Episode #18: Portal

Nadia comes back to the show to geek out over Portal, the 2007 first-person puzzle platformer by Valve and source of a thousand memes, including:

  • Looking back on Chell as a heroine, eight years later
  • GLaDOS as the dark mother, and how a computer got to be so good at emotional abuse
  • Why LC never finished Portal 2
  • The loneliness of first person shooters, and Portal as a purgatorial crawl

Plus: The E3 Roundup Boogaloo: Dishonored 2! Mass Effect Andromeda! The Last Guardian (with bonus Shadow of the Colossus)! Uncharted 4! Final Fantasy 7 Remake! Horizon: Zero Dawn! Rise of the Tomb Raider! ReCore! Firewatch! Unravel! Beyond Eyes! Yoshi’s Wooly World! Earthbound: Beginnings! And much more! Also, the films of Luc Besson; Dune; and your emails!

Main topic starts at: 27:47
Emails start at: 56:38

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Episode #17: Jane the Virgin

This week, LC is joined by Sylvia Monreal, creator of @ComoSeDiceNerd and one of the organizers of GeekGirlCon, to dig into Jane the Virgin, the CW’s awesome foray into the world of telenovelas, including:

  • Drama with heart, characters without shame: How Jane the Virgin subverts stereotype
  • How women propel the action, while men struggle with emotion
  • Magical realism, and how fate is in the eye of the beholder
  • Sylvia’s blog for GeekGirlCon on Jane the Virgin

Plus: Dragon Age, Dragon Age and more Dragon Age! (Sorry Blackwall fans, you might want to skip our opening section this time); creating narrative tension and high stakes; DA2 as an immigrant story; Axiom Verge; Guacamelee; Princeless; and your emails!

Main topic starts at: 22:03
Emails start at: 49:05

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Episode #16: Ms. Marvel

LC is joined by Tess, one of our Patreon patrons, to geek out over Ms. Marvel, the new Kamala Khan-led line that’s taking the comics world by storm, including:

  • Why we love Kamala Khan and the parts of her that are “too big, too weird”
  • Why so many adults struggle to write believable teenagers
  • Kamala Khan’s family and the second-generation immigrant experience
  • In defense of teenage girls searching for their “authentic self”
  • Editor Sana Amanat’s TEDxTeen Talk: Myths, misfits and masks

Plus: When Marnie Was There (big spoiler at 5:35); From Up On Poppy Hill (big spoiler at 4:40); Grave of the Fireflies; the worst anime we’ve ever sat through; Steven Universe; magical girl anime; Madoka Magica; and your emails!

For more details on how you can get the chance to co-host an episode of your very own, check out The Heroine’s Journey Patreon page.

Main topic starts at: 13:32
Emails start at: 36:00

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Episode #15: The Secret of NIMH

This week, LC is joined by the fantastic Kiva Bay, creator of the Feminist Deck, to deep dive on The Secret of NIMH, Don Bluth’s dark and weird and weirdly dark 1982 animated flick, including:

  • What makes Mrs. Brisby such an unusual heroine for a kid’s movie
  • Women are from the field, men are from NIMH – gender and community
  • Behind the toxic yet necessary friendship between Brisby and Auntie Shrew
  • How Don Bluth respects both the magic of childhood and its dark and fearful things

Plus: Contrast; Jane the Virgin; real talk about the cult of mommyhood: abortions, pregnancy and lactation, oh my!; the Feminist Deck Kickstarter; Bitch Planet; Mad Max – sort of; A Nameless Witch; Nerdgasm Noire; Spawn on Me; and your emails!

Main topic starts at: 18:25
Emails start at: 38:54

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

No episode this week

Due to technical difficulties, there won’t be any episode of The Heroine’s Journey this week. Personally, I blame the holiday. Yeah. That’s it. It’s all your fault,  Memorial Day. Phhhhbt!

We’ll be back to our regular schedule episodes next Tuesday. Sorry, everybody, and I’ll see you then!

Episode #14: The Fifth Element

This week, LC is joined by the delightful Apple Cider Mage, cohost and editor of the Justice Points podcast, to talk about The Fifth Element, Luc Besson’s deeply problematic yet deeply awesome 1997 futuristic classic, including:

  • A strong disclaimer — is The Fifth Element really a good example of a lady story?
  • Our problems with Leeloo, and why we love her anyway
  • How Besson’s bright and colorful futures serves an antidote to post-apocalyptic malaise
  • How Ruby Rhod and Korben Dallas turn masculinity on its head

Plus: Supergirl! Why we’re excited for a superheroine like us; differences between the MCU and comic book audiences; female comics fandom across the decades; and why Netflix could change everything; also – male versus female player characters, roleplaying in mmos versus singleplayer games; and your emails!

Note: There was an audio artifact during the time in the closer where I usually tell you where you can find the guest host online. You can follow Apple Cider on her blog, on Twitter or, of course, on the Justice Points podcast.

Main topic starts at: 19:42
Emails start at: 37:42

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Come join The Heroine’s Journey’s first ever Google Hangout!

Open to all Patrons at the $5 tier and above, tonight’s inaugural monthly Google Hangout starts at 7 PM EST. For an hour I’ll be answering any and all of your questions, or, you know, talking about whatever else comes up. You call the shots. Will we talk about dinosaurs? Karen Page? How to embroider a belly dance costume? WHO KNOWS. Come check out the Hangout tonight and find out!

The link’s available on my Patreon Activity feed. Tonight’s Hangout is open to $5 tier Patrons and above.  Hope to see you there! And always, thank you for supporting the show!

Episode #13: Farscape

This week, LC and Nadia tackle one of our most requested topics: Farscape, the cult classic sci fi show by the Jim Henson Company, including:

  • Raindrops, tentacles and body swapping: When we fell in love with Aeryn Sun
  • Zhaan, Jool, Noranti, Grayza… so many women, so little time!
  • Is John Crichton the “competitively ineffectual” girlfriend? Or a priestess of Ishtar in a universe full of Enkidus?
  • Farscape goes bananas: The value of committing to the crazysauce

Plus: The Babadook (NOTE: a spoiler for Downton Abbey at 3:13); motherhood and the culture of silence; Does The Dog Die?; Ms. Marvel, Volume 1; Linnea Sinclair, Susan Grant and sci fi romances; Smart Bitches, Trashy Books; in praise of Archive of Our Own; and your emails!

Main topic starts at: 15:32
Emails start at: 44:33

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Scheduling update

A few quick podcast updates:

1) Regretfully, I have to put the Friday bonus episodes on hiatus. I’m disappointed that it’s come to this, but I can’t keep up with the schedule. It’s just too much work for me to put out two episodes a week, when I’m the only one recording, editing, etc.

That’s not to say that I won’t revive the idea at a later date, if and when I become less time-constrained. And I know you like the Q&As — I’ll still do them, but they’ll just be absorbed into the regular episodes.

2) Because of this, I’ve adjusted the reward tiers on the Heroine’s Journey Patreon accordingly. The $10 level now gets you the ability to suggest a topic for an upcoming episode (previously the $20 level), and the $20 level now gets you the ability to co-host an episode (previously the $50 level). I’ve done away with a $50 level entirely, though if you want to pledge that much, far be it from me to stop you 🙂 I think this reward structure is a little more reasonable, anyway.

I know at least one of you had signed up for the early episode releases, but in deleting the previous $10 level, I accidentally deleted my record of who it was. Please message me through Patreon or email me at info@hjcast.com and you can give me your topic suggestions.

As always, thanks for listening and for supporting the show.

Episode #12: Final Fantasy

This week, LC welcomes Jay Kateel back to the show to talk about Final Fantasy, the game series that defined a generation of games and gamers alike, including:

  • What makes Final Fantasy’s female characters so unusual?
  • Heroine’s Journeys and humanism porn: Why these games are our catnip
  • Defending the Sorceress and the Knight trope
  • Why the all-male FFXV cast is such a let-down

Plus: Daredevil The Karen MFing Page Show (NOTE: Spoilers for earlier episodes); Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; our favorite female action stars; a list of trash movie recommendations; and your emails!

LC says: Sorry for the terrible audio quality on my end, everyone. My mic apparently wasn’t working properly. I did my best to salvage the audio, and I’ll fix the issue for next week.

Cohost info: Jay Kateel’s blog, Incorrect Dragon Age

Main topic starts at: 13:27
Emails start at: 38:34

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Episode #11 Bonus: Breaking Beats with SΔMMUS

LC Brown is once again joined by nerdcore rapper SΔMMUS to talk about math, music and of course video games,  including:

  • How the “Internet-ization” helps female musicians and makes the gatekeepers obsolete
  • Why it’s never been a better time to be a black nerd girl
  • What she’s listening to right now
  • Details of her upcoming project, due out this fall

To learn more about SΔMMUS’s music, check out her SoundCloud or YouTube channel. You can also follow SΔMMUS at her website or her Twitter.

Music at 4:04: “Fly Nerd” by SΔMMUS
Music at 8:29:
Smash Bruhs” by SΔMMUS
Music at 10:25:
Brinstar” by SΔMMUS
Music at 12:32:
A Woman” by SΔMMUS
Music at 16:11:
Rap (Mario Kart)” by SΔMMUS

Music used with permission

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.

Episode #11: Metroid

This week, LC Brown is joined by rapper SΔMMUS, a.k.a. Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo, to talk about Samus Aran and the Metroid series, including:

  • Behind “the plot twist of the century”: Why Samus’s gender both matters and doesn’t matter
  • Dark, slow, quiet: Metroid as “a game for introverts”
  • How Samus challenges the narrow definition of Strong Female Protagonist™
  • The first rule of Metroid is that you don’t talk about Other M.

Plus: Mixing creativity and social science – what it means to be creative in a capitalist structure, and creativity as a gendered trait; Garfunkel and Oates; we coin a new Internet blessing; Papa Sangre; Super Mario RPG; Trans Girl Next Door; Witchy; Bitch Planet; and your emails!

Cohost info: SΔMMUS’s website, Twitter, SoundCloud, Tumblr

Main topic starts at: 12:06
Emails start at: 40:12

Intro and Outro music: “Snow World Under the White Moon“, EeL

Music at 12:06: “Power Ups” by SΔMMUS
Music at 40:12: Mae Jemison” by SΔMMUS

Music used with permission

If you’d like to leave us a comment, question, or maybe just some good old-fashioned hatemail, send us an email at info (at) hjcast [dot] com.