29 episodes

RetConned is a program of assorted geekery - movies, comic books, video games and everything in between.

RetConned WAMC

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

RetConned is a program of assorted geekery - movies, comic books, video games and everything in between.

    Exploring The World’s Mysteries With Atlas Obscura

    Exploring The World’s Mysteries With Atlas Obscura

    From the catacombs of Italy to the glowworm caves of New Zealand, we discuss some of the weirdest, wonderful places the world has to offer on this episode of RetConned. Today we’re branching out a bit on the show -- WAY out.



    You don’t have to be a fan of science-fiction, fantasy, and horror to have an appreciation for the strange, peculiar places all around us, but it helps. The website Atlas Obscura has been cataloging just those sorts of places for almost a decade now with some help from a talented editorial team and readers willing to share their own experiences with creepy and quirky destinations both at home and abroad.

    In 2016, Atlas Obscura released its first travel guide, titled Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders. Elizabeth Hill of our sister podcast Postcards From The Road talked to Atlas Obscura Senior Editor Ella Morton, who co-authored the novel, about the website, the book, and the extraordinary events and places that inspired them.

    Credits:

    This has been RetConned, a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Our producer is Patrick Garrett. Our host is Rick Marshall. Thanks for listening, and be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your podcast app of choice. It lets us know you’re out there and want to hear more!

    • 18 min
    Reinventing The Gaming Industry With Velan Studios’ Karthik Bala

    Reinventing The Gaming Industry With Velan Studios’ Karthik Bala

    Brothers Karthik and Guha Bala spent 25 years turning the video game company they started in their parents’ basement into one of the most successful studios in the industry, only to leave the company in 2016. Why would they do such a thing? We get the answer to that question on the latest episode of RetConned. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of RetConned, a podcast of assorted geekery.





    I’m Rick Marshall, and today we’re talking video games and the people who make them -- specifically, one half of the sibling duo that founded Vicarious Visions game studio in New York’s Capital Region. Karthik and Guha Bala created Vicarious Visions in 1990 while the pair were still in high school. Over the next 25 years, the studio made a name for itself working on adaptations of game franchises for portable systems like the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, only to hit big with their work on the kid-friendly, billion-dollar Skylanders franchise. The studio was purchased by game publisher Activision in 2005, and recent reports indicated that the studio’s projects have accounted for more than 2.5 billion dollars in sales so far.

    That’s why it came as a bit of a surprise when Karthik and Guha announced in April 2016 that they were leaving Vicarious Visions.

    Since leaving Vicarious, the brothers founded Velan Studios, a new video game studio that aims to create (in their words) “breakthrough experimental games and new kinds of experiences that push the frontier of gaming forward.” They got things off to a good start by raising more than 7 million dollars in venture capital for their startup studio, and have an ambitious set of goals in mind for their new company - a set of goals that includes fostering a game-development hub in and around New York’s Capital Region.

    RetConned spoke to Karthik about the pair’s reasons for leaving Vicarious, their plans for Velan Studios, and the past, present, and potential future of the video game industry.

    Credits:

    This has been RetConned, a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Our producer is Patrick Garrett. Our host is Rick Marshall. Thanks for listening, and be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your podcast app of choice. It lets us know you’re out there and want to hear more!

    • 28 min
    Comics Writer Ron Marz On Coffee Stories And The Return Of Art

    Comics Writer Ron Marz On Coffee Stories And The Return Of Art

    Coffee and comics… what’s not to like? The next episode of RetConned is all that and more.



    This time around we’ve got comic book writer Ron Marz in the studio. A veteran of the comics industry who’s written just about every character you can probably name, Marz is - as always - currently working on a long list of comics projects. They include a comic book series for Death Wish Coffee, the Saratoga Springs coffee company that made headlines in 2015 by winning a contest to have its commercial air during the Super Bowl. The second issue of Odinforce was released during New York Comic Con earlier this year.



    We spoke to Marz about Odinforce, as well as some of his other projects, including his work on the recently relaunched Ominous Press line of comics and the Beasts of the Black Hand series he’s collaborating on with celebrated X-Files and Doctor Who artist Matthew Dow Smith and master sculptor and toy designer Paul Harding. We also discussed the role of social media in the modern age of comics.

    The first two issues of his Odinforce comic for Death Wish Coffee are available now. Look for that and other projects - including the Ominous Press line of comics - in your local comic shop, and check out the funding campaign for Beasts of the Black Hand on Kickstarter.

    Credits:

    This has been RetConned, a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Our producer is Patrick Garrett. I’m Rick Marshall. Thanks for listening, and be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your podcast app of choice. It lets us know you’re out there and want to hear more!

    • 34 min
    How Archie Comics Got Its Groove Back

    How Archie Comics Got Its Groove Back

    Why is Archie and the gang from Riverdale everywhere you look these days? We get to the bottom of that mystery - and discuss a few more - in the latest episode of RetConned.



    Today we’re diving into the world of Archibald Andrews, the teenager at the heart of Archie Comics for more than 75 years.

    First introduced back in 1941, Archie and his adventures with Jughead, Betty, and Veronica held their own against the industry’s capes-and-tights superheroes for generations before pop culture seemingly passed them by, only to jump back into the mainstream spotlight less than a decade ago.



    From the introduction of gay teen character Kevin Keller back in 2010, to the publisher’s industry-shaking 2011 decision to release their comics digitally on the same day the print copies arrived in stores, to the success of the television series Riverdale based on the company’s characters, Archie Comics and its namesake have gone from being a nostalgic reminder of days gone by to a powerful vehicle for contemporary storytelling - and a herald of the comics industry’s evolution.

    In order to get some perspective on how far Archie’s come -- and why he’s back in the spotlight again -- we spoke to Alex Segura, the former Senior Vice President of Publicity and Marketing for Archie Comics who was recently named Co-President of Archie just a few weeks ago. Along with getting his perspective on Archie’s return to relevance, we also picked Segura’s brain about the Pete Fernandez mysteries, his popular series of crime novels.

    The third book in that series, Dangerous Ends, hit shelves in April.

    Credits:

    This has been RetConned, a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio. Our producer is Patrick Garrett. I’m Rick Marshall. Thanks for listening, and be sure to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or your podcast app of choice. It lets us know you’re out there and want to hear more!

    • 15 min
    Bending Gender In Voltron: Legendary Defender

    Bending Gender In Voltron: Legendary Defender

    It ain’t easy being green -- or is it? We get the scoop on the gender-bending character who pilots Voltron’s green lion from actress Bex Taylor-Klaus in the latest episode of RetConned.



    Today we’re activating the interlock and connecting the dynotherms for a chat with actress Bex Taylor-Klaus about the animated series Voltron: Legendary Defender -- or more specifically, Pidge, the gender-bending character she voices in the hit show.

    A reboot of Voltron, the classic ‘80s cartoon that featured a team of space pilots whose robotic lions combined to form a powerful, sword-wielding mechanical warrior, Legendary Defender gave the old show more than just a new coat of paint when it premiered in 2016. Along with updating the animation, Legendary Defender reinvented many of the characters and concepts of the Voltron universe to take the sci-fi saga in new directions.

    One of those changes involved Pidge, the spectacled, diminutive pilot of the green lion who went from being a young boy in the original series to -- spoiler alert -- a teenage girl in Legendary Defender. The gender change-up for the character was revealed midway through the first season, and inspired no small amount of discussion regarding the importance - or lack thereof - of gender in pop culture and the way movies and television can and should handle such plot points.

    With the fourth season of Voltron: Legendary Defender now available to stream on Netflix, we talked to Taylor-Klaus about the responsibility that came with portraying Pidge, why Legendary Defender is succeeding where so many other reboots of old shows have fallen flat, and the place she’s earned in the geek scene with recent roles in the Arrow and Scream TV series, along with Voltron.

    • 9 min
    25 Years Later: R.L Stine On Giving Kids Goosebumps

    25 Years Later: R.L Stine On Giving Kids Goosebumps

    It’s the middle of summer, but there’s a chill in the air. 

    Today we’re talking to author R.L. Stine, whose series of Goosebumps horror stories for young readers celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. A prolific writer whose books have sold more than 400 million copies, Stine’s work spans a wide range of genres and has been adapted for television and, most recently, a 2015 Goosebumps movie starring Jack Black.

    RetConned’s Ian Pickus spoke to Stine about his generation-spanning career crafting scary stories for young readers and the tales he still plans to tell in the coming years.

    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

TheMikeSpring ,

A really fun geek-themed podcast

This is a great show! It focuses on the more intellectual side of geek-esque topics; everything from video game music to comic book writing to how action figures are made. I find it very enjoyable, and I also appreciate the 10-to-20 minute running time, as I don't always want a show that's an hour loong or more. It's quick, to-the-point, fun, professionally put together, and -- most importantly -- interesting to listen to.

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