General Show Stuff






November 2020
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After having been extracted from the creepiest basement ever and hosed clean of lotion by an FBI team, The Stack returns with a brand new episode on The Silence of Lambs.  Join Chris, Hal, and special guest Chris as they discuss the book, the film, and all the related spinoffs (without spoiling the wonder that is NBC’s Hannibal series, the best TV show you’re not watching).

The Stack: Would you @#$% us? We’d @#$% us.

Direct download: stack20s320e420SILENCE.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:16pm EST

What do you get when you combine Bruce Willis, bioterrorism, and an experimental French film that resembles a PowerPoint deck? You get 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam's time-travel movie - well, other time travel movie - that manages to be both trippy and brilliant despite a distressingly low number of actual monkeys.

The Stack: we also exist in a time loop.

Direct download: 12_monkeys_-_the_stack_-_season_3_episode_2.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 1:40pm EST

Who benefits? YOU benefit from the return of the Stack!

In our third season premiere we are talking about DC's IDENTITY CRISIS, by Brad Meltzer and Rags Morales. 

Join us as we talk about DC's grand plans and difficult material. And Joss Whedon gets mentioned, because apparently that's impossible to avoid these days.

The Stack: not even Zatanna can stop us.

Direct download: identity_crisis_-_the_stack_-_season_3_episode_1.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 1:55pm EST

Here we are! The finale of season 2. Yet another year has gone by in which we have proved the gypsy wrong!

Our extra-sized season closer (even for this notoriously long-winded show), in what is becoming a weird tradition, ranges far and wide over Marvel's great trade dress reimagining of last fall, Marvel Now. Is it a reboot? Is it a marketing ploy? Why are there two X-Force books that aren't very good? We discuss all this and more. 

Plus that Hickman guy's name may come up once or twice in passing.

Season 2 of the Stack wraps up in typically ridiculous fashion. See you on the other side.

Direct download: marvel_now_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_20.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 8:42am EST

This week we are rather profanely talking about the David Milch HBO Western Deadwood, famous for Al Swearengen and more f-bombs per minute than David Mamet's discarded drafts for Glengarry.

Seriously, folks, the explicit tag on this episode is not meant ironically. Very, very explicit.

But we have a lot of fun talking about a show we really, really love, and that you should too. Unless you're a hooplehead.

Direct download: deadwood_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_19.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:03am EST

To paraphrase the Tenth Doctor: we're sorry. We're so, so sorry.

Direct download: squadron_supreme_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_18.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:06am EST


Direct download: hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galaxy_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_17.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:05am EST

Sex! And violence! And superheroes! Oh my!

It's THE BOYS by Garth Ennis, Darick Robertson, and a host of other artists. And Black Noir. And, gods save us, Team Titanic.

Direct download: the_boys_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_16.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

There is something so monumentous in this week's show on the 117 versions of Ridley Scott's sci-fi neo-noir Blade Runner that we dare not spoil it here. 

Here's a fun drinking game, though: every time someone says the word "replicant" or "subtle," take a drink. 

Yes, we will visit you in the hospital.

Direct download: blade_runner_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_15.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:42am EST

Before Jonathan Hickman's groundbreaking, earthshaking, heart-stopping run on FANTASTIC FOUR, the cover of the book used to read "The World's Greatest Comic Magazine."

On this episode, we go into great detail about why Hickman's run on this book literally is the greatest comic ever made.

All hope lies in The Stack.

Direct download: fantastic_four_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_14.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST






(repeat, adding hand signals)

Direct download: close_encounters_of_the_third_kind_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_13.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

This week we are taking a look at TRUTH: RED, WHITE, AND BLACK, a book you may not have read. And if you want to read it that's going to be very hard, because it's out of print. And that sucks, because you should read it. It's incredible. Written by Robert Morales and drawn by Kyle Baker, TRUTH is the story of a second Super Soldier program in World War II that experimented on African-American soldiers, and the repercussions that had in the 1940s and today.

It's an astounding book, and the fact that it's out of print makes your faithful podcast hosts about as angry as you've ever heard them. If you have read it, or you manage to get your hands on it, you will very quickly learn why.

The Stack - yeah, Marvel, we called you a travesty. And we mean it.

Direct download: truth_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_12.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST


Direct download: the_wrath_of_khan_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_11.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:49am EST

Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell take us on a harrowing tour of 19th century London and the secret history of Jack the Ripper in FROM HELL, their hulking, tome-like, extensively-cited black and white masterpiece. While FROM HELL may not necessarily be the first comic to have endnotes, it certainly has the best.

Join us as we talk about magical architecture, Victorian pornography, and unsettling Venn diagrams.

The Stack: the saddle point in the curve of history.

Direct download: from_hell_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_10.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Steven Moffat! A Tolkein dwarf! Wedge Antilles!

This episode we are talking about something that incredibly contains all of these things, and isn't that secret Doctor Who fanfic you wrote in high school. It's the BBC miniseries Jekyll, written by Doctor Who and Coupling scribe Steven Moffat, aka your god, and starring James Nesbitt, Gina Bellman and a host of comic actors in a sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel of Victorian repression and genetic damage.

Also we close with a patented Stack-style extended digression on the British television model.

The Stack: some happier podcast's dark side given form.

Direct download: jekyll_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_9.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:48am EST

Ah, yes. KINGDOM COME. Mark Waid and Alex Ross' mid-90s epic on the end of the DC Universe. It's painted! Stuff happens! And... uh... yeah, think we'll stop there.

The Stack: the world's only fully-painted podcast.

Direct download: kindgom_come_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_8.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 10:38pm EST

So it goes.

Direct download: slaughterhouse_five_-_the_stack_-_episode_7.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

What happens when a crazy alien in love with Death (the person) gains ultimate power? He snaps his fingers, kills half the universe, and then spends six issues talking about how weird it is to have ultimate power, and hey, what is ultimate power anyway?

You'd think we're making this up. We're not. This is the driving thrust behind THE INFINITY GAUNTLET by Jim Starlin, George Perez and Ron Lim, the brilliant, trippy, bizarre Marvel mega-event that dared to ask questions about... well, pretty much everything.

Also the Silver Surfer is in it, so that's fun.

The Stack - we also live in the Soul Gem.

Direct download: infinity_gauntlet_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_6.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:56am EST

The Professor, The Designer and The Cannibal take us on a journey into one of the best new comics of the 21st century as The Stack dives headfirst into THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY, the brilliant and bonkers creation of a rock star and half a set of twins.

Join us as we talk about the reluctant bonds of family with robots and monkeys, the joy of a perfectly executed comic, and Viggo Mortensen.

The Stack: we're what the world needs saving from.

Direct download: the_umbrella_academy_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_4.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Not only do you get a whole podcast's worth of content on the brilliant book Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, this week also brings inside it two special, bonus mini-podcasts inserted right into the show! They're great. You'll love them

Join Halandjohnandchris as we talk about period pieces, the importance of irreligiosity, and pretentious paganism.

The Stack - we also lost our flaming sword.

Direct download: good_omens_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_3.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

We go to the Loeb/Sale well again this week with our look at SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS, the classic coming of age story about a Kansas farmboy getting away from his small town roots. Also his small town friends, who we determine to be kind of annoying.

Join us as we talk about this four-issue classic in minute detail, about Superman in exceeding generality, and about the dreadful cultural stereotypes of the Claremont X-Men.

The Stack: we're what's wrong with truth, justice and the American way.

Direct download: superman_for_all_seasons_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_2.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, we're back.

And we brought Galaxy Quest with us!

We aso, uhm, talk a lot about Star Trek. But that's cool, right? I mean... you know... the link is there, right?

By Grapthar's Hammer, The Stack has returned.

Direct download: galaxy_quest_-_the_stack_-_season_2_episode_1.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

The first season of The Stack comes to a close with a wide-open discussion of DC's latest publishing initiative/reboot/what the heck ever, The New 52. We cover the dizzying highs, the despairing lows, and the exceptionally broad middle of DC's onslaught of new books.

Join us for the genius of Scott Snyder, the villainy of Rob Liefeld, and what must surely be the only podcast content ever specifically about Captain Atom, all in the biggest slam-bang podcast season finale ever.

The Stack - see you on the other side,

Direct download: the_new_52_-_the_stack_-_episode_22.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Hurricaney stuff is going to cut short the witty banter this week, but suffice it to say: Batman. Holiday. Jeph Loeb. Tim Sale. One of the all-time great Batman stories ever. If you haven't read this one, get on it this second.

It's our official Halloween episode. Believe in the Stack!

Direct download: the_long_halloween_-_the_stack_-_episode_21.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week we look at the original highbrow horror movie, The Exorcist. At least it starts out highbrow, but then some things happen with a crucifix and... yeah.

All the same, join us as we talk about the place in history of one of the all-time greats of the genre, whether it is actually THE all-time great, and the fighting prowess of various priestly orders.

The power of The Stack compels you!

Direct download: the_exorcist_-_the_stack_-_episode_20.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 6:00am EST

Four writers! Eight artists! 6 storylines! 100 characters! 52 issues in one year! All this, AND Keith Giffen!

This pile of insanity is DC's first and best stab at weekly comics, the great, great 52. From writers Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison, co-plotter, breakdown artist and supreme wacko Keith Giffen, and a rotating team of artists, 52 came out of Infinite Crisis and tells the story of a year in the DC Universe that doesn't have the big three but has a ton of mind-blowing shit anyway.


(Admittedly the pun is a bit stretched this time...)

Direct download: 52_-_the_stack_-_episode_18.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

The Stack returns from summer vacation to talk about what might be the single weirdest television show: David Lynch's short-lived but beloved Twin Peaks.

Join us for pie and coffee - literally, we eat pie and drink coffee during the show - as we try to decipher the bizarre symbolism, even more bizarre plots, and even still more bizarre characters that populate what is surely the strangest town in Washington history.

The owls are not what they seem, but The Stack is.

Direct download: twin_peaks_-_the_stack_-_episode_17.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 11:44pm EST

We here at the Stack have come up with an internet first: widescreen radio! Indeed, we basically had to when you consider that this episode is about the original widescreen comic, THE AUTHORITY.

We take a decompressed dive into Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch's fin de siecle blockbuster and try to figure out what makes it tick, what went wrong (and right) after the original team left, and still have time to wonder why comics haven't tried Hollywood-style remakes yet.

This is The Stack, and we are watching you.

Direct download: the_authority_-_the_stack_-_episode_16.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Do we really need to explain this one?

Direct download: star_wars_-_the_stack_-_episode_15.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

After our brief unintentional hiatus, we are back with our show on George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, aka Game of Thrones. We have a hell of a time pulling apart the books and the HBO series, talking about our favorite bits from the books, and repeatedly noting that the Stark family tree doesn't exactly produce many prodigies.

We also take this week's Awful Time for a (not so) short discussion on the recent release of The Dark Knight Rises. Cause, you know, that's a thing.

Winter is coming, and so is The Stack.

Direct download: game_of_thrones_-_the_stack_-_episode_14.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In honor of today being the Fourth of July we're going to take the day off from witty banter here.

Don't think that means that this week's topic, Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee's neo-classic INHUMANS, isn't an amazing book that you should read if you haven't already, or that this week's show isn't fantastic.

Also we talk about Glee.

Happy 4th.

Direct download: inhumans_-_the_stack_-_episode_13.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

It's Batman-sans-Batman this week, as we look at the short-lived masterpiece that is GOTHAM CENTRAL, by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker.

The classic tale of a critical darling that had trouble finding its place in the market, GOTHAM CENTRAL focused on the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit in Gotham City, otherwise known as "the worst police detail in the world." Not just dealing with everyday horror like murder and kidnapping, the MCU faces down the threat of super-crime, all the while with an insane man in a bat costume standing behind the scenes, usually ruining their lives.

Join us as we talk about what it means to be a mainstream indie comic, the comparative evil of different rogue's galleries, and what sort of hat Ed Brubaker wears.

The Batman may be an urban legend, but The Stack is very real.

Direct download: gotham_central_-_the_stack_-_episode_12.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

It's podcasts within podcasts within podcasts this week, as we talk about one of our universal all-time literary favorites, Frank Herbert's Dune.

And we talk about every incarnation of Dune, oh yes we do, which means that a significant portion of the middle of the show is us wailing and gnashing our teeth over the unremitting horror of David Lynch's film adaptation. You thought Aliens or Outer Gods were scary? They've got nothing on the Weirding Module. We also talk about the Sci Fi Channel miniseries, though much less angrily.

It also appears that our crowing last week about how we'd solved our audio problems angered some trickster god someplace, since we're back to musical volume chairs this week. But at least now we have a baseline to shoot for.

Join us as we talk about the connection between Dune and Timothy Leary, the horror of voice overs, and hairless Ewoks.

The Stack must flow!

Direct download: dune_-_the_stack_-_episode_11.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Appropriate to our subject material this week, it is almost as though someone has gone back in time and killed, uh, the person who made our mixing board, since in addition to this week's talk being great, you can actually hear everyone clearly throughout! Obviously, time has been altered in some way.

This week we discuss what might be the most beloved Marvel event of all time, the Age of Apocalypse. It is certainly a favorite among most of your distinguished podcast crew. We walk down memory lane to the halcyon days of pre-Internet comics history, where not knowing every single plot twist a year in advance made things like Marvel replacing their most popular product line with an alternate universe an earth-shattering surprise and created one of the touchstones of the modern Marvel era and the singular point of comparison for all X-Men stories since.

Join us as we talk about the biggest whiny bitch across two universes (hint: his name rhymes with "Biclops"), the worst X-Men events to go along with the best, and having a space pirate for a father.

Also the word "splortch" is uttered.

Listen to The Stack - the best podcast you can find in any timeline.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_10_-_the_age_of_apocalypse.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Elder Things, and Outer Gods, and Shoggoths, oh my!

This week we find ourselves wishing we hadn't blown the "cast our baleful eye" joke back in the description for the Sherlock episode, because our latest episode is about the works, the life and times of Mister H.P. Lovecraft, and "cast our baleful eye" is a remarkably Lovecraftian phrase and would have been a great opener for this post.

We run the gamut this week, covering Lovecraft's own stories, adaptations and pseudo-adaptations in film and game form, and even touch on heavy metal instrumentals. The original practitioner of weird fiction left a pretty big mark on the entertainment universe, and we aim to explore as much of it as we can without going irrevocably mad. (Admittedly, regular listeners may think it already too late for that.)

Join us as we talk about unpronounceable names, the dangers of living and working and especially reading in Lovecraft's New England, and the importance of Top Gun.

And whatever you do, for god's sake, DON'T READ THE BOOK! Listen to the Stack instead.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_9_-_lovecraft.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

You may have noticed that most days here at the Stack we don't always agree on everything.

Today is not one of those days.

Today we talk about Darwyn Cooke's neo-classic THE NEW FRONTIER, a book that all three of us admit is pretty much the greatest thing since sliced bread. And when you consider that with modern forged steel bread is really easy to cut on your own, this book might just be the greatest thing ever.

Join us as we talk about how amazing the New Frontier is.

We're not going to bother with the usual pattern of patter this week. The New Frontier is too goddamn good.

Enjoy the last episode of the Stack before we become the New Frontiercast, a weekly podcast about how The New Frontier is the greatest piece of literature in the history of humanity.

Seriously, folks, we love this book.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_8_-_the_new_frontier.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 11:16pm EST

Alien movies! You know them! You love them (some of them)! One of us refuses to admit the existence of one of them! And this week we give them a thorough going-over!

Yes, that awkward sexual metaphor is entirely intentional. Just like a surprising amount of the content of the subject of this week's podcast. And like a suprising amount of this week's podcast.

Join us as we go at it over phallic imagery, great actors in terrible movies, and Ellen Ripley's personal body count. Also, sexual imagery. And some more sexual imagery. And then, just when you think there couldn't possibly be any more, sexual imagery.

Also, our apologies for the sound issues this week. Hal will be ritually beaten with a stick until he complies.

Remember: no one has ever successfully controlled the Alien. But you can control how much you listen to The Stack.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_7_-_the_alien_franchise.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Once again, we set out to talk about comic books this week, but we get swept up in our enthusiasm and get into yet another ontological debate, this time about the difference between remix and pastiche and whatever the hell else Alan Moore's multi-volume act of literary appropriation might be. In this episode we also start to notice that Hal's analysis of literature always seems to end up drifting towards the same topic.

Join us we talk about the perils of Victorian literature, the advantages and disadvantages of being a hermaphrodite, and the Hunt for Red October.

There will be laughter, there will be tears, and there will be, as a wise man once said, "humiliations GALORE." This is The Stack, though, so I don't think anyone will be surprised.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_6_-_league_of_extraordinary_gentlemen.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Contentiousness and strife hold The Stack in their steely grips this week as we thrash with the Vertigo classic TRANSMETROPOLITAN, by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. Wow, that is a series of really tortured metaphors. Anyway, we have for you this week the usual course of disagreements and digressions, sprinkled with the occasional moment where all three of us think something is pretty nice.

Join us as we break down recurring Amazon warrior women, Warren Ellis' repeated attempts at futurism, and what Star Trek would have been like with makers instead of replicators.

All are welcome at our little internet radio shebang, whether you support the Beast or the Smiler. Come on in, we're all just the New Scum anyway.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_5_-_transmetropolitan.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Ah, the ever popular episode 4. A quintessential episode in any ongoing story, to be sure. But of course you already know that.

Our Episode 4 takes on the subject of comic book movies, a topic so fraught with intellectual peril that at first we have to spend a decent chunk of time determining just what the hell we're calling a comic book movie anyway. Then we shamefully disclose that none of us can count to five. Yes, it's another banner week here at The Stack.

All the same, join us as we we talk about the best (and worst) comic book movies, how we're looking forward to the two biggest comic book movies ever this summer, and Howard the Duck. Yes, Howard the Duck. We share your revulsion and shame.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_4_-_comic_book_movies.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Three shows in and we've already reached our first Very Special Episode. No, it's not about the dangers of huffing, it's an interview with author extraordinaire Greg Rucka, writer of (among a zillion other things) the Punisher, Lady Sabre, Atticus Kodiak, Wonder Woman, Queen and Country, and the upcoming thriller Alpha.

Join us as we talk about hard men with literary names, why you shouldn't let your daughters near Indiana Jones, and what it's like to be a soccer fan in America. Plus as much information about writing novels, comics, and games as could be crammed into one interview. This is a man who drops serious knowledge, folks; heed him well.

Also please note that The Stack reminds you that huffing is very, very bad for you. Don't huff. Read Greg Rucka, and listen to The Stack.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_3_-_greg_rucka.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

This week we cast our baleful eye on the BBC show "Sherlock," by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. In case it isn't obvious from the first 2 or 3 minutes of the podcast, this is a show we like a lot. A LOT. And we go on to rave about it until the cows come home. At one point, literally, we complain that we cannot find things wrong with it.

Join us as we talk about the perils and pleasures of adaptation, the importance of a short friend and a good coat, and the fall of Rome. Yes, Rome.

This week also sees the debut of our new recommendations segment, the name of which will not be spoiled here. Chris came up with it, and it's just about the greatest thing you'll ever hear. And, as ever, spoilers abound.

The game is on!

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_2_-_sherlock.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST

In the inaugural episode of The Stack, we get down and dirty with the Vertigo classic THE SANDMAN, by Neil Gaiman and a host of artistic luminaries. We'll drill deep into the art of lettering, unlikable protagonists, weird families, and the very nature of the comics medium itself. Actually, we lead off with that. Seriously. The first five minutes of our first ever podcast deal with "what are comics?" And from there it only goes... well, there's a hill, but it's tough to tell what direction we're heading on it.

We start big, we finish strong, and we hit some pretty unbelievable signposts along the way. Good to have you along for the ride.

Please note that this show (and, indeed, all episodes of The Stack) is INCREDIBLY spoiler-filled. Filled to the very brim with spoilers. Also please note that "explicit" tag isn't there for the hell of it either. Fair warning.

Direct download: the_stack_-_episode_1_-_the_sandman.mp3
Category:Episode -- posted at: 7:00am EST