Thursday, February 14, 2019

Boskone Preview Part 2: Fond Lee/Christopher Golden

Fonda Lee

In this episode of Citywide Blackout, we continue our pre-Boskone coverage. Boskone is an annual fantasy and science fiction book festival that I've attended for years and always have a blast at. It's happening this weekend, Feb. 15-17, and you can learn more at

First up, I talk to Portland, Oregon-based writer Fonda Lee about audiobooks and how to get the voices just right, her joy at writing fight scenes, and how to best prep for a convention like Boskone.

Next up, it's author Christopher Golden, known for his work not only with books, but also comics and television. He shares some behind-the-scenes info on what it means for a book to be optioned for film or television and talks about scenes that have been intense, even for him.

Plus, it's more new music! Michael Egleton, a Blues, Soul and Jazz artist from Akron, Ohio. He describes himself as a soulful sound with innovative techniques and style, and I can't argue with that. I'm playing “Behind These Walls” and “Situations” at both breaks.

Be sure to follow the show on Facebook under Citywide Blacout and Twitter and Instagram under Citywidemax. As always, keep those ears open.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Boskone Preview Part 1: Clea Simon/Gerald Coleman

Welcome to our podcast preview of the annual Boskone book festival. First up is author Clea Simon—a newcomer to the Boskone family. She and I talk about the Boston music scene, which is the setting for her book “World Enough,” our favorite clubs, and how the it's changed over the years. She shares the story behind her new mystery novels, most of which have animals as the main characters.

Fellow writer Gerald Coleman's resume is far too long to list, but we cover a lot of ground in this interview, talking about how theology and science fiction come together, his work with the Affrilachian Poets and the diversity we see (and don't see) in comics and science fiction.

In addition, I've got some new music for you, with singles from Marco Bonvicini and Klgor.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Webcomic Review: Rainbow in the Dark

I'm fairly new to the world of webcomics, and lately I've been spending a lot of time perusing the titles on the Webtoon app (which, by the way, is totally free). One day I came across the comic Rainbow in the Dark, from the husband and wife team of Comfort and Adam. I was instantly captivated by the gorgeous art, and as time went on, by the unique, hilarious, and inspiring characters.

In the world of RITD, humanity is trapped by a force called The Gloom, the creation of the Veratu, which holds the human race in a world where everything is predictable, safe, and boring. There's literally no color to speak of, and thus, humanity plods along, safe and comfortable in their endless routines. Enter Donna White, a young woman who knows she doesn't fit in, but can't quite say how—until one day she sees a colorful band of rebels driving down the street battling giant monsters. She's dragged along for the ride and finds out for the first time what it means to have real hope and love in her life.

The story of RITD focuses on the rebels, a sort of “free people” that escaped The Gloom and now live their lives on their own terms. Life is unpredictable, far from secure, and that's the way they love it! Their choices are their own, and that's all they want to give the world: the ability to make their own choices, right or wrong.

As I mentioned earlier, the art in this comic is astounding. The colors are vibrant and alive, and those still trapped in The Gloom are cast in shades of grey, seemingly devoid of any real joy. Action scenes are brilliantly drawn, but whether you're seeing a quiet sunrise or giant monster throwdowns, each frame is a pleasure to view.

Each character has something different, from the devil-may-care bravado of Raina, to the cool spiritual wise man Luke, or the paternal stoicism of Jackson. Donna's journey to find her true self is a wonder to watch, and we get to see each twist and turn. We can relate to some, or all of these folks, and it's clear that the creators spent a lot of time delving into their minds to make them who they are.

RITD has an engaging story, visuals rarely seen, and a cast that will capture your heart and keep you reading right up until the end.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Feb. 3, 2019: Rainbow in the Dark

In this week's podcast, I sit down with Comfort and Adam, creators of one of my favorite comics, “Rainbow in the Dark,” now available on the Webtoon app. We talk about the wide array of characters and what each brings to the table, fan reaction to the story and how its changed their lives, and how these two made a career in the world of comics. Big thanks go to Kim Estlund for arranging the interview.

Stick around, because I've also got some new music to share. First, it's “Imaginary Me,” from Zuhlke and “Truth,” from ISSA member Fretsu NJ.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Jan. 27, 2019: 19 Miles Per Hour/Sonya Jevette/Ultrafeedy

19 Miles Per Hour

Welcome back to another exciting episode of Citywide Blackout, your podcast home for the best in music, movies, and more.

This week, it's all about the movies, as I chat with the New Hampshire-based foursome 19 Miles Per Hour. They recently released a new album and have had a great 2018 of shows, with more planned for the new year.
Sonya Jevette

Next we traipse down to Texas to speak with singer-songwriter Sonya Jevette. She too has had a lot happen, and we speak on her production company, how you get your own day, and new music for 2019.


The journey continues to Brisbane, Australia, and I have the chance to talk to Reuben Aptroot of the band Ultrafeedy. Australia's got a great music scene, and Reuben takes me on a stroll through some of the venues and up and coming bands, and shares some of the band's latest news, including a new single and recent tour.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Jan. 19, 2019: Fact Pattern/Avi Wisnia

Fact Pattern
 On this week's episode of Citywide Blackout, I sit down with Raanan Bozzio, drummer of the band This LA-based band is now in its third year and recently released a new single, “A Form To Be.” We talk movies, music, how the band first formed and their plans for 2019.

Later, Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Avi Wisnia and I hang out at The Twisted Tail to talk about his plans in the new year, and also how he came to Philly and his grandfather's influence on him as a person and his music.

Avi Wisnia

You can follow the show on Facebook by searching for Citywide Blackout, and on Twitter and Instagram under citywidemax.

And this week I'm excited to announce that Citywide has launched its own Patreon site. Search for Citywide Blackout and become a supporter of the show. Every little bit helps. Big thanks go to Matt Martino, our first Patron.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Book Review: The Maddie Chronicles, by Hannah Goodman

Editor's Note: This book was sent to me by the author with a request that I write a review, which I'm happy to do. That said, what I've written is my own and not influenced or seen ahead of time by anyone. 

Author Hannah Goodman's book, "The Maddie Chronicles," is an incredibly heartfelt story clearly written from the soul. From the opening bell, we're introduced to the family of Maddie Hickman, a collection of folks that manage to maintain pretty strong bonds despite a number of obstacles. Just like any family, am I right? Chapter 1 opens with the wedding of Maddie's sister, an occasion of great joy that only barely avoids disaster. Trust me, this is not the kind of book to start big and slope downward. It's a roller coaster from here on out.

In reading this, I feel an immediate connection with Maddie, a lover of self-help books who treasures time with her father and is painfully navigating the bumpy road of young adulthood. She's an "old soul" who reminds me of a plate spinner with a tad too many disks in the air. But she keeps it going, though at times we're reminded of the price paid along the way. I feel this connection, not just because of shared circumstances, but because it all feels so damn real.

Hannah writes with such passion and realism that I swear it's an autobiography. She's crafted a wide array of characters that each bring something different to the table. Whether it’s Justin’s struggle with his personal demons and the collateral damage caused to Maddie's own life, her sister’s seemingly endless quest to get her life together, or her friends’ exploration into what it really means to be “together,” there's a lot of times where you'll nod and think, "Yep, I remember what that was like." This book is hard to put down, and it's worth risking being late for work to get through a couple more chapters.

To purchase any of Hannah Goodman's books, visit her Amazon page.