This past January, Image Comics brought Santiago Garcia and David Ruben’s graphic novel, Beowulf, to America. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White have been all about two things lately — fantasy books, and relating everything back to Tolkien. That makes this new adaptation a perfect excuse to discuss English literature’s oldest written fantasy and it’s place in modern culture. Claire begins by historically placing the English Vikings who told the story, before moving on to explain how J.R.R. Tolkien brought the poem out of obscurity and into the popular imagination. Kyle uses this comic as an opportunity to discuss what’s so special about its publisher, Image Comics. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the graphic novel and the power of adaptations.
Our next episode about Santiago Garcia and David Rubin’s graphic novel, Beowulf, will be delayed for just a couple of days, while the DSRA team gets back on their feet.
The Witchwood Crown is the latest entry in Tad William’s new high fantasy book series, The Last King of Osten Ard. It marks his return to the world he created for his first series, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, after 30 years away. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White have been reading everything thing they can from the continent of Osten Ard, and they’re ready to talk about this influential author and his significance to the genre. Kyle begins by attempting to frame Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn‘s place in modern high fantasy and the bridge that it creates between the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and contemporary authors like George R.R. Martin. Claire take this further as she explains what led Williams to write his first series, and the challenges he faced returning to his characters with so much time passed in their life and his. Our hosts conclude by discussing their thoughts on the original books and what it feels like to be back.
Best known as a centerpiece of the Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien’s most personal tale has been unwrapped in a new book by Christopher Tolkien, his son. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White have been looking forward to its release for months. Here to share in this latest gift to fans of high fantasy are Alan Sisto and Shawn Marchese of the Tolkien-dedicated The Prancing Pony Podcast. Together, our hosts and guests discuss the biographical parallels of Beren and Lúthien to the love story of J.R.R. and his wife, Edith, as well as the critical role that Christopher has played in shaping his father’s work and legacy. The show concludes with their thoughts on the book, approaching Tolkien as a newcomer, and a sharing of their favorite passages.
Spiderman: Homecoming is the 2nd reboot of Sony’s Spiderman film franchise, and this time they’re doing it the Marvel way. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White are happy residents of Queens and it’s time to talk about their borough’s greatest superhero. Kyle begins with a look at what makes the character so beloved and so different from his peers. Claire gets into one of her favorite topics – studio intrigue. Beyond a discussion of the direction behind the film, she takes a look at how Marvel Studios came to make a movie about a character they no longer have the rights to. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the film and Peter Parker’s past exploits.
Margaret Atwood’s dystopian tale, portraying a puritanical theocracy in America, is now a television series on Hulu. Kyle Willoughby and Claire White discuss this latest adaptation of the popular book. Claire begins with a focus on the modern tyranny of totalitarian governments, particularly in 20th century eastern Europe. She explains why the creation of an authoritarian state can be dismayingly hard to predict, and why the hope that “it can’t happen here” depends on changeable circumstances. Kyle gives some background on Atwood’s life and career, before describing the process of adapting the novel with show runner Bruce Miller. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the show, the book, and which literary dystopia they would live in (if they had to).Show Notes