Tag: Interview

DNA Podcast 118 – UK Comics with Richard Sheaf

The Notorious UK Comic ACTION’s cover that broke the camel’s back.

In this episode, Don and Rob sit down with UK Comics blogger Richard Sheaf to explore the fascinating world of UK Comic books. The three discuss how being weekly (as opposed to monthly) took UK comics in a totally different direction than American comics, how Pat Mills was UK’s version of Stan Lee (but with more talent), and why UK girls comics succeeded while their American cousins failed miserably. All this, and Hookjaw, are waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:
Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:

Boys Adventure Comics (Richard Sheaf’s blog)
British Comics Blog
Amalgamated Press
DC Thomson Press
The Beano (comic magazine)
2000 AD (comic magazine)
Commando (War Comic)
IPC Magazines
Judge Dredd Mega-zine
Eagle (comic magazine)
Billy’s Boots
Punch Magazine
Starlord (comic magazine)
Charlie’s War
Roy of the Rovers
Pat Mills (writer, creator)
A Haunt of Fears : The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign By Martin Barker
ACTION (comic magazine)
The Treasury of British Comics
Misty (girls comic magazine)
Deadline (comic magazine)
Dan Dare

DNA Podcast 113 – Dark Corners Interview

In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with Graham Trelfer and Robin Bailes, the hosts of the Dark Corners Reviews YouTube channel to talk about their show. Together the group discuss the ups and downs of running a popular YouTube channel, the origins of their show, and more bad horror movies than you can shake a severed hand at! All this, and the two hosts’ secret guilty pleasures, is waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs!

Closing Music:
Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:

Dark Corners Reviews YouTube Channel
The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak
The Blood of Dracula
Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity
Roller Blade
The Black Sleep
Bob Wilkins
Ganjasaurus Rex
Chainsaw Hookers
Black Christmas
Zoltan: Hound of Dracula
Vampire Hookers
Faster Pussycat Kill Kill
Creation of the Humanoids
Journey to the Center of Time
Corona Zombies
The Evolution of James Bond Posters
Secrets of Cinema TV show
Slaughter of the Vampires
The Playgirls and the Vampire
The Monster and the Girl
The Seance
Monster A Gogo
Hard Ticket to Hawaii
The Ski Bum
Hard Rock Zombies

DNA Podcast 091 – tReading the Path of Heaven

In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with Jonathan Kinney and Richard Curtissmith from the tReading the Path of Heaven podcast to talk about Asian Light Novels and webnovels. The four of them discuss the differences between Japanese, Korean, and Chinese webnovels, some of their favorites, and what makes webnovels characters unique. All this, and why being merciful to your enemies is being merciless to yourself, is waiting for you in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:

Treading the Path of Heaven Podcast
Light Novel Bastion
SPCNET.tv Forums
Shalvation Translations
Gravity Tales
Coiling Dragon
Jin Yong
Gu Long
Haruhi Suzumiya
Sword Art Online
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
Rising of the Shield Hero
So I’m a Spider, so what?
Dungeon Defense
Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
Seoul Station’s Necromancer
Everyone Else is a Returnee
Dimensional Sovereign
I Level Alone/Solo Leveling
Tales of Demons and Gods
New Game Plus
I Shall Seal the Heavens
DNA Interview with Deathblade
The King’s Avatar
Against the Gods
Desolate Era
The Deathmage Who Doesn’t Want a Fourth Time
Martial God Asura
Nine Star Hegemon Body Art
The Dao Heart
Martial World
Gurren Lagann
Hunter x Hunter
Tenchi Muyo!
High School DxD
The Tutorial is Too Hard!
Rainbow Turtle

DNA Podcast 087 – Automating Tabletop Gaming with Brian Welcher

In this episode, Don and Rob sit down with teacher, martial artist, and gamer Brian Welcher to discuss his project to automate some parts of tabletop gaming. The three discuss how Brian first got into gaming, and how his fascination with the RPG Pathfinder led him to look for ways to create scripts that would control the actions of absent players and NPCs. It’s a fascinating discussion that leads to questions about what games actually are, and the possibilities of players being able to work co-operatively in wargaming instead of against each other. All this, and the bard with the worst luck ever, is waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:
Brian’s Email: sackvilledm@gmail.com
Dungeons and Dragons First Edition
Palladium Fantasy
Robotech RPG
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG
Panzer Leader
Avalon Hill Game Company
Dust 1947
Bolt Action
Flames of War
Mekwars.org – Classic Battletech Campaign and Server (I was wrong, it isn’t solo, but just online play- Rob)
Thorn Battlemech
Fallout Tabletop Game
Albedo RPG
Call of Chthulu
The Walking Dead: All Out War Tabletop Game
Creative Commons

DNA Episode 086 – Interview with Lee Gold

In this episode, Don and Rob sit down with the incomparable Lee Gold to discuss her life as an early RPG designer, editor of the long-running APA Alarums and Excursions, and filk songwriter. Along the way, the trio discuss the history of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), how she started her APA, and some of Lee’s memories of the early days of fandom. All this, and a sample of Lee and her husband Barry’s singing, are waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:

Lee Gold Wikipedia
Alarums and Excursions
Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS)
DRAGON Magazine
Amazon Cannot Ship to Australia
Chivalry and Sorcery
Steve Perrin
Gary Gygax
Jackals Fattening on a Lion’s Kill by Gary Gygax
Could you repeat that in Auld Wormish? by Lee Gold
ORGINS Convention
Issac Asimov Foundation Trilogy
SLAN by A.E. Van Vogt
Lensmen by E.E. Doc Smith
Doomed Lensmen by Sybly Whyte
Skylark of Space
Filk Songs
Tunnels and Trolls (or here)
Superhero 2044
Toyo 2000 Basic Kanji Characters
Lands of Adventure RPG
Fantasy Games Unlimited
You Bash the Balrog and I’ll Climb the Tree
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Liaden Series by Sharon lee and Steve Miller
In The Garden of Iden by Kage Baker
Lois Bujold’s Vorkosigan Series

DNA Podcast 081 – DNA Millwood Chapter with Anika and Matt

A while ago, friend of the show Jack Ward approached us about making his High School’s nerdly arts club into a branch of the Department of Nerdly Affairs. We naturally were flattered, and accepted- thus the DNA Millwood Chapter was born! Now we sit down with Anika MacMullen and her co-president Matt Bambrick to talk about the club, it’s membership, and their activities. Then Anika and Matt turn the tables on us, and interview Don and Rob about some burning questions they have about our organization. So, sit back and enjoy this very special Christmas episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:

DNA Millwood Chapter Twitter Page
Leigh Brackett
Sword Art Online Progressive
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
The Dark Dungeons Pamphlet
The Sword and Lazer Podcast
SHAZAM!/Captain Marvel

DNA Podcast 080 – J-Novel Club with Sam Pinansky

In this episode, Rob and Don are joined by J-Novel club founder Sam Pinansky. J-Novel club is the largest online seller of translated Japanese Light Novels, and one of the pioneers in bringing these Japanese works to English readers. During this great interview, the trio discuss Sam’s journey to becoming a publisher, the nature of the English Light Novel market, and why Light Novels are exploding in popularity in English right now. All this, and the challenges of translating Japanese Light Novel names into English, are waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed

J-Novel Club Website
String Theory
Quantum Field Theory
Quantum Entanglement
Light Novels
Sword Art Online
Goblin Slayer
In Another World with My Smartphone
Tezuka Productions
Hobby Japan
Media Factory
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
How a Realist Hero Rebuilt the Kingdom
Last and First Idol
Doujinshi (he called them Doujin)
Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon
JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World
An Archdemon’s Dilmmea: How to Love Your Elf Bride
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
Arifuretta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest
Me? A Genius? I’ve been Reincarnated into Another World But I Think They’ve Got the Wrong Idea!
Apprently It’s My Fault My Husband Has the Head of a Beast!
My Next Life as a Villianess: All Routes Lead to Doom!
I Can’t Believe My Little Sister is This Cute!
Invaders of the Rokujoma
Record of Lodoss War
The Light Novel Review YouTube Channel
Shosetsu ni Naro! (I Want to Become a Novelist) Website

DNA Podcast 077 – Hub Comics with Tim Finn and Jesse Farrell

In this episode, Rob and Don team do an international team-up with Tim Finn and Jesse Farrell of Hub Comics of Somerville, Mass. to expose the true nature of owning a comic shop in this modern age. Thrill as the intrepid foursome discuss the perils of pissing off your comic reading audience. Gasp as Tim and Jesse expose the hidden side behind the counter at Hub Comics and what really goes on when the doors close. Shudder as the true reading habits of comic shop denizens are laid bare for your eyes to behold. All this, and more references to Persepolis than you can count, are waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs!

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed:

Hub Comics
DC INK line
DC Zoom line
Marvel Superhero Adventures
 Art School Confidential
Ghost World
Warriors Novels (fantasy cats)
Understanding Comics
Neil Gaiman
MICE: Mass. Independent Comics Expo
Fun Home
March by John Lewis
Toon Books


DNA Podcast 070 – Trinidad Dreams with Justin Charles

In this episode, Don and Rob sit down with Justin Charles of the A Dude and Chick Walk Into a Studio podcast to talk about Justin’s life growing up as a geek in the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. The three explore how Trinidad and  Justin’s early loves of anime, video games, storytelling, and audio drama shaped his future and lead him to his work today in the media production industry. All this, and how Ruroni Kenshin made the strong men of Trinidad weep, are waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Closing Music:

Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt

Things Discussed

Dude and a Chick Podcast Page
Justin’s Website – Sandosavant.com
Trinidad and Tobago
Steel Drums (or if you prefer….)
Ruroni Kenshin
Spiderman and his Amazing Friends
University of the West Indies
Howard University
Justin’s Audio Dramas
Lgend of Zelda: The Wrath of a God by Rich Barrigan
Project Arclite
The Jumbee
Final Fantasy
Detroit: Become Human

DNA Podcast 064 – Russian Science Fiction with Simon Vale

In this episode, Don and Rob sit down with Simon Vale of Magic Dome Books, a company which specializes in translating Russian science fiction into English. The trio discuss Russian geek culture, Russia’s fascination with litRPGs, and the nature of the Russian book markets. All this, and why the Strugatskie brothers are the greatest Science Fiction writers you’ve probably never heard of, is waiting for you in this episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs.

Things Discussed

Magic Dome Books
Balder’s Gate
Stanislav Lem
Issac Asimov
The Lexx
The Witcher
Peter Watts (author)
Perry Rhodan


Simon’s Notes:

What first Russian S/F should someone who wants to check them out read?

There are some great authors, Strugatskie brothers for example:

Roadside Picnic – https://www.amazon.com/dp/1613743416

The Doomed City – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N7SVFC4

Hard to be a God – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TONTAFK

This is Russian Sci-Fi classic. Unfortunately many of their books including some amazing stories aren’t translated or as in this case (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0026151200) are only available for a great deal of money.

Then there are modern authors:

Vasily Mahanenko (LitRPG)

The Way of the Shaman – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VQRW14E

Galactogon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B012B9L0DI

Michael Atamanov  (LitRPG)

The Dark Herbalist – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M9F1AM7

Perimeter Defense – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015JMSSJS

Dmitry Gluhovskiy (PostApocalypse)

Metro 2033 – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003774XKG

Sergei Lukyanenko (Vampire Fantasy)

The Night Watch – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0031RSB5U

Pavel Kornev (steampunk)

The Sublime Electricity – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01J1WY2U6

Zotov (ironical Sci-Fi, dystopia)

Moskau – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IWR5R32


  •        What distinguishes Russian Science Fiction/Fantasy from English Novels? Style? Audience? Attitude?

Speaking about Fantasy I think that there is no big difference. Russian Fantasy is having the same roots as every other Fantasy in the world – books by John Tolkien and Joanna Rowling, Dungeon & Dragons tabletop games and old computer games like Baldurs Gate or Eye of Beholder.

There is also some national material based Fantasy in Russia and it is relatively popular. Some authors do specialize on it.

It is much more complicated with Science Fiction. The way I see it is – in the end of XIXth century world Science Fiction was mostly positive. You know, human progress, improving medicine, magic of electricity. On that positive basis people once again tried to build the ideal modern society but ended up building two horrible dictatorships – Nazi Germany and Soviet Union. That’s why world Science Fiction of the second half of the 20th century is all about disappointment. Disappointment in progress which is not helping to solve every problem as it seemed before.

But since Russia was one of those ideal societies we couldn’t afford such a view. With censorship and all that. So when Polish author Stanislav Lem wrote about how we can’t communicate with any other alien forms because all we’re looking for in space is a mirror and when Isaac Azimov wrote about danger of artificial inteligence and when Heinlein wrote about hunger of the outgrown human population, all that time we kept writing about how great and kind people of the communistic future will be. It was a little naive but Soviet censorship just wouldn’t allow anything else to be published.

Maybe this is why PostApocalypse and cyberpunk genres are still popular in Russia. Dark Science Fiction, you know, to balance things up with our inheritance. Maybe this or else maybe because many Russian Science Fiction writers are former military people.

For a few years now Russians are reading YA Fantasy mostly. I see many young women writers coming up on stage with that genre.

  •        Where does most modern Russian S/F come from? (Websites? Print companies?)

I have to say that Russian publishing market had seen better days. In 90-s average number of copies for a fantasy novel easily could be 25-50 thousands of copies. Even more! Today it’s more like 5000 copies. I mean paper editions of course.

Our big problem is the market itself. We have one big publisher which is publishing like two-thirds of all books in Russia. Up until recently we had two. But they merged together and now we have one. It is very hard to work on that market first of all because Russia is very big. Most books are printed in western part of Russia. So when you need to deliver them to the east – it costs a fortune.

People do read digital books and here we’re across another big problem of the market – piracy. Still there are ways to make some money on this market, but it’s not very well developed. Many authors in Russia are having their own online shops.

  •        Is there a typical Russian Novel reader in English? What are they like?

Russian literature on English market is mostly represented with classics. Dostoevskiy, Chekhov, Tolstoy. So I guess typical Russian novel reader in English would be a person who studies foreign literature in university. Russian Fantasy and Sci-Fi are represented much worse. But we’re working on it! Since we’re publishing LitRPG, our readers are mainly gamers. At least many of them are. MMORPG games are the same everywhere – World of Warcraft or Eve Online. So readers are familiar with all the references inside books.

Unfortunately, books from Eastern Europe and Russia aren’t very popular in US in general. There is a splendid series from Polish author Andzhey Sapkovsky. The Witcher. Even if u didn’t read it, u probably know the computer game. And also as you might know – there is Netflix series coming up soon. In Russia it has a huge fandom!

The Witcher (book 1 – Classic Fantasy) – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043M6712


  •        Is there a typical Russian hero? What are they like? How are they different from an American one?

In modern literature I think typical Russian hero is strong and silent. He’s a loner and he is irregularly shaved. But that’s modern Sci-Fi. There is a classic hero from Russian fairy tales. A fool. Brilliant idiot who gets lucky all the time. Some Sci-Fi author do borrow him for their books.