In this episode, Rob and Don sit down with comedian Kevin Doak to discuss comedy and the nerdly arts. The trio debate which superhero you want to have over for dinner, why the Walking Dead needs more laughs, and the depressed turnout of Batman v. Superman. All this, and why Shawn of the Dead is the most realistic zombie movie ever, is waiting for you in this, the 25th episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.
One of my favourite manga of all time is the manga Bakuman, a fantastic story about two young Japanese comic book artists who are trying to make it into the big leagues by the creators of the famous manga Death Note. Although I use the word fantastic to describe it, there are no fancy elements present in the story, is a very realistic take on what it is like to become a manga artist in Japan. In many ways, is similar to Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, the greatest book on comic book art ever written, except that this time it’s in the form of a fictional story. Bakuman itself is an exploration of both the business and the creative side of selling Japanese comics, and it is both educational and enthralling. I have read the whole series of 20 volumes through about six times, and will probably continue to read it again once a year because I always get something out of it and find something new with each read through.
I bring this up, because I recently stumbled across a podcast that reminds me a bit of Bakuman, it is called the Part Time Writers Podcast and is a chronicle of two part-time writers, Chris and Lee, who are trying to become a full-time writers in the course of a year. The podcast itself, which is 100% real, is their weekly journal of their efforts to become successful writers, and is a story in and of itself. Although the protagonists of this particular story are a little bit older than the teens of Bakuman, and not trying to get into traditional publishing, they still have to struggle with many of the same creative and business issues that the young heroes of the manga do. Perhaps, this is why find it so interesting to listen to, and it has become one of my favorite podcasts listen to each week.
Now, I may be a bit biased because I’m quite fond of the superhero genre, and their first effort is to try and write a superhero series. But, the two of them do make a pretty engaging pair, as they have different backgrounds and different perspectives on the writing and the approaches that they have to take to get their books out successfully to their target audience. I have to say, as a part-time writer myself, I’ve learned quite a bit from listing to the two of them and find it fascinating to hear their discussions and their ideas, and then to watch them try out those ideas and sometimes fail and sometimes succeed. I also find the two of them quite inspiring, as they generally keep a very positive attitude towards their work, and are willing to try new directions and try new things when plans go awry.
This particular experiment started in January 2016, and is still going on right now, being a little over two thirds finished. Although, I suspect (spoiler) that they will probably end up doing the podcast for more than a year for many different reasons.
So, if you get a chance I would highly recommend checking out this podcast. I started listening to it for specific episodes about specific topics, but if I were to try again I would probably just go back and start with the first episode and work up from there. Unfortunately, iTunes doesn’t seem to have the first seven episodes and starts with episode eight on its feed. However, I believe you can get those first seven episodes from the show’s home website if you want to listen to them. You can still get quite a bit by just listening to individually targeted episodes, and really you can drop in anytime, but if you want to get involved with their story and understand truly what’s going on it helps to start from the beginning or close to it.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to write a modern action story without any fancy powers or other gimmicks (at least, no obvious ones), and this story is my first whack at it. In Blood in the Stacks a mixed martial arts fighter finds himself held hostage in a bookstore by a strange masked gunman who forces the patrons to search for a mysterious book.
In this next installment of this YA Fantasy series, the trio of Thorin, Feena and Azure find themselves trapped in the cabin of Albinus Wurt- the legendary Trapmaster of the Black Woods. Can the three escape? And what’s that rattling noise they hear in the walls?
Find out, in the Lair of the Trapmaster! This week on Kung Fu Action Theatre!
In this episode, Rob and Don interview Scottish science fiction writer Gary Gibson about his career, writing Space Opera, and why Science Fiction has become boring. All this, and why Zardoz is a classic film, in this episode of the Department of Nerdly Affairs.
This week on KFAT fiction, we have a visit to the Twilight Zone. In a not too distant future, an auto insurance investigator loses his job to the driverless car revolution, but when he’s offered a new job it might just turn out to be his last. Can he keep himself from becoming just another Sunday Driver?
This week on KFAT Fiction, we have The Scribe, which could best be described as Ghost in the Shell meets Dungeons and Dragons. In this short tale of Fantasy espionage, a scribe at a peace conference has been mind controlled and turned into an assassin. But who is his target? And, what forces lurk behind this dark action? Find out all this week in- The Scribe!
In this episode, Rob and Don discuss the cons of becoming a professional writer (or artist). While the internet is filled with people telling you that you’re one Kindle book away from quitting your day job (mostly by people selling writing how-to advice and services) Rob and Don look at some of the cold, hard costs and challenges that come with trying to write for a living. Along the way, they discuss ways to overcome those challenges and make yourself a better writer if you’re determined to follow the hard road. All this, and a heaping helping of Dinosaur Porn are waiting for you in the 23rd episode of The Department of Nerdly Affairs!
Closing Music: Ode to Joy performed by Oliver Eckelt
This week’s new short fiction serial – New Years Evil, a short story inspired by my time as an English teacher living and working in Taiwan. I’ve always thought that it was a perfect job for a sleuth because you meet so many people doing it and are constantly getting involved in new situations, so I decided to try writing a few stories about it. This is the first, and if it gets a positive reception, there may be more on the way!
For a while now, I’ve had a secret project on the go, and now it’s time for the big reveal! 🙂
Yep! You see that right! KFAT is back! I have restarted the KFAT site as an short and serialized fiction site, where I will be posting new stories every Monday to Thursday! Not only that, but if you support me on Patreon for a few dollars, I am also doing readings of the stories each week that my Patrons can listen to as well.
I have worked hard to turn KFAT into a premium quality site, designed for readers to enjoy on whatever platform they like to read on, and plan to provide thrilling new stories of action and adventure every week. KFAT is now designed to read like a digital magazine, and the cover above (courtesy of Brushmen) is my tribute to the pulp adventure stories that continue to inspire me to this day.
So come on over and check it out! This is the start of big new things for KFAT, which will eventually include a revival of the podcast as an audio fiction cast and other surprises. So make KFAT part of your daily routine, and join the adventure!