Interview with Fangirl Shirts

October 5, 2018

Episode 41 

This week, Andi chats with the owners of Fangirl Shirts, Rebecca Barrick and Sally Heaven, who “make awesome shirts by, for and about women.” They launched the company four years ago as a way to celebrate fangirls and fan culture through T-shirts and other swag, doing cool things like spelling out the word “fangirl” in the font of a particular show title and immortalizing lines from shows or the fandoms on shirts and swag. 

Fangirl Shirts is also committed to community works, and a portion of profits go to non-profits that support girls and/or women. They also do special edition shirts that benefit a specific cause or organization (try the Queer Thunder and Peacemaker swaggery, for example) and they’re the organizers of the ClexaCon fun-run, an event they just launched at the second ClexaCon (the largest queer women and allies in media con) held in April, 2018. They’re already planning for the next, and they have all kinds of projects they’re working on, which makes Andi an even bigger fangirl of them. 

Find Fangirl Shirts: 

Website (BUY!) 

Twitter -- @fangirlshirts 

Instagram -- @fangirl_shirts 

Pinterest -- @fangirlshirts 

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Stand Still Stay Silent

September 7, 2018

Episode 39: Webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent 

Andi and Lise are really into the webcomic, Stand Still. Stay Silent, written and drawn by Finnish-Swedish artist Minna Sundberg. Actually, they might be complete and utter fangirls of it and it was Lise, this time, who turned Andi onto this amazing post-apocalyptic story that has elements of Nordic mythology in it. SSSS is so good that it won a Reuben in 2015 for best online comic (the Reubens are given out by the National Cartoonists Society, and it is the highest honor that the society bestows). 

From the website: 

“It's been 90 years after the end of the old world. Most of the surviving population of the Known world live in Iceland, the largest safe area in existence, while the safe settlements in the other Nordic countries; Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland, are small and scarce. 

“Countless mysterious and unspoken dangers lurk outside the safe areas, the Silent world, and hunters, mages and cleansers will spend their lives defending the settlements against the terrifying beings. Because of a great fear towards everything in the Silent world no official attempts to explore the ruins of the old have been made, and most of the information about it has turned into ancient lore, known by few. 

“But now, at last, it is time to send out an research crew into the great unknown! A poorly funded and terribly unqualified crew, but a crew nonetheless.” 

-- 

The art and story are engaging, the characterization is brilliant, and the artist brings in mythological elements and fuses them incredibly well with the larger story arcs of the post-apocalyptic theme (this apocalypse originating with a disease) and the reclamation of older, pagan traditions that provide a way to cope with and survive in new circumstances. 

Find Stand Still. Stay Silent HERE 

Find the artist, Minna Sundberg, on Twitter HERE (@SSSSComic) and HERE (@hummingfluff) 

Also, in honor of recording this podcast, Andi was drinking Einstök beer, crafted in Iceland, located 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle. In this instance, she was indulging in the Icelandic Wee Heavy. Super delish. 

AND! Find Lez Geek Out! on Twitter HERE! (@LGOPodcast) 

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Thor: Ragnarok

August 24, 2018

Episode 38: Thor: Ragnarok 

Andi and Lise watched (okay, re-watched because they dig this movie) Thor: Ragnarok (2017), part of the Marvel Universe movie, which means it’s a giant bucket of special effects, awesome cinematography, and epic battle scenes. But what this Thor movie brought – and something Andi and Lise totally enjoyed – was a slightly comedic turn amidst the dark subject matter, and we get to see a lighter side of Thor even as he struggles to get back to Asgard before the prophecy of Ragnarök comes to pass in which Asgard is destroyed. 

Particular favorites in this film include Cate Blanchett’s amazing turn as Hela, Goddess of Death (seriously, we could watch Blanchett write a grocery list and be enthralled, but her turn as a villain is awesome!); Tessa Thompson as “Scrapper 142”—a Valkyrie, also from Asgard (more movies with her, please); director Taika Waititi voicing Korg, a being made of rocks who is the world’s nicest slacker revolutionary; and Jeff Goldblum as an earnest and “fun-uncle-ish” despot on Sakaar, a planet made of trash. 

See the trailer 

Cast list 

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Nanette

August 10, 2018

Episode 37: Nanette

Andi and Lise had their minds completely blown by “Nanette,” the comedy show/performance piece by Tasmanian comedienne Hannah Gadsby, currently available on Netflix. In this brilliant and searing examination of comedy and who it serves, “Art, [Gadsby] makes clear—from painting to comedy—does not liberate everyone equally. It can replicate the same privileges and exclusions as the culture in which it was made,” Moira Donegan says in her piece on “Nanette” in the New Yorker. 

“Nanette” is a blistering tour de force in which Gadsby lays part of her soul bare and then leaves the audience to grapple with its role in perpetuating the marginalization of those it demands entertain us. 

And in the wake of the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement, Gadsby’s indictment of homophobia and misogyny and her dissection of comedy has become a phenomenon and a statement. “I really was writing as though I was throwing a grenade,” Gadsby told Rolling Stone, “and I fully expected for the show to seal me off in the margins. I am so shocked and overwhelmingly stunned. It’s become bigger than me. And I’m happy for that.” 

Both Andi and Lise are of the opinion that this is the first major piece of art—a blistering fusion of comedy and storytelling—to emerge since the 2016 elections and will probably come to define this era in ways we don’t yet even know. 

Hannah Gadsby’s “Nanette” on Netflix (US; check your local Netflix site if you’re not in the US). 

Gadsby’s just released memoir, Ten Steps to Nanette is available at various booksellers. Check your faves. 

Rolling Stone interview with Gadsby 

Moira Donegan at the New Yorker on “Nanette” 

The WIRED crew on “Nanette” 

Sophie Gilbert at The Atlantic on “Nanette” as a radical, transformative work of comedy 

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Dread Nation

July 27, 2018

Episode 36: Dread Nation 

Andi and Lise RAVE about the book Dread Nation by author Justina Ireland, which is billed as YA but really, EVERYBODY should read it. It’s an amazingly evocative tale of American race relations set against the backdrop of the Civil War but with a twist—zombies. Or, in the parlance of the times, “shamblers.” 

From the book description: 

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations. 

The book deals with race, racial hierarchies as defined by skin color, and how a zombie apocalypse didn’t re-align race relations, but rather simply grafted them onto a new backdrop. The protagonist (Jane) is amazing and the story is well-crafted and you’re swept up in it immediately. READ THIS BOOK. 

Justina Ireland’s website 

Dread Nation is published by Balzar + Bray (imprint of HarperCollins) 

Here’s the Amazon link 

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Interview with Amanda McLoughlin of the Join the Party podcast

July 13, 2018

Interview with Amanda McLoughlin of the Join the Party podcast

Lez Geek Out: Episode 35

Andi and Lise totally fangirled over Amanda McLoughlin, but they still did manage to chat with her about one of her cool-ass projects, “Join the Party,” a collaborative storytelling and roleplaying podcast in which four friends create a story together, chapter by chapter. Everyone from seasoned players to total beginners can enjoy this Dungeons & Dragons gameplay, with adventure, intrigue, drama, magic, and the chance to follow diverse characters. 

According to the Bello (podcasting) Collective, Join the Party has “gargoyles, robots, queerness, political intrigue, and a whole lot of sound design.” JTP also has introductory episodes to teach new listeners how to play D&D, and they also have interviews with innovators who are pushing the game forward. 

Amanda McLoughlin is a producer, founder of the production collective Multitude, a business builder, and old-school internet creator from New York who some of you may know as one of the co-hosts of the fabulous mythology, folklore and legends podcast, “Spirits.” 

Hit the link to visit the awesome: 

Join the Party 

Other D&D podcasts you might dig: 

The Adventure Zone 

Venture Maidens 

Dames & Dragons  

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Ocean’s 8

June 29, 2018

Episode 34: Ocean's 8

This week Lise and Andi lose their collective minds over the movie Ocean’s 8 because: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rhianna, Awkwafina, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, and Anne Hathaway. Also, they both LUUUUV a good heist, and Ocean’s 8 delivers AND passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors. 

The writing is tight  (SO important in a heist plot!), the woman power is stellar, the humor is spot-on, and holy crap  the chemistry between the cast and especially Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett…Andi is shipping them hard. Ocean’s 8 is part of the Ocean’s franchise, and Bullock’s character is Debbie Ocean, sister of Danny Ocean. 

Plot summary: 

“Five years, eight months, 12 days and counting -- that's how long Debbie Ocean [Bullock] has been devising the biggest heist of her life. She knows what it's going to take -- a team of the best people in the field, starting with her partner-in-crime Lou Miller [Blanchett]. Together, they recruit a crew of specialists, including jeweler Amita [Kaling], street con Constance [Awkwafina], suburban mom Tammy [Paulson], hacker Nine Ball [Rihanna], and fashion designer Rose [Bonham Carter]. Their target -- a necklace that's worth more than $150 million.” 

Ocean’s 8 website 

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Raven the Pirate Princess

June 15, 2018

Episode 33: Raven the Pirate Princess

This week, Andi and Lise rave about the comic Raven the Pirate Princess, a spinoff of the Princeless series, both written by Jeremy Whitley and, in the case of Raven, arted up by Rosy Higgins and Ted Brandt. 

This is Volume 1, a compilation of initial issues (chapters) 1-4, in which Raven Tsingtao, the daughter of a pirate king, is double-crossed by her brothers. Her father’s legacy was supposed to be handed down to her, but her brothers poisoned him against her and now she’s looking for a pirate crew to reclaim her legacy and get revenge on her brothers. Follow Raven as she auditions potential crewmates, meets other strong badass women, and prepares to find her brothers. 

Andi and Lise rate Raven the Pirate Princess, as A—Awesome! Not only in characterization and storyline and art, but in diversity (many different body types, backgrounds, ethnicities, and races) and Awesome in potential queer rep. Raven is most likely a lesbian, and there are a few other characters who probably identify that way, too. 

Find it at Action Lab Comics and Amazon. 

 

Want more info? Check Keri Crist-Wagner’s piece at BookRiot and Mey Rude’s observations at Autostraddle. 

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Dungeon Crawling with Lise and Nita, A Discussion of D&D

June 1, 2018

Episode 32

Lise has gone off the rails without Andi this week, and brings in author Nita Round to geek out about one of her favorite subjects of late: D&D!!! For those not in the know, D&D stands for Dungeons & Dragons and is a fantasy-based role-playing game.

Nita and Lise talk about their experiences playing the game, the sorts of hi-jinks that happen when you get cranky wizards together with clueless clerics, and games devolve into one long attempt to barbecue their way across a fantasy landscape.

Nita Round (and her fabulous books) can be found at nitaround.com.

More about D&D can be found at the Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons website.

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LA Web Series

May 18, 2018

Episode 31

This week, Andi interviewed two of the creative forces behind L.A. Web Series, a currently 2-season web series available on YouTube that follows a chance meeting between two women one evening in L.A. and what kind of connection they forge in the night they spend wandering around the city before Landon has to fly back to the UK in the morning.

Emma Maddock plays Landon in the series. She is an actress originally from Manchester, England, who was also a producer on the series.

Alexandra Swarens plays Avery. She is a writer and actress originally from Sacramento, California who wrote the series and also directed it.

Here they dish on their backgrounds and on filming the series, and provide some advice on creating content. They also spill a bit about new projects they’re working on.

You can find both seasons of L.A. Web Series on YouTube.

Find Emma Maddock on Twitter (@Emmaddock) and Instagram (@maddock94) and the L.A. Web Series on Twitter (@LAWebSeries).

Alexandra’s Twitter account is at @ASwarens.

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Lez Geek Out! Killjoys

May 4, 2018

Episode 30

Andi and Lise totally geeked out over the SyFy series Killjoys, which is about to enter its fourth season. It’s an absolutely delicious space opera that explores all levels of political intrigue and its effects on personal relationships.

Killjoys, in the show, are galactic bounty hunters that operate in a four-planet system called the Quad, which is beholden to “The Company,” which in turn is tied to a group of families called “The Nine,” who have worked hand-in-glove with the Company to leverage political and cultural influence. It’s a hierarchical society based on class ties, but also blood and political ties. The Company has, of course, extended its greedy and often corrupt power grabs all over the Quad, stripping areas of their resources and leaving godawful pollution and crap in its wake.

This is the backdrop for an intriguing maelstrom of excellent storylines!

Andi and Lise highly recommend this show.

Catch it on SyFy.com and Amazon and DVD on Netflix (check your country’s listings).

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Blast from the Past: Lez Geek Out: Spirits Podcast

April 20, 2018

Spirits Podcast 

Andi and Lise RAVE about Spirits Podcast, which is: “…boozy biweekly podcast about mythology, legends, and lore. Every episode, co-hosts Julia and Amanda mix a drink and discuss a new story or character from a wide range of places, eras, and cultures. Learn brand-new stories and enjoy re-tellings of your favorite myths, served over ice every two weeks, on Spirits.” 

Andi and Lise really dig the banter between hosts Amanda and Julia, who speak enthusiastically and knowledgeably about mythological creatures, paranormal creatures and themes, and folklore all over the place. They skillfully lay out the legends, address major themes, and then link them to contemporary cultural interpretations and mores. And they are all about women’s rep in these journeys into mythological pasts. 

Find Spirits Podcast HERE

And as a side note, Spirits will soon be going WEEKLY rather than biweekly, beginning at some point in October. 

 

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Almost Live at ClexaCon, Part 2

April 8, 2018

Episode 29b

ClexaCon with guest Ashley, ClexaCon attendee

Andi and Lise are both on the ground at ClexaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada and they chat with con-goer Ashley about her experiences at the event and what it means to her and to queer representation.

ClexaCon met in Vegas April 5-9, 2018.

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Almost Live at ClexaCon, Part 1

April 8, 2018

Episode 29a

ClexaCon with guest Anna from The Lesbian Review

Andi and Lise are both on the ground at ClexaCon in Las Vegas, Nevada and so is Anna from The Lesbian Review, who also attended last year. Andi and Lise chat with Anna about ClexaCon then and now, fandoms, and how important queer representation is and the role ClexaCon plays in that.

The Lesbian Review website is HERE.

ClexaCon met in Vegas April 5-9, 2018.

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Lost Girl

March 23, 2018

Lost Girl

Episode 28

Andi and Lise love themselves some Lost Girl, the paranormal urban fantasy series that launched in 2010 and ended with Season 5 in 2015. The series follows main character Bo, a succubus, in her quest to find her true origins, but she’s buttressed by several strong secondary characters, both human and fae. The show’s premise is predicated on there being two worlds – fae and human – and the former attempt to stay hidden from the latter while dealing with conflict between light fae and dark.

The show is full of strong women characters and includes strong positive LGBTQ rep. Bo is considered bisexual and engages with both male and female love interests.

Andi and Lise agree the show is full of great, strong characters, excellent writing, great plots, and explorations of moral ambiguity with regard to the conflicts between light and dark fae as well as how individuals engage with both sides.

The show is currently available on Netflix and Amazon Prime in the U.S.

And check out the Waystation podcast, all about Lost Girl.

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Interview with ClexaCon Organizers

March 9, 2018

Episode 27

Andi and Lise are super-stoked this week because they managed to score an interview with three ClexaCon directors/organizers (Ashley had to step out to conduct official ClexaCon business during the interview, but we appreciate her dedication to the cause). 

Joining us is Holly W., Danielle J., and Ashley A., all of whom not only direct and organize this event, but coordinate with other team members to do whatever needs to be done. 

ClexaCon officially launched in March, 2017 as a response to the myriad deaths of queer women characters in media, particularly the death of the character of Commander Lexa of the CW show The 100 (pronounced “the hundred”). That character died in an egregious example of the “bury your gays” trope, and in the wake of her death, LGBTQ fans and allies rallied in opposition to this trope and sparked a revolution of organizing and community outreach that continues unabated. 

Named for the iconic ship of Clarke Griffin and Commander Lexa (Clexa), ClexaCon is the first and largest multi-fandom event for LGBTQ women and allies. It brings together thousands of diverse LGBTQ fans and content creators from around the world to celebrate and encourage positive media representation of and for LGBTQ women. 

The event is scheduled for 5-9 April in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

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Questionable Content Webcomic

February 28, 2018

Episode 26

Andi and Lise are way into the award-winning Questionable Content webcomic (Lise got Andi started on it), by Jeph Jacques, which launched August 1, 2003 and has been since then. It’s a slice-of-life comic populated by a diverse group of people and includes strong women and strong queer rep and all kinds of other rep. People of different ages and body types, backgrounds, and all kinds of things in between. 

The comic is at times hilarious, moving, poignant, wacky, and overall an amazing amount of fun. 

QC website 

Jeph Jacques’ Patreon 

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

February 7, 2018

Lez Geek Out! # 25  

Andi and Lise rave over Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which opened in theaters in December. TLJ is the continuation of the Star Wars story from the movie The Force Awakens, which was released in Dec. 2015. TLJ is chock full of strong women characters, has a diverse cast (though we’re still waiting on the overtly queer rep…), and these characters were integral to the story. Here, Rey continues her exploration of her abilities with The Force; General Leia and, later, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) are trying to outrun The First Order; and Rose Tico the Resistance mechanic proves a mentor of sorts for Finn, the ex-Stormtrooper. The movie also explores Luke Skywalker’s character arc in interesting ways. 

TLJ provides a jumping-off point for new directions in the Star Wars movie universe and perhaps a launching of the new generation and both Andi and Lise are excited to see what happens. 

See TLJ trailers HERE. 

And check out The Lesbian Talk Show Channel’s Patreon page! 

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Phasma (Star Wars)

January 24, 2018

Lez Geek Out! # 24

Lise and Andi geek out over Delilah Dawson’s novel Phasma set in the Star Wars universe. Just released in September through Penguin/Random House, Phasma provides a story of the enigmatic and imposing Captain Phasma, a leader in The First Order (another Star Wars evil empire). From the recent movies, she’s the one dressed in a shiny chrome Stormtrooper outfit who trains First Order recruits. 

Dawson’s book provides glimpses of Phasma through two separate parties, which manages to further enhance Phasma’s mystique because it obscures her motivations since we’re not getting the story directly from here, but rather through a second and third party, both of whom have their own narrative arcs. It’s a cleverly layered, intricate story that only makes us more intrigued about Phasma (and there totally needs to be more of her in the movie ’verse! Hint hint Star Wars movie people.). 

Delilah Dawson’s website 

To buy: AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo 

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