Episode 29: The Economics of Star Trek (Part 2)

Kurt continues his discussion with economy professor Matt Dobra again on the supposedly money-less economy of the Federation from the world of Star Trek.  Discussion includes the Universal Basic Income, interstellar trade, and the Rules of Acquisition.

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Dr. Dobra references this speech during the episode. It’s a nice goal if we can get there.

A more cynical set of rules for living.

Episode 28: The Economics of Star Trek (Part 1)

Kurt calls up economy professor Matt Dobra again, this time to discuss the economy of the Federation from the world of Star Trek.  They famously say they do not use money in the future, and we dive into whether or not that would work.  Learn about post-scarcity, the hedonic treadmill, and other economic terms through the lens of one of the most famous science fiction franchises of all time!

Please go check out the new Patreon page! It’s just $1.00 per month, and will get you extra audio content, and a monthly shout-out! Thanks for your support!

Episode 27: Who is Robbie Baldwin (aka Speedball, the Masked Marvel)?

Celebrating one full year of Welcome to Geektown, Kurt answers a question about his favorite character, diving into Robbie Baldwin’s history, and why Kurt is the World’s Biggest Speedball Fan. Check out my Twitter for shout-outs to some of the great writers and artists that have made Speedball who he is today!

Thank you to all of my listeners: past, present and future, for supporting the show in any way you can, whether that be using the Radiopublic app, sharing it on Facebook or Twitter, sending in questions, or just downloading and listening to it! I appreciate it, and I hope you’ll stick with me for many years to come!

Unfortunately, most people did miss this Fabulous First Issue.

Unfortunately, most people did miss this Fabulous First Issue.

Speedball and the original New Warriors. The graffiti consists of the members of the creative team.

Speedball and the original New Warriors. The graffiti consists of the members of the creative team.

My favorite artist (Darick Robertson) drawing my favorite character in action.

My favorite artist (Darick Robertson) drawing my favorite character in action.

Even after getting more control over his powers, Speedball still gets tossed around occasionally.

Even after getting more control over his powers, Speedball still gets tossed around occasionally.

Oh, Robbie, what did they do to you? (That’s Robbie as Speedball on the left, and Penance on the right)

Oh, Robbie, what did they do to you? (That’s Robbie as Speedball on the left, and Penance on the right)

The most recent attempt to revive the team, and the most true to the original vision, in my opinion.

The most recent attempt to revive the team, and the most true to the original vision, in my opinion.

If the TV show ends up happening, here’s the team roster.

If the TV show ends up happening, here’s the team roster.

Episode 26: Who is Billy Batson (aka Shazam! aka Captain Marvel)

With his movie coming out next month, we look at the comic history of Billy Batson, the original Captain Marvel, aka Shazam!

At least the car Superman threw in his first appearance was empty!

At least the car Superman threw in his first appearance was empty!

That’s Uncle Marvel playing the piano. And no, he doesn’t actually have powers. He just likes the suit.

That’s Uncle Marvel playing the piano. And no, he doesn’t actually have powers. He just likes the suit.

The Original! Take that Marvel Comics! What’s that? Lawyers? Oh, never mind…

The Original! Take that Marvel Comics! What’s that? Lawyers? Oh, never mind…

DC Legends. But not of Tomorrow. That’s a different team.

DC Legends. But not of Tomorrow. That’s a different team.

Probably the only time in this book that Captain Marvel  doesn’t  smile.

Probably the only time in this book that Captain Marvel doesn’t smile.

Finally telling his official DC Universe origin, just seven years after he appeared.

Finally telling his official DC Universe origin, just seven years after he appeared.

The New 52 Shazam Family. Disregarding theme park safety rules since 2011.

The New 52 Shazam Family. Disregarding theme park safety rules since 2011.

Slightly darker than his heroic counterpart.

Slightly darker than his heroic counterpart.

Probably the exact look on Zachary Levi’s face when he was told he gets to be a superhero.

Probably the exact look on Zachary Levi’s face when he was told he gets to be a superhero.

Episode 25: Batman Movie Order and Their Comic Influences

Batman has been portrayed on screen a number of times.  A listener wants to know where to start with those films, and how they’ve influenced and been influenced by the comics, so we go through them all chronologically, from the 1943 serial, all the way to what’s planned for the future.

Not crazy about the belt, but otherwise, not a bad costume, all things considered.

Not crazy about the belt, but otherwise, not a bad costume, all things considered.

Six years later, and the costumes seem to have gotten worse, not better…

Six years later, and the costumes seem to have gotten worse, not better…

Na(^16)

Na(^16)

Great looking costume. Now, if he could just turn his head while wearing it…

Great looking costume. Now, if he could just turn his head while wearing it…

At least Keaton got top billing this time.

At least Keaton got top billing this time.

The first appearance of the infamous Bat-nipples.

The first appearance of the infamous Bat-nipples.

True story: I had an anxiety attack watching this movie opening weekend, and had to leave halfway through. I have never bothered finishing it. From the bit I did see, I think I made the right choice.

True story: I had an anxiety attack watching this movie opening weekend, and had to leave halfway through. I have never bothered finishing it. From the bit I did see, I think I made the right choice.

Hey look! His head can turn in this costume!

Hey look! His head can turn in this costume!

You might want to check behind you Joker…

You might want to check behind you Joker…

The movie that launched 1000 Tom Hardy impersonations.

The movie that launched 1000 Tom Hardy impersonations.

Martha?

Martha?

The only movie starring Batman that doesn’t mention him (or his nickname) in the title.

The only movie starring Batman that doesn’t mention him (or his nickname) in the title.

Episode 24: Doctor Who Viewing Order and Star Trek vs Star Wars

Doctor Who?  That is the question, isn’t it.  Which Doctor should be your first, and in what order should you watch?  Also, why do so many fans insist on choosing between Star Wars and Star Trek?

Not what I meant when I said “Star Trek vs Star Wars,” but this would also be a fun question to answer.

Not what I meant when I said “Star Trek vs Star Wars,” but this would also be a fun question to answer.

The first two rows are your “Classic” Doctors, with the final row being the current “Modern” lineup.

The first two rows are your “Classic” Doctors, with the final row being the current “Modern” lineup.

Episode 23: Star Trek TV and Movie Viewing Order

With all of the different Star Trek shows that have aired, what’s the best order for a burgeoning Trekkie to watch them in?  Kurt gives his opinion on which option is best, and why.  But first, for the non-initiated, what are all those acronyms?

As promised in the show, the viewing order Kasia found and referenced in her question is here.

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Let’s start at the very beginning…

Has there been any other show that went from live-action to animated and kept its entire cast?

Has there been any other show that went from live-action to animated and kept its entire cast?

The first movie talks about the crew getting old. And then it keeps going…

The first movie talks about the crew getting old. And then it keeps going…

What happened to the B and C? Don’t worry, you’ll find out eventually.

What happened to the B and C? Don’t worry, you’ll find out eventually.

My personal favorite, but to each their own.

My personal favorite, but to each their own.

You’d think the ship name would be a warning of what was going to happen…

You’d think the ship name would be a warning of what was going to happen…

First Contact…and the rest.

First Contact…and the rest.

It’s been a long road…

It’s been a long road…

Episode 22: Gatekeeping - What Is It, Why Is It Bad, and How To Fight It

I’ve been mentioning “gatekeepers” in the opening of nearly every episode, but what is a gatekeeper?  This week, we define gatekeeping, explain how it harms, and try to figure out where it comes from and how to fight against it.

Whoops. Not that Gatekeeper!

Whoops. Not that Gatekeeper!

Often a textbook example of a gatekeeper on the show.

Often a textbook example of a gatekeeper on the show.

If you are in the Bay Area of California and want a positive comic book store experience, as I mentioned, my friend runs Illusive Comics! She offers shipping of comics to those who can’t find a good store in their area. Let me know other good comic book stores you’ve found, and I’ll shout them out in future episodes!

Episode 21: Getting Medieval on Fantasy

This episode, Kurt is asked about why so much of fantasy takes place in a Medieval-like setting, and discusses a few of those reasons why that is the case.  Plus more famous quotes are given their origins; this time all coming from the same source.

One of the granddaddies of fantasy literature: King Arthur.

One of the granddaddies of fantasy literature: King Arthur.

Can’t bring up fantasy without Tolkien becoming part of the discussion, especially in this case.

Can’t bring up fantasy without Tolkien becoming part of the discussion, especially in this case.

A recent example of fantasy that takes place in a Medieval-like world. Have we mentioned that Winter is Coming?

A recent example of fantasy that takes place in a Medieval-like world. Have we mentioned that Winter is Coming?

A counter-example I bring up in the episode. If you find this book in bookstores, more likely it has the “serious” cover with Excalibur coming out of the lake, but this is how I found it.

A counter-example I bring up in the episode. If you find this book in bookstores, more likely it has the “serious” cover with Excalibur coming out of the lake, but this is how I found it.

Shadowrun: another counter-example, although the races still draw their inspiration from Tolkien. (Insert “The Unusual Suspects” joke here.)

Shadowrun: another counter-example, although the races still draw their inspiration from Tolkien. (Insert “The Unusual Suspects” joke here.)

Episode 20: Introduction to Dungeons and Dragons

What is Dungeons and Dragons, and how to explain its long-term popularity?  Also, is it possible to try the game out without committing a lot of time and/or money?  I take the time to answer these questions on this episode.  If you’re at all curious what all the hype is about, take a listen!

The very original printing. Good luck finding that!

The very original printing. Good luck finding that!

Let the looting begin!

Let the looting begin!

2nd Edition. Pretty cover, horrible layout inside.

2nd Edition. Pretty cover, horrible layout inside.

3rd Edition, then 3.5. So few changes, they didn’t even bother coming up with a new font.

3rd Edition, then 3.5. So few changes, they didn’t even bother coming up with a new font.

4th Edition. The red-headed stepchild of the D&D Franchise, although it still has its supporters, including me!

4th Edition. The red-headed stepchild of the D&D Franchise, although it still has its supporters, including me!

The current version, 5th Edition.

The current version, 5th Edition.

Want to get a free copy of the D&D rules, and try it yourself? Just click here!

Episode 19: Female Superhero Movies - Why aren't there more, and who should be next?

With nearly a dozen new comic-book movies each year, why do so few of them have women in their leading roles? That’s what listener Justin B. asked, and what I attempt to answer, as well as giving thoughts on which superheroines should get the spotlight next.

Well, we know what’s coming next for women superheroes on the big screen…

She’s been in enough Marvel movies, let’s finally give her the starring role.

She’s been in enough Marvel movies, let’s finally give her the starring role.

No, that’s not poorly done foreshortening. Her fist really does get that big (or bigger!)

No, that’s not poorly done foreshortening. Her fist really does get that big (or bigger!)

Possibly the next Riggs and Murtaugh, although neither is too old for this…um…stuff.

Possibly the next Riggs and Murtaugh, although neither is too old for this…um…stuff.

Oh, the days when $2.99 was the price of a comic…Also, who’s the creep in the corner?

Oh, the days when $2.99 was the price of a comic…Also, who’s the creep in the corner?

Episode 18: Stan Lee History and Tribute

This week’s episode, instead of answering a question, is a history of and tribute to Stan Lee, who died recently.  We look at his beginnings in the industry, and some of the important contributions he made throughout the years.

Stan “The Man” Lee. ‘Nuff Said.

Stan “The Man” Lee. ‘Nuff Said.

Episode 17: Comic books vs Graphic Novels - What's the difference?

This week’s episode has a two-part question about the difference between comic books and graphic novels (if there is one), as well as wanting to know what options are out there for people who want to read about the Marvel Universe in straight prose, rather than words and art together.  Finally, another famous catchphrase gets its origins explained.

One of the few textbooks on the art form of comics.

One of the few textbooks on the art form of comics.

Comics!

Comics!

All of these are trade paperbacks, although they look the same as a graphic novel.

All of these are trade paperbacks, although they look the same as a graphic novel.

The first in the Pocket Books run.

The first in the Pocket Books run.

If you wanted books about comic-book characters in the 90s, these were often your best bet.

If you wanted books about comic-book characters in the 90s, these were often your best bet.

Comics adapted into books. Very different from “comic books.”

Comics adapted into books. Very different from “comic books.”

Not Marvel, but superheroes in prose, if that interests you.

Not Marvel, but superheroes in prose, if that interests you.

Usually “there must also come” just gets shortened to “comes.” Fits into a tweet easier.

Usually “there must also come” just gets shortened to “comes.” Fits into a tweet easier.

Episode 16: Min-Maxing and Meta-Gaming in Role-Playing Games

Min-Maxing and Meta-Gaming.  If you're sitting at a table playing D&D, you likely do not want to be accused of either of these.  But, what are they exactly, and can they ever be a force for good?  Find out in this week's episode.  Bonus: Where does the opening phrase of the podcast come from?

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Perhaps a point or two more in perception would have been good.

Perhaps a point or two more in perception would have been good.

Please, do go on…

Please, do go on…

Pretty please?

Pretty please?

Episode 15: The Replacements - Superman

The Eradicator.  Cyborg Superman.  Steel.  Superboy.  Each claimed to be Superman's successor, but none were the true heir.  Where did they come from, and what happened to them after Superman's return?

Don’t forget to listen on the RadioPublic app to support the show at no extra cost to you!

The story that brought these four to the forefront.

The story that brought these four to the forefront.

One of these turns out to be a villain. Any guesses on which?

One of these turns out to be a villain. Any guesses on which?

The Eradicator’s original form. And yes, that’s Superman with a beard.

The Eradicator’s original form. And yes, that’s Superman with a beard.

Just a slight transformation from his hand-held device form.

Just a slight transformation from his hand-held device form.

Hank has seen better days.

Hank has seen better days.

Who wouldn’t trust that face?

Who wouldn’t trust that face?

Not a replacement, just an homage to a hero.

Not a replacement, just an homage to a hero.

Natasha takes over as Steel, and she means business.

Natasha takes over as Steel, and she means business.

Alas, I knew her Horatio…

Alas, I knew her Horatio…

Leather jacket, unnecessary thigh belt, sunglasses? Oh right, it’s the 90s.

Leather jacket, unnecessary thigh belt, sunglasses? Oh right, it’s the 90s.

Young Justice isn’t a great name, but Impulse wanted to call them Super Heroes In Training, so it could be worse (check the acronym…)

Young Justice isn’t a great name, but Impulse wanted to call them Super Heroes In Training, so it could be worse (check the acronym…)

The 1990s eventually passed, thankfully for Superboy.

The 1990s eventually passed, thankfully for Superboy.

Superboy decides to take after his other “dad” for a little while. It doesn’t end well.

Superboy decides to take after his other “dad” for a little while. It doesn’t end well.

Episode 14: Who is Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel)?

In anticipation of the upcoming movie, we look at the history of Carol Danvers, and touch on the other Captain Marvels in the Marvel Universe.

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Captain Mar-Vell, aka the original (Marvel Universe) Captain Marvel.

Captain Mar-Vell, aka the original (Marvel Universe) Captain Marvel.

Monica Rambeau. The only Captain Marvel with no Kree connection.

Monica Rambeau. The only Captain Marvel with no Kree connection.

Phyla-Vell (left) and Genis-Vell (right), with Rick Jones (center). Yes, that is a taxonomy pun. Thank Peter David for that!

Phyla-Vell (left) and Genis-Vell (right), with Rick Jones (center). Yes, that is a taxonomy pun. Thank Peter David for that!

Carol’s first Ms. Marvel costume. Apparently, her neck is cold, but her torso is warm.

Carol’s first Ms. Marvel costume. Apparently, her neck is cold, but her torso is warm.

Carol’s first appearance as Binary. Note the two stars on the uniform to represent her codename.

Carol’s first appearance as Binary. Note the two stars on the uniform to represent her codename.

Carol used this costume under the codenames of Warbird and Ms. Marvel (the second time she went by that name)

Carol used this costume under the codenames of Warbird and Ms. Marvel (the second time she went by that name)

Finally, Carol in her Captain Marvel costume. So much more practical than her previous outfits.

Finally, Carol in her Captain Marvel costume. So much more practical than her previous outfits.

Carol sometimes wears this “Mohawk helmet” in battle, and yes, we will see it in the movie!

Carol sometimes wears this “Mohawk helmet” in battle, and yes, we will see it in the movie!

As mentioned in the episode, the essay an in-depth look at Avengers #200 and the horrible disservice done to Ms. Marvel and the rest of the Avengers is available at Carol A. Strickland’s website in a piece titled “The Rape of Ms. Marvel.

Episode 13: Is Star Wars Sci-Fi or Fantasy?

This episode, we talk Hard Science-Fiction (or Sci-fi), Soft Sci-fi, and Fantasy.  Comparing and contrasting those different genres allows us to classify where Star Wars fits in.  Before that, however, a clarifying question deriving from Episode 10, and a comment made about robots and androids.

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Robot…

Robot…

Android…

Android…

Cyborg.

Cyborg.

He scienced the heck out of this…with real science! That is some Hard Sci-Fi.

He scienced the heck out of this…with real science! That is some Hard Sci-Fi.

Here’s a Mars movie that goes softer on their Sci-Fi (Mission to Mars).

Here’s a Mars movie that goes softer on their Sci-Fi (Mission to Mars).

The epitome (and arguably the progenitor) of most of today’s modern fantasy.

The epitome (and arguably the progenitor) of most of today’s modern fantasy.

So, where does this belong?

So, where does this belong?

Episode 12: Wakandan Econ

In order to answer a listener's question about the economics of Wakanda, home of the Black Panther, Kurt talks to economics professor Dr. Matt Dobra about how the economics of Wakanda would (or would not) work in the real world.  Learn about Dutch Disease, the Resource Curse, and more, through the lens of pop culture!

Long live the King!

Long live the King!

Pretty close to where I said in the episode, just a little farther east.

Pretty close to where I said in the episode, just a little farther east.

In the movies, this shield is made of pure vibranium. In the comics...that's a little more complicated. Ask me about it sometime!

In the movies, this shield is made of pure vibranium. In the comics...that's a little more complicated. Ask me about it sometime!

Episode 11: How to Bring the X-Men into the MCU

With the Fox/Disney deal pretty much complete, we contemplate how mutants can be seamlessly integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Well, I don't remember that happening in Avengers: Age of Ultron...

Well, I don't remember that happening in Avengers: Age of Ultron...

This had a few ideas that inspired the movie, but it's still far from an "adaptation."

This had a few ideas that inspired the movie, but it's still far from an "adaptation."

Turns out, there's more of Hawkeye on this cover then there was in the movie.

Turns out, there's more of Hawkeye on this cover then there was in the movie.

Almost everyone on this cover has actually appeared in a movie or Netflix show in the last 10 years. 10 points for the first person to name the three exceptions.

Almost everyone on this cover has actually appeared in a movie or Netflix show in the last 10 years. 10 points for the first person to name the three exceptions.

Is it secret? Is it safe? (Whoops, wrong universe)

Is it secret? Is it safe? (Whoops, wrong universe)

If you are a Thor fan, you'll definitely want this. There are Thors galore!

If you are a Thor fan, you'll definitely want this. There are Thors galore!

Acupuncture gone very, very wrong.

Acupuncture gone very, very wrong.