Episode 105: The Hazards of Love by Stan Stanley

Andi and Lise rave the hell out of this amazing first volume of Stan Stanley’s The Hazards of Love, which follows a nonbinary teen, Amparo Uribe, who ends up agreeing to a bargain with a shitty cat that allows the latter to take over the teen’s life and body and sends the now exiled teen’s spirit to Bright World, where they are a seriously marginalized human trying to survive in systems of debt and ever-changing rules that subject them to constant threats. But formerly Amparo (they lost their name when they agreed to the bargain) is working to find a way out. Wonderfully layered, meta-meanings, queer rep, gorgeous artwork and writing, dark humor, and fantastical beasts and Bright World denizens – Stanley explores what it means to be who we are, and what comes to define us. 

The first volume collects the first 12 issues of the comic and we can barely stand waiting for the next issues… 

Find more info about the volume at Indiebound

And at Simon & Schuster 

Stan Stanley’s website – we’ve heard she’s a devilishly handsome woman of science… 

Episode 104: Pride and Representation

Pride and Representation 

This week, in recognition of Pride month, Andi and Lise talk about LGBTQ representation in media, including tokenism and how it intersects with queerbaiting and even bury your gays. When is tokenism “good”? When is it “bad”? Join them as they try to unravel some of this. 

Shout outs: Lise is stoked about an 8-episode mini-campaign for the D&D show Critical Role, which just wrapped up its second campaign. It’s another Exandria adventure! It features part of the regular cast, so you’ll still be getting great voice acting. Give it a whirl! Meanwhile, Andi is still obsessing over Acorn TV and she’s been watching a lot of the NZ mystery series Brokenwood, which features a really quirky lead detective (among a lot of other quirky characters) who loves old country music and drives a funky old car. Really cool to watch the characters gel, and there are some great mysteries. 

Episode 103: The CW’s Nancy Drew

Andi finally managed to convince Lise to give Season 1 of the CW’s Nancy Drew a watch and Lise did and she enjoyed it! So they talk about that season here. This is a re-imagining of Nancy Drew, which brings some diversity to the cast, some queer rep, and some excellent paranormal elements layered in with the mystery that consumes Nancy and her crew during this season. This version of Nancy is complicated and flawed, like her fellow characters, and it makes her, we think more relatable. Both Lise and Andi were impressed by the writing, because this show kept them guessing, and that’s hard to do. Hooks and twists throughout! 

You can find Season 1 on Amazon PrimeHBOMaxiTunes, and Google Play 

Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends the graphic novel The Hazards of Love, by Stan Stanley, in which a young queer teen Amparo makes a deal with a talking cat – they give over their body to the cat to become a better person to date another student they don’t feel quite worthy of, but the fine print means Amparo’s spirit ends up in Bright World, a land of terrifying creatures and all around badness. Amparo has to escape without becoming like the awful all around them. 

Andi recommends a particular episode of the true crime podcast The Fall Line, which looks into cold cases that have been underreported. The May 26 episode deals with a new database under way launched by the Trans Doe Task Force (which researches cold cases in which the victim may have been trans or gender variant). The database is LAMMP: LGBTQ+ Accountability for Missing and Murdered Persons – to track cases of the missing, murdered, and unidentified LGBTQ+ people. 

Episode 102: Birds of Prey: All About Harley F*ckin’ Quinn!

Andi and Lise discuss and express much love for the 2020 DC movie with the longest subtitle in either the DC or Marvel universe: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. The movie, narrated in parts by Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), is a story about how she finds herself after the end of a relationship with the Joker (arguably a poster child for toxic masculinity) while also dealing with the fallout from the relationship. She manages to forge an alliance of sorts with Black Canary, Detective Renée Montoya, and Huntress as they battle another poster child of toxic masculinity, Roman Sionis. The result is a gorgeously frenetic journey through and with the mind of Harley Quinn, filled with great fight scenes, excellent character development, and snappy, snarky dialogue. Lise and Andi agree: this film is liberating, and makes us vicariously love kicking ass. 

Fantabulous Trailer 

IMDB info 

Shout-outs: Lise highly recommends the animated miniseries Over the Garden Wall (2014), in which 2 brothers are lost in a mysterious land trying to find their way home. Vintage aesthetic and elements of fantasy, a bit of creepy horror, and other surprises. Andi implores listeners to read Sarah Rose’s 2019 D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II. Beautifully written nonfiction account of some of the women who were parachuted/boated into occupied France to support and develop Resistance networks. 

Episode 101: Digital Media that Keeps Us Coming Back

This week, Andi and Lise talk about their current fave podcasts and other digital media that keeps them engaged and gets them through these times. 

Lise

YouTube channel Punished Props Academy, which is a how-to on awesome cosplay with Bill and Brittany Doran. 

Podcast Tenfold More Wicked, on Exactly Right Network. Historic true crime hosted by author and journalist Kate Winkler Dawson. 

Dungeons and Dragons podcast Critical Role, which features voice actors and epic campaigns. Available as streaming video, on YouTube, and as a podcast. And so much more. 

Join the Party, a collaborative storytelling and role-playing podcast, also D&D-related. 

Andi: 

Still a faithful listener of My Favorite Murder on the Exactly Right Network a true crime comedy podcast that has become an amazing community. (Lez Geek Out! covered MFM in show #45

In The Thick, a podcast on the Futuro Media Network about “politics, race and culture from a POC perspective.” Hosted by Andi’s all-time fave journalist Maria Hinojosa and fellow journalist Julio Ricardo Varela. 

Making Gay History, a podcast that features interviews and oral histories with people who have been involved with LGBTQ history/LGBTQ civil rights history. 

TransLash podcast, Futuro Media Network. Hosted by journalist Imara Jones, the podcast deals with news, politics, culture, and stories about and by trans and nonbinary folx. 

Shout-outs: Lise has been playing a board game called Eldritch Horror based on the fiction of Lovecraft and inspired by board game Arkham Horror. Complicated but instructions are easy to parse and it’s hella fun. Andi has been watching Acorn TV and really enjoys My Life Is Murder, an Australian crime drama starring LUCY LAWLESS as a retired cop who ends up consulting on investigations. Did she mention LUCY LAWLESS. Great characters, great dialogue, good stories. 

Rerun Episode 62: Booktalk

This week, Lise was busting her butt to get one of her cosplays gussied up so it could be entered into a competition. Andi and Lise will be back with their regularly scheduled shenanigans next time!

Episode 100: Celebrating Queer Culture with Dana Piccoli

Andi and Lise are SO EXCITED to be celebrating their 100th episode with author, entertainment writer, speaker, pop culture critic, podcaster, social media maven and awesome-sauce person Dana Piccoli. In this episode, Dana breaks down some of the potential trends in queer media (yay! Queer filmfests online!), what she’s been watching/engaging in (SPOILERS), how COVID has affected media and how it might affect it going forward. Andi, Lise, and Dana also discuss the lesbian fiction industry and what it means that mainstream publishing has started publishing more F/F (and other LGBTQ fiction) stories. 

Shout-outs: Dana has been listening to a lot of singer/songwriter Katie Pruitt. Lise has been watching lots of Adventure Time, which has a queer storyline that she didn’t realize was there. Andi shouted out Masterpiece Theater’s new-ish mystery series, Miss Scarlet and the Duke

Find Dana: 

Queer Media Matters 

Danapiccoli.com 

Twitter 

Episode 99: Nubia: Real One

Woo! Andi and Lise do their 99th episode! This week it’s all about the brand new graphic novel, Nubia: Real One, written by the awesome L.L. McKinney and drawn by the equally awesome Robyn Smith. Nubia in DC comics canon is Wonder Woman’s Black twin sister (origin story HERE). Here in McKinney and Smith’s coming-of-age story, Nubia Johnson is an urban teen dealing with issues like police violence against Brown and Black people, racialized misogyny, a deepening crush, and her secret – that she’s a lot stronger than other people. In Real One, Nubia has to deal with all of that, and try to keep her secret hidden so she and her family don’t have to move again. Appropriate for YA and above; this is an excellent imagining of Nubia. Bonus: her guardians are a F/F couple. 

For more info: 

Nubia: Real One at DC Comics (shout-out to the graphic novel’s colorist Brie Henderson, who with McKinney and Smith produced it!) 

A chat with Robyn Smith 

L.L. McKinney talks about reintroducing Nubia to the DC universe 

Extra: Andi mentions Virtuous Con as where she first heard about this graphic novel. Find out more about VC HERE

Shout-outs! Lise is still working on her bathroom, but she’s also finished up another battle axe for cosplay and she’ll be posting photos! Andi has been finding a weird stress reliever in the game “Tail Gun Charlie,” available as a free app for mobile devices (Android and iOS). World War II tail gunner action against Axis warplanes. 

Episode 98: Beyond Romance in Lesfic with KD Williamson

Andi and Lise were joined by author KD Williamson to talk about lesbian fiction aka “lesfic.” Why does it seem to be predominantly defined by storylines that feature romance — F/F — that usually involve sexual consummation, whether it’s fade to black or depicted as part of the storyline? Why aren’t there other genres represented as much as romance under the lesfic umbrella? After all, being LGBTQ+ involves a lot more than romance and sex. Andi, Lise, and KD ponder. 

Shout-outs: Lise is not pleased about this, but getting it done will be great – fixing up the bathroom! For her part, KD has been doing some of her gaming. She’s got Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla on the Xbox and Ni no Kuni on the Nintendo Switch AND the PS5! Meanwhile, Andi sucked it up and just bought a PS4. The first 3 games she got are Uncharted: Lost LegacyHorizon Zero Dawn,  and Wolfenstein II: New Colossus

Episode 97: Salt

Pass the Salt! 

This week, Andi and Lise chat about the movie Salt (2010) starring Angelina Jolie as a kickass action heroine who may or may not be a Russian sleeper agent. Jolie – Evelyn Salt – is an agent with the CIA who may also have been trained in Russia as a child and placed in the U.S. for a day when she and several others would activate to enact circumstances to create war between Russia and the U.S. As viewers, we’re trying to figure out where her loyalties lie as she runs from the CIA after a Russian agent shows up at CIA headquarters allegedly to defect and ostensibly activates her. Pulse-pounding excellent espionage thriller with lots of twists and turns. Also, Jolie should be in all the action films. 

Salt trailer 

Shout-outs: 

Lise recommends that we go watch Wandavision, available on Disney Plus and Hulu. It’s a miniseries based on the Marvel comic character Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff). It shared continuity with the Avengers universe, but you don’t need to have seen all the Avengers films to enjoy it. Set after Endgame, Wanda and Vision are living a nice life in the suburbs, but things are not as they seem. 

Andi is feeding her lifelong fascination with the Soviet Union and is reading Adam Higginbotham’s 2019 Midnight in Chernobyl, about what happened at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine in 1986 that resulted in the worst nuclear disaster in history that may have contributed to the end of the Soviet Union. Absolutely gripping and horrifying. 

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