Wekk Podcast – Ep 17 – Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Annie Bellet, Hit RECord, David Foster Wallace

We start this week off by discussing Fame High, LM Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), James Ellroy (Star Wars), and Bill Nye the Science Guy. After that we discuss the comic book, “Jim Henson’s The Storyteller,” a book series by Annie Bellet called “The Twenty-Sided Sorceress,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s collaborative production company, named “Hit RECord,” the TV show, “Turn,” and an upcoming movie about the late author, David Foster Wallace called “The End of the Tour.” There was so much in this episode we wish you could have been in the studio with us when we were recording. Remember to let us know what you think and what you enjoyed this week.


Wekk Podcast – Ep 16 – Super Fight!

It’s time to kick butt and take names as we play “Superfight – A Game of Absurd Arguments.” Find out who prevails in an all-out battle for Wekk/Superfight domination. And don’t forget to check out the game at http://www.superfightgame.com/

We spend a little bit of time before the game starts talking about television shows we’re enjoying (Continuum, Orphan Black, Penny Dreadful) and a few other things – (a mini-Roundtable). Enjoy!


Wekk Podcast – Ep 15 – What a lovely Round-Table!

This is our biggest round-table yet. Kellie shares with us a great audiobook website (reviewing 7th Son by J.C. Hutchins); Kevin talks about the classic Thunderbirds TV show from his childhood; Katy discusses her love for Kelly Sue DeConnick’s writing in the newest Captain Marvel issue as well as two other great Marvel comics (Black Widow and Secret Avengers); And finally, Mandy says, “What a lovely day” with Mad Max: Fury Road, and she shares with us a super-special book that she used to ask us interesting questions. All that and much, much more.

A Companion to Our Episode on “The Martian”

Kevin here, and I believe I can say with firm confidence that all of us on the Wekk Podcast enjoyed reading Andy Weir’s “The Martian.” There may have been an issue with a scene here and there, but for the most part, we all had a great time with the book.

So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to learn about author Andy Weir’s journey to literary stardom. Here now is a list of some facts I learned recently about the making of this book, as well as what Andy has up his sleeve next. Enjoy.

1. How “The Martian” Proves That Anyone Can Publish a Book

Andy’s path from writing for his own pleasure, to now having a Hollywood movie made from his novel, is amazing. One thing Andy says in interviews is that he never actively marketed his book. He simply wrote it and people wanted to read it.

He initially published each chapter on his personal website. Once he finished the book, some readers said it was too cumbersome to read the whole thing on a webpage, so he created a couple of e-reader compatible files and uploaded them for anyone who wanted them for free. Then, some readers said they didn’t have the technical know-how to take these files and stick them in their Kindle, so he went to Amazon and uploaded his book for readers at a price-point of .99 cents, the lowest price he could charge. (He was not allowed to offer it for free, which was his original intention.) Once on Amazon, his book started selling quite well until it hit Amazon’s Top 10 Sci-Fi e-Books list, and that’s when his life changed. Random House took notice, he got an agent, a book deal, a movie deal, and he’s already writing a second novel. (Mentioned below.) Big things come from small beginnings, and Andy has championed the e-book business because without it he would not be where he is today.

2. Weir Wrote a Computer Simulation To Plot His Book

Some writers write outlines, some interview people, some do lots of research in order to get the facts right. Andy Weir went a step further. Since he wanted to be as accurate as possible, Weir, who is a computer programmer, created a program to simulate the exact position of the Earth, Mars, and the Hermes spacecraft at every point in his story.

This is the actual computer program Andy Weir wrote to plot the orbits of the Earth, Mars, as well as plotting the Hermes spacecraft. Show is the full Hermes flight path in the simulation.
Here is the actual computer program Weir created to plot the orbits of the Earth, Mars, and the Hermes spacecraft. Shown here is the full Hermes flight path. Click for a larger image.

Not only did it help him figure out the exact flight path of the Hermes, but it also showed him the exact distances between each orbiting bodies so that Weir could accurately portray the communications between the Earth and both Hermes and Mars. That level of commitment seems to border on the obsessive, and we thank Andy for that.

3. Weir Hates the Book Cover

Well, “hate” is a strong word. Let’s say he disliked the cover when it was shown to him. The cover I refer to is the North American version (shown at the top of the page) that features an astronaut in a white spacesuit surrounded by a rust-orange cloud of dust.

To make the cover, an artist used a photo of a Space Shuttle astronaut during an EVA on an actual shuttle mission. The Mars duststorm was photoshopped around the figure to complete the image. Not only did Andy Weir not like it, he pointed out in an early draft of the cover that it contained a reflection in the astronaut’s helmet that showed the space shuttle’s cargo bay. (It was quickly corrected prior to publication.) Anyway, since it’s common for books to have different art in other countries, Andy has mentioned that he likes the Dutch version the best, which is located below.

4. Weir Admits to Fudging the Science For The Sake of His Story

In the book, the initial calamity that befalls Mark Watney is caused by a mega-sandstorm that aborts the mission. Andy has has said in interviews that his book’s sandstorm actually would feel like a two kilometer-per-hour wind on Earth and would not have been a threat to anyone on Mars. But, given that the protagonist needed to be stranded, and most people think that Mars dust-storms are ferocious, he took a bit of artistic license and made it into a super-storm.

 (Above: The very “manly” UK version of Andy Weir’s book.)

5. Why Mark Watney Never Got Depressed or Lonely, and Why He’s Portrayed As a “Smart-Ass.”

Andy Weir has said that he wanted Mark Watney to be an “astronaut” who simply looked at the situation as a problem to be solved instead of dealing with the psychological negativity anyone might face after being abandoned on Mars.

In a recent Reddit AMA, Andy said “It’s a very serious situation and could have been a very dark, depressing story. I used Mark’s wit to lighten up the situation. Also there’s a TON of exposition in the book, where I have to give dry, scientific information to the reader. Having it delivered by a smart-ass makes it palatable.”

6. What Is Andy Weir Writing Next?

Once again, from the recent Reddit AMA, Andy wrote: “I’m working on my next novel, Zhek, which is a more traditional sci-fi novel. It has aliens, telepathy, faster-than-light travel, etc.” In other interviews, he described this story as “epic” in the literary sense of the word, and it’s one that may take several books to complete.

Well, now we know a little bit more about “The Martian,” about Andy Weir, and about his immediate future.

What did you think of “The Martian?” Did you agree with our comments during the podcast? Let us know in the comments section.


Wekk Podcast – Ep 14 – The Martian by Andy Weir

Special Ep 2 – Wekk Book Group – “The Martian” by Andy Weir
Katy, Kellie, Mandy, and Kevin go into deep “Martian detail” about Andy Weir’s amazing debut novel, “The Martian.” Get stranded on the red planet with us and hear us talk about what characters we liked, what scenes were the coolest, and what pet-peeves we have. (This is filled with spoilery goodness, so please read “The Martian” if you want to know what in heaven’s name we’re babbling on about.)
Andy Weir’s Official Author Page:
Map of Mark Watney’s official traverse as described in the book:

Ep 12 Companion: What Do I Love About Disneyland?

Kevin here. Disneyland is nicknamed “The Happiest Place On Earth” for a darn good reason, I think. It simply makes people happy. The cynical among us would scoff at such sugary sappiness, but whenever I am in the park, I feel rejuvenated as if I have been given an elixir of life. To me, Disneyland isn’t about cynicism, hipster irony, or corporations run a muck. No. It’s about smiles, and children laughing, and adults reliving the joys of their childhood. How could anyone see anything but beauty in that?

So, in the spirit of the people who love Disneyland, I give you a list of things about the park that I have loved in my life, and hopefully you love some of these same things, too. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s one I hope you will enjoy. So, here goes.

Disneyland happiness means…

E-ticket rides. You can’t spell “excitement” without three e’s, or rather, three E-ticket rides.

The Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland (where Big Thunder Mountain resides.) One of my earliest memories of the park.

Hearing Snow White’s singing voice echo in the wishing well at The Snow White Grotto.

Main Street. Just the whole vibe is amazing.

The old Penny Arcade on Main Street that had authentic mutoscopes from the turn of the 20th century that showed flip-books of filmed scenes for a coin.

The old two-level Starcade in Tomorrowland that always had the latest, greatest video games. I spent many rolls of quarters there in my day.

The Haunted Mansion. This and Pirates of the Caribbean are two of the greatest rides that Disneyland has ever created.

Flying over London and Neverland in Peter Pan’s Flight always makes me feel like a kid filled with wonder again.

Pulling on the bendable, bamboo ceiling support in the Indiana Jones ride queue. When the ride was new, spikes would slowly emerge from the ceiling and it would descend a few inches to dramatic effect. Very cool memory.

The original Submarine Voyage. I never got to see the live divers and mermaids, but the ride was so cool, that I can only imagine what it must have been like to see a real person waving at our sub as it passed by.

The Mission to Mars ride. Oh sure. The ride looked like the inside of a giant washing machine, but for those of us who imagined traveling to faraway places, this was the ultimate trip.

Tom Sawyer’s Island, which was, essentially, a place where you just turned your kids loose and let them play. What fun!

CircleVision 360. Being the huge movie nerd that I am, how could I possibly resist a 360 degree movie? Yes, you had to stand for the entire movie, and it didn’t help that you might have had really aching feet during the show, but it was one of the most unique movie experiences I have ever had, and I miss that attraction very much.

Holidays at the park. Nothing beats the Halloween and Xmas at the Happiest Place on Earth. Everything is decorated, the music is all seasonal, and even some of the rides are changed to have a holiday theme. And the climax of the fireworks at night during the Holiday period brings nightly snowfall. All in Southern California, no less. Nothing short of magical.

That’s enough for now. Thanks for reading. What are your favorite Disneyland moments, past and present? Let us know in the comments.


Wekk Podcast – Ep 12 – I Can’t Quit You, Disneyland

This week, Disneyland is our obsession. As the original Disney Park, Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Find out our favorite current rides, our favorite extinct rides, our favorite foods and eateries found in the park, as well as tons more chat about the original “Happiest Place on Earth.”
Disneyland Official Site:
Yesteryear is a site for anyone looking for information on extinct attractions in any of the Disney Parks. It’s a great resource:
Ride “Adventures Thru Inner Space” in this excellent virtual video using the actual audio from the ride:
The late, great Paul Frees is discussed as a beloved voiceover actor in several Disney attractions, such as Haunted Mansion and Adventures Thru Inner Space.
Country Bear Jamboree (This is actually from Walt Disney World as it’s the best video I’ve seen yet, and the show actually originated in Orlando.)
“America Sings” from Disneyland circa 1987. (Most of these animatronic figures were reconfigured for Splash Mountain and Star Tours.)

MORE Spoilery Wekk – “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Kevin here. This is a kind of companion article to our podcast on “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” It’s more like a jumble of notes I scrawled out after I saw the film. Read them and digest them normally with at least eight glasses of water. And remember:


1. In our podcast, I was the only one to maintain a less-than-upbeat opinion of the movie. Oh, I definitely enjoyed it, and I’ll be seeing it again, but I still maintain my B+ rating for the film. If I change that opinion, I will update the blog.

2. There was too much happening to really care about anything. Too many characters, too many cuts to this random Avenger uttering a witty line, then jump-cutting to another random Avenger… rinse, wash, repeat. All of this made me dizzy as if the film were trying to make me eat cereal past the point to where I could hold down no more food. The same happened in the film. Lucky I didn’t vomit.

3. What was the drink they were all handed after the Hydra battle? Should I have known what that was? I would have preferred them all to be handed bourbon or scotch and have them act like the characters on Mad Men or Archer.

4. Ultron was not as badass a villain as he was in the comics. I mean, James Spader did a great job, but he was less of a threat than his swarm of minion robots. And I know that the swarm is technically Ultron too, but it felt less menacing to me to see the minion bots attacking as opposed to seeing Ultron’s physical form attacked Iron Man.

5. The film gave the audience zero time to hate Ultron. Ultron literally took micro-seconds to turn evil. The “why” went by so fast that it was almost dismissed as extraneous information. In fact, so many things were expected to be digested so quickly that it was tiring, and I’ve probably forgotten the details on most of the battle scenes already.

6. I’m not sure how the Banner/Romanoff romance was necessary to the plot. There. I said it. It ended as it began, with neither character changed in any way. They just reset their brains to “brood” and moved on.

7. I was very disappointed that the the Avengers’ main beatdown was NOT caused by Ultron, but by Scarlet Witch’s bad dreams. Ultron’s badassery suffered since he never contributed to any of the Avengers’ suffering except through his extension minion-bots. And Scarlet Witch’s induced visions were simply foreshadowing of things to come than having any relevance to the main plot.

8. So, Ultron’s master plan was to turn a city into an object big enough to cause human extinction? Would that have really worked? I felt any object needed to be much bigger, or be it needed to be an object headed at Earth at an infinitely greater speed.

9. Introduce Quicksilver, then kill him off? Okay. Let me phrase this differently: Make us care about Quicksilver, and then shoot him 48 times? Where’s the logic in that? Was that done simply to create a pissed-off and brooding Scarlet Witch in future films? Yay! More Marvel brooding.

10. The Age of Ultron ending was quite anti-climactic to me. There was no build-up to Ultron’s defeat. He just gets shot with beams of energy and Scarlet Witch ripped his heart out. (Which, by the way, didn’t feel very emotional to me. Just sayin’.) Then The Vision talks to Ultron’s last remaining minion bot before destroying it. Not the most gripping climax, to be sure.

I walked out of the theater feeling a bit unsatisfied. The CGI was great, the dialogue was witty and smart, and the film was a quality effort, but I felt two things: First, that there was just too much happening for me to care. Second, that it felt more like an extended teaser for The Infinity War. I felt like this should have been titled “Act II: Don’t Worry. The Real Movie We Want To Make Is Coming in Three Years.”

That’s some of my reactions. Tell us yours. What did you like about Age of Ultron? What did you not like? Write it up and leave a comment. And thanks for tuning in to Wekk Podcast.


Special Ep 1 – Spoilery Wekk – “Avengers: Age of Ultron”

Spoiler-Senses are tingling as Katy, Kellie, Kevin, and Mandy deep-dive into “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Find out what we liked, what we didn’t like, and where we see the Marvel films going. Also, learn what some Wekk co-hosts think about a certain Asgardian god who may (or may not) be naked in the film. Enjoy.
Marvel.com – Official film website:
**This is Katy, he’s naked…also, we spoil the entire movie in this episode…fair warning.

Wekk Podcast – Ep 11 – Who would you cosplay as? What alien race would you be? Would you go to Mars?

This week is a questions episode. Apologies to those listening with headsets as we have several bouts of hysterical laughter. Somehow we manage to answer questions such as, Who would you cosplay? What alien race would you be? Would you go to Mars? and many many more. We invent our own sitcom in space (which someone needs to write) and contemplate a future with self-driving cars.

Thank you for listening!


Wekk Podcast – Ep 10 – Thrilling Adventure Hour, The Fall, Snowpiercer, Boundary Crossed

We are not exaggerating when we say this week’s episode will make you laugh and cry, maybe both at the same time. Katy, Kellie, Kevin, and Mandy talk about many things and manage to insult nearly every country in the world all while making a heartfelt plea to Netflix (not a sponsor). Katy gushes over her love of Thrilling Adventure Hour (but mainly Mark Evan Jackson and Sparks Nevada). Mandy dives into The Fall and educates us all on UK television. Kevin dissects Snowpiercer and we briefly discuss Chris Evans body of work (pun intended). And finally, Kellie shares why she loves the new series by Melissa F. Olson – Boundary Crossed. We hope you enjoy it!

If you do (and have a few extra minutes) leave a review or a comment. Thank you for listening!

Links below:






Wekk Podcast – Ep 9 – Questions, Questions, and more Questions

This week Mandy is off finishing up her masters of Science (“She blinded me with science!”) so Katy, Kellie, and Kevin sit down with a soup mug full of questions and entertain themselves. Topics include an epic throw down between Thor and Superman, favorite Disney Princesses (including Leia), preferred fictional worlds, and other podcasts to enjoy.

Thank you for listening and visit our social media to tell us what you think. We would love to hear from you!


Wekk Podcast – Ep 8 – We’ve Got a Question – What old TV shows should be reboot?

Kellie asks a question – What old television shows should be reboot? The conversation starts out thought provoking and factual, but by the time we reach Kevin’s pick, ideas start to fly (and we get a little goofy). So, enjoy! And let us know which shows you think should be back on the air…but different…with plausible characters…good writing…awesome actors…modern tech…using our ideas exactly…are you listening Hollywood?


Wekk Podcast – Ep 7 – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Cards Against Humanity, Cox n Crendor, Bigtime Books – Fearless Five

This week Katy, Kellie, Kevin, and Mandy chat about their latest favorites. Mandy reviews Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kevin tackles Cards Against Humanity, Katy goes a little crazy for Cox n Crendor, and Kellie dishes on superheroes while discussing the Bigtime books by Jennifer Estep. We had a minor issue with some clicking audio around the middle of the podcast, but there should be enough hysterical laughter and conversation to drown it out. Thank you for listening!


Wekk Podcast – Ep 6 – We’ve Got a Question

Who’s your all time favorite villain? Kevin posed the question and Kellie, Katy, and Mandy racked their brains (and looked into their hearts) to find the answer. After you’ve heard our answers, let us know your favorite. Send us a note on Twitter, Facebook, or email us at wekkpodcast@gmail.com. And, as always, thank you for listening!


Wekk Board Gaming: “Concept,” by Asmodee

The board game called
Over the past weekend, there was a Geek & Sundry Twitch stream at a gaming convention at SXSW in Austin, TX, and one of the board games they featured on the show was made by Asmodee (famous for such games as “Splendor,” Takenoko” and “7 Wonders,) called “Concept.” Felicia Day and her brother Ryon played this on the stream with a couple of random strangers at the gaming convention, and it looked really fun and engaging.

Concept” is a game that’s very easy to explain and very fun in practice. With a minimum of four players required, two players try to get the other two to guess a word or phrase. Imagine the game of Charades or Pictionary where instead of flapping your arms around, clucking like a chicken, or drawing something no one can understand, you have a board of basic pictographs or icons that you place pieces on to give the other players clues to the word or phrase you want them to guess. One player draws a card with a word or phrase, and must use the board of pictographs to get the players to guess correctly. This is the basic concept (heh heh) of “Concept.”

The board has vibrant colors, both in the neon-colored pieces and the icons on the board, and you are encouraged to shout out your guesses as soon as they come to you just like in Charades or Pictionary, but with less physicality required. If no one gets the word or phrase, more clues are forthcoming until someone wins the round. When a person guesses right, points are doled out to both teams, and the player with the most points at the end wins.

Concept” earned a Golden Geek nomination at BGG.Con in 2013, and it won the As d’Or (Golden Ace) Award at the Cannes Festival International des Jeux in 2014.

This is a game that looks like a fast, fun party game with a unique board mechanic that anyone can enjoy, and I look forward to trying my hand at this game very soon.



Wekk Podcast – Ep 5 – Books and Braun, Batman ’66, Geek and Sundry Twitch, The Martian

This week Katy, Kellie, Kevin, and Mandy talk about books they love (Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and The Martian), comic books they adore (Batman ’66), and Geek and Sundry’s new Twitch stream, which is just plain awesome.

Please let us know if you have comments or questions. You can email us at wekkpodcast@gmail.com or contact us on Facebook or Twitter. We would love to have you be part of the conversation.

“Life of Riley” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Wekk Podcast – Ep 4 – Binge-worthy media and a debate about spoilers

This week Katy, Kellie, Kevin, and Mandy discuss binge-worthy media in all shapes and sizes…but mostly television. Then they tread into a debate over whether spoilers are good or bad, or good and bad, or mostly bad, good, and infuriating.

Please like our page on Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our podcast. Thank you for tuning in!

“Life of Riley” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


Wekk Podcast – Episode 3 – Round Table: We’re Alive, Station Agent, Dragon Age, Star Wars Rebels

This week is another fun round table. Kellie talks about “We’re Alive,” a zombie podcast, Katy admits she’s finally figured out RPG’s…sort of, Mandy gets us sidetracked with discussions about movies, and Kevin delves into animated Star Wars television (AND we learn he owns the best, most horrible thing ever.)

Links below:

“Life of Riley” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

We’re Alive – http://www.werealive.com

Dragon Age Inquisition – http://www.bioware.com/en/

Station Agent – http://www.thestationagent.com

Star Wars Rebels – http://www.starwars.com/tv-shows/star-wars-rebels


Wekk Podcast Episode 2 – Zombies

In which Katy, Kellie, Mandy, and Kevin dig deep into zombie mythology and discuss everything from Walking Dead to iZombie and more. We then tread into post-apocolypic fare and Kevin gives a spot on impression of Mad Max as Bane.

“Life of Riley” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Movies and Books Discussed:

Walking Dead, iZombie, Warm Bodies, Night of the Living Dead, 28 Days Later, Z Nation, World War Z, The Road, I am Legend, Mad Max, and everything by Stephen King. We also talked about Chew the comic book series.


Episode 1 – Wekk Podcast – Round Table: Board Game, Creepy Hollow, Mr. Kiss and Tell, Comics

Each week you can look forward to a new conversation with Katy, Kellie, Kevin, and Mandy. In our first episode we discuss a board game, a series of books, a book inspired by a movie, and a fun website. Links are below.

Music: “Life of Riley” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Board Game – B-17: Queen of the Skies – www.boardgamegeek.com

Books – Creepy Hollow Series, Rachel Morgan, www.Rachel-Morgan.com,

Book – Mr. Kiss and Tell, Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham,

Website – Amy Dallen’s Talkin’ Comics Weekly – Geek & Sundry Vlogs Channel