#ToughCallTuesday 3 – Jedi Master Edition

Quite the brazen title, if I do say so myself. And it’s my blog, so I do say so.

This week’s #ToughCallTuesday in the Nerd Dome explores the Jedi Masters we have seen (or will see) on the big screen as mentors for up-and-coming Jedi in training.

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Choose wisely, young padawan.

These are the five candidates chosen for these proceedings. Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Yoda, and Luke Skywalker. Let’s begin.

Qui-Gon Jinn was seen in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It really is unfortunate that we got him for only one movie yet we got Jar Jar Binks for three (and possibly a fourth, for the wily-eyed viewer). Qui-Gon was knowledgeable and patient, a well-trained swordsman and user of the Force. He was trained by Count Dooku, who enraged a captive Obi-Wan Kenobi when he stated that Qui-Gon would have allied himself with Dooku and his crusade against the Galactic Republic. Obi-Wan, faithful to the memory of his Master, naturally fired back “QuiGon would never join you.

Qui-Gon lost his life on Naboo in one of the premier moments of the prequel trilogy, the lightsaber dual with Darth Maul. He had returned to Naboo after taking on a second padawan. Already training Kenobi, Jinn thought he had found the “balance” to the Force in Anakin Skywalker. But he would not survive long enough to see if his gamble would pay off.

Qui-Gon Jinn also taught Yoda the ways of preserving ones consciousness even after death. It was a skill Yoda passed on to others – the skill we commonly refer to as the Force Ghost.

Jinn had an enormous impact on the Jedi Order. He was and would remain a stalwart Jedi Master, even if he was at times contentious with the Jedi Council.

Jedi Master Yoda is perhaps the most revered of all the widely known Jedi. A member of the Jedi Council and one of the few survivors of Order 66, Yoda sought refuge on Dagobah. Isolated in his self-imposed exile of survival, Yoda would later come across a young Jedi in training by the name of Luke Skywalker. But Skywalker was the last Jedi to receive training from Yoda in the diminutive Master’s life. Dooku, Mace Windu, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Kit Fisto, and even played a part in the training of Obi-Wan.

Due to Yoda’s species having an extremely long lifespan, it could be said that he has used the Force longer than any others. And even at an advanced age, he was able to go toe-to-toe with both Darth Tyranus and Darth Sidious during the Clone Wars. In his final years, he met Luke and continued his training. Skywalker was not an easy pupil, often impatient and reckless. But when you’ve trained Jedi for eight hundred years, you’ve likely seen and done it all. And aside from his impressive lightsaber skills, it was Yoda’s understanding of the Force, and his calm demeanor in presenting it, that made younglings, padawans, and Jedi Knights alike respect him.

“For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.” – Yoda (Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back)

Anakin Skywalker had a very brief career as the Jedi Master to a padawan, with Ahsoka Tano as his lone on-screen apprentice. Wookiepedia tells us that he had several Dark Jedi and secret Sith apprentices, but since I’m basing this solely on the acts, deeds, and works we see on screen. And in Anakin’s case, that is limited to Star Wars The Clone Wars movie and series.

Anakin challenged Ahsoka from her first day under his tutelage. While doing so, he aimed to protect her, occasionally keeping her away from combat. But like her Master, Ahsoka was stubborn, and often found a way to bend the rules without breaking them. She was headstrong, which made her a logical apprentice for Skywalker. The two even had competitions to see who could take down more droids during the battle.

Tano survived Order 66, partially based on her own merits as a Jedi, but also because she was framed for the bombing of the Jedi Temple. Only after a confession was she acquitted, however she refused the invitation to re-join the Jedi Order. And of course, we all know what happened to Anakin Skywalker.

Obi-Wan Kenobi was the first Jedi Master we encountered, way back on Tattoine when he talked about the Sand People.

The Sand People are easily startled, but they will soon be back, and in greater numbers.

Obi-Wan was the person who taught not just Luke, but all of us about the Force, about the Jedi Order, and about the Clone Wars. Not as old as Yoda, Kenobi had seen plenty of turmoil in his life. Losing his mentor and then losing his apprentice, it would seem impossible for him to find peace. It was on the dry, sandy planet that Obi-Wan kept an eye on Luke Skywalker before Skywalker went to find him in the cliffs. Obi-Wan had to train Luke, just as he took on the responsibility of training Anakin.

Training the”Chosen One” was no simple task, and Kenobi must have felt like he failed Anakin when he saw his former padawan be taken by the Dark Side. Luke was older when he met Obi-Wan, but he was still ignorant to the ways of the Force (not to mention a little whiny). And while it seemed initially that Luke may be too old to start his Jedi training, seeing the death of his mentor at the hands of Darth Vader was really the catalyst for him to take his training seriously.

We saw Obi-Wan travel the galaxy over four live-action movies, one animated film, and an animated series, constantly putting others before himself, the real hallmark of a Jedi Master.

Luke Skywalker is the one Jedi in consideration who hasn’t taken on that mentoring role in any of the films we have seen. So you have to go by what we saw in the original trilogy plus what we have seen in the trailers for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And because we haven’t seen his training method, we don’t know what type of Jedi Master he would be.

But I’ll say this about Luke Skywalker: The future of the Force and the Jedi Order rested on his shoulders after Master Yoda phased out of the Living Force, joining Obi-Wan as a Force Spirit (YES…A FORCE GHOST). Expanded Universe canon had Luke starting a new Jedi Academy. I do not know if this will be included in the new movie, but it does seem likely that Luke will have to take on the role of Master to a new Jedi.

Let’s have a drum roll please for this week’s selection……

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Luke Skywalker is yet unproven as a trainer of new Jedi. Which means you have to be wondering why I went with him. In a way, he received bits and pieces of each of the other Jedi listed above him. Through both direct and indirect training, Luke was able to learn from Yoda, Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Qui-Gon. The passing down of wisdom and knowledge from the Jedi that came before all manifested in Luke Skywalker.

Plus, though he didn’t have the rituals, traditions, and trials of Jedi who were trained before the great purge, one could say his training was more difficult. He didn’t have a great community of Jedi from whom he could pull knowledge. There was no Jedi Council he could go to. He was, for all intents and purposes, on his own. His training consisted of a few exercises shred by younglings of generations past, but moreso it was a hodge podge of what was available. In other cinematic realms, Luke’s training would be like Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV where other Jedi would be training like Ivan Drago.

Mastering the Force took a great amount of skill, and the wisdom of those who came before. That is why I would want Jedi Master Luke Skywalker as my mentor.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 43: We are the Champions

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Night of Champions is in the books, but before the big event Kevin had a conversation with Jake Sharpless from Rukkus.  Jake has done his homework on the history of some of the WWE’s top champions and created an amazing infographic to tell the story.  Jake and Kevin discuss former and current champs and share their thoughts on Sting, Sheamus and John Cena.

@jointherukkus
@my123cents
@jitterymunkey
@kevinhunsperger

#ToughCallTuesday 2 – Captain Marvel

SHAZAM!

NO! This is not an article about the DC character formerly known as Captain Marvel.

This is about the Captain Marvel that makes the most headlines these days – the Captain Marvel casting that will lead to a prominent part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Rumors continue to swirl and will not cease until Marvel Studios officially casts the role. It seems like there’s a new front-runner to play Carol Danvers almost every week.

An early fan favorite included Battlestar Galactica alum Katee Sackhoff, who has enough geek cred to shut down the Internet. And honestly, if she was selected, I think the Internet would wet its pants. I never watched Battlestar Galactica. It aired from 2004-2009. I lived in three different states over that stretch of my twenties, raising all sorts of hell. Sackhoff continues to get work, occasionally making cameo appearances as herself, like on The Big Bang Theory, so she still holds that popularity. But will the popular choice be the right choice?

Speaking of popular, there may not be an individual on the planet more red hot than our next contestant.

Various images of Ronda Rousey, fan art shared via her Instagram.
Various images of Ronda Rousey, fan art shared via her Instagram.

She has made waves on in sports, certainly, and entertainment, as well as hype videos that have gone viral, elevating her status even further. “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey recently added her name to the list of possibilities for the role of Captain Marvel. And she did it like she does everything, with unspeakable power. Her IMDb page is smaller than…well, it’s small. But credits do include a role in Expendables 3 (the only Expendables I haven’t seen) and it was recently announced that she would be cast in a remake of the 1989 classic Road House, where she would play the role of Dalton. but let’s face it, Dalton wasn’t even the biggest badass in that movie. That would be Wade Garrett, played by Sam Elliott. Because when Dalton needed help, he went to Wade.

Wait, I got off on a tangent.

Here’s what I like about Rousey – she looks like she wants this part, like she is dying to play Carol Danvers. I think she has the look. And you won’t find a badder female on the planet. Marvel Studios has the tendency, with the right script and the proper direction, to take even the most unlearned thespians and have them drop dynamite performances (looking at you, Robert Redford…KIDDING, I’m talking about Dave Bautista) but I’m not yet sold on the notion of Rousey stepping into this role. However, based on the fact that we’re probably a year from principle shooting beginning, and Rousey’s stating that she has no intention of fighting in her thirties (she is currently 28, with her 29th birthday in February), it is plausible that she could take on a multi-film role, one that Captain Marvel would demand.

Let’s keep looking.

Charlize Theron is no stranger to action movies, having just kicked some serious butt as the Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road.

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A phenomenal movie, by the way.

My first memory of her on the big screen was in The Devil’s Advocate, opposite Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. She has spent her career not being pigeon-holed into any one particular role. With sequels coming from the Mad Max film as well as 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, four other projects in development, and two more announced, Theron’s schedule may not allow her to take on the role of Captain Marvel. And let’s face it – that’s a good problem to have. Charlize doesn’t need this role. She may not even want this role. However, I think if the stars aligned, she would thrive in this role.

Moving right along.

I thought I was ill-informed on the next actress, but a visit to her IMDb page indicates that I’ve seen more of her movies than I thought. Looper, Dan in Real Life, Sunshine Cleaning, Into the Woods, and very recently, Edge of Tomorrow. Right there, in five titles, you have her as a bit part in one indie film (Dan in Real Life), co-starring in another small budget film, two action pictures, and a wildly popular musical. Now I doubt Carol Danvers breaks into song, but it is Marvel, owned by Disney. So it’s best to leave nothing to chance. I actually just watched Edge of Tomorrow this past weekend. She’s a believable badass in the movie, casting an intimidating presence over the uninitiated Tom Cruise.

Blunt has already has already been asked about the Captain Marvel role.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “I’ve not had a phone call about it. Not one whisper of Captain Marvel has come my way. Promise.”

Promise promise?

“Promise promise. I don’t even know who Captain Marvel is!”

But here’s the thing. That’s a song already sung by someone who denied having a role in a Marvel Studios picture, only to end up with that starring role.

Now perhaps some other words of Blunt’s will be heard by Hollywood brass. Blunt has stated that more actresses need to be considered for action roles.

“‘I think it’s because the list is very short, because we don’t see women in these kind of roles…So I think as soon as you do a role like that, like Charlize did or I did, or Rebecca’s done — there’s like four of us or something. And Jen Lawrence. So I feel like us four, we get talked about — and Angie, Angelina. So it’s a list of like, four women who are going to be considered for those kind of roles. So I think that’s why the rumors happen, because they’re like, ‘who else? Surely not another girl can wield a gun,’ you know what I mean? ‘A woman doing push-ups? There’s only one who can do that.'”

The Rebecca mentioned is Rebecca Ferguson, the latest name added to the list of potential Captain Marvels. Ferguson also starred recently opposite Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. She was also in Hercules. the one that starred Dwayne Johnson. The one that some people actually saw. So she’s a rising star, much like Rousey.

In a Forbes.com article written last week by Scott Mendelson, the author claims that the reason there are so many names mentioned for the role of Captain Marvel is because it’s the only game left in town. And there’s a ton of truth to that. DC has its Wonder Woman. Marvel already has an established Black Widow. While there is hope of a Spider-Gwen movie down the road, there are limited options when it comes to female superheroes not part of an assembled team. Fantastic Four, X-Men, The Inhumans are all ensemble teams with standout females, but unlikely that the females will get their solo films. By that I mean, there will be no Susan Storm standalone film. Sorry…no Jean Grey either.

The role of Captain Marvel should attract many, as it is going to be a multi-picture deal with Marvel Studios.

So who do I want to see wear the colors of Captain Marvel? Well that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?

Given the options above, any that I missed, and any more names yet to be announced, I’m going to go with…

Emily Blunt!

Who do you think should get the nod as Captain Marvel? Sound off in the comments. And while you’re at it, let me know what topic I should attack for next week’s #ToughCallTuesday!

 

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 42: Oh Snap! A PPV Periscope Preview‏

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In Episode 42 Kevin is trying something different.  The show is completely generated by your questions via Periscope, Twitter and SnapChat.  The talk revolves around Kurt Angle and his future and the upcoming Night of Champions event.  Thanks for listening and sharing.

Join the discussion:
Twitter: @kevinhunsperger & @my123cents
Facebook: My123Cents
Periscope: @kevinhunsperger
Instagram: @kevin_hunsperger
SnapChat: hunsperger

#ToughCallTuesday 1 – Masters of the Universe

So I came across this tidbit of information this weekend. One of my favorite characters of my youth has finally hit it big:

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Masters of the Universe. I was such a He-Man fan as a kid growing up in the 1980s. The first birthday I actually remember was when I turned 4, and I had a little He-Man cake. This would be a great time to pull out the picture of me with the cake from 1986…but I don’t know where it is, and I’m not about to call my mom and ask for it just to post it here. She thinks I’m weird enough.

Speaking of my mom, I owe some of my love of He-Man to her. When I was that age, mom was a night-shift nurse working in the ICU. I didn’t have daycare because mom was home during the days. And after lunch, when she would make me a microwave s’more (it was a marshmallow between two graham crackers…I loved it), we would often sit on the family room floor and she would join me for some action figure goodness. I didn’t have Castle Grayskull, but I did have Snake Mountain, several figures, and even the Battle Ram, complete with missiles and a functioning cannon. So I always attempted to known the bad guys off of Snake Mountain (to mixed success).

Skeletor and his minions were no match for the Battle Ram and a 5-year-old.
Skeletor and his minions were no match for the Battle Ram and a 5-year-old.

But back to the movie. It came out a month after I turned five years old. Needless to say, I didn’t see it right away. In fact, I didn’t see it for several years after that, because there was no internet telling me I had to see it. But I finally did watch it one day. I don’t remember the specifics. It was either on television or I watched it with some friends. I remember being so excited to see my favorite childhood character in a movie that I may have overlooked the quality of the movie itself. And not only that, but a few other points as well:

  • Let’s start with the most obvious of all. Lovable Orco was replaced by Gwildor. At best, Gwildor can be seen as a mix between two Lord of the Rings characters, Gandalf and Gimli. But there was nothing fun or entertaining about Gwildor. And not even that Gwildor was that bad, but how do you ignore Orco and rip him from the movie? Now anyone who watched the cartoon would tell you that Orco was annoying. He was clumsy and always got into trouble. He was the C3PO of Eternia. But his his missteps always ended in a lesson from the other characters, some little moral of the story.
  • Frank Langella, arguably the greatest actor in this movie, was stuck behind a mask. The costuming left no chance for Frank Langella to do anything besides relay the awkward dialogue he was given. It was a waste of Langella’s talents, it is a stain on his IMDb page, and I feel sorry for the guy. But then I watch this clip of Langella speaking about Skeletor and the role in the movie, and more importantly, the reason he took the role. And I get it. His reason for taking on this roll is simply astounding.

  • Dolph Lundren – If Dolph Lundgren didn’t have to talk in this movie, if He-Man would have been cursed with the inability to speak, this movie would have been exponentially better. I mean, let’s face it, Dolph has had the look. Tall, well-built, topped with a golden mullet. How could it possibly have gone wrong? Well, I’m guessing Dolph had a line added into his contract stating he could use firearms. My He-Man doesn’t have guns. He had the Power Sword. Man-at-Arms and Teela both used blasters. He-Man never needed them.
  • Eternia vs Earth – He-Man is the Prince of Eternia. Okay, “Prince Adam,” if you want to get technical. But there is very little of Eternia in this movie. Instead, you have an invasion story about the forces of evil trying to conquer Earth. Sounds like a job for the Avengers, not the Eternians. Yet here we are, dealing with Courtney Cox, her boyfriend, and the Cosmic Key. This was ten years after Star Wars. There didn’t have to be an earthly tie-in. George Lucas showed to world that you could have a successful movie if it didn’t take place on Earth.

Rumors state that we will get a new Masters of the Universe movie in the near future. Christopher Yost, who co-wrote Thor: Ragnarok for Marvel Studios, was tapped to write this new adaptation. It’s stated that the movie will be dark and serious and will not be an origin film. I’m actually okay with it not being an origin film, because we all know the origin thanks to the 130 episodes of the cartoon from the mid-1980s.


May the Sorceress bless you, Filmation. Rest in peace!

I think that a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe film can be successful a variety of ways. I’ve waited most of my life for a better He-Man movie. But it’s not here yet. So I’m left with what I have.

The kid in me wants to go back and watch this 1987  movie day after day. However, the adult in me who remembers this movie being the Batman & Robin of its time knows that I can watch it once and then remove it from my Netflix queue.

That means this decision is the first in my new weekly bit called #ToughCallTuesday!

Watch it and keep it on “My List” for future viewings?

OR

Watch it and drop it like?

I have made my decision, and based it on my genuine love of the character from an early age, the quality of the film that was made, and the knowledge that a new imagining of the character, the mythos, the “universe” if you will is heading our way.

It really boils down to this simple question. Is bad He-Man better than no He-Man at all? Would you rather sit through Batman & Robin or no Batman at all? Star Wars: Attack of the Clones or no Star Wars?

Okay, two lousy example.

Let’s face it – I saw that movie appear on my Netflix. And it was big. Big meat. It was the featured option. I popped. Despite its flaws, this one will be a “Watch and keep.”

And since my parents were kind enough to keep my He-Man toys in a box in the attic all these years, I’m excited to be able to share them with my son in the future. That, and the He-Man cartoons I have acquired on DVD.

That’s it for this week’s #ToughCallTuesday. What topics do you want to see featured in the future? Let me know in the comments.

 

PS – HOW COULD YOU NOT INCLUDE KRINGER/BATTLE CAT IN YOUR MOVIE?!?

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 41: King of Trios Wrap Up

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Chikara Pro’s 2015 King of Trios is in the books, and Chad was there for all three nights of action.  He explains to Kevin how the tournament works and shares some of his favorite memories from the event.  There was plenty of action Friday, Saturday and Sunday that saw not just the best from Chikara in the ring, but also around the world.  Plus there were a handful of blasts from the past.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 40: Let’s Get Smashed!

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In this episode Kevin talks with Chikara Pro star Max Smashmaster.  He’s one half of the reigning los Campeones de Parejas (tag team champions).  He and his partners Blaster McMassive and Flex Rumblecrunch are also the defending King of Trios champions.  They will step back into the ring Sept. 4-6 for the annual tournament.  Prepare to step back to 1987 and have some fun with this interview.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 39: SummerSlam Review

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SummerSlam 2015 is in the books.  Kevin and Chad talk about this year’s event and what the fallout will be.  The dynamic duo also discusses the big NXT Takeover event from Brooklyn.

Nerds United Episode 51: JPeteranetz Returns

Episode 51 and I’m back talking with my friend Jay Peteranetz (that’s his Twitter name in the title…so follow him if you don’t already).

Jay has been busy. He’s taking up a second job as an art teacher at another school in Colorado. But he has been to Seattle for the Emerald City Con. he was the featured artist at this year’s Denver Comic Con (his badges were pretty sweet). So we talk about Captain Colorado, Magicians Must Die (fifth issue expected in early 2016), car brakes, and beer. Because it’s a Sunday afternoon, that’s why!

We also jump into the new segment exploring some regrettable heroes. And our first one: The Bouncer.

Seen here, about to bounce. Because that's all he does.
Seen here, about to bounce. Because that’s all he does.

And we also touch on some serious topics affecting us both…Jay and his wife finalizing an adoption, and me and my wife announcing news of our own:

Plus there’s a giveaway for the autographed set of Issues 1-4 of Magicians Must Die, autographed by Jay. Listen to the show to learn how to win. And here’s a shortcut to the site.

So follow Jay on Twitter (@jpeteranetz), rate this show on iTunes (Love it or hate it – at least let me know how I’m doing), and share this masterpiece with your friends and fellow nerds!

UNITE! (or UNTIE if you’re dyslexic)

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 38: Arrow to Fly at SummerSlam

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Comic book connoisseur and host of Nerds United, Greg Mehocko shares some insight on “The Green Arrow” Stephen Amell as he prepares for his wrestling debut at SummerSlam.  Amell teams with Neville against Stardust and King Barrett at the summer classic.
Kevin and Greg discuss the match and take a closer look at the development of the Arrow character and what his role will likely be during this contest.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 37: SummerSlam – Then & Now

SummerSlam Logo

Kevin and Chad talk about the current SummerSlam line up and the potential matches for the 2015 event. The two also discuss some of their favorite memories from years past.

Fantastic Four – An Honest Review

Well I did it. I went and saw the new Fantastic Four movie.

Directory Josh Trank (Chronicles) did the movie no favors on Thursday when he tweeted, and later deleted, the following (caught via screen grab for your benefit):

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The appropriate response to this can only be:

Capt. Jean-Luc Xavier is exhausted by all of this.
Capt. Jean-Luc Xavier is exhausted by all of this.

Why would you distance yourself from the movie unless you want to come off as a bitter, petulant child? It’s sour grapes, in my opinion. But maybe that’s how Hollyweird works…try to wash the hands of a negatively-perceived project in hopes of saving face. I just don’t know.

Furthermore, from Trank’s own mouth in a recent episode of Kevin Smith’s Fatman on Batman, he said he didn’t follow all of the hype around Chronicle as it neared its release. He even had to be told that his movie was Number 1 at the box office.

Now Chronicle and Fantastic Four are two very different beasts. One is an original title. It’s exactly the same in the comic book world. If Trank had written (with Max Landis, btw) Chronicle for Image Comics or IDW, Dark Horse, etc, it falls under the Creator Controlled parameters, and he can do with it as he pleased.

But Fantastic Four is not Chronicle. Fantastic Four is a Marvel-owned entity whose cinematic rights belong to 20th Century Fox. And while a script was submitted and either approved or altered, that script has to meet the overall vision of the studio, much like a comic book has to stay within the guidelines of the publisher’s direction.

I say all of that because there were reports out Friday that indicated Fox made one or several moves, ranging from pre-production cuts of three tent-pole action sequences to keeping Trank away from post-production as the film’s third act was being edited.

So were Trank’s accusations accurate? Possibly. Was this a PR nightmare for a film already struggling to gain ground in a saturated comic book movie world, after two lackluster (not blockbuster) movies set around the same characters? Absolutely.

And here’s the biggest problem – the movie isn’t horrible. Confidence-inspiring, aren’t I? Look, I know it has a lower Rotten Tomatoes score than Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. But this is how I would describe most of the Rotten Tomatoes users, if Bat-ffleck didn’t already beat me to it (around the 20-second mark):

Yeah – I went there. Look – if you’re going to rely on someone from the internet to tell you what to think about movies, you probably don’t listen to my show. I don’t think you’ll ever find me telling you NOT to go watch or read something (well, if you can avoid Twilight…I still recommend doing that).

**POSSIBLE SPOILERS BELOW – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK**

I thought the movie was well-cast. I thought there was some good chemistry there. And my only concern with the timeline of the movie was that Sue Storm didn’t really know Ben Grimm much at all before the transformation. Victor von Doom was still an angry genius, not a blogger. The Storm family made sense, and you got a bit of feeling of Johnny’s unwillingness to participate. He felt that because he wasn’t a science nerd like Sue, that he didn’t have as much attention as his adoptive sister. So, like many teenagers, he acted out.

I admit I was not put off by the ages of the main characters…the “youth movement” per se. Reed Richards and Ben Grimm being friends since the third grade made plenty of sense. I do wish that there was something for Jamie Bell’s Ben Grimm to do at the Baxter Institute, as I felt maybe his presence in the building of the device may have created some bond between him and Kate Mara’s Sue Storm.

Much like the first Fantastic Four movie in 2005, they can’t complete the project without Doom. But the aspects of the movie and the transformation of the characters are a direct result of Toby Kebbell’s character’s hubris and the curious nature of exploration.

It is the third act that has largely been targeted as a reason for the movie’s negative reviews. I don’t know what changes were made from Trank’s “fantastic version.” I will say that the third act and the climactic battle did seem a bit rushed. It’s odd, as the film is only 100 minutes, and many superhero movies are going two hours and beyond. I felt like there could have been a bit more in that third act. But I digress.

Now – was the movie perfect? No. Was it great? No. Was it better than most of the reviews you’ll see? I think so. Am I an eternal optimist always looking at the sunniest side? Not usually. But I think that this movie has had an uphill battle since it was announced, so I’m not surprised that the reviews coming back have been negative.

If you can save a few bucks by taking in a matinee showing, I say that’s the way to go. And don’t forget that I have a Fantastic Four movie contest going on. If you go to the show, post a picture of your ticket or ticket stubs or e-ticket to the Nerds United Facebook Page and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of two prizes. First Prize is an autographed copy of the first volume of Saga. Second place is the first four “issues” of Magicians Must Die autographed by my friend, artist, and Episode 37 guest Jay Peteranetz.

Call them consolation prizes if you want – a little something for sitting through Fantastic Four. But if you have spent time reading all of the other FF reviews, I hope you made it through this one. Thanks for reading. Comment below or on Facebook. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or Pod Directory. And I’ll see you next time in the Nerd Dome.

Nerds United Episode 50: A Supreme Episode

You hear “Supreme” in reference to comics books. And if you’re like me…you think of “The Supreme Sorcerer,” Doctor Strange.

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But we’re going in a different direction. Meet Seth Ferranti, writer of The Supreme Team. He has been working with Stache Publishing’s Anthony Mathenia to transform his book into a graphic novel.

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Hear Seth’s own gripping tale about his life and how he came to learn the stories he shares in his writing.

You can help Seth, Anthony, and artist Joe Wills’ work to reach fruition by supporting the Kickstarter, going on all through the month of August.

Also – as promised, details about a brand new contest. AND…a new logo by Joe Dodd! WOW! I am thrilled with his work.

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Seriously…that’s LEGIT!

So enjoy the 50th Episode of Nerds United. Thanks for tuning in, subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher or Pod Directory.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 36: Remembering Roddy Piper

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This week’s show is in memory of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. Hot Rod died July 31, 2015 at the age of 61. Kevin, Chad and My 1-2-3 Cents newcomer Rick share their memories of the wrestling icon and the impact he had on each of them, the world of wrestling and pop culture.

Rest in peace Roddy. We love you.

 

 

Another Icon Turns 75

(*Editor’s Note: This post was supposed to be written yesterday, but I was surprisingly busy at work and didn’t get a chance to do it.)

Nostalgia…I have it.

It is with this in mind that I wish Bugs Bunny a belated Happy Birthday.

Bugs made his debut on July 27, 1940 in a cartoon titled “A Wild Hare.”


Merrie Melodies – A Wild Hare (1940) by Cartoonzof2006

Ahhh Merrie Melodies. Looney Toons.

Growing up, I was a Bugs Bunny kid more than I was a Mickey Mouse kid. Call it “accessibility.” Bugs was just more prevalent. Tiny Toons came out in 1990 (I was 8) and featured an abundance of the Looney Toons characters. Merrie Melodies/Looney Toons enjoyed a long airing on TNT. Bugs and the gang tore the house down with the greatest basketball player of all time in Space Jam. And then there was the apparel. SO MUCH APPAREL!

Admit it - at least three kids in your class had this design on a shirt.
Admit it – at least three kids in your class had this design on a shirt.

Mickey is cool. But to watch most Disney stuff, especially after Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color went off the air. I remember having the Disney Channel as a youngster and then going years without it. Bugs was always there whereas the Mouse wasn’t. I guess at some point, Disney was taken off of the cable package my parents had selected. But TNT was there to stay.

Also, and you can directly credit 1990’s advertising for this. From my childhood home in the St. Louis area, Six Flags was a day trip. Get up, drive there in just over an hour, spend all day at the park, and drive home. (I am now roughly equidistant between Six Flags St. Louis and Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN.) I have been to Disney World. I had a blast, from what I can remember. I was eight at the time. I can’t tell you how many times I have visited Six Flags. And Six Flags has (or had…I don’t keep up with all the news) a partnership with Warner Brothers. Warner Brothers owns the Looney Toons characters. I think you see where I’m going with this. But it helps explain my slight bias towards Bugs Bunny.

In recent years, we have seen the 75th birthday/anniversary of Superman and Batman. We’re only two years away from the 75th anniversary celebration of Spider-Man.

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As I look at a more recent timeline and attempt to imagine what fictional characters will stand the test of time as well as Bugs Bunny and his ilk, Mickey and the Disney crew, Supes, Bats, and Spidey, I fear the list isn’t as long as many would hope. Stepping outside of comic books, the characters that jump out to me are Doctor Who, Darth Vader, Yoda, and a select few other Star Wars characters, The Simpsons, GI Joe, Barbie, etc.

It pains me to say, but I doubt He-Man will ever catch lightning in a bottle again like they did in the 1980’s. And yes, I realize that was all just a way to sell action figures.

What characters do you know of in the last 20-30 years do you think will celebrate 75th anniversaries? Let me know in the comments or on Facebook.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 35: Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Widow

It’s important to note that the name of this episode is for two distinct segments of the show. They are unrelated.

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In this episode Kevin spends a little time sharing his thoughts on the current situation between Hulk Hogan and WWE.  The second half of the show, meet Kevin’s better half, his wife Lisa.  She talks about life as a “wrestling widow.”

My 1-2-3 Cents 34: Getting Amped with Double J

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Double J Jeff Jarrett has returned to the show.  He gives us all an update on the upcoming TV taping for Global Force Wrestling’s new show Amped.  Four titles will be up for grabs as tournaments start on Friday, July 24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.  You can learn more at their website: globalforcewrestling.com

Nerds United Episode 49: Ant-Man…Ant More

Marvel’s Ant-Man opening night. My friend Mike (go back to Episode 9 for a refresher) and I went to check out Marvel Studio’s latest big screen adventure featuring its smallest hero. And then we decided to talk about it afterwards. That conversation was going so great, I halted it mid-thought and said “let’s record this for the podcast.”

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Did we think Ant-Man was deserving of at least one Thumbs Up?

So here we are, talking about Ant-Man and more nerdy topics at 11pm on a Friday night while I’m driving through Southern Illinois. Tons of laughs and just a great conversation with a longtime friend about nerdy stuff.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 33: Give Us The Book‏

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It’s a new feature on the My 1-2-3 Cents podcast.  Kevin and Chad randomly pull the names of three Superstars or Divas from the coveted Wrestlemania 30 cup and book them in a storyline.  The first name out of the cup, Neville. Find out what the guys have planned for “The Man That Gravity Forgot” as well as two other WWE Superstars.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 32: Dasher on Deck

Another Chikara Pro wrestler joins Kevin on this episode of My 1-2-3 Cents.

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Chikara pro star Dasher Hatfield, the Ol’ Timey King of Swing, chats with Kevin in an all-new episode. Hatfield is one half of the tag team The Throwbacks, as well as the team captain of Dasher’s Dugout in the Challenge of the Immortals. Hatfield talks about his time in the ring, his friendships and rivalries and the upcoming King of Trios tournament.

If you enjoy the show, leave a comment, tell a friend, or simply share it on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe on iTunes, stitcher, and Poddirectory.com.

Thanks so much!

Nerds United Episode 48: Memories of Aeldaria

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The special guest this week is Alexander “Kino” Beeler. Kino is the Founder of Grand Arc Designs, an independent video gaming developer working on Memories of Aeldaria, an epic fantasy game.

We visit about Kino’s life, including a brief period spent in the United States military.

And we spend a lot of time talking about Memories of Aeldaria, which is expected to have a Kickstarter later this year. This episode includes exclusive audio from the game – audio you won’t hear anywhere else until the Kickstarter begins.

e3 2Head over to Square Enix Collective and vote for Memories of Aeldaria to help them get some much-needed exposure.

Also I take way too long in my intro talking about Hellboy 3, Suicide Squad, Grant Morrison, Ghostbusters, Jon Bernthal, stan Lee, and Spider-Man.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 31: Farmer Billy Hills

Kevin and Farmer Billy Hills in an archived photo from the AAPW days.
Kevin and Farmer Billy Hills in an archived photo from the AAPW days.

Grab your overalls and cowboy hat: we’re heading down to the farm! The guest this week is Farmer Billy Hills. He has made a name for himself on the Indy scene in the Midwest and Midsouth areas. Farmer has a big benefit show set for July 26 in Harrisburg, Illinois. Look up Farmer Billy Hills on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

@my123cents
@kevinhunsperger
@jitterymunkey

Marvel/Sony Cast Spidey

Well let’s get right to it then, shall we?

tom holland
Meet your new wall-crawling, web-slinging friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Say hello to Tom Holland. “Hello Tom Holland.”

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have announced the new Spider-Man, as well as the director and even confirmed the release date for the stand-alone Spider-Man movie.

Mark your calendars, as July 28, 2017 has just been selected for the release of the third Spider-Man franchise kickstarter.

2017 currently has seven movies set for theaters based on Marvel or DC characters. That could actually increase before it’s all said and done. Just remember how quickly the ball got rolling on a Deadpool movie.

Spider-Man will be released after The Wolverine 3, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Wonder Woman, and Fantastic Four. After a few months to cleanse the palates, November has in store for movie goers Thor: Ragnarok and The Justice League.

I’m exhausted (and already a little broke) just typing all of that out. And that follows a 2016 that already has seven more movies based on the Big Two scheduled for mass consumption.

Okay, I got off on a little tangent there. Sorry about that.

Back to the new Peter Parker.

Tom Holland is a relative unknown, at least to me. In fact, a quick view of his IMDb page indicates he has just ten credited roles, one being the announced Spider-Man gig. I think that’s good. I like the idea of bringing in an unknown, because you already have so many stars/heavy hitters in the MCU.

Now I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that Sony + Marvel made the announcement days after videos like this hit the internet, but I’m sure showing off the skills didn’t hurt Holland.

Fun fun fun

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

It is unknown at this time whether or not Holland/Spider-Man will have a role in Captain America: Civil War. I would love for Spidey to make an appearance in the movie, because he is a pivotal character in the comics. However, if it makes the story too convoluted to include him, I say withhold him at this time. If there is no logical way to include him – if you can’t add him in without making it flow seamlessly and make sense, then I say “don’t add him.”

They are already shooting Civil War. Unless they had Spider-Man in the script and saved his scenes for last, don’t force him into the story, rushing production and compromising the picture.

I for one am looking forward to the return to Marvel of one of its biggest stars. And with Spider-Man topping the list of most profitable superheroes, this will hopefully launch the web crawler into the stratosphere as far as movies go.

I liked the original Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie. Then the Sam Raimi-led franchise started to tumble down the hill PDQ. By the end of Spider-Man 3, they were like the Jamaican bobsled team, zooming down the ice chute at blazing speeds and then wrecking in grand fashion.

Again, I enjoyed the Andrew Garfield/Emma Stone Amazing Spider-Man. It had the things that I wanted to see, like one bad guy. It stayed true to the comics with the [SPOILER ALERT] death of Captain Stacy. It also had a Peter Parker who stayed long and lanky, and didn’t become a guy who looked like he spent some time at the gym. 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 brought me one of the saddest movie moments in recent memory: the death of Gwen Stacy TNA-style over-booking. Rhino at the beginning. Electro and Green Goblin in much of the middle, with Rhino inexplicably returning towards the end. And yes, I popped when you saw the Oscorp stash of Sinister Six enhancements.

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But one of the traps to which Hollywood can sometimes fall victim is over-stimulation. Give me a good story with one solid villain instead of a shoddy story with multiple antagonists.

Wow…another tangent.

I wish Tom Holland good luck as he dons the familiar red and blue Spider-Man costume. Unfortunately, the success or failure of the new Spidey franchise will undoubtedly be placed on his shoulders, much like Garfield took heat for Amazing Spider-Man 2.

But let’s face it – I’m going to go see all of these movies anyway. I can’t seem to stop myself.

Also, Marvel and Sony announced that Jon Watts will be directing the 2017 Spider-Man movie.

And let me just say…IF Spider-Man (or Peter Parker, for that matter) does appear in Civil War, I’d really like to find that out when I see it in theaters.

 

 

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 30: Kamala Speaks‏

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Kevin’s guest this week comes from the jungles of Uganda.  Kamala is one of the all-time greats having wrestled all over the world for decades.  He battled greats like Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes.  Kamala has had a series of health problems that have sidelined him, but his spirits remain high.  In his new book “Kamala Speaks” he shares stories from the road with the help of former manager Kenny Casanova.  Both Kamala and Kenny talk more about the book and some of their favorite memories during this week’s show.  Enjoy.

 

Nerds United Episode 47

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Steve Higgins (right) and the Ink & Drink gang during Wizard World St. Louis.

One of the individuals I had the good fortune to meet at the Cape Comic Con was fan, creator, publisher, educator Steve Higgins.

Steve and I had a lot to chat about, like incorporating comic books into the classroom. We also get into Ink & Drink Comics, a publishing company based in St. Louis. They like to theme their anthologies after drinking terms. For example:

hammered

Steve also started the Tumblr – Kitties with Pottymouths. Yes – it is exactly what it sounds like:

kitties

Enjoy the show. And if you do, tell your friends. That’s how we help get the word out. You tell a friend, they tell a friend. Etc. Thank you!

Check out “On the House,” a collection of stories from Ink & Drink Comics
that cover several genres. Available on Amazon:

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 29: Remembering the Dream

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The wrestling world suffered a major loss last week with the death of “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.  Kevin and Chad dedicate this week’s show to one of the most iconic men in the world of professional wrestling.  They share their favorite moments and thoughts about the Dream’s legacy.  Thanks for listening.  Rest in Peace Dusty!

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 28: Show Me the Money

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Money in the Bank is right around the corner.  Kevin talks more about the show and shares his picks as well as a recap on what’s been going on in the world of professional wrestling over the past week.

Nerds United Episode 46: Dr. Dan the Man

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You’ve seen his amazing creations in works of pancake art. Now learn about the man behind all that pancake batter: Dan Drake.

Learn about Dan’s beginning and how one pancake design changed his life. Hear about how his first pancake design brightened a stranger’s day. Dan has also been on The Today Show and has taken his talents around the country and across the globe.

So enjoy the show, tell your friends about it, and if this is your first time and you enjoyed yourself, go back and listen to some of the other shows. And remember: Dr. Dan did all this with pancake batter. It’s beautiful and delicious!

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 27: Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy

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You will definitely have a nice day after listening to Episode 27.  The guest is none other than WWE Hall of Famer and Hardcore Legend Mick Foley.  He shares a few of his memories from the ring and who he would have liked to have stepped in the ring against. Mick is taking part in the #FiftyYearsOfFoley Tour right now, which includes a stop at Four Winds Field in South Bend, Indiana on Father’s Day.  Follow Mick on social media @realmickfoley on Twitter and facebook.com/realmickfoley

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 26: Hello Joe, What Do You Know?

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Samoa Joe has finally showed up on a WWE show.  The Samoan Submission Machine interrupted NXT champion Kevin Owens as he attacked Sammie Zayn at Unstoppable.  What impact will Joe have on NXT?  Kevin and Chad talk more about that as well as the NXT product overall.  Plus the two rundown the upcoming Elimination Chamber event.

Michael B Jordan Addresses FF Critics

Michael B Jordan​ wrote an enlightening letter to the Internet, particularly those who disagree with his being cast as Johnny Storm in this summer’s Fantastic Four​.

Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm (Photo Courtesy EW.com)
Michael B Jordan as Johnny Storm (Photo Courtesy EW.com)

I can’t sit here and say I had been completely on board with this since Day One. I believe I said I’d judge after watching the performance. The problem with that plan was that early on, I wasn’t even sure I’d watch the movie. I, like many, judged based purely on a cast…a cast that, from top to bottom, I was either unfamiliar with or underwhelmed by. Going in, Kate Mara was really the only name I knew. And it was “We Are Marshall” and “Shooter,” two drastically different tones of movie, in which I had seen her previously. I also understand she’s quite good on Netflix’ “House of Cards,” but that is not a show I have taken the time to sit down and watch.

So I took the “wait and see” approach.

And I’m glad I did, because what I have seen was far better than what I envisioned (which is why I’m over here typing on a computer and Josh Trank makes movies). The trailer restored some enthusiasm. This movie will not be like the previous Fantastic Four movies. In fact, many of the claims out there are that this version is less a comic book adaptation and more of a sci-fi flick.

Back to the topic at hand, that of the decision to cast Jordan (a black man) as Johnny Storm (traditionally a blond haired, blue eyed, white man). Funny thing about fanboys…they we take this stuff very seriously. And in doing so, they used the power of the Internet (and in many cases, anonymity) to unleash their collective disappointment rage to create controversy out of a non-issue.

Think of it this way. Chris Evans (now beloved Captain America) was once The Human Torch.

WHAT? NO BLONDE HAIR?!?
WHAT? NO BLONDE HAIR?!?

Granted…that was in 2005. It was the early days of social media. And Internet tough guys…(no, I’m keeping that) Internet tough guys maybe weren’t so tough.

So it was surprising when Michael B Jordan answered his critics earlier this week with a letter he penned, accompanying the newly released image of himself as The Human Torch. It was surprising because it’s not done. Many times, I think, the status quo is to “let the performance speak for itself.” It’s not Hollywood’s nature to respond to fan backlash. But I think this was the right move.

Here’s are two excerpts from Jordan’s letter:

“This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.”

“To the trolls on the Internet, I want to say: Get your head out of the computer. Go outside and walk around. Look at the people walking next to you. Look at your friends’ friends and who they’re interacting with. And just understand this is the world we live in. It’s okay to like it.”

Hear that, trolls? You have been called out by name! It’s time to put away the petty differences and embrace this world in which we live. I am slowly doing this myself as I open my mind and heart to new things.

Read Michael B Jordan’s entire letter here.

Nerds United Episode 45: Spoiler Alert

Fish Mooney sports a new look and a younger entourage in the Gotham season 1 finale.
Fish Mooney sports a new look and a younger entourage in the Gotham season 1 finale.

Episode 45 has some spoilers in case you haven’t seen the season finales of Gotham and The Flash (and to a lesser extent, Arrow).

Promotional art for the Flash season finale.
Promotional art for the Flash season finale.

Also – it’s a great time to be a nerd. more than ten (and probably closer to 15 when it’s all said and done) “nerd” movies set for the big screen between now and the end of 2016. Take, for instance, Ant-Man.

And two things I love meet up again as I learned that one of the greatest running backs of all time for the university of Nebraska Cornhuskers will add an acting credit to his resume from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

  

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 25: The King of the Mountain

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Episode 25 is a big one!  The guest on this week’s show is the legendary “Double J” Jeff Jarrett.  He’s got more than 25 years of experience in the ring and is now on the verge of launching a new wrestling company.  TV tapings for Global Force Wrestling start this summer.  Jeff talks about the future of the company and what role he’ll have with it.  Thanks for downloading and as always don’t forget to visit our sponsors at Amazon and DraftKings.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 24: May the Force Be With You

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We’re not talking about Star Wars or Jedis in this episode of the show.  Kevin and Chad tackle the newly announced roster for Global Force Wrestling.  TV tapings are planned for July, August and October.  What does this company need to do to stand out in the competitive world of professional wrestling?  Plus, there’s a surprise announcement about a big name guest for episode 25.

Nerds United Episode 44: The King Loves Comics

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My guest for Episode 44 is a musical legend and a member of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. And while we talk a little hip hop, my chat with Darryl McDaniels focuses more on comics, as he is both a lifelong fan and a creator.

Growing up in New York (Hollis, Queens – but you knew that already), Darryl lived in the same city as Spider-Man and so many other icons of the comic book pages. It all played a part in a boy’s early love of comics that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

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In 2014, DMC (Darryl Makes Comics) published DMC #1 and debuted it at New York Comic Con.

In Episode 44, learn about how the comics inspired the man…and how the man inspires the comic. It’s win-win!

McDaniels shopping his book on AMC's Comic Book Men. You can get yours through your local comic book shop! I know - that's where mine came from!
McDaniels shopping his book on AMC’s Comic Book Men. You can get yours through your local comic book shop! I know – that’s where mine came from!

Enjoy Episode 44 and leave some feedback. Also – check out some previous episodes if this is your first time through. Find it on iTunes as well as Stitcher just by searching “Nerds United.” Like the show on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

And since D (yeah…we’re on a first initial basis) is a Marvel guy – let me drop a link to a book I think he would like – one that is in my own collection:

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 23: On the Road with MWR

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In this episode Kevin talks with the owner of the website Missouri Wrestling Revival, Brian Kelley.  The online publication covers more than a dozen promotions around Missouri, Kansas and Illinois.

Brian also shares his experiences visiting the Cauliflower Alley Club reunion for the first time.  Thanks for listening and don’t forget to check out My 1-2-3 Cents.

For more on Missouri Wrestling Revival, head to their site or look for them on Facebook or Twitter.

Nerds United Episode 43

Greg Land autographed this variant to Nerds United. *SQUEE*
Greg Land autographed this variant to Nerds United…obviously!

This is it – the finale of the Tenth Annual Cape Comic Con coverage. This is pretty much a recap of my weekend at the Con and does include some audio with Marvel artist Greg Land.

Also – I went and saw Avengers: Age of Ultron last night and have a quick review of the movie.

And stick around for the post-credits clip. Because, just like in the Marvel cinematic universe, it foretells my guest for Episode 44.

I’d type more, but as I prepare this, it’s almost 2am and this is technically FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! And I’m getting up early to go for a run.

Nerds United Episode 42: Cullen Bunn

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Cullen Bunn – Photo taken straight from his Twitter.

 

Say hello to Cullen Bunn, writer extraordinaire. His career – his resume – is filled with titles from both Marvel and DC as well as creator-owned. Magneto, Sinestro, Deadpool – and a slew of successful creator-owned entities like The Sixth Gun, Harrow County, and the new series Hellbreak (Issue #2 available today). In this episode, we listen to the Hellbreak Panel from the Tenth Annual Cape Comic Con that was held April 17-19 in Cape Girardeau, MO. The panel is hosted by Steve Higgins with a few questions coming from the audience. Lots of insight into the differences between writing for one of the “big two” and writing your own characters. And you learn how busy a top writer can be. So kick back, relax, and check out Hellbreak #1 and #2 at your local comic book shop. A great time to do that would be on Free Comic Book Day!

#Hellbreak #2 drops tomorrow! Variant cover by @traddmoore! @onipress @cullenbunn @dragonmnky

A photo posted by Brian Churilla (@brianchurilla) on

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 22: Taking Things to the Extreme

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In Episode 22 Kevin provides some thoughts on the Extreme Rules pay-per-view.  With new tag team champions, what’s next for the division?  Will Lana and Rusev break up?  And what will WWE do with Ryback?  Kevin provides his 1-2-3 cents on those issues and the fate of the WWE World Heavyweight title.

Nerds United Episode 41: Desiree Cosplay

The finished Valkyrie, a part of the 2015 C2E2 Crown Championship of Cosplay. Good luck, Desiree!
The Valkyrie, a Desiree cosplay original, is part of the 2015 C2E2 Crown Championship of Cosplay. Good luck, Desiree!

Cosplay is a HUGE part of not just comic conventions, but this culture…this community. So I am honored that Desiree Cosplay agreed to come onto the show. Desiree gave a great panel at the Tenth Annual Cape Comic Con and shared some tips and tools about creating your own cosplay. Then in the after-panel portion, I got a chance to visit with Desiree one-on-one. And while that conversation was supposed to be about cosplay, well…it quickly went another direction.

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Valkyrie wings in progress.

Desiree will definitely be back on the show again in the future – because after all, eventually I have to ask all those cosplay questions I haven’t asked yet.

Follow Desiree Cosplay’s journey on Facebook and Twitter. And if you see the best Valkyrie at C2E2, it’ll be Desiree!

Nerds United Episode 40: John Wesley Shipp

flash panelJohn Wesley Shipp was a featured guest at the Tenth Annual Cape Comic Con in Cape Girardeau, MO. While there, John took part in a Q & A with fans. On Monday…the Internet sort of freaked out.

jws leak

So are the rumors true? Well there’s only one way to know for sure. Listen to the podcast.

Thank you, John, for taking the time to visit with fans, for pictures and autographs, and for being so completely cool.

The Flash and Green Lantern - a classic team up.
The Flash and Green Lantern – a classic team up.

Check out the Amazon links for the original Flash television show and some key Flash stories, including the Flashpoint Paradox!

 

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 21: A Beautiful Day

Kevin and his daughter with "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton
Kevin and his daughter with “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton

In Episode 21 Kevin has a quick chat with professional wrestling legend “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton.  Bobby was a part of the 10th annual Cape Comic Con event recently in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  He was a part of the Midnight Express with “Sweet” Stan Lane and manager Jim Cornette.  The trio is among Kevin’s favorites.  Bobby talks about his past partners, his time in the NWA and why he never worked for WWE.  You can check out Bobby on Facebook.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 20: A Fine Gent

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In Episode 20, Kevin talks with “Gentleman” Jervis Cottonbelly.  The Gentleman has been a staple on the Chikara Pro roster in recent years.  Cottonbelly talks about his time in the ring, his pursuit for his best friend The Estonian Thunderfrog and his latest project on social media.  It’s a great conversation with “the world’s sweetest man.”

Twitter plugs:

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 19: Pros At Cons

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The 10th annual Cape Comic Con is coming to Cape Girardeau, Missouri April 17-19.  Former WCW TV champion and multiple time tag team champion “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton will be this year’s wrestling guest.  Organizer Ken Murphy is a life long wrestling fan and talks about the importance of having a wrestler on hand at his event each year.  You can meet Bobby on April 18 from 10 until 2 and April 19 from 11 until 5.  Bobby will be on the show in a future episode.
Plugs:

Nerds United Episode 39

Hey hey hey! We’re only a couple weeks away from the 2015 Cape Comic Con. CAPE CON 10!!!

This is Ken and I when we visited last year. This time - we did it by phone. (that sounded dirtier than I intended)
This is Ken and I when we visited last year. This time – we did it by phone. (That sounded dirtier than I intended)

So what do I do? I get the organizer who has been putting on this wonderful event and talk with him for OVER AN HOUR! The history of the Cape Con and plenty of what is in store for this year.

Heading to Cape Con? Pre-order yours HERE.
Heading to Cape Con? Pre-order yours HERE.

So please, welcome BACK to the Nerd Dome – Ken Murphy! And I’ll see YOU at the Cape Comic Con, April 17-19!

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 18: Rollins, Rousey Best the Bay

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Seth Rollins stands atop the WWE Universe as the new king of the mountain. (Photo Courtesy wwe.com)

Wrestlemania finished up less than a half hour before the tape started rolling on the latest episode of My 1-2-3 Cents. Get Kevin and Chad’s thoughts on the 31st incarnation of the granddaddy of them all, and Nerds United host Greg Mehochko is there for a few thoughts as well.

 

The UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion forces a pained Stephanie to leave her own ring. (Photo Courtesy wwe.com)
The UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion forces a pained Stephanie to leave her own ring. (Photo Courtesy wwe.com)
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Bray Wyatt wanted to raise the dead? He may have gotten more than he bargained for. (Photo Courtesy wwe.com)

 

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 17: Wrestlemania 31 Preview and Predictions

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In this episode Kevin and Chad break down the biggest wrestling event of the year: Wrestlemania 31.  The two will discuss each match in depth and offer up their thoughts on the build and who will end up being the winner.  These thoughts come from two guys who have been to eight of the last nine Wrestlemanias.

Nerds United Episode 38

lego matt

Meet my longtime friend Matt. He also has a background in radio and took those talents to not one but TWO shows on the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network: GAMER and PoppedCulture.

But Matt is a busy man…a student working on his mass communications degree with a minor in creative writing. So I won’t go into much detail here, as Matt can tell his own story. But check out his Vimeo and Tumblr for some of his creativity.

Here’s his latest short film, as mentioned in the episode:

“Scrutiny” Short Film from Matthew Horst on Vimeo.

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Just a small sampling of what Matt has been reading.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 16: Hall of Fame

hof
Kevin and Chad at the 2012 Hall of Fame Ceremony

 

Since its creation in 1993 (with Andre the Giant being the first inductee), the WWE Hall of Fame has honored the careers of more than 100 men and women involved in the wrestling business.  Kevin and Chad have been to eight of the ceremonies.  In this episode they discuss the Class of 2015 and look at past inductees and share thoughts of how they’d change the Hall of Fame.
Follow us on Twitter

Nerds United Episode 37

jay
Jay Peteranetz (right)

Meet Jay Peteranetz, a lifelong comic book reader (mostly Marvel) and artist who has helped take comics to an unprecedented medium – playing cards.

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Welcome to Magicians Must Die:

Jay grew up reading a ton of Marvel, including X-Men and the Cosmic Marvel books, including Guardians of the Galaxy. So naturally we talk about the marvel Cinematic Universe and OMG DID YOU SEE ADAM WARLOCK?

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There is a lot covered in this episode, and I’m pumped for future conversations with Jay, who will be appearing at the Denver Comic Con in May. So go check him out there.

ALSO – if we get Jay to 250 Twitter followers in the next two weeks, he’ll hook me up with all four issues (sets) of MMD, autographed, and ready to giveaway on the show. He wins, we win. GET IT?!?

Follow him at @jpeteranetz.
Go ahead and follow me as well: @nerdsunitedshow.
And while you’re at it, @jitterymunkey

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 15: Second Best

New_Intercontinental_Championship_design_2014

For the first time in several years the WWE is showing the Intercontinental Championship some love at Wrestlemania. In this episode Kevin and Chad analyze the upcoming ladder match in which Wade Barrett defends against several opponents.  They look back at big IC title matches from previous Wrestlemanias including “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan and Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 14: Some Bumps in the Road

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This week’s show is a quick one, filled with some random wrestling thoughts including WWE and Chikara Pro.  Kevin talks more about the Road to Wrestlemania and a few of the bumps he sees in it, including the Andre the Giant Battle Royal, Intercontinental Title Ladder Match and Jon Stewart.

Nerds United Episode 36

Iron Man reverse photoshopped (that's a thing) to better resemble the average American. But would it matter in a metal suit? I submit that it would not.
Iron Man reverse photoshopped (that’s a thing) to better resemble the average American. But would it matter in a metal suit? I submit that it would not.

As promised, a THIRD episode in February. I’ll get back to guests next month, but right now, I’m discussing/rambling about the link I shared recently. I actually have a great appreciation for the reasoning behind that post, but hey, they’re fictional characters. And believe me, I’m not out to look like Superman. I’ll just be happy not looking like the Blob.

MOVING ON…

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Marvel’s Agent Carter wrapped up its mid-season run and, dare I say, I want more of it and less of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

And want to save Constantine so we get a second season? I want you to. Join me.

constantine

I also discuss Gotham and the Flash and how though they are similar, they are very different.

More episodes to come in March, and we’re less than two months away from the 10th Annual Cape Con.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 13: All In with Pokerface

pokerface

Independent wrestler Pokerface has been inside the squared circle for 18 years.  He’s wrestled all over including USWA, Mid-South and even WWE.  He shares stories from his career as well as his thoughts on the recent lawsuit against the WWE from the widow of King Mabel, the Mid-South Coliseum and the WWE Hall of Fame.  It’s an insightful discussion you won’t want to miss.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 12: What’s Next for NXT?

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Kevin and Chad team up for this week’s show to discuss NXT and what’s next for the company after Takeover: Rival.  There’s plenty of talent on the roster and who will be called up next to WWE?  The two also discuss the latest happenings in Chikara, TNA and WWE.

Nerds United Episode 35

Episode 35 brings with it the return of the Skyped guest, as I visit with Ross Cavins, writer of Barry vs The Apocalypse, A Novel of Epic Proportions. So naturally we talk about that, but also Ross’ days reading Terry Brooks, being inspired by Elmore Leonard, why college beats high school every day of the week, and more. Arrested Development gets discussed a LOT!

 

Learn about Ross’ interconnected collection of short stories, Follow The Money (inspired by Elmore Leonard himself), and about the Claymore Award. Ross also discusses why he is seeking self-publishing on Barry rather than the traditional publishing route.

AND…Ross had challenged me to an Announce Off…so we have that going for us as well. Just kick back and laugh. This one was a lot of fun.

And I can’t stress this enough…go to Kickstarter and support Barry vs The Apocalypse.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 11: Two is Greater Than One

heath
Heath Hatton has been an independent wrestler for nearly five years. In 2012 he stepped into a WWE ring, facing Ryback at Extreme Rules. Since then Heath has had his ups and downs, including a great match with former NWA heavyweight champion Adam Pearce.

Follow on Twitter:
@heath_hatton
@my123cents
@jitterymunkey
@kevinhunsperger

Nerds United Episode 34

Episode 34 is finally here – only two weeks late.

I not-so-briefly describe/review Justice League: Throne of Atlantis. You remember JL: Throne of Atlantis, right? RIGHT?!?

I have to believe that the film took its cues and plot from the New 52 Aquaman story, which is on my to-read list.

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Gotham, Arrow, the Flash, and Constantine get some mentions in this episode. Also – and I know I’ve said it before but I’m saying it again – Matt Ryan IS John Constantine and if WB/DC ever makes a Justice League Dark movie, he better play Constantine or WE RIOT!

matt ryan

 

Also, how about a pre-emptive plug for next week’s guest, Ross Cavins, who will be on the show to discuss Barry VS The Apocalypse, on Kickstarter!

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 10: Your Questions Answered

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We’ve hit double digits on the My 1-2-3 Cents Podcast and in episode 10, Kevin is joined in the studio by co-blogger Chad.  The two answer questions from friends on the My 1-2-3 Cents Facebook page.  Topics include the long term future of WWE, Wrestlemania and My 1-2-3 Cents merchandise.  The two also discuss Chikara Pro, Ring of Honor, Lucha Underground and Impact Wrestling.

Thanks for listening and check out these folks on Twitter:
@my123cents
@chadsmart
@jitterymunkey
@chikarapro
@kevinhunsperger

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 9: Reigns Rocks the Rumble

20150121-reigns-rock-royal-rumble-642

Kevin is joined by long time friend and My 1-2-3 Cents blogger Chad Smart for some Royal Rumble analysis.  The two recap the event, including the Royal Rumble match itself and the three-way WWE World Heavyweight title match.  Kevin and Chad look ahead to Wrestlemania 31 and talk about more than just Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns, but also the prospect of a John Cena vs. Rusev match. What roles will The Rock, Undertaker, Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt have?  Listen and see what these two life long fans have to say.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 8: The Mid-Week Express

Sheamus make a wish

It’s a special midweek edition of the podcast.  Episode 8 features an interview with WWE Superstar Sheamus.  The Celtic Warrior has been sidelined with an injury, but took some time to talk with Kevin about his health, his Royal Rumble prediction and more importantly his work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
In this episode Kevin is also joined by Nerds United host Greg Mehochko as the two talk about the upcoming Royal Rumble and share memories from their favorite versions of the yearly pay-per-view.
Twitter plugs:

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 7: Fight Nigel Fight

mcguinness

In this episode, international wrestling star Nigel McGuinness shares his ideas on a new concept for professional wrestling genre.  He’s about half way through a KickStarter campaign to raise $370,000 to fund the first six episodes of LA Fights.  Nigel is working with producers, writers and wrestlers to make this a reality.  Fans can support the project at LAFights.com.
Kevin also gives his thoughts on the 2015 Royal Rumble card and the induction of “Macho Man” Randy Savage into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Twitter plugs:
@McGuinnessNigel

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 6: Don’t Hold the MSG

MSG Book

For more than 50 years WWE has been entertaining wrestling fans all over the world.  In episode 6, Kevin talks with the creator of the website thehistoryofwwe.com, Graham Cawthon.  He explains how he started the site and how fans have helped make it a success.  Graham also discusses his latest project, the newly released book “Holy Ground: 50 Years of WWE at Madison Square Garden.”  It’s a great conversation between two life long wrestling fans.

Nerds United Episode 33: Comics for Beginners 1

comics 4 beginners featured

 

It is finally here! Comics for Beginners is no joke – but there are jokes inside…laughter…tears, and whining from my dog Lucky.

And we have winners and giveaways. My wife did the drawing out of my Green Lantern hat. IT’S A REAL THING! And I explain the mess on the hat in the episode.

gl hat

 

Great questions, great answers, except by me. Listen to the end for just a weeeeeeee bit of bonus Nerds United.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 5: Golden Opportunity

"Golden Boy" Greg Anthony, the NWA Midsouth Champion
“Golden Boy” Greg Anthony, the NWA Midsouth Champion

Happy New Year.  Kevin has a golden opportunity as he talks with the new NWA Midsouth Unified Champion “Golden Boy” Greg Anthony.  The Golden Boy has been wrestling for 14 years and talks about his time in the business with the likes of “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and JJ Dillon.  Anthony shares his thoughts on today’s wrestling product and the importance of supporting independent wrestling.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 4

Kevin and Chad at a recent Wrestlemania. They like to get into character.
Kevin and Chad at a recent Wrestlemania. They like to get into character.

It’s the end of the year, so Kevin and his blogging partner Chad hand out the Centy Awards.  The two recognize the best and worst in the world of professional wrestling.  Find out why guys and gals like Roman Reigns, Charlotte, and Icarus are all being recognized this year.  Thanks for listening and Happy New Year.

Nerds United Episode 32

Merry Christmas and Welcome to the 2nd Annual Very Special Christmas Special.

This year I’m bringing back a guest from an earlier episode and giving her HER OWN SHOW! Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Alice Harvey, pastry chef and artist with the Stache Publishing Crew.

Alice and I talk a little Stache business, but also cinematic and television adaptations of comic book properties. We also talk baking and Christmas memories.

Alice has a sure-fire recipe for all of your holiday gatherings:

Nutella Braid

Here is the recipe:
1/2 tsp. Active dry yeast
1c warm water (not hot)
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 c nutella
1 egg beaten with a Tbsp water to brush over braid before baking

-dissolve yeast in 1/4c water and let sit for ten minutes to activate.
– combine flour, salt, sugar in bowl of a mixer. – when the yeast is bloomed (it will be bubbly) add to flour mixture with remaining water.
– mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until a dough is formed.
-switch to a dough hook and let mix for another 5 minutes until the dough has formed a supple ball.
-Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let rest for a half hour.
– remove from bowl and roll the dough into a large circle.
– spread nutella over it.
– roll like a cinnamon roll.
– cut the roll down the middle to form two long strips.
-twist them together into a spiral (they will fan out a bit and start to look like a braid.)
-place the twist into a baking sheet and brush with the egg wash.
-bake at 350 degree until golden brown.

Three days later I’m the proud mother of a beautiful batch of croissants.

A photo posted by allie (@pepperann4633) on

Goodies like these can be acquired at Brasserie by Niche in St. Louis, proudly employing Alice. 

Now make sure you do a couple things:

1) Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and Stitcher. And I wouldn’t mind a few ratings. Thanks for the love. 

2) GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN FOR THE NEXT EPISODE!!!!!

comics 4 beginners cover
Post your questions to the Facebook page!

 

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 3

Centy Claus...and that's the bottom line!
Centy Claus…and that’s the bottom line!

Ho! Ho! Ho!  It’s the Christmas episode of My 1-2-3 Cents.  Kevin talks about some of his favorite Christmas gimmicks in wrestling through the years.  He also reviews Mick Foley’s new film “I Am Santa Claus” and Hulk Hogan’s holiday hit (maybe not) “Santa with Muscles.”  Special guest Centy Claus joins the show from the Parts Unknown Pole to give gifts to a few of wrestling’s top names.  Merry Christmas.

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 2

Pac, El Generico, Colt Cabana, Matt Cross and the Pro Wrestling Collision crew of Kevin Hunsperger (front middle), Chris Hagstrom and Adam Testa.
Matt Cross, El Generico (NXT’s Sami Zayn), Pac (NXT’s Adrian Neville), and Colt Cabana with the Pro Wrestling Collision crew of Kevin Hunsperger (front middle), Chris Hagstrom and Adam Testa.

Kevin is back for Episode 2, as he recaps and reviews some recent WWE shows, including NXT’s (R)Evolution and WWE’s Tables, Ladders, and Chairs (and Stairs).

Nerds United Episode 31

An INSANE ending to the mid-season finale of Arrow. GRRRR I don't like cliffhangers!
An INSANE ending to the mid-season finale of Arrow. GRRRR I don’t like cliffhangers!

Move over March…it’s MID-SEASON MADNESS!

Arrow, the Flash, Gotham, Constantine, Marvel Agents of SHIELD, plus a brief announcement of TITANS, coming to TNT. And I didn’t even get into The Walking Dead.

and the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network is growing. And you should check out the other shows on the network.

No contest: Matt Ryan is John Constantine where Keanu Reeves was...ummm...Keanu. Damn I love this show!
No contest: Matt Ryan is John Constantine where Keanu Reeves was…ummm…Keanu. Damn I love this show!

My 1-2-3 Cents Episode 1

wrestlingmokey_final

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to My 1-2-3 Cents, a professional wrestling podcast.

In the debut episode, we meet our host, Kevin Hunsperger, a wrestling fan and advocate who has worn several hats, from intrepid reporter to interviewer to broadcaster, and Wrestlemania traveler. Kevin gives his preview of WWE’s TLC pay-per-view later this month, talks about CM Punk and the UFC, and a return of the Dead Man at the Grandaddy of them all, WM 31.

Don’t believe me? Check out the guy’s hand-written notes.

notes

Nerds United Episode 30

Comics are great. It’s why I’m here. It’s why you’re here. I got into comics first as a child before finding them again a few years back.

But comics have been playing a pivotal role in the lives of thousands of children across the world…children who were given an outlet, a voice to show their experiences through their eyes and in their words. The Comic Book Project began in New York City in 2001 and has spread across the nation and around the globe. cbp 1

 

cbp2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thirteen years ago, Dr. Michael Bitz started an afternoon school program that would grow into The Comic Book Project. It spread from New York City to other metropolitan areas around the country (HELLO CLEVELAND) and has since gone international (HELLO NIGERIA).

cbp4

So I visit with Michael about his childhood with comics and how he has used the medium to get kids to be creative. It’s an awesome show.

Want to help The Comic Book Project? My friends at Stache Publishing have a new anthology available December 1st. Purchase Out of the Blue and proceeds will go to The Comic Book Project. Or as I like to call it… Win-Win.

Nerds United Episode 29

Welcome back into the Nerd Dome for Episode 29 of Nerds United.

This time we cross international borders and visit with Sam Johnson, a comic book creator who hails from Sheffield, United Kingdom. Sam has been writing comics for almost a decade and is working on building his brand, Actuality Press.

The Almighties #1 Variant
The Almighties #1 Variant

Sam is a huge Marvel fan, so it’s no surprise that his “The Almighties” title is a parody, in part, of The Avengers. Rated T for Teen, this book has some adult themes and humor. It’s a really fun read. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Nerds United Episode 28

On Episode 28, I visit with Dan Milano – a social media guru working for Dailymotion. Dan is also a passionate Ghostbusters fan who has been following the idea of Ghostbusters 3 since the early days of the internet.

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Proton pack equipped. A young Dan is ready to battle the supernatural. (Courtesy Dan’s Facebook page)

Dan was gracious enough to join me to talk Ghostbusters 1 and 2 as well as the lost opportunity of Ghostbusters 3. But there’s good talk about Ghostbusters the Video Game and the planned Ghostbusters reboot.

Sweet Ghostbusters diorama that Dan has - though we didn't get into where it is located.
Sweet Ghostbusters diorama that Dan has – though we didn’t get into where it is located.

I’m hopeful this is the first conversation of many with Dan, so leave all the positive feedback and we’ll check our schedules to get him on again soon. And remember…iTunes and Stitcher – just search for “Nerds United.” Thanks as always. Share, comment, subscribe, etc.

Nerds United Episode 27

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Who’s got two thumbs and a podcast on iTunes? THIS GUY! After sixteen long months, it finally happened. So I dedicate the pre-show to everyone who has worked on this behind the scenes thus far. Think Alabama’s “40 Hour Week” but less hammers.

Jason Contini in the film Four Color Eulogy
Jason Contini in Four Color Eulogy

OKAY, enough shenanigans! This week I’m visiting with three members of the cast and crew for the St. Louis-based film Four Color Eulogy. Writers/actors Jason Contini and John Contini (you’ll never guess how they’re related) and actress/singer/songwriter Taylor Pietz enter the Nerd Dome via Skype – just like how Batman communicates with Watchtower, I’m sure.

john
John Contini in Four Color Eulogy

 

 

We will learn the origin stories for these three individuals, who all hail from the Gateway City and bring an extensive theater background to this film.

As an added bonus, because I care, we will also debut a small sample of Taylor’s original song for the Four Color Eulogy soundtrack.

 

 

 

taylor
Taylor Pietz in Four Color Eulogy

 

 

How does this movie tie in with comic books? And who among these three has created comics?

Major thanks to Jason, John, and Taylor for spending some time with me this past Saturday. I’ll meet up with other members of the Four Color Eulogy cast and crew in a few weeks. If you’re in or around the St. Louis area in November, go see the premiere of Four Color Eulogy at the St. Louis International Film Festival on Sunday, November 23rd.

Want to listen on Stitcher? BOOM! Listen on Stitcher!

While I wait for the Nerds United feed to be finalized on iTunes, here’s how you can catch this episode and all the other content from Jittery Monkey on iTunes (also available by searching for “Jittery Monkey” in your iTunes podcast search).

Thanks again to everyone for sticking around long enough to see/hear Nerds United on such great outlets like iTunes and Stitcher. If you’re brand new to the Nerd Dome, go back and listen to the other episodes. They aren’t really time-sensitive so I think they hold up, even months or years later. Especially the interviews. Some of my solo ramblings are more what I’m thinking, watching, reading at the time.

Nerds United Episode 26

gotham
What a remarkable show!!!

Hello again fellow Nerds and welcome to the latest from Nerds United. This time around, I’m talking all about Gotham and MARVEL Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

And since I actually took some time to read over the weekend, I do my best to give you a spoiler-free rundown on MARVEL’s Original Sin.

Original Sin was the latest (pre-AXIS and even pre-Death of Wolverine) Marvel crossover event, and it all started with the murder of Uatu, the Watcher.
Original Sin was the latest (pre-AXIS and even pre-Death of Wolverine) Marvel crossover event, and it all started with the murder of Uatu, the Watcher.

And since I’m a bad cross-promoter (and was needing to wrap up the recording and go to work), I forgot to plug the newest show on the Jittery Monkey Network. So please head over to PoppedCulture and give them some love.

Nerds United Episode 25

One of several variants for the Death of Wolverine #1.
One of several variants for the Death of Wolverine #1.

In 1992, DC Comics killed the unkillable. Now in 2014, Marvel is working on the same.

"Suuuuuuuure."
“Suuuuuuuure.”

In this episode, I offer a brief audio montage to Wolverine, audio from the Eulogy at Twilight Comics, and a discussion with Twilight Comics’ Brian Hillier. We just off topic a couple times and even discuss Doctor Who briefly. But this is a Wolverine episode.

And just to make sure you didn’t miss any of the dialogue in the featured image, here it is again:

Fastball Special - usually used by Wolverine and Colossus. But let's face it - this is much more entertaining.
Fastball Special – usually used by Wolverine and Colossus. But let’s face it – this is much more entertaining.

Thanks as always to everyone who listens and shares. I really appreciate it.

 

Nerds United Episode 24

Excuse me while I pat myself on the back…

Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!
Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!

I FINALLY read Trinity War. I mean, the story is only about a year old…it was time.

It was a great read led by writers Geoff Johns, Jeff Lemire, and Ray Fawkes. I felt that the artists were all able to keep the style similar (Pandora didn’t look drastically different when drawn by Ivan Reis than when drawn by Joe Prado.) If you haven’t read it yet, get Trinity War!

It also raised interest in some tertiary characters like the Phantom Stranger and the Question. So either I’m a really eager reader or DC did something right.

Now onto this week’s show:

The entire tone is relatively quiet. It was late, I was trying not to wake my wife. The dogs were asleep on the couch after a thunderstorm (which I talk about…because they’re my kids).

  • Comic book inspired cartoons, from the 90’s classics X-Men, Spiderman, and Batman the Animated Series to some of the shows out there for today’s kids (Green Lantern the Animated Series, Wolverine and the X-Men, Batman the Brave and the Bold).
  • Television series’ – and I’m already kicking myself for not even mentioning The Walking Dead (or Preacher). Apparently I was in a masks/capes mood last night.
  • Also…this happened!
  • I field a question from the Facebook page and we dive (pun intended) into the world of Aquaman and the Others.
  • And plans have been put into motion for another audio commentary episode. Necessary materials have been shared. You’ll have to listen aaaaaall the way to the end to see what I’m talking about.

That’s it for this week, kids. Enjoy the show. “Like,” Share, Comment, re-tweet. Share your thoughts, comments, criticisms, questions, etc.

Nerds United Episode 23

"In what world could Batman defeat Superman?" In Frank Miller's world.
“In what world could Batman defeat Superman?” In Frank Miller’s world.

This week’s return is an in-house deal with three voices of the Jittery Monkey Podcast Network as I sit down with Toby Gullion and Craig Holmes (of The Good, The Bad, The Podcast) and we discuss, among other things:

  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Batman – Year One
  • The Dark Knight Returns
  • Batman v Superman
  • Spider-Man
  • The Avengers
  • X-Men
  • …pretty much any of the recent big screen comic adaptations.

We also check in with fresh reviews of GotG both from me and my wife as well as our friends Rick and Clairesse after we took in the show last weekend.

It’s an hour-long show but I think it seemed to pass by a little faster than that. So make sure your seat back and tray tables are in their upright and locked position as we prepare for takeoff. Thank you, as always, for choosing Nerds United for your air travel needs. We’ll be around shortly with beverages and tiny packages of pretzels.

Nerds United Episode 22

Guess who’s back…back again. Greggie’s back. Tell a friend.

The promised podcast for today…now with lifelike kung fu grip!

Ok, enough bad (really bad) jokes. Mailbag time.

After taking a few of your questions, I throw some knowledge your way on upcoming ideas and events, like SNIXFEST. I have no idea what all will go down at SNIXFEST…but it’s for a good cause. so if you’re in the St. Louis area on Saturday, head up the river a bit to Alton, IL.

Also – it’s San Diego Comic Con weekend and already we’re being treated to goodies from creators and fans alike.

 

I fully anticipate another episode to be recorded and made available in the next couple of days. So there’s that.

Please enjoy this. And share the word with your friends. “Like,” comment, and share on Facebook and Twitter. I’d really appreciate it. Thanks as always!

Nerds United Episode 21

Welcome back to the Nerd Dome, friends.

Episode 21. We’ve come a long way and done a lot in the last year. I’ve talked to many of my friends (a wise man once said those make the most entertaining podcasts). I’ve traveled to the Cape Comic Con and Free Comic Book Day, and will do all of those things again in the next year.

But in this episode, we’re going back in time:

In episode 21, we welcome back to the Nerd Dome (it’s a lot like the Thunder Dome, except no violence…usually) Van Jensen.

THIS GUY!
THIS GUY!

“Van Jensen…I’ve heard that name.”

That’s right. Van was my very first guest on Nerds United, all the way back to Episode 1.

Issue #30 of Green Lantern Corps starts to head up as the Durlan infiltrators are found.
Issue #30 of Green Lantern Corps starts to head up as the Durlan infiltrators are found.


We got to know Van in the first episode, and continue the discussion on Green Lantern Corps, a title Van started writing (with Robert Venditti) on issue #21.

Those Durlans have been working behind the scenes to “wreak havoc” for our heroes. It’s been brewing since Van took over on #21 and is about to come to a head in The Uprising.

The Flash Annual #3 - in stores now.
The Flash Annual #3 – in stores now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hear how Van and Robert got the call to work on The Flash (starting with issue #30). I have picked up the Flash since the beginning of the Jensen/Venditti run and I’m really enjoying it. Fallout from the Crime Syndicate, introduction of Wally West, and FUTURE FLASH! Great stuff. Hear why Van says writing the Flash is completely different from writing GLC.

Where it all began.....
Where it all began…..

We’ll spend just a little time talking about Pinocchio – Vampire Slayer. We covered much of the genesis of that story in Episode 1. Biggest news: The complete collection is available now wherever fine comic books are sold (by that I mean…go talk to your local comic book store).

Van then weighs in on his five favorite titles of all time, and we wrap it up.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is: VAN JENSEN IS BACK ON NERDS UNITED (and the groundwork has already been laid for his triumphant return in June of 2015).

Thanks again to Van for joining me on the show. Follow him on Twitter.

Nerds United Episode 20

After a brief hiatus, I am back in the Nerd Dome for Episode 20…recorded from the comfort of my couch in my home.

Super stoked about my guest, because she has to put up with me on the daily! It took some convincing, but I’m glad I was able to bring my wife on to talk about her nerd side. It’s small, but growing.

Before the conversation with her, I address a few recent news makers, including the projected schedule of DC movies for the big screen. And Dawn had a question on Facebook that I do my very best to answer. After reading the question and listening to my response, watch the video shown here and tell me what you think.

As always, thanks for listening and sharing with your friends and fellow nerds and helping to get the word out. Twenty episodes in the first year. I think I can do better in year two. Big plans in the mix.

Also – I completely forgot that this weekend was the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL. I didn’t make it down there, but from what I have seen online, a good time was had by all. 2015 – I’ll be there.

And here’s more information on The Nerd Machine’s project, Nerd HQ and their work for Operation Smile.

Nerds United Episode 19

Well friends, we’re breaking protocol slightly. As you know, I pushed forward and posted Episode 18 (the Free Comic Book Day interviews) a week early. I did this because I had another show in mind that I felt was a bit time sensitive, as one or two (depending on where you live) movies are still in theaters with another due to drop next week.

That show I had in mind…is this show you’re about to start.

In the show, I give a brief review of “Son of Batman.” Here’s the trailer:

winter soldierI also give my thoughts (humble as they might be) on Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the movie, not the book, which I have, but have not yet read),

also The Amazing Spider-Man 2,

AND X-Men: Days of Future Past.

 

Of course, can’t have a comic book movie adaptation discussion this week without addressing one of the more BA images to be released in recent memory: Zack Snyder’s released image of Bat-Fleck! And you already know I like the casting. Visually, I find it stunning.

na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BAT-FLECK
na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BAT-FLECK

Lots of things to discuss from adaptations to the small screen, as I give some thoughts on Arrow, MARVEL: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Constantine, Gotham, izombie, and more.

Then into the books we go. I read this one and LOVED IT!

1497745-superman_red_son
with a side of “SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!”

And I am expanding my reading, venturing more into MARVEL territory. Thanks to smaller characters like Iron Fist and this guy:

moon knight

As always, thanks for coming back and listening. Thanks for telling your friends. Thanks for helping me get the word out there.

Nerds United Episode 18

Last time, you heard about MY story with Free Comic Book Day.

This time, we go to my “local” comic book shop. I use quotes because the place

Due to the whole "job" thing, I got there after the big crowds. But still - COMICS!
Due to the whole “job” thing, I got there after the big crowds. But still – COMICS!

is about an hour away. But ever since I stepped foot in Twilight Comics in 2009, I have always been treated like family. And I look around and see the same treatment given to everyone else who comes in the door.

So it is my pleasure to talk with Brian Hillier, the owner of Twilight Comics (Shiloh, IL), and a guy I have been fortunate enough to get to know over the years. We talk about his beginnings in comics and, YES, we even discuss the origin of the name Twilight (or as I say, he was “twilight” before twilight was “cool” – and I put quotes on that because those God-awful books somehow became God-awful movies).

A look at some of the work from artist David Carr. Find more at www.artmonkeyworld.com
A look at some of the work from artist David Carr. Find more at www.artmonkeyworld.com

Then in the second part of the show, I visit with artist David Carr, whose ArtMonkeyWorld paintings really took off when he realized that people like art with a Doctor Who twist.

We have three of David’s prints in our home, and someday, I’ll commission him for a one-of-a-kind piece.

You’ll have to listen to the show to find out what that would be.

As always, if you like Nerds United, share it with your friends. We’ll get on iTunes or some other auto-publisher eventually. I appreciate your patience and your continued support. Like, Share, and comment on Facebook (the only comments I get on here are all spam which I clear out without reading – and I don’t want to miss your thoughts.

Nerds United Episode 17

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, comic book fans of all ages, an amazing event is upon us. A yearly occurrence that brings millions of die-hards and casual fans to comic book stores…brick-and-mortars, as it were.

My friends, this Saturday is Free Comic Book Day.

fcbd

 

I don’t know how it works at your local comic book store, but at my store, Twilight Comics (Shiloh, IL), by mid-March or so, the standard sales bags are replaced by the Free Comic Book Day bags, emblazoned with the logo above.

Free Comic Book Day is (almost) ALWAYS the first Saturday of May. And the first Saturday of May is THIS SATURDAY, May 3.

In honor of this occasion, I was fortunate enough to grab some time with Joe Field, owner/proprietor of Flying Colors Comics, Eisner Award Winner, and the founder of Free Comic Book Day.

WHAT?!?

You heard me…this is the guy you need to thank…personally…while buying stuff from his shop.

As always, enjoy the show, visit me on Facebook and Twitter. It’s just me – no lackies or social media interns. When you see a post or response from Nerds United, that’s me. And I appreciate your feedback.

I have a ton of stuff to give away, but I need your help. Go to the Facebook page, see the picture of “Dug” from Disney/Pixar’s UP and read about the contests currently active.

I’ll be out talking to folks at Twilight Comics Friday night and Saturday afternoon. That will be my next episode.

Cosplayers aplenty at Free Comic Book Day
Cosplayers aplenty at Free Comic Book Day

And remember – many of your local comic book stores are having special giveaways and incentives for customers. Don’t wait! Get out there early. And Enjoy Free Comic Book Day.

But you don’t have to take my word for it….

Yeah…he says it better than I do.

Nerds United Episode 16

Justice_League-WarEpisode 16 and I’m finally doing something I have wanted to do for awhile (just not by myself) – an audio commentary for a DC Animated film.

Now theoretically, I could do one of these solo – but it wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun as it was witting down with past guests and friends Justin Holman and Joe Dodd. Plus, there would be a lot of silence as I tend to get drawn into the movie itself.

I look forward to doing more of these recordings down the road – possibly even getting into the cinematic universes (now imagine that…an audio commentary to the Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie).

Here’s the trailer to Justice League: War.

Now follow along with (or without) the movie and enjoy the first ever Nerds United Audio Commentary.

Nerds United Episode 15.2

Me and Pro Wrestling Legend Jim Cornette. He has his own podcast, the Jim Cornette Experience. And you can get more info at www.jimcornette.com
Me and Pro Wrestling Legend Jim Cornette. He has his own podcast, the Jim Cornette Experience. And you can get more info at www.jimcornette.com

PART TWO HAS DROPPED!

Featured guests galore in 15.2:

Douglas Paskiewicz
Brian Koschak
Brian Rhodes
Michelle Delecki
Shane Davis
Jim Cornette

In other words, Arsenic Star Wars Ninja Pin-Ups Silver Surfer Wrestling!

That will make absolutely no sense until: You listen to the show!

Rogue makes some wicked awesome cupcakes. "Cakes Reanimated" - check them out. (WHAT??? Nerds love sugar!)
Rogue makes some wicked awesome cupcakes. “Cakes Reanimated” – check them out. (WHAT??? Nerds love sugar!)

 

What else? Oh yeah…

GIVEAWAYS!

Thanks again for your support and for sharing the good word of Nerds United!

I’m already ready for Cape Con 2015!

Nerds United Episode 15.1

Here I am talking with Ken Murphy, Cape Comic Con organizer. Thanks to the Cape Girardeau newspaper "The Southeast Missourian" for capturing the moment.
Here I am talking with Ken Murphy, Cape Comic Con organizer. Thanks to the Cape Girardeau newspaper “The Southeast Missourian” for capturing the moment.

It has been a CRAZY week and a half since the 2014 Cape Comic Con. I’m alive (and well) and I had a blast! What a fun time it was down in Cape Girardeau, MO. I got to talk and visit with so many great people. And I got some sweet moments like this:

lego bat

ARE YOU SERIOUS? Look at this awesome costume! And you can see more pictures from my two days at the Con HERE. Seriously – if you know any of the great people in those pictures, PLEASE tag them.

Part One of this two-part episode (Part Two heading your way tomorrow) features some of the vendors and creators, as well as cosplayers (sorry, no words from LEGO Batman…but he’s more of an “actions speak louder than words” guy anyway) and it all starts with a conversation with event organizer Ken Murphy.

Tell your friends about the show. If you hate the show, tell your frenemies.

Tomorrow’s second half will have some longer segments from the featured guests.

I’m so grateful for everyone who took the time to talk with me.

I’m definitely excited for the future of the Cape Comic Con.

Nerds United Episode 14

"Big Kev's" latest ink, taken straight from the pages of The Killing Joke. Listen to the full episode to hear what Kevin wants to do to complete the left arm sleeve.
“Big Kev’s” latest ink, taken straight from the pages of The Killing Joke. Listen to the full episode to hear what Kevin wants to do to complete the left arm sleeve.

In Episode 14, we leave the Nerd Dome and enter the Kev-Cave (patent pending) to visit with my friend, fellow podcaster, and celebrated nerd Kevin Fradelos.

Hear Kevin’s story about first picking up a comic on a spinner rack at the grocery store. Hear how those humble beginnings turned into a lifelong love of all things comics, and how he’s passing that love on to his daughters.

Kevin is a great talker (check out the archives of Big Kev’s View sometime) and I’m grateful he took some time out to visit with me. And I’ll return someday to the Kev-Cave (but we’ll call it the J-Cave or whatever) to talk with Kevin’s equally nerdy wife J-Me.

Don’t forget that I’ll be in Cape Girardeau, MO this weekend for Cape-Con. I hope to see many of you there.

OH OH OH I have contact (business) cards now and I’ll be handing them out in Cape this weekend. ANOTHER REASON to get down to southeast Missouri.

Nerds United Episode 13

A studio "selfie" (yeah yeah I just used that word) from this show's guest - Myriam Diaz Rutland. Picture stolen from her Twitter Feed - @zaidartist
A studio “selfie” (yeah yeah I just used that word) from this show’s guest – Myriam Diaz Rutland. Picture stolen from her Twitter Feed – @zaidartist

NEW SHOW! NEW SHOW!

This week’s show features my guest Myriam Diaz Rutland…or Myriam, as she’ll be referred to during this show. Myriam’s focus of nerd-dom (in the NERD DOME…yeah, the “studio” has a name now) is in gaming. Plus she’s an extremely talented (you’ll hear for yourself…”you don’t have to take my word for it”) singer.

Listen to this episode for our first foray into gaming (and with Matt’s new series titled “Gamer,” maybe our last) and learn about Myriam. We also talk about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Wolverine.

And for the love of God – PLAY XENOGEARS!!!

Here’s Myriam’s website and more:

Twitter

YouTube

Nerds United Episode 12

Sam, Odin, and Joe
Sam, Odin, and Joe

Episode 12 and I sit down with another longtime friend of mine, artist Joe Dodd. Joe has worked for Marvel and DC before making a change and focusing more on toys. Catch Joe’s story and find out how you can help him and his family achieve their dreams.

As promised, here’s the link for Joe, Sam, and Odin’s GoFundMe. HERE

Also, Cape Con is a month away (March 21-23) in Cape Girardeau, MO. And I’ll be there on Saturday and Sunday talking with Con goers, vendors, and featured guests (including – but not limited to – Jim Cornette).

 

The castle Joe made in high school art class.
The castle Joe made in high school art class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe's work from Marvel Age Hulk on the left. Odin's original finger and foot and probably butt painting on the right.
Joe’s work from Marvel Age Hulk on the left. Odin’s original finger and foot and probably butt painting on the right.

Nerds United Episode 11

The Stache Publishing Crew (complete with photographer Anthony in the window reflection) as they prepare to record the show.
The Stache Publishing Crew (complete with photographer Anthony in the window reflection) as they prepare to record the show.

The crew of Stache Publishing is back to discuss everything from last Fall’s 7 Deadly Sins anthology to the recently launched weekly comic strip Aporkalypse, plus projects in the works.

There have been times of more than one guest…but seven? It’s unheard of…UNTIL YOU HEAR IT!!!

Stache Publishing is the place to go to get Stache Shorts, 7 Deadly Sins, and more.

Big thanks to the crew for letting me interrupt their monthly meeting to record the show.

Nerds United Episode 10

couch

We made it to double digits and I sought your input for Episode 10. I opened up the old request lines (that’s the former radio host in me) and took your suggestions on Facebook for superheroes and villains (both Marvel and DC) for either announced movies or future concepts. What actors and actresses did I think should suit up on the big screen? Listen in and head back to Facebook to comment.

Nerds United Episode 9

Starting the New Year with a conversation with an old friend. You heard him mentioned in Episode 5 – now he gets his own show.

Meet my friend Mike. I owe a lot of my nerdery (we coined that word in the show) to him.

Nerds coming together – it’s what we’re all about.

Oh…there may or may not have been naked Barbie’s in this episode.

Nerds United Episode 8

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Take that drive to your family get-together and spend it listening to me. Yep – I’m asking you to make me a part of your holiday celebration (you can send me cookies, also, but I think this is easier).

In Episode 8, I spend a few minutes talking about the new Godzilla trailer (view it below), Joaquin Phoenix’s rumored involvement (may or may not be the right word) in the upcoming Batman/Superman movie; and some Christmas conversation (with myself…which isn’t much of a conversation at all).

Be safe over the holiday week-ish. I’m already in talks for Episode 9 which will be released just after the new year.

Merry Christmas. Thanks for listening.

Nerds United Episode 7

I’m back for another episode of Nerds United, and here’s what I’m talking about this time:

– The Wolverine (yes, the movie)

– The Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer – watch it here:

– Gal Gadot cast as Wonder Woman for Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman/Flash/Nightwing/Kitchen Sink movie.

So that’s it. I appreciate your patience and support.

– G

(UPDATE: The Wolverine took an unexpected turn at the end that I enjoyed. It’s worth a watch.)

Nerds United Episode 6

After a hectic October, I’m trying to work out a more regular schedule for shows.

So here’s an attempt at that.

And BONUS: Episode Six isn’t that long. If you have a short commute, you’re golden.

Remember this gem from SDCC 2013?

This time around I’m talking about Thor: The Dark World, Superheroes: The Never-ending Battle, and assorted comic book titles.

So relax and enjoy the show.

Nerds United Episode 5

Episode 5 and I’m sitting down with a longtime friend of mine, Justin Holman. Justin is an avid 80s cartoon lover of titles such as Transformers, GI Joe, Voltron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. Basically, if it’s in this picture, Holman is a fan:

80s

Justin the creator has inked for Marvel and recently started sketching again as a fund raiser for Toys for Tots.

Plus, Justin is forever linked to a Marvel film as a song he performed with his band was on the soundtrack for……..

 

Find out by listening to the show.

Nerds United Episode 4

Episode Four and I’m back talking to some talented creators. I’m talking with Anthony Mathenia and Shane Crash from Stache Publishing. These outstanding writers have joined their efforts, taking their separate works and combining them in a grind house-style double feature comic book.

Help them out via Kickstarter and if you’re in the St. Louis area at the end of the month, visit all of the gang from Stache Publishing at Project Comic Con.

Nerds United Episode 3

A quick hit podcast (can you call it a quick hit if it lasts a half hour?) where Greg discusses:

– the recent casting of Batman

– thoughts on one of my favorite comic book artists, Alex Ross

kingdom-come12

– Batman: Mad Love (and other stories)

MADLOVE_1

Listen, Like on Facebook, and follow on Twitter.

Building an empire one podcast at a time.