That Whole Storytelling Thing (with Jeff Parker)

Jeff Parker has written a bunch of comics, and they’ve all been great, and if you can manage to stay consistently great in THAT medium, you probably have a good idea how storytelling works. How important is plot? What makes characterization sing? What will kick the legs out from under a good story every time? Is the element of surprise more of a blessing, or a curse? A thrilling tale of one grocer’s kid with a fistful of comics vs. the team sports mentality, the puzzle box, spoilerphobia, forum posts and editorial interference. Welcome to that whole storytelling thing with Jeff Parker.

That Whole Creativity Thing (with Mike Russell)

There’s a lot more to creating something than just having an idea and throwing it out there into the world, and that’s something cartoonist/writer Mike Russell (The Saber-Tooth Vampire) knows all too well. From his early days in self-publishing (i.e. hiding self-made comics in his elementary school’s library) to finding himself auditionioning for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, to running a community newspaper, to finding out how making your way as a creator is a lot like being on a high school cross-country track team, Mike points out some of the myths and fallacies of the creative impulse, and describes how he seizes inspiration when it strikes.

That Whole Parenting Thing (with Ted Douglass)

This is not an advice show. This isn’t a how-to type of show. This is just 3rd Floor sketch troupe founder Ted Douglass telling you about his experiences raising two girls in the 21st century. The victories, the failures, the successes and the slip-ups, all of which are funny and touching to varying degrees, but the one constant? Being a parent is maybe the least precious thing, even if you believe your kid is the most precious thing on Earth. There’s too much messy, weird, FUN stuff out there to make yourself treat everything with kid gloves – that includes your kids.

That Whole Fantasy Thing (with Erik Henriksen)

In honor of Game of Thrones’ return to the schedule, Portland Mercury Senior Editor Erik Henriksen helps us make sense of what is sometimes a really weird and somewhat off-putting genre, and how the lines separating it from Sci-Fi, Horror, Political Thrillers, and even Sports are getting very, very blurred; Hear how a hunger for the more fantastical side of fiction can help readers and viewers make sense of things in real life, how millions of normies found themselves fully invested in a world that seems more appropriate for the side of a van than on HBO, and why having a wizard hanging around every now and again doesn’t necessarily mean the story isn’t worth your time and energy. Because there’s probably a good reason why George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and others think otherwise, and it’s not just the millions – although that helps.

That Whole Dating Thing (with Courtenay Hameister)

Courtenay Hameister is a smart, successful, insightful, attractive and funny woman. Unsurprisingly, these qualities are not translating to a whole lot of dates in one of the more challenging places to be a single woman: Portland. Listen as one of the best people we know shares (maybe a little too much? Naaaaah) her struggles, her victories, her research, and her resilience as she tries to navigate a roiling sea of people all crashing into each other, looking for (mostly) the same thing.

Episode Fifty-Five – 03/21/2014

In which Cort and Bobby reinvent podcasting at the same time Britain reinvents playgrounds, not that Cort’s kids are going to benefit from either occurrence; While Texas scored on some drugs to keep fueling its main addiction, stoners found out their addiction might not be as earth-friendly as they thought; Putin’s handpicked media mouthpiece got caught talking out his pischka, while Qatar made Russia’s problems with Sochi look like a British playground; A Portland woman is trying to crowdfund a Kurt Cobain museum in the city Kurt Cobain couldn’t stand, Biden-brand diplomacy is back in action, and we save a special goodbye for a special someone.

Episode Fifty-Four – 03/14/2014

In which Cort and Bobby get in on this list-making phenomenon the internet is fascinated with, coming up with a surefire page-clicker you can’t possibly resist; America falls in (stinky) love with public transit again; Obama does a fake talk-show just in time to distract everyone from the executive order increasing the number of people recieving mandatory overtime pay; Oregon Republicans make history thanks to a smidgen of morals and a heaping of opportunism; The Senate doesn’t like it so much when you spy on THEM; Cort discovers a strange new fetish while researching the CDC’s worrisome report on STD treatments, and a national villain falls on his own sword in front of a Jeopardy studio audience.

Episode Fifty-Three – 03/07/2014

In which Cort and Bobby evaluate the chances of an NFL football team moving into their beardy little city; NASA starts planning an expedition to enjoy some water sports on Jupiter; Vladimir Putin gives the a really lame excuse for crashing a rager; Turns out John Carpenter’s The Thing might be a documentary after all; The SATs are finally getting an overhaul; Jesus walking on water was nothing compared to the miracle that is saving Radio Shack; and a tale of Oscar snubbery turns into a Spider-Man and Batkid adventure in Disneyland – co-starring a massively baked Han Solo.

Episode Fifty-Two – 02/28/2014

In which Cort and Bobby chase a late-night rabbit down a hole of guitars and Lego bricks; The Earth gets 721 new chances to make friends with some new neighbors; John Kerry makes an unfortunate choice in analogy, but not as unfortunate as some government officials’ choice in nostalgia; Babies might be the healthiest humans on the planet since they’re unable to order Waffle Tacos on their own; The country that created Big Brother finally gets around to spying on their own citizens on a major scale, and Arizona does the right thing for once – just for all the wrong reasons.

Episode Fifty-One – 02/21/2014

In which Cort and Bobby discuss the transformative properties of the common cold, and the stubborn silliness of a certain segment of fandom; Georgia embarrasses itself on the rear-end of its cars, and Kansas embarrasses itself on the rear-end of its children; Iran has a passive-aggressive take on nuclear negotiations; Harvard thought Avatar would be cooler if it starred monkeys instead of Thundersmurfs; NBC can’t seem to pick a side when it comes to people at the Olympics crying on camera; Congress loses a brilliant mind at precisely the wrong time; Oregon sets down the controller and walks away from the NES, and Washington and Colorado prove what every dope dealer’s already known since the first dimebag got sold – there’s a lot of money to be made in selling stoners their sacks.