Horny 4 Horror applauds the practical effects of The Stuff and other ’80s cult hits

“Critical world-building, smart characterization, and fun interaction between good friends.” That’s what Friends At The Table promises, and week by week it delivers it in spades. While other actual play podcasts can get bogged down in game mechanics or just spend too much time goofing around, game master Austin Walker…

A Young Black Man’s Reluctant Odyssey Into Guns sets its sights on America’s racist gun problem

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“A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home,” the journalist and civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells wrote in 1892, three-quarters of a century before the nascent Black Panther Party For Self-Defense asserted its Second Amendment right to bear arms. Sickened by the number of Jim Crow-era…

A historic fire illuminates an enduring institution in Susan Orlean’s The Library Book

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Early in The Library Book, Susan Orlean describes the joy of scanning a library’s shelves and discovering the dramatically different subjects that have somehow become neighbors. “On a library bookshelf, thought progresses in a way that is logical but also dumbfounding, mysterious, irresistible,” she writes.

Halloween Unmasked explores the psychology of Michael Myers and real-life serial killers

This BBC food journalism podcast travels to China as part of a broader series exploring eating disorders outside the context of a Western woman’s disease. Although there’s not an official record, it’s known that areas of China see the same prevalence of eating disorders as the U.S. and Europe. At the country’s sole…

What are you reading in October? 3 new books by Latinx writers

I usually like to welcome the fall by buying a fresh notebook and a pack of pens (guess I haven’t left my school days behind), but this year, that little ritual was replaced with reading Patrick Flores-Scott’s new novel. American Road Trip is as multifaceted as its protagonist, Mexican-American teen Teodoro (known as…

Chris Gethard on his new book, his old TV show, and not taking the “cult” part of “cult hero” literally

It’s always a good time to talk to Chris Gethard. Hundreds of people regularly vie for that opportunity, waiting for him to tweet the phone number for Beautiful/Anonymous, a podcast that is built entirely of Gethard taking calls from unidentified strangers. But now seems like a particularly good time to talk to the…

Who is the Gargoyle King? Dial M For Maple explores the mysteries of Riverdale's new season

After a loaded sophomore season that unmasked the Black Hood next door and sent the town to the brink of civil war on multiple occasions, how does Riverdale kick off season three? With some sweaty courtroom drama, of course! But while Archie’s on trial for murder, Dial M For Maple would like to take him to court for…

Beyond the joint, past the pipe: The fanciest new ways to get high in the year 2018

It’s 1 a.m., I am currently more high than I have ever been in my life. A ghostly apparition is coming out of the ceiling. My cat is looking at me with concern—or maybe I’m imagining the concern, like I’m imagining whatever is hovering above me. This is all the fault of a fancy new gadget I’ve just used to get high,…

On A Sunbeam delivers one of the best love stories this year—comics or otherwise

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If you’re unfamiliar with the name Tillie Walden because you stick to the cape-and-cowl side of the comic shop, you’re missing out on one of the most increasingly popular and well-regarded names in the comics industry. Now just 22 years old, Walden was one of the youngest-ever Eisner winners when she earned the…

Yeardley Smith and Zibby Allen bring their true-crime fixation to life with Small Town Dicks

The podcasters: “We’re a little obsessed with each other.” Actors and longtime friends Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons) and Zibby Allen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) hang on each other’s every word, a built-in feature of their kinship that lends itself impeccably well to their true-crime podcast, Small Town Dicks. Alongside…

Murakami’s usual flights of fancy can’t save the mundane Killing Commendatore

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The unnamed narrator of Haruki Murakami’s new novel, Killing Commendatore, is a recently divorced painter. He resents the marvelous success he’s had as a portrait artist for the wealthy and wishes to use his newfound freedom to get back to his artistic roots. After accepting an invitation to live at the unoccupied…

The Podmass October horrors continue with tales of Bigfoot, The Exorcist, and group fitness classes

At first blush, this new narrative offering from Wondery looks like another in-depth tale of true crime. And while that’s sort of true, it also isn’t. Scandals need not be criminal to inflame society. Yes, the BALCO steroid mess of the early ’00s—painstakingly recounted in the show’s inaugural episode—eventually got…

Ellie Kemper is as unbreakable as Kimmy Schmidt in her charming new memoir

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Celebrity memoirs seem to be a dime a dozen these days (Parker Posey! Busy Philipps!), so why read Ellie Kemper’s? Somewhat surprisingly, Kemper’s collection of tales from her childhood and career are as charming as she is onscreen, from The Office’s ditzy Erin to plucky Becca from Bridesmaids to the supremely…

Our Riverdale podcast, Dial M For Maple, returns to preview the show's third season

Tie up that ponytail high because Riverdale’s third season is just around the corner, and our recap podcast, Dial M For Maple, is celebrating with a return to form. Hosts Marah Eakin and Cameron Scheetz are back and eager to catch up on all of the Riverdale news you may have missed over the summer. They’ll recap the…

Age of apocalypses: 10 momentous character events in ’90s comics

The 1990s were a period of boom and bust for the comic book industry. Many of the highest-selling single issues of all time (like X-Men #1, still the record holder with more than 7 million copies moved) were released during that decade, and the two major publishers were churning out huge quantities to meet the demand…