The editors of Boing Boing talk about and interview the creators of comic books, science fiction, video games, board games, music, and movies.
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In this episode of Gweek, I'm joined by Boing Boing’s managing editor, Rob Beschizza, and Joel Johnson, editorial director of Kotaku.

Here's what we talked about: The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Rob has been playing it incessantly but says it feels "like walking around a ren faire where everyone is heavily medicated." Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Starter Pack Minecraft is going 1.0 Kotaku’s upcoming gift guides Make’s Ultimate Kit Guide Joel read The Postmortal tng_s8 Mixel - a free iPad collage app Mark's Dungeon Raid addiction relapse Mophie Juice Pack Plus Outdoor Edition iPhone 4S and Siri

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Category:Video Games -- posted at: 7:54 PM

In this episode of Gweek, Ruben Bolling and I are joined by the cartoonist and illustrator Michael Kupperman, who has a hilarious new book out, called Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010. Ruben interviewed Michael about his work and then the three of us went on to talk about the folllowing things:

I got rid of my standing desk last week and am looking for a better solution.

Using an hour-timer as a self-check throughout the day

Esther Williams' autobiography, The Million Dollar Mermaid

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson

Cul de Sac Golden Treasury, by Richard Thompson

Orchid

Twitter

Uni-watch: The Obessive Study of Athletic Aesthetics

Secret Fun Blog

The Walking Dead TV show

The Last Man Alive

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Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:41 AM

John Hodgman talks about his new book, THAT IS ALL, and we discuss our favorite comic book stores, books, and comic books.
Direct download: Gweek_024.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 6:00 AM

Gweek is a podcast where the editors and friends of Boing Boing talk about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps and other neat stuff.

In episode 023, Boing Boing’s managing editor Rob Beschizza and I spoke with David-Michel Davies, the executive director of The Webby Awards and the chairman & co-founder of Internet Week New York. DMD shared a bunch of recommendations for cool apps and websites, and Rob and I talked about a few of our own favorites. See the list after the jump.

We closed with a terrific song called "KABOOM!" by the 8-bit-happy band I Fight Dragons.

APPS
* Runpee * Siri * Tripit & Flightcaster * Gifshop * Roadside America * Smart.fm * Audubon Guides (image above is from their Guide to Mushrooms) * Flashcards Plus Pro * Eric Carle's My Very First App

WEBSITES
* AsciiFlow * Nerdy Day Trips * Historypin * Gif.tv * Let Me Google That For You * Percolate * Google Hangouts : Whiskey Tastings, Cooking School, Dark Musk Gigcasts, etc. * TinEye Reverse Image Search * Have a Mint * HTML ipsum * Internet Anagram Server * Color Scheme Designer

201110231645We'd like to give a special thanks EdgeCast Networks, our bandwidth provider and sponsor!

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Category:Video Games -- posted at: 12:04 AM

In this episode of Gweek, I interviewed Chris Metzler, the co-director and co-producer of the new documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Chris and Lev Anderson made a terrific documentary a few years ago called Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea, and I interviewed Chris about it here for Boing Boing's Get Illuminated podcast. If you live in Los Angeles, don't miss the screening that will include a Q&A with filmmakers and band at the Laemmle Sunset 5 on October 21st. See a list of all screenings here.

Everyday Sunshine is a documentary about the band Fishbone, musical pioneers who have been rocking on the margins of pop culture for the past 25 years. From the streets of South-Central Los Angeles and the competitive Hollywood music scene of the 1980's, the band rose to prominence, only to fall apart when on the verge of "making it." Laurence Fishburne narrates Everyday Sunshine, an entertaining cinematic journey into the personal lives of this unique Black rock band, an untold story of fiercely individual artists in their quest to reclaim their musical legacy while debunking the myths of young Black men from urban America. Highlighting the parallel journeys of a band and their city, EVERYDAY SUNSHINE explores the personal and cultural forces that gave rise to California's legendary Black punk sons that continue to defy categories and expectations. At the heart of the film's story is lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher who show how they keep the band rolling, out of pride, desperation and love for their art. To overcome money woes, family strife, and the strain of being aging Punk rockers on the road, Norwood and Angelo are challenged to re-invent themselves in the face of dysfunction and ghosts from a painful past.

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Category:Video Games -- posted at: 12:18 AM

In Gweek episode 21 Rob reports back from ROFLCON and Respect the Internet.

Also!

• Rob presents the Boing Boing redesign -- fewest complaints yet!

• Mark reviews the forthcoming Pogo anthology, and discusses the novelization of The Settlers of Catan, a 612-page novel by Rebecca Gable and published by Amazon Crossing.

• Mark thumbs through the new Wired App Guide, singling out the iOS and Android game Squibble.

• Another song by Darling Pet Munkeee, called “Darling Pet Monkey!”

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Direct download: Gweek_021.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 11:03 PM

Ruben Bolling and I had a terrific time interviewing one of our heroes, the amazing Al Jaffee, who has been a member of  MAD magazine’s usual gang of idiots for 56 years (his work has appeared in every issue, save one).

Best known for his MAD Fold-in, which has appeared on the inside back cover of the magazine since 1964, he’s also the creator of a long running column, "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions," and my favorite, his dozens and dozens of whimsical inventions that border on the edge of plausibility. Ruben went to Al Jaffee’s studio in New York to talk to him about his remarkable career. It's so great to discover that someone you grew up worshipping turns out to be incredibly nice!

If you admire the work of Al Jaffee like Ruben and I do, here are two books that you will love: The first is The MAD Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010, a gorgeous four-volume set with 410 Fold-Ins, published by Chronicle books. The second is Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography, by Mary-Lou Weisman and illustrated by Al Jaffee. Here's the description:

Jaffee’s inventive work has enlivened the pages of MAD since 1955. To date he has pickled three generations of American kids in the brine of satire, and continues to bring millions of childhoods to untimely ends with the knowledge that parents are hypocrites, teachers are dummies, politicians are liars, and life isn’t fair.

Jaffee’s work for MAD has made him a cultural icon, but the compelling and at times bizarre story of his life has yet to be told. A synopsis of Jaffee’s formative years alone reads like a comic strip of traumatic cliff-hangers with cartoons by Jaffee and captions by Freud. Six-year-old Jaffee was separated from his father, uprooted from his home in Savannah, Georgia, and transplanted by his mother to a shtetl in Lithuania, a nineteenth-century world of kerosene lamps, outhouses, physical abuse, and near starvation. He would be rescued by his father, returned to America, taken yet again by his mother back to the shtetl, and once again rescued by his father, even as Hitler was on the march.

When he finally settled back in America as a twelve-year-old wearing cobbled shoes and speaking his native English with a Yiddish accent, schoolmates called him "greenhorn." He struggled with challenges at least as great as those he had met in Europe. His luck changed, however, when he was chosen to be a member of the first class to attend New York City’s High School of Music and Art. There his artistic ability saved him.

He would go on to forge relationships with Stan Lee, Harvey Kurtzman, and Will Elder, launching a career that would bring him to MAD magazine. There he found himself at the forefront of a movement that would change the face of humor and cartooning in America.

We close the episode with a song called "Sea-Monkeys" by the band Darling Pet Munkee. All the songs on their forthcoming album are based on old comic book ads, and they are all instant garage punk classics.

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Category:Video Games -- posted at: 2:00 PM

In 1979 Kirk Demarais bought a comic book at a neighborhood gas mart. It was a copy of Micronauts#9. Kirk was a kid at the time, and the comic book’s plot confused him. But he was drawn to the advertisements. Here’s how he describes it:

Screen Shot 2011-09-29 At 5.44.53 PmI turned to an overcrowded page of fascinating black-and-white drawings; I was captivated It was an ink-smudged window into an unfamiliar realm where gorilla masks peacefully lived among hovercrafts and ventriloquist dummies. A dozen pages later an outfit called the Fun Factory featured another full-page assortment of wonders, and elsewhere in the issue I found a hundred toy soldiers for a buck, an offer for a free million dollar bank note, and an ad for something called Grit.

Like many kids tempted to buy these alluring products, Kirk had wise parents who discouraged him from spending his allowance on them. But Kirk never really stopped thinking about them. A few years ago, he began scouring eBay and other online collectors' sites to purchase the novelties that he’d been denied as a child. These purchases are the basis of his hilarious new book Mail Order Mysteries, which reveals the disappointing truth behind fantastic-sounding products such as X-Ray glasses, voice throwers, 7-foot remote control monsters, and secret spy scopes.

In the introduction to his book, Demarais writes, "For me the collection represents so many things: a series of hard-earned revelations, my remaining sense of wonder, and the coming-of-age discovery that even kids need to be shrewd as serpents lest we get bit by one."

I interviewed Kirk on the phone from his studio in the hills of Arkansas.

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Category:Video Games -- posted at: 1:03 AM

In Gweek 018, Boing Boing’s managing editor Rob Beschizza and Kotaku’s editorial director Joel Johnson join me in a discussion about comic books, video games, books, LEGO, and more.

• Rob and Joel talk about the agony and ecstasy of playing the Diablo III beta.

• They go onto to praise Torchlight, a fine Diablo clone that doesn’t require you to be online while playing it.

• Rob and Joel argue over the pronunciation of “Planescape.”

• Rob updates us on Minecraft’s 1.8 Adventure release.

• Joel describes Blockade Runner, "Not Just Minecraft in Space.”

• Rob and Mark engage in a deeply thoughtful critique of Steven Soderbergh's Contagion.

• Joel reviews Feynman a comic book biography by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick.

• Mark reviews Optic Nerve #12, by Adrian Tomine

• Mark gushes about Richard Dawkins' new book, The Magic of Reality without having read it.

• Joel gets an MBA in LEGO at the Lego Master Builder academy.

• Rob explains the new Boing Boing redesign!

• We close with a fantastic 1981 song called "Pushing Buttons," from a power pop band called TV Neats & The Experts. The song was written by Bedazzled’s Spike Priggen. You can buy TV Neats & The Experts' album on Amazon and on iTunes.

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Direct download: Gweek_018.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 9:13 PM

Gweek is Boing Boing's podcast about comic books, science fiction and fantasy, video games, board games, tools, gadgets, apps and other neat stuff.

This week I interviewed David Hahn, creator of of the comic book, All Nighter, published by Image Comics. David has also drawn for Marvel, DC, and Dark Horse.

The episode closes with another song by The Hokum Scorchers, a duo consisting of artist Amy Crehore and guitar maker Lou Reimuller. The song is called “I got your Ice Cold NuGrape," and it’s on the album Yanna’s Donut.

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Direct download: Gweek_017.mp3
Category:Video Games -- posted at: 7:45 PM