Down and Nerdy podcast

IN WHICH dressing up in chain mail and running around in the woods is deemed a good thing, and a superhero goes rogue.

darkonBriana’s pick of the week: Darkon

No matter where live action role playing (LARP for short) ranks on the scale of dorkiness, nowhere are its participants more endearing than in the documentary film, Darkon. The movie is centered around The Darkon Wargaming Club, Inc., a medieval fantasy, full-contact role playing group out of Baltimore. No longer dependent on the roll of the polyhedral die, the men and women of Darkon cast aside the often boring routine of their daily lives for a chance to create their own history, philosophy, and reality on the battlefield (or soccer field, if you want to get specific).

Alright, nothing screams DORK louder than a bunch of grown men and women dressed up in costume, carrying padded swords and axes “fighting” for the honor of Mordom or whatever made-up country they represent. But let’s be honest, we all want to escape reality from time to time. Some of us really DO want to be a hero in our daily lives and Darkon represents the people who do just that–they just happen to do it as part of a make-believe universe.

And they are unapologetic in their participation, passionately revealing their feelings for the Club as well as the personal benefits (and downfalls) associated therein. Darkon is a beautifully filmed, originally scored, and engaging look inside (this particular) world of live action role play.  It is not a perfect documentary (there are a few sequences of staged scenes involving elves, in a cave, plotting your demise), but Darkon may just convince you that no matter what you think about LARPing, it certainly beats sitting around on your ass watching television every night.

irredeemableJames’ pick of the week: “Irredeemable”

Superman is powerful. I mean, really powerful. He has limitless strength and abilities. You don’t want to fight him.

So, what if he turned against us?

That’s the premise behind the new monthly comic book series “Irredeemable,” which creator and writer Mark Waid says is “about how the lessons we learn about right and wrong as children can become warped and twisted when challenged by the realities of the adult world.”

As the story opens, the Plutonian has gone rogue. For reasons not yet revealed, this superman has decided that he hates humanity. He has razed entire cities. He has killed millions of people in cold blood.

Why is he doing it? That’s the unfolding mystery. Issue number four just came out, and the story just gets better and better.

If you want to wait for a complete story arc before diving in, there is talk of a hardcover edition on the way in December.

[podcast]http://archive.wfpk.org/Podcasts/20090703-nerdy.mp3[/podcast]