Monthly Archives: April 2015


Episode 27 – Free Comic Book Day



Paul and Rob had the great good fortune of speaking with Paul Constant, formerly of The Stranger and currently of Lit Hub and Re/Code, about Free Comic Book Day, which is coming up this Saturday 5/2. Paul C is smart, funny, and perfectly charming; we look forward to bringing him back to the Hole some time soon.

In lieu of show notes, we’ll just direct you to our exhaustive guide to getting the most out of Free Comic Book Day in the Seattle area. Get out there this Saturday and pick up something great!


Everything You Need to Know about Free Comic Book Day in Seattle


Hip-Hop Family Tree
Pick it up this Saturday, May 2.

This week’s podcast (which drops Tuesday) is all about Free Comic Book Day, with special guest and comics lore-master Paul Constant—but we wanted to get our more expansive guide up so you can plan your day.

This year Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 2. It’s pretty simple, really: Just head on over to your favorite comics retailer and pick up one (or sometimes more, but try to stay cool) of the 50 different free titles on offer. Many shops will also have special deals, so be sure to linger and check out what else is on offer.

Quite a few local shops are participating. Many have sales and related events, and we dug up all we could find—but if you spot any omissions or have more details, please drop us a line at and let us know:

    • Subspace Comics: Up to 10 free comics, sale prices on merchandise, in-store appearances by Rat City Roller Girls (Throttle Rockets), signings 11am-2pm by Ryan Fisher (Torchlight Lullaby), Diana Greenhalgh (The Illegitimates), Matthew Southworth (Stumptown, Spider-Man).


    These are a few of the free comics available that we talk about on the podcast:

    • Avengers #1: “All-New, All-Different” means “Okay, we get it, you want more diversity in super-teams.” We’ll accept ham-fistedness in the service of doing what’s right, plus we’re suckers for anything involving Kamala Khan.
    • Bongo Comics Free-For-All!: Simpsons stories!
    • BOOM! Studios 10th Anniversary FCBD Special: On the podcast, Rob tried to do this one justice in Mary’s stead. It features stories from Adventure Time, Regular Show, Peanuts, Lumberjanes, Mouse Guard, and more.
    • Comics Festival: Canadian short story anthology.
    • Dark Horse Fight Club: Yes, that Fight Club. Chuck Pahlaniuk is writing and we’re intrigued. Back-up stories from The Goon and Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain.
    • DC Comics Divergence: Everything changes, again.
    • Hip-Hop Family Tree 3-in-1 featuring Cosplayers: Fantagraphics’ entry features pages from Ed Piskor’s terrific history of hip-hop plus a new cosplay story from Dash Shaw.
    • Secret Wars #0: Everything changes, again (Marvel version).


    There are many, many more–but not all are available at every participating store. Call ahead and get there early!

    That’s all we’ve got. What are your favorite comics shops and/or titles? Where will we see you on Saturday? Comments are open!

    (And before you go, make sure you check out Mark Hamill promoting FCBD. We think he’s imitating Patton Oswalt imitating Mark Hamill.)


Episode 26 – Today’s Dino News


Jurassic World still
If this doesn’t make you want to spend $10.50, consult a physician.

Mary unleashes her feature (and life’s work?) Today’s Dino News in an all-new format this week, thanks in part to the hotly anticipated summer blockbuster Jurassic World featuring nerdstar Chris Pratt. She also schools us on the return of the brontosaurus to scientific canon–this debate goes all the way back to the wonderful, ridiculous Bone Wars of the 19th century. If you think dinosaurs aren’t your thing, Mary will convince you otherwise.




Episode 24 – Orphan Black


Orphan Black Season 3
Caught between a truck and a corn maze

Orphan Black’s new season premieres April 18, so we decided to share our love for this terrific, darkly funny show. Spoilers don’t kick in until about midway through (and we let you know before we start), so noobs are more than welcome–we’d love to add a few new members to the Clone Club!



The Walking Dead, Race, and Death


Spoilers ahead!

So on last week’s podcast, I mentioned that The Walking Dead was back to the One Living Black Man situation, but I spoke too soon. It sure looks like the showrunners have brought back Morgan and may be installing him as an honest-to-god main character, which brings the number of LBMs to two.

That’s good! And his fairly lengthy screentime in the finale shows off the character’s depth and sets him up as a friendly counterweight to the increasingly bizarre and troubling choices made by the main characters–chiefly Rick and Carol, but including Michonne and Glenn. I’m more hopeful than I was a week ago that the show can get back on track, but it lost ground on its struggle toward diversity this last season in a way that makes its job hard.

One of the producers pointed out that the show is ecumenical in its killing, and I mentioned that it would be weird if they didn’t kill off black characters. But that producer and I both missed the larger point by a mile: When a show like TWD has a small number of black male characters, their deaths affect the cast balance disproportionately. While it’s true that the show has killed almost exactly 50% of its white characters and 50% of its black characters, that’s not the stat that matters most.

Diversity is hard, and it requires thinking explicitly about issues many of us with privilege would rather keep implicit. We have to think differently about characters who differ from the white/male/straght/cis standard until it isn’t a standard anymore. That changes the creative process significantly, and it feels artificial to those of us who aren’t obligated to deal with it explicitly every day. But it’s essential now and will be for decades to come, most likely.

I won’t give up on TWD just yet. Despite its problems, notably including Rick’s instant redempton/acceptance after his sickening descent into violence, the finale showed some promise. If the showrunners bring Morgan on and keep Gabriel alive (preferably adding a dimension or two to his character), that’ll be a great start. I want to believe they can keep getting better.

These infographics were invaluable in helping me figure out the numbers. They are also lovely, weird, and show off sweet obsession.


Conventions This Weekend!


SakuraCon at the Washington State Convention Center (photo by Vic DeLeon)
SakuraCon at the Washington State Convention Center (photo by Vic DeLeon)

Three conventions happening in the northwest this weekend, and you can still get tickets!

Sakuracon (Seattle)
“Sakura-Con is the northwest’s oldest and largest anime, manga (comics), gaming, and Asian culture convention.”
Online express registration is available on their website.

Norwescon (Seattle)
“Norwescon is the Pacific Northwest’s premiere science fiction and fantasy convention and one of the largest regional science fiction and fantasy conventions in the United States. While maintaining a primarily literary focus, Norwescon is large enough to provide a venue for many of the other aspects of science fiction and fantasy and the interests of its fans such as anime, costuming, art, gaming, and much, much more.”
Pre-registration is closed, but weekend and daily passes are available at the door while supplies last.

Fan Expo Vancouver
“Fan Expo Vancouver is a playground for people of all ages who are interested in any, or all, of the 5 genres the expo has to offer.”
Online sales are closed, same-day tickets available at the box office.

Subscribe to our Northwest Nerd Events Calendar and keep up with all the events relevant to your interests! Have an event you’d like to submit? Use the contact form below!

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Episode 23 – Space Mustaches


Space Marshals
In space, no one can hear your civil rights complaint.

This time, the nerds rant about a clueless article that clutched its pearls about how it’s getting harder for white actors to get work. Then Paul takes a moment to get real about his new favorite iOS game Space Marshals.

A quick note (with spoilers) from Rob’s mention in the podcast about race and character death on The Walking Dead: we ran the numbers and the death percentages are actually the same–-50% of the show’s main white characters have died, as have 50% of the show’s main black characters. But that headline stat masks the fact that there just aren’t that many black characters around at any one time, and at this point we’re back to the unfortunate One Living Black Man situation.