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Abraham Lincoln
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Grimoire

Ken and Robin Consume Media: Greek Gods Diffuse and the Count de St-Germain Parties

January 15th, 2019 | Robin

 

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

Greek Gods Abroad (Nonfiction, Robert Parker, 2017) After Alexander’s conquests, the Hellenistic kings and colonists outside historic Greece brought the Olympian gods to their new domains — or did they? Parker masterfully looks at what (surprisingly little) we know of blended (or interpreted) Olympian-local deities as well as the way the Greek gods shifted their roles following contact with Egypt, Anatolia, and the East. Parker ranges from polytheistic theology to Arabian epigraphy and back; I bought the book for reference and wound up reading it cover to cover. –KH

Hearts Beat Loud (Film, US, Brett Haley, 2018) With her sights firmly set on pre-med at UCLA, a charmingly dyspeptic Brooklyn record store owner (Nick Offerman) inveigles his talented daughter (Kiersey Clemons) into making music with him. Sweet-natured observational comedy-drama buoyed by affection for its characters and a commitment to the real.—RDL

The Little Drummer Girl (Television, UK/US, BBC/AMC, Park Chan-wook, 2018) Israeli spymaster (Michael Shannon) and agent runner (Alexander Skarsgard) recruit a young British actress to infiltrate a Palestinian terrorist network. Park retunes his style to (mostly) subtle, returning to his signature theme of cyclical vengeance, for this strongly cast and acted Le Carré adaptation. Best 70s color palette ever.—RDL

The Night Comes For Us (Film, Indonesia, Timo Tjahjanto, 2018) Triad enforcer Ito (Joe “The Raid” Taslim) saves a little girl and brings down the ultra-violent wrath of the Triad including his old friend Arian (Iko “Merantau” Uwais). Great fight choreography and tight editing build to a battle of the action stars that has to be seen to be believed. Alternating stunningly beautiful compositions with shatteringly violent fight scenes, this would hit the Pinnacle if the story hung together better. –KH

Rumbullion (Fiction, Molly Tanzer, 2016) When the Count of St.-Germain performs at Julian Bretwynde’s house party in 1743, things get decidedly uncanny. This novella (originally published in 2013) follows Bretwynde’s epistolary attempt to figure out what happened at his own party. (Tanzer’s logline for it is “Rashomon with fops.”) Its weird tone precisely threads the line between funny ha-ha and funny-strange. –KH

Okay

Aberdeen (Film, HK, Pang Ho-cheung, 2014) Members of an extended family, including a surface-minded motivational speaker (Louis Koo), his philandering brother-in-law (Erik Tsang) and his struggling actress wife (Gigi Leung) grapple in their various ways with the limitations of fate. Atmospheric ensemble piece lets itself down with a decidedly peculiar set of concluding epiphanies.—RDL

Aldous Huxley’s Hands: His Quest for Perception and the Origin and Return of Psychedelic Science (Nonfiction, Allene Symons, 2015) Examination of the eliptonic interests of Aldous Huxley and his circle, including hand photography experiments conducted by the author’s father to establish a physical marker for schizophrenia in an era of doctrinaire Freudianism. In a case of two books continually interrupting one another, the short bio of Huxley through a KARTASian lens pays off, while the attempt to understand an opaque, eccentric parent struggles to yield the hoped-for epiphany.—RDL

Rulers of the City (Film, Italy, Fernando Di Leo, 1977) Cocky gangland debt collector and an enigmatic gambler become hunted men after swindling a scary mobster (Jack Palance.) Haphazardly switches back and forth between the director’s baseline fatalistic crime drama and goofball action romp. AKA Mister Scarface.—RDL

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Episode 326: Credulous Ghost-Hunting Dupe

January 11th, 2019 | Robin

Struggle to stay one step ahead of the authorities as the Gaming Hut finds ways to do the classic trope of the protagonist framed for a crime in a roleplaying scenario.

The Horror Hut enters an old-timey uncanny valley as we look at the wax museum sub-genre.

In Ken and/or Robin Talk To Someone Else, we shrink GMing maven Matt Colville from his native video format to audio only.

Finally the Consulting Occultist unwinds the deeply complicated tale of the Cock Lane Ghost, as first penetrated by intrepid occult investigator Samuel Johnson.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Wish to introduce innocent children to the horror of the Mythos, while remaining on budget? Atlas Games is here to affordably twist young minds with a buy two, get one free deal on Ken’s Mini Mythos line of childrens’ book parodies: Where the Deep Ones Are, Goodnight Azathoth, Cliffourd the Big Red God, and Antarctic Express.

Ken’s latest roleplaying game, The Fall of Delta Green, is now available in print or PDF or both from Pelgrane Press. Journey to the head-spinning chaos of the late 1960s, back when everyone’s favorite anti-Cthulhu special ops agency hadn’t gone rogue yet, for this pulse-pounding GUMSHOE game of war, covert action, and Mythos horror.

Grab the translated riches of FENIX magazine in a special bundle deal from our friends at Askfageln, over at Indie Press Revolution. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, a cornucopia of articles, complete games, plus the cartoon antics of Bernard the Barbarian. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish.

Just in time to save the world, though perhaps not your team of hardened covert agents, from the Mythos, the Delta Green Handlers Guide from Arc Dream Publishing is now in print and either at or headed to a game store near you. The slipcase print edition includes both the Handlers’ Guide and Agents’ Handbook, fitting snugly into your go bag along with your extra passports and list of weapons caches.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Baroque Power Games and a Noir Western

January 8th, 2019 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

The Pinnacle

The Favourite (Film, UK, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018) Young, fallen ex-noblewoman (Emma Stone) seeks a restoration in status by serving her cousin, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), domineering confidant to the sickly and querulous Queen Anne (Olivia Colman.) Armed with a scabrously witty script drawing from only the finest historical slanders, Lanthimos’ fisheye lens finds in early 18th century court intrigue the ideal venue for his fascination with perverse power rituals.—RDL

Recommended

The Favourite (Film, UK, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018) The high-handed Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz) finds her long-assured position as lover and favourite to the childish Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) under threat when her scheming cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) enters the fisheye-lensed picture. Lanthimos plays a little too fast and loose with tone (and history) for his tale of corrupt power to fully strike home, but even his near miss refreshes and stuns. All three stars rise to the occasion in an acting feast. –KH

Romancing in Thin Air (Film, HK, Johnnie To, 2012) Jilted movie star (Louis Koo) retreats in a drunken stupor to a remote mountain inn near Kunming, whose no-nonsense proprietor (Sammi Cheng) harbors a deep wound meted out by the surrounding, trackless woods. Romantic drama, more somber than his other commercial romances, gives To a space to limn the relationship between landscape and character.—RDL

Station West (Film, US, Sidney Lanfield, 1948) On the hunt for gold thieves, an army intelligence officer (Dick Powell) shows up at a saloon run by an alluring singer (Jane Greer), posing as  a troublemaking drifter. Transposes hardboiled detective tropes to a western setting, with barbed dialogue, noirish lighting, and Powell recalling his turn as Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet.—RDL

Good

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet (Season 12) (Television, Netflix, Joel Hodgson et al., 2018) Jonah and the bots watch six bad films in a row, from Mac and Me to Ator. The “in a row” conceit never goes anywhere, but the mad scientists’ idiocy feels about right this time around. The riffs remain sporadic, but some of them show flashes of the old madness. –KH

The Whites (Fiction, Richard Price, 2015) NYPD Night Watch commander suspects that someone is bumping off the unarrested nemeses—the titular whales—of his ex-comrades from a 90s run-and-gun squad. Price adds a suspense element to the observational cop novel he specializes in, without compressing the pacing as that unforgiving sub-genre demands.—RDL

Okay

Aquaman (Film, US, James Wan, 2018) Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) reluctantly heads to his mother’s Atlantean birthplace to avert a war with the surface world. Lazy scavenger hunt plot construction and a tsunami of exposition drain energy needed to loft its go-for-broke spectacle.—RDL

Doctor Who Season 11 (Television, UK, BBC, Chris Chibnall, 2018) The latest incarnation of the time-traveling problem solver (Jodie Whitaker) gathers a trio of Sheffieldians to meet historical figures, save the residents of imperiled installations and run from monsters. Whitaker’s joyful take on the character’s iconic ethos is the standout element of an often flat series operating under a back-to-basics mandate. Where other post-revival Whos find an emotional core in the relationship between Doctor and companion, this one shifts that to the surrogate granddad/grandson pairing within the trio of sidekicks, leaving her a warm but distant figure.—RDL

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Episode 325: NIMBY Horror

January 4th, 2019 | Robin

We kick off 2019 with an all-request episode, starting with Patreon backer Bryan Gustafson, who enters the Gaming Hut to ask us how to use the tiny houses movement in a Cthulhu Confidential scenario.

In the Command Hut, backer Tom Abella seeks the scoop on the series of WWII commando and bombing raids against a plant in German-occupied Norway to destroy its heavy water production.

We get worldly in the Cartography Hut as backer Jake asks us to use the Psalter Mappa Mundi for gaming purposes.

Finally not one but two backers, Ludovic Chabant and Ian Carlsen, knock on the indistinct walls of the Eliptony Hut demanding the dialectic on Marxist UFOlogy, as inspired by this piece from The Outline.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Wish to introduce innocent children to the horror of the Mythos, while remaining on budget? Atlas Games is here to affordably twist young minds with a buy two, get one free deal on Ken’s Mini Mythos line of childrens’ book parodies: Where the Deep Ones Are, Goodnight Azathoth, Cliffourd the Big Red God, and Antarctic Express.

Ken’s latest roleplaying game, The Fall of Delta Green, is now available in print or PDF or both from Pelgrane Press. Journey to the head-spinning chaos of the late 1960s, back when everyone’s favorite anti-Cthulhu special ops agency hadn’t gone rogue yet, for this pulse-pounding GUMSHOE game of war, covert action, and Mythos horror.

Grab the translated riches of FENIX magazine in a special bundle deal from our friends at Askfageln, over at Indie Press Revolution. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, a cornucopia of articles, complete games, plus the cartoon antics of Bernard the Barbarian. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish.

Just in time to save the world, though perhaps not your team of hardened covert agents, from the Mythos, the Delta Green Handlers Guide from Arc Dream Publishing is now in print and either at or headed to a game store near you. The slipcase print edition includes both the Handlers’ Guide and Agents’ Handbook, fitting snugly into your go bag along with your extra passports and list of weapons caches.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: The Secret Origins of Jackie Chan and the Secret Diary of H. P. Lovecraft

January 2nd, 2019 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet (Nonfiction, Daisy Dunn, 2016) Biography of the lovelorn poet of the late Roman Republic poet, known for concision, informality, explicit sex, and zinging his enemies. Pulls together scant sources to assemble an evocative portrait of the writer and his parlous times.—RDL

The Night Ocean (Fiction, Paul La Farge, 2017) Psychiatrist Marina Willett tries to trace her vanished husband Charlie (yes the parallel with “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” is intentional), who supposedly stumbled onto the secret sex diary of H.P. Lovecraft and the secret history of his collaborator and disciple (and Charlie thinks, his lover?) Robert L. Barlow. La Farge’s prose effortlessly carries the reader into his nesting dolls’ house of fiction and forgery, and eventually into a tincture of epistemological paranoia. La Farge over-eggs the pudding by also inventing a right-wing-driven HUAC purge of horror fiction, which makes nonsense of the “secret” in his secret history (and also mis-assigns that particular moral panic) but thankfully it’s a minor beat in a novel that is, after all, about the need to believe in fictions. –KH

Painted Faces (Film, HK, Alex Law, 1988) In 60s Hong Kong, with interest in the art form fading, a hot-headed headmaster (Sammo Hung) trains a new generation of young boys in the acrobatic arts of Peking Opera. Nostalgic, mostly subtle melodrama pays homage to the taskmaster who taught backflips to Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao—depicted here as Big Nose, Sammo and Biao. Last seen on home video in laser disc, now available in a beautifully remastered print on Blu Ray.—RDL

They Will Not Grow Old (Film, UK/NZ, Peter Jackson, 2018) A composite portrait of the British Tommy on the Western Front front lines. This humane, almost plain documentary resolves from a pointillist set of soldiers’ stories: 100+ hours of period footage and 600+ hours of survivors’ recorded reminiscences. Jackson’s FX teams restored, sharpened, colorized, and looped the footage until it (almost) looks and sounds like a contemporary film: some of the trenches do still cut through the uncanny valley. –KH

This Am Bizarro Recommend

Susan Slept Here (Film, US, Frank Tashlin, 1954) Vice cops pawn a 17-year-old arrestee (Debbie Reynolds) off on stalled screenwriter (Dick Powell) to keep her out of jail over Christmas. From the strenuous efforts of the creaky Broadway-sourced script to keep its dodgy premise wholesome to the painstakingly garish colors and costumes, from the jaw-dropping dream sequence dance number to its voice-over narration from an Oscar statuette, this transmission from the alternate dimension of 50s sexual mores may not be believed even when seen.—RDL

Good

We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror (Nonfiction, Howard David Ingham, 2018) Covering ninety films in over 400 pages, Ingham (and a few guest writers) takes a comprehensive, readable, and personal tour through the folk horror subgenre, from Night of the Demon to The Witch, including a number of titles well out on the margin (where better, though?) such as Duel and Winter’s Bone. (Though why Ringu but not Kairo, or neither? And why must even would-be completists in this field in England neglect This Is Not A Love Song, which I’m beginning to think only I saw?) Ingham knows how to tease out critical insight and (mostly) how to get out of his own way, which along with ample scope is what you (mostly) want from a genre survey. –KH

Okay

A Futile and Stupid Gesture (Film, US, David Wain, 2018) Doug Kenney (Will Forte) founds National Lampoon and writes Animal House, revolutionizing American comedy in the process, but can’t win his father’s respect because biopic. The film tries fitfully to embody the anarchic spirit of a bygone age but mostly settles for not being funny while wearing ridiculous wigs, as must the actors. –KH

A Game for the Living (Fiction, Patricia Highsmith, 1958) When his lover is brutally murdered, an expat artist living in Mexico tries to move her other boyfriend off his false confession. Despite strong delineation of character through quotidian detail, the story of a level-headed protagonist who makes sensible decisions is not what one goes to Highsmith for.—RDL

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Samurai, Santa and Spider-Mans

December 27th, 2018 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

The Great Killing (Film, Japan, Eiichi Kudo, 1964) Coup plotters hiding from an official purge plan a second attempt to prevent a ruthless rival from becoming the de facto ruler of Tokugawa Japan. Revisionist samurai film portrays struggles for power both figurative and physical as chaotic, confusing, and squalid.—RDL

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Film, US, Bob Persichetti et al., 2018) Teen under pressure Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) gets bitten by a high-tech spider and sees a hole blown in reality. High-energy romp zings around the tired origin story at its heart, as numerous guest Spider-Folk provide capability relief and up-beats. The animation amply swipes from Ditko, Romita, Kirby, and co. with love, similarly zinging around its sub-Pixar base look. –KH

Roma (Film, Mexico, Alfonso Cuarón, 2018) Shy maid (Yalitza Aparicio) to a doctor’s family fears the worst when her martial artist boyfriend gets her pregnant. Domestic slice-of-life drama opened up by an epic period backdrop. Adopts Italian Neorealism as its guide both in style and brutal manipulation. See this Netflix production on a big screen if you’re lucky enough to live near a venue that’s showing it.—RDL

Good

The Christmas Chronicles (Film, US, Clay Kaytis, 2018) Inquisitive Katie (Darby Camp) and her big brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) stow away on Santa’s sleigh, resulting in a wrecked sleigh, Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) without his bag of presents, and Christmas in danger. Netflix tries for the “family Christmas classic” film by swiping from many better films and letting Kurt Russell chew the scenery, which is not a terrible plan as plans go. A notable Christian subtext and plenty of zoomy CGI reindeer over Chicago help Kurt and Camp keep this one on both the Nice list and the Good list. –KH

The Keyhole (Film, US, Michael Curtiz, 1933) Charming socialite (Kay Francis) books cruise to Cuba to escape her blackmailing ex, shadowed by a suave private eye (George Brent) hired by her wealthy older husband. Noir plotline played as a glamorous romantic comedy, with all the best lines going to undersung character actor and classic Runyonesque mug Allen Jenkins.—RDL

Okay

Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Film, Shunya Itō, 1972) Vengeance-seeking inmate (Meiko Kaji) goes on the lam with a group of fellow prisoners. More hallucinatory and theatrical than its predecessor, but just as harsh and lurid, part two in the series turns its patriarchy-slaying lead into a numbed bystander.—RDL

The Haunting of Hill House (Television, US, Netflix, Mike Flanagan, 2018) Hugh Crain’s (Henry Thomas in 1991, Timothy Hutton in the present) decision to buy and flip the much-haunted Hill House in 1991 tests his family to destruction, culminating in the present day. Flanagan’s bravura cross-decade plotting and filming might have justified his perverse decision to flip Shirley Jackson’s Pinnacle novel into a conventional post-Amityville haunted house story until the asymptotically Ire-Inspiring last episode. –KH

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Episode 324: Live from Dragonmeet

December 21st, 2018 | Robin

Once again we close out the year with an episode recorded in front of a live audience at Dragonmeet in Hammersmith, London. Topics include the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and the Peloponnesian War, Cthulhoid Teletubbies, giant cows, modes of Yellow King RPG Game Mastering, and of course, sausages.

We’ll be back with our first episode of 2019 on January 4th. Until then, enjoy a safe and happy holiday!

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.


Wish to introduce innocent children to the horror of the Mythos, while remaining on budget? Atlas Games is here to affordably twist young minds with a buy two, get one free deal on Ken’s Mini Mythos line of childrens’ book parodies: Where the Deep Ones Are, Goodnight Azathoth, Cliffourd the Big Red God, and Antarctic Express.

Ken’s latest roleplaying game, The Fall of Delta Green, is now available in print or PDF or both from Pelgrane Press. Journey to the head-spinning chaos of the late 1960s, back when everyone’s favorite anti-Cthulhu special ops agency hadn’t gone rogue yet, for this pulse-pounding GUMSHOE game of war, covert action, and Mythos horror.

Grab the translated riches of FENIX magazine in a special bundle deal from our friends at Askfageln, over at Indie Press Revolution. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, a cornucopia of articles, complete games, plus the cartoon antics of Bernard the Barbarian. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish.

Just in time to save the world, though perhaps not your team of hardened covert agents, from the Mythos, the Delta Green Handlers Guide from Arc Dream Publishing is now in print and either at or headed to a game store near you. The slipcase print edition includes both the Handlers’ Guide and Agents’ Handbook, fitting snugly into your go bag along with your extra passports and list of weapons caches.

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Ken and Robin Consume Media: Platonic Murders and a Teenage Witch

December 18th, 2018 | Robin

Recommended

The Athenian Murders (Fiction, José Carlos Somoza, 2000) When a killer stalks students at Plato’s Academy, they turn to Heracles Pontos, the Decipherer of Enigmas, to resolve the case — although the translator believes this supposedly ancient Greek novel holds a code, and that a killer stalks him … Works both as a mystery novel and as Nabokovian metafiction, which is surely all one can ask. –KH

Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist (Nonfiction, Phil Baker, 2011) Biography of the artist and occultist pierces layers of mythologizing, by its subject and others, revealing the hand-to-mouth life of an impoverished, working-class autodidact. In convincingly sorting truth from fancy, performs an act of Herculean and definitive proportions, while still leaving in the fun anecdotes.—RDL

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1 (Television, US, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, 2018) Half-mortal, half-witch (Kiernan Shipka) balances her affection for her human friends with the desire of the Dark Lord to enrol her in sorcery school. A great cast, led by the compelling Shipka, digs into the comic horror material with relish. Wisely sidesteps the meandering serialism of so many binge shows for the snappier pacing brought by clearly delineated episodes. It’s a telling moment in the culture wars when a show features multiple sympathetic comedy Satanists within a Dennis Wheatley/Jack Chick cosmology. –RDL

King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen (Film, US, Steve Mitchell, 2018) Wild anecdotes of shot-stealing guerrilla moviemaking take center stage in this clips & interviews career survey of the genre outsider responsible for such titles as It’s Alive, God Told Me To, and Q the Winged Serpent.—RDL

Primer (Film, US, Shane Carruth, 2004) Electronic engineers in their garage lab construct a time machine allowing them to jump a few hours into the future. Watching people perform complex procedures is weirdly absorbing on film; this micro-budget SF head-bender tests that by withholding any explanation of what we’re seeing that the characters wouldn’t make to one another.—RDL

Good

20,000 Years in Sing Sing (Film, US, Michael Curtiz, 1933) Hardboiled robber (Spencer Tracy) bonds with an honest warden, only to be put to the test when his girl (Bette Davis) is badly injured by a former confederate. Flat script gives Curtiz little to work with, with results noteworthy for the only pairing of its iconic stars and a sympathy for the criminal class that has long gone by the wayside.—RDL

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Episode 323: They Pecked the Anglo Saxons

December 14th, 2018 | Robin

Jet-lagged and full of pudding, we return from our latest trip to Dragonmeet to issue a Travel Advisory about the Anglo Saxon Kingdoms exhibit at the British Library.

In the Gaming Hut we pursue a request from Patreon backer Mikey Hamm to talk about chase rules.

If we were just in London, our hero must have come home with a metric oodle of tomes to share with you before he files them up on Ken’s Bookshelf.

Want to pose a question to the show? Get your priority question asking access with your support for the KARTAS Patreon!

Snag Ken and Robin merchandise at TeePublic.

 


Wish to introduce innocent children to the horror of the Mythos, while remaining on budget? Atlas Games is here to affordably twist young minds with a buy two, get one free deal on Ken’s Mini Mythos line of childrens’ book parodies: Where the Deep Ones Are, Goodnight Azathoth, Cliffourd the Big Red God, and Antarctic Express.

Ken’s latest roleplaying game, The Fall of Delta Green, is now available in print or PDF or both from Pelgrane Press. Journey to the head-spinning chaos of the late 1960s, back when everyone’s favorite anti-Cthulhu special ops agency hadn’t gone rogue yet, for this pulse-pounding GUMSHOE game of war, covert action, and Mythos horror.

Grab the translated riches of FENIX magazine in a special bundle deal from our friends at Askfageln, over at Indie Press Revolution. Score metric oodles of Ken Hite gaming goodness, a cornucopia of articles, complete games, plus the cartoon antics of Bernard the Barbarian. Warning: in English, not in Swedish. In English, not Swedish.

Just in time to save the world, though perhaps not your team of hardened covert agents, from the Mythos, the Delta Green Handlers Guide from Arc Dream Publishing is now in print and either at or headed to a game store near you. The slipcase print edition includes both the Handlers’ Guide and Agents’ Handbook, fitting snugly into your go bag along with your extra passports and list of weapons caches.

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Holy Forking Shirtballs Ken and Robin are Consuming Media

December 11th, 2018 | Robin

Ken and Robin Consume Media is brought to you by the discriminating and good-looking backers of the Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Patreon. Each week we provide capsule reviews of the books, movies, TV seasons and more we cram into our hyper-analytical sensoriums. Join the Patreon to help pick the items we’ll talk about in greater depth on a little podcast segment we like to call Tell Me More.

Recommended

The Good Place Season 3 (Television, US, Michael Schur, NBC, 2018) The breathless pacing of this premise-threat-philosophy-class comedy slows down a bit for time travel, life interventions, and making fun of Australia before resuming its roller-coaster switchbackery once Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) and friends again become interdimensional fugitives. –KH

The Good Place Season 3 (Television, US, Michael Schur, NBC, 2018) Michael (Ted Danson) breaks the cosmic rules to bring Eleanor and company back to life on Earth for a second shot at redemption. This season not only shifts the show’s premise yet again, but switches protagonists, moving Michael and Janet (D’arcy Carden) to the forefront and pushing Kristen Bell as Eleanor into the ensemble.—RDL

Killing Eve Season 1 (Television, UK, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, BBC America, 2018) Intelligence analyst (Sandra Oh) steps into the field in pursuit of an emotionally arrested, psychopathic assassin (Jodie Comer.) Semi-comic espionage thriller pits a grounded protagonist against a cartoonish antagonist. It’s hard to see how the premise sustains itself through an entire series, but that’s a problem for next year, I guess.—RDL

Let the Sunshine In (Film, France, Claire Denis, 2017) Emotionally unmoored artist (Juliette Binoche) careens through a series of unstable romantic relationships. Powerfully performed character study recalls Rohmer, but with intense feeling taking the place of Olympian detachment.—RDL

Good

The Irregular: A Different Class of Spy (Fiction, H.B. Lyle, 2017) What ever happened to Wiggins, the street-urchin head of Sherlock Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars? According to Lyle’s novel, he became the first-ever agent of the British Secret Service in 1909, facing off against the historical anarchist Peter the Painter and other shadowy threats to the Empire. Far from flawlessly executed, but a fun thriller nonetheless. –KH

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 1 (Television, US, Netflix, Amy Sherman-Palladino, 2017) When her husband ditches her for his shiksa secretary, achievement-obsessed Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) takes over his stand-up comedy dream. Glorious dive  into late 50s New York style falters only during the stand-up scenes, where the otherwise perfectly executed old-school presentational acting style precludes the comic timing that would have worked then, or now.—RDL

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Film Cannister
Cartoon Rocket
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Flying Clock
Robin
Film Cannister