The Rantcor Pit #21 - Back to School

It’s that time of year again all over the country (if you are in the US, that is), back to school time.   So what exactly does a return to the books and desks and teachers have to do with Star Wars?  Well take your seats and prepare to take note of the myriad school supplies that bore the Star Wars name.  Plus get schooled on the personal reminisces of your hosts and the influence Star Wars had during their classroom years.

Cole “JediCole” Houston and Eddie Medina are your teachers and The Rantcor Pit your new home room in this special episode in celebration of the end of summer and the beginning of the fall semester.  So settle in and enjoy a lesson in the Star Wars Three Rs – Ronto, Revan, and R2!*

*Note: The “Star Wars Three Rs” are not featured in this episode in any way whatsoever.  

JCU Sunday Funnies #73

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.

What Would Comic Book Villains Do? (WWCBVD?) Week 13

After a long hiatus, one of the most popular recurring features of this site is back!  

Join us as we delve into the darkest pits of worst that humanity has to offer.  The super-villain is not only the counterpoint to the super-hero, but a broken reflection on all that we are as a society.  The most vile and terrible criminals and maniacs of all time have been gathered and a few of their number selected to answer a moral question in their own unique way!

Scenario:  The day started out very hot and you drank a lot of ice water before departing on a stroll in the park.  Along the way you twice stopped at hot dog carts or other vendors to purchase a large bottle of cold water.  Now you find yourself on the far end of the Bike & Hike trail, the meandering stretch that is the furthest from any public restrooms in either direction.  It is inevitable that nature calls at this very moment.  Confronted with an agonizing walk to get relief, what do you do?

Zebra-Man:  I may look like a wild animal, and I may have a reputation as something of a wild man – especially when I’m drunk, but I am not some kind of uncouth savage!  Sure I’ve fought Batman!  Sure I’ve committed terrible crimes!  Sure I’ve spent time in Arkham Asylum!  But that doesn’t mean I’m not human!

I would do what any smart guy would do in this situation of course.  I’d wander off the trail and into the most secluded wooded area I can find an relieve myself there.  I mean seriously!  Do you know the penalties they level against people for public urination in this town?  I’m not taking any chances!  I’m a human being after all!

Vermin:  It is obvious you people do no research for this segment.  I live in a SEWER!  Do you think I really care about the whens and wheres  when the old bladder needs some relief?  Didn't I tell you last time that you needed to fire whoever puts your candidate list together?

Super-villains are a nasty lot and I’m the nastiest of them all!  I actually pride myself on that.  Besides, I can’t let normal biological functions slow me down when killing Spider-Man is on the agenda!  And no, I am not going to do that exaggerated Spider-Man growl this time.  I am so over that.  I still want him dead, I'm just not going to get all up in that about it.

Cheetah:  Unlike the boys in this survey, I am possessed of certain feminine refinements that define my behavior in such situations.  I was raised to be a lady, albeit a lady that grew up to be a career criminal.  None the less there are certain lines one must never cross, regardless of their level of evil.  Etiquette is certainly one of these.  One must simply put on a brave face, practice grace and poise, and make their way in a lady-like fashion to the nearest lavatory. 

Of course in my case I can make that happen in a split second, but that really should not undermine the core point here.

Dragon Man:  As an android I am constantly baffled by the minutia of the lives of biological creatures.  Waste evacuation is not outside the realm of my mechanisms, but the process is so alien to that which dictates the lives of you flesh-things as to offer no true analogue in the context of the query at hand. 

Furthermore my logic circuits are taxed by the suggestion that an entity like myself, imbued as I am with the power of unassisted flight, should elect to subject oneself to the terrestrial drudgery that is the fate of the pedestrian.  While I am no stranger to ambulation of this type, were I to find myself confronted with circumstances that put me a great and less-than-linear distance from my goal, I see no reason not to avail myself of the more worthwhile use of my wings over that of my legs. 

If a man-made villain could be allowed to make a suggestion, one that has no doubt been proffered by others, this particular column would benefit greatly by employing a researcher or a full staff thereof.  Such assistance would greatly improve the odds that the selection of participants more accurately matches the scenario presented to those providing their personal answers.  But what do I know?  I’m just a dumb fire-breathing robot!

Tapeworm:  You know what?  That is about the smartest thing anyone has ever asked me in all my time as a villain!  No, really.  I am not being sarcastic or anything.  I really wish someone had posed this question to me years ago.  And I’ll tell you why…

This exo-tail suit thing (I really never came up with a technical term for it, sorry) is a marvel of technology.  It is chock full of gyroscopic sensors and auto-correcting mechanisms that turn an otherwise unwieldy length of servomechanisms, solenoids, wires, pistons, nested gears, circuits, and bushings into a marvel of controlled momentum.  When I don my Tapeworm suit I transform from an awkward and uncoordinated loser into a combination of a titanic powerhouse and the most nimble ballet phenom!  Yet amid that perfection there is an inevitable flaw.

You know how that port on the Death Star undermined the integrity of the whole shooting match in Star Wars?  Little flaws can make a big difference.  In my case the Law of Unintended Consequences comes into play in that I never thought to work out an internal means for relieving myself.  While this suit is a pinnacle of modern mechanical engineering, it is not a simple thing to extract oneself from at the end of the day, much less in cases need like this one. 

I really should research what NASA builds into their space suits.  I bet our astronauts don’t take a hiatus from eating and drinking for half a day or more before they don their spacesuits!  I kid you not, the worst part about putting this bad boy on for a day of robbing banks and fending off crime-fighters is having to avoid food and drink for around 24 hours like I have bloodwork in the morning or something!  I don’t think I’d fare very well in the situation you describe if I was off my traditional regimen for suiting up as Tapeworm, let’s just leave it at that.

Black Talon:  You dare?!  Have you no idea whom you address?!  It is I, Black Talon!  He who has awakened the dead to walk upon the Earth anew!  He who has mesmerized chieftains, kings, and CEOs!  He whom the very Abyss does fear!  He who is so secure in himself that dares to go about proudly in public in a ridiculous chicken costume!  I am BLACK TALON!  Fear me, o mortal!

But since you asked nicely and all, I’d just drop trou and whiz off the edge of the path.  It’s good for the flowers, right?

Hey Kids, Comics! #103 - Challenge of the Super-Fails: Journey Into Misery

What went wrong?!  In some cases in the long history of comics, almost everything!

The Challenge of the Super-Fails continues with a "Journey Into Misery"!

Before and after "experimental style".
How often our favorite comics have let us down.  From bad artists and poor stories to really ill-conceived concepts that should never have left the editor's office, much less the printer!  Join Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston as they touch upon the lowlights of their own experience with various titles, writers, artists, and even editors in the middle chapter of "Challenge of the Super-Fails"!

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge - JediCole Style

The video speaks for itself.  As do donations with or without a chilling experience like the one below.  Be sure to donate today, I just did, regardless of doing something silly like this. 

The Rantcor Pit Live #10 - I AM Your Father!

Hello from Dallas, Texas!  The Rantcor Pit Live ran late this week (and the archive is running late, too) but it happened against all odds!  

And speaking of odd, you just never know who might fall into the Rantcor Pit!  This week JediCole's own dad, Don Houston was the very special guest of the show.  Just like in The Empire Strikes Back, this week's show pits father against son.  And there is more!  A surprise guest also manages to infiltrate the proceedings!

Check out the archive and visit Deep Ellum On Air for this and more amazing shows!

Rantcor Pit 8-24-13 by DeepEllumOnAir

JCU Sunday Funnies #72

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! #102 - Challenge of the Super-Fails: Dial "Z" for Zero

How old is the modern comic?  Well over 100, right?  That's like 10,000 in people years.  So naturally along the way there have been literally hundreds of bad characters that have graced the pages of our favorite titles.  Given all of those decades and the ever changing society that bought the comics we can forgive that sort of thing, right?


Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston pull no punches when it comes to taking potshots at the worst characters in comic book history.  Join them for a lively exploration of the worst that comics have had to offer.  It really gets bad, but in a good way!

The Rantcor Pit #20 - Planetary Singularity

The Star Wars universe is chock full of planets, both in the cinematic and "expanded" universes.  One thing that strikes fans of the Saga is the fact that so many of the planets visited have a very specific theme.  Endor has its planet-wide forests, Kamino seems perpetually waterlogged, and Courscant is grossly overbuilt.  

No matter where you go, you can pretty much count on each planet fitting a specific type of environment across the board.  On this episode Cole Houston and Eddie Medina talk about this unusual phenomenon and even challenge listeners to join in with an Endor-themed craft project.  

Listen to this galaxy-spanning episode today!

JCU Sunday Funnies #71

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! #101 - Challenge of the Super-Fails: Astonishing Fails

Comic books.  We love them, we read them, we collect them, we look forward to the next issue.  But sometimes comics fall short.  And other times they fall flat on their faces.  Simply put, they fail.  Be it bad concepts, ill-conceived licensing, terrible art, or atrocious writing, there are so many ways that comics just don’t work to anyone’s satisfaction.

With this tremendous potential for failure in mind, Hey Kids, Comics! explores the tragic tale of Challenge of the Super-Fails

Yes, it really did get THAT bad!
How very often the big two, Marvel and DC, have dropped the ball when it comes to delivering a quality comic book to their adoring fans.  While not the sole offenders, they certainly have the longest history along these lines.  From poor choices to epic fails, the sad saga of bad comics begins here with Astonishing Fails!

Do It Yourself Episode 2: Amazing Spider-Man 2

The newest addition to the JCU is back with a "shocking" look at another fixer-upper of a movie!

How would Vegabomber and Joose have approached the second installment of the Spider-Man franchise?  Does it just need a little tweaking here and there or is it due for a complete overhaul?  Well, you will just have to listen to this episode true believer and find out for yourself!

How to make Spider-Man amazing.  

Whadjathink? - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Turtle Bay

Welcome to a special edition of Whadjathink?, the movie review show that never pulls punches when it comes to spoilers.

As Catherine Houston was not going to be screening the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, Bobby Blakey was undaunted in his desire to talk it up on the show and produced this special episode.  Joining him as his guest co-host is none other than Andrew Farmer of Hey Kids, Comics!, an ideal choice for a comic book based movie like this one.  Resident Turtles expert Eddie Medina (Figments, The Rantcor Pit/The Rantcor Pit Live) joins the fun and brings his extensive knowledge to the table.

Give the show a listen to find out what Bobby and Andy had to say about Michael Bay's take on the Eastman and Laird classic tale of a quartet of reptiles mutated into sentient martial artists in the big city!

Spoiler Alert!

Listen to the show right here, dude!

Guardians of the Galaxy Weekend Revelation!

JediCole here with something I just had to share.  

With Guardians of the Galaxy playing rather heavily into this weekend's content (Whadjathink?, The Rantcor Pit Live), it seemed only fitting to share a little something I put together for a Facebook post regarding something that struck me in my initial and second screenings of the film...

I can't be the only person in the world who thought there was a remarkable resemblance between Groot and Teller of Penn & Teller.  Honestly, I can't be, can I?

The Rantcor Pit Live #9 - Guardians of a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The Rantcor Pit Live is back again!  

With JediCole home from vacation, he and Eddie Medina are joined by Dallas-area cosplay legend Krystal Starr as they talk up Guardians of the Galaxy, collecting Star Wars and other toys and collectibles, and pay tribute to a Texas cosplayer that we lost last week.

If you missed the live broadcast of the show at Deep Ellum on Air today, fear not, the full show is available here for you right now...

The Rantcor Pit 2014-08-10 by DeepEllumOnAir

If you would like to know more about cosplayer Jonathan Vela, aka Aquaman San Antonio, or would like to contribute to his memorial fund, please visit the Aquafest page on Facebook.

JCU Sunday Funnies #70

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.

Whadjathink? - Guardians of the Galaxy

Friend Zone

It is time once again for the spoiler-rich movie review show, Whadjathink?  This time your hosts Catherine Houston and Bobby Blakey have invited Hey Kids, Comics! hosts Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston to join them yet again to discuss a comic book movie!  
The blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy is the topic of course, so you can expect considerable geeking out over this film!  It is a lot longer episode than normal (nearly two hours), but this was just too big to contain in the usual format!  

Spoiler Alert!

I am Groot!*
*Listen to the latest episode here.

Hey Kids, Comics! #100 - The Numbers Game

Yes indeed!  It is issue #100 of the show!

To celebrate this milestone, Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston discuss the importance of numbering to comic books.  Both as an industry and as collectibles, the number is the thing that often drives everything else.  

From how to arrange your collection in long boxes to how to pinpoint the best back issues to what makes for big sales for publishers, the number's the thing!  The good old fashioned numbering of 1 to fill-in-the-blank has often gone astray with publishers seeking gimmicks like countdown numbering, outrageous numbering in advance of the current flow, or even going backward with #0 (this show did it) and even negatives.

Discover the numerical world of comics with this special edition of the show.  No math required, they found someone to do that part for them!

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