Were the hosts and their guests impressed by the sophomore installment of the new franchise or did it come across more akin to something written by a room full of chimps with typewriters?  Find out for yourself if the panelists went ape for one of the most anticipated films of the summer.


JCU Sunday Funnies #66

Want to see Bobby Blakey's art and his own humor including the newly relaunched Last Stop?  Check out six years of the strip plus new material right here!

Own the first year of You Are Here in a collected edition (Your First Year Here) only $7.50 postpaid.  More details here.

Hey Kids, Comics! #96 - Post-Pubescent Genetically Altered Martial Artist Animal Species

Welcome to a very special issue of Hey Kids, Comics! that celebrates one of the greatest success stories in comic book history and the forgettable aftermath in the form of a flood of wannabes that sought to ride the coattails of an unlikely phenomenon.  That is, of course, none other than the world-famous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!  From humble beginnings to entertainment powerhouse, there was certainly no shortage of “turtle power” behind the reptilian protagonists of this popular title.  Not so much so for the veritable jungle of pretenders to the throne that sought to capitalize on a budding craze.

Blatant rip-offs ran rampant and sparked a parody craze in small press publishing that brought no shortage of titles that rode a parallel wave.  Where once there was not shortage of martial artist critters and anthropomorphic super-hero spoofs, only the Turtles remain in the public consciousness.  Join Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston, along with their guest (and resident TMNT expert) Eddie Medina as they explore the landslide success of Eastman and Laird’s shared brainchild and the avalanche of garbage that followed in their wake.


The Rantcor Pit #17 - The Arms Race

Welcome back to The Rantcor Pit!  This week Cole "JediCole" Houston and Eddie Medina are all about the big guns of Star Wars as they turn their attention towards the arms and armaments seen on screen!

Their special guest this week is David Petty, a member of the 501st Legion and an ideal addition to the discussion.  Listen in for some insights on the weapons that make the Star Wars saga unique.  From the lightsaber to those clumsy, random blasters, to that great big ion gun the Rebels used to defend their evacuation with name.

All this and so much more as weapons and the tech behind them take center stage.  And there is also a little bit of the kind of running off topic that you find on this show, but in the end a lot of great concepts are brought forth.  So pick up your power converters, get the units on the south ridge up and running, clean up the new droids and then settle in for some Star Wars fun, blaster-style!

JCU Sunday Funnies #65

Want to see Bobby Blakey's art and his own humor including the newly relaunched Last Stop?  Check out six years of the strip plus new material right here!

Own the first year of You Are Here in a collected edition (Your First Year Here) only $7.50 postpaid.  More details here.

Hey Kids, Comics! Annual #2 - That Time of Year

Hey Kids, Comics! is celebrating its second anniversary with a second annual!  While there is not connection to the "cotton anniversary", this year's annual is all about...annuals!

From the shift to calling the yearly super-sized specials "annuals" to the often dreadful cross-title storylines or themes and beyond, the annual has been a major part of comics for decades.  Whether as a means to tell a stand-alone story outside of the immediate continuity or as a vehicle to introduce new characters or plot devices, these special volumes remain a staple to the present day.

Now your hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston bring you an insightful look at the annual - the good, the bad, and the groan-inducing!  But as with any story "too big for a standard issue", they are not venturing into this realm alone!  Their special guest, comic scholar and collector Weldon Adams joins the lively discussion and acts as a guide into the storied realm of the comic book annual.  So go dig out your favorite annuals and give a listen to this very special audio annual we have put together just for you!

Listen to our second annual right here!

Hey Kids, Comics! #95 - Women Into Comics

It is July 4th but that won't stop us bringing you the latest issue of Hey Kids, Comics!  Issue #0 was released on this day two years ago as a matter of fact, so why buck tradition?

Instead Andrew Farmer and his faithful co-host Cole Houston have determined to buck stereotypes and pop-culture myths with a special issue that dispels the myth that comics are "just for guys".  Their special guest is none other than Dallas-Fort Worth area cosplay and convention favorite Taffeta Darling!

Yes, it is not a "boys club" out there and has really never been at full, despite what publishers might have thought for decades.  With a great perspective on women in comic fandom, and especially introducing a whole new generation of readers to the medium, this show is full of lively and informative discussion.  So join us for one of the most compelling issue ever as we move into our third big year as the comic book show that explores every conceivable angle of what comics are all about.  

Jedi Justifications Special - The Tears of a Rancor Keeper

As a bonus justification to the recently released edition of Jedi Justifications, I determined to address a little something that always bothered me in Return of the Jedi, but never enough to have considered it for this feature – the maudlin reaction of the Rancor Keeper to the untimely demise of his charge at the hands of Luke Skywalker.  However a  recent appearance of The Rantcor Pit at G33K3 Con.  It was during a live recording of the show at this convention that someone from the audience posed the question, “Why do you never see a Rancor in the wild?” 

He was speaking of course of the Rancor Monster from Jabba’s Palace which was, out of necessity, a captive beast.  While a playful illustration that makes the rounds online depicts the Rancor Keeper adopting the creature as a juvenile and raising it into Jabba’s favorite means of dispatch for those who slighted him and its presence in one of my favorite books, The Wildlife of Star Wars, this justification duly ignores both as Expanded Universe.  In each case there is express or implicit indication that the monster was indigenous to Tattooine.  In that context the answer to the question of finding such an animal in the wild is answered with ease.  However, Jedi Justifications is solely about what might be suggested by what is presented on screen.

In this case there is little to go on, really.  It would be a simple leap of logic to join others in declaring that the Rancor is another denizen of Tattooine and therefore something one might find in its natural habitat somewhere on that planet.  This was not the approach I took with my off the cuff answer to the question presented.  I suggested instead that the reason they are not found outside of captivity is that Jabba the Hutt possesses the sole remaining specimen known in the universe.  I extrapolated further saying that on its native world, the Rancor was hunted to near extinction.  Ultimately only the one Jabba owns remained and found itself in his possession due in no small part to his wealth and standing.

To take this further I would posit that disregard for this dangerous species led to its extinction in the wild and was coupled with a failure at any viable captive breeding program until the animals numbers dwindled to a single-sex population.  Over time all captive Rancors would succumb to disease or old age leaving only one in existence.  A prized possession, Jabba’s specimen was put in the care of a trusted team of handlers headed up by the man who would come to be known as Malakili for the purposes of EU writings and a later action figure release.  The Rancor’s keeper would have known only too well the unique nature of the creature in his care and would have diligently seen to its well being for a great many years before the arrival of Luke Skywalker. 

The portly keeper, along with a trusted staff, would have come to look upon the maintenance of  the troublesome beast as a welcome relief from duties “topside” in the palace proper.  Court politics in the Hutt’s palace affected nearly everyone from the most well placed sycophants and popinjays to the most wretched of Jabba’s captives.  That is, except those who held positions that no one else wanted.  One such was the care and feeding of the gangster’s dangerous pet.  Such a massive and belligerent creature would be impossible to control and difficult at best to train toward simple concepts like moving back into the holding pen when not devouring poor unfortunates that Jabba had sent down into the chamber below his throne room.  Those who feed and, worse yet, cleaned up after, the Rancor were largely ignored by the rest of the court.  Absolutely no one was vying for their place in the hierarchy, so the job provided a welcome repast for Malakili and his staff. 

Then came the fateful day when a self-styled Jedi Knight came down the tube with one of the Hutt’s loyal guards.  The Gamorrean suffered the same fate as all who had previously taken the deadly plunge and the intended victim looked to be providing a bit of sport before his inevitable death.  Then the impossible happened.  The intended victim managed to escape the Rancor’s maw and its grip and flee into the holding pen.  While the staff dutifully harassed the captive, it was a dangerous proposition to have the beast seek prey in the section of its pit where live food was never offered.  It had taken considerable effort to train it to distinguish the two sections of its habitat and taking a live meal in the wrong section could undermine the routine.  But this was of little consequence ultimately in the life of the Keeper. 

The potential for havoc aside, the Jedi’s next action once he found no means of escape at his disposal led to the undoing of Malakili.  A stray skull proved an ideal missile for the intended victim to use to trip the manual control of the massive overhead door that separated the holding pen from the arena pen.  This naturally led to the demise of the titanic monster and the end of its species for all time.  Yet the overwhelming shock of the death of an animal that represented the last of its kind paled in comparison to the realization that the relatively soft duty and freedom from palace politics so long cherished my Malakili and his staff was instantly a thing of the past.  It is little wonder that the otherwise stoic Rancor Keeper was reduced to a blubbering mass of raw emotions.

There is a silver lining to the cloud of grief exhibited on the silver screen, however.  Given his position in the palace hierarchy, Malakili was not an invited guest or even on staff when his employer embarked on a pleasure cruise into the Dune Sea to dispatch his enemies, including the author of the Rancor caregivers abrupt unemployment, with a little help from one of Tatooine’s deadliest indigenous species.  While his exclusion from the journey was in this case, as always, a relief, the resulting destruction of the Hutt’s sail barge and all on board relieved the former caretaker of any servitude to Jabba.  Ultimately he would likely have secured a civilian position clearing dianogas from the trash compactors of the second Death Star where he could live out his remaining days in something akin to comfort.

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