Geekdom Come, Troping the Riff

Troping the Riff- The Mentor Gone Bad

So you want to be a hero? Fight bad guys, right wrongs, defend the innocent; that kind of thing. Do you think that heroes just pop up out of nowhere? Of course not. From superhero to chosen one, martial arts expert to super spy, heroes spend years (or at least an epic montage) training to become what the world needs them to be. And while there are a few self-taught capes flying around, most every other kind of hero needs a mentor. Someone who can teach them the skills that let them survive the fights and adventures that would fell…

Read More

Geekdom Come, World Building 101

World Building 101-Politics

Politics. It’s a dirty word. Lord knows that just about everyone in the world is sick of talking about politics. We could all use a break. So this December I offer up to you a special holiday gift; a chance to completely escape the world of modern politics by creating your own web of shifting alliances and power bases. That’s right for our final installment of World Building 101 its time for you to put the finishing touches on your fictional world so your heroes can put the finishing touches on their fictional foes. To better serve our purpose today…

Read More

Geekdom Come, Troping the Riff

Troping the Riff- Tech Support

A pitched battle to save the day and stop evil in its tracks. It’s a race against time, the hero has beaten their foe into submission and now all they have to do is solve some sort of hi-tech problem having with computers. A situation that can’t be solved by punching, uh-oh looks like our hero is in trouble. It’s time to call Tech Support. Some tropes are as old as storytelling itself and some are rather modern inventions. In terms of human history, computers are still a relatively new concept. Which might be why Hollywood still treats anyone who…

Read More

Geekdom Come, The Franchise

The Franchise- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

With the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald today I thought now would be a good time to break down the magical wizarding world created by J. K. Rowling. So let’s delve in to one of the most successful fictional franchises of all time. Core Concept: “The Importance of Tolerance and Friendship” In both the Harry Potter story and now the Fantastic Beasts movies the villains are those who advocate for racial purity and wish to amass a large amount of personal power. They are defeated by a band of heroes who are considered outcasts. People who are willing…

Read More

Geekdom Come, Troping the Riff

Troping the Riff- The Trickster

The Trickster is one of the original storytelling tropes, existing in some of humanity’s earliest myths. In Africa he was Anansi the spider, in Europe he was Reynard the Fox, in Asia he was the king of the monkeys, and in the Americas, he often appeared as a coyote. Same archetypal character just wearing a different name and a different skin. After creation myths, tales about the trickster are perhaps the most common across humanity’s myths and folklore. The trickster defies convention and flouts authority, challenging what is known and accepted often through deception and trickery. The trickster is a…

Read More

Geekdom Come, World Building 101

World Building 101- Governments

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”- Winston Churchill. Unless your protagonists are adventuring through an untamed wilderness completely devoid of humanoid life they will inevitably encounter societies of sentient beings. Those societies will have rules and structures the will dictate how the individuals in that society interact with one another. When those rules and structures are codified that’s called Government. And in this edition of Worldbuilding 101, you and I are going to see if we can’t up with something that can’t prove Mr. Churchill wrong. We will begin with the simplest and most…

Read More

Geekdom Come, Reference Humor

Reference Humor: Brooklyn Nine-Nine S1E6 “Halloween”

Halloween is just around the corner and to celebrate I’m bringing you the very first of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Halloween specials. It’s scary at just how many references this show can fit into one episode. As always bold numbers represent the time at which the reference happened and Spoilers abound for a wide variety of films. Scroll down at your own risk. Okay, let’s get started. 00:25- Charles is dressed as Mario Batali a celebrity chef. (This episode aired before Batali faced multiple accusations of sexual harassment) 00:30- Jake guesses that Charles is dressed as a dumpy Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris…

Read More

Geekdom Come, Reference Humor

Reference Humor: Psych Season 3 Episode 15 “Tuesday the 17th”

When it comes to meta and murder, no one does it better than fake psychic detective Shawn Spencer. And being as this is October and Halloween is just around the corner I thought I’d use this edition of Reference Humor to break down Psych’s Friday the 13th homage “Tuesday the 17th” As always bold numbers represent the time at which the reference happened and Spoilers abound for a wide variety of films. Scroll down at your own risk. You’ve been warned (cue evil cackle). 00:00 The episode title is a reference to the slasher film Friday the 13th (1980) 00:24…

Read More

Geekdom Come, The Franchise

The Franchise-Green Arrow

Core Concept: Green Arrow is not an overly original character. Created all the way back in 1941, this hero is essentially an amalgamation of Batman and Robin Hood. It took a long time for his writers to come up with an idea that moved beyond those two core influences. It took until the 70’s in his joint adventures with Green Lantern for the hero to develop an identity all his own. Oliver Queen is at his best when he is seeking out social justice in addition to that of the vigilante kind. His political life, his commitment to the little guy,…

Read More

Geekdom Come, The Franchise

The Franchise-Doctor Who

If you’re not excited for Jodi Whittaker’s debut as the Doctor this Saturday you’re either not familiar with her work or a terrible person. As a devout Whovian I can guarantee you I’ll be glued to my seat the second that distinctive music begins to play. But for those of you a bit less fanatic about a sci-fi show that’s been on the air for over fifty years I thought I’d use this edition of The Franchise to give you a bit of a primer. Core Concept: “A Mad(wo)man with a Box” The Doctor may be a Time Lord with…

Read More