Crows & Pawns – Top 3 Anime! (series)


If you’re thinking, “that’s a stupid name for an episode,” you’re right! That’s why it’s the title of our new show-within-a-show. Crows & Pawns is where we take a break from the poetry and the novels and the writing process and simply shoot the breeze about the things we love.

If you heard this episode on the radio and hated it, don’t worry! The majority of these pop-culture based episodes will be released exclusively via podcast. If you loved it, good news! You can hear a new Crows & Pawns (almost) every week in addition to our normal weekly episode of Prose & Cons.

If you’re wondering why we chose this silly name, you’re in luck! I’m about to tell you. Ravens get a whole lot of attention, largely due to that weirdo who used to live here, Mr. Poe, who apparently wrote a poem about them or something. The town of Baltimore named a whole friggin football team after them! Ravens are cool, they’re sleek, they’re dark and mysterious. As far as birds go, ravens are the whole package!

We are not cool, not sleek. We are not dark and mysterious. We’re dorks! And nerds. Much like the majestic raven’s smaller, lamer cousin, the crow.

I’m too tired to write out a contrived explanation of the “pawns” part, but it’s definitely in the episode ;P


Dixon, Alec, Josh, and Akin join us for talk of condiments, jingles, and some guy named Colin Kaepernick! VCU’s Brandcenter is a nationally recognized program and we wanted to showcase the talent and brains that go into something that isn’t typically included in high and mighty discussions of “art.”

I didn’t get a chance to ask these fine fellows about the single most influential advertiser of all time, Don Draper, and his body of work from Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price, but, hey–what’re ya gonna do?

If this episode seems like it’s missing something… you’re right! Everyone here is a dude. Lots of dudes. Too many dudes. Blame Dom. In the not-to-distant-future, we’ll be interviewing a female-type group of Brandcenter peeps. Until then, consider yourself branded!

Dean King

Dean has written extensively on everything from shipwrecks to blood feuds. He’s traveled around the world researching stories. He gave a sweet Ted Talk.

Dom and I had been looking forward to this interview for a long time, and Mr. King did not disappoint! You’ll learn about the enigmatic wildman John Muir, father of our national parks. You’ll hear tell of 30 women, crazy enough and strong enough to follow Mao’s army thousands of miles across the nightmarish terrain Northwest China. What’s not to love? This guy’s an adventurer and a damn good writer.

Of course, countless hours go into the less glamorous side of research. Dean told us he always has an entire draft of the book he’s writing before he travels to the location in person to put himself in his subjects’ shoes, and to soak up as much of the living history there as he can. You can see those extra details in his books. You can taste the authenticity. King works tirelessly to tell the untold truth.

Kris Spisak’s Grammartopia

Are you one of 99.4% of Americans who believe that grammar is a dusty old subject best left for Elizabethan geezers and Second-Grade teachers? Do you cringe at the letters M-L-A? Do you think words are boring? Well, then listen up, you friggin’ troglodyte!

Dom and I were honored and thrilled to welcome esteemed guest Kris Spisak back to the show, this time with her groundbreaking grammar-based game show, Grammartopia. Author of Get a Grip on Your Grammar: 250 Writing and Editing Reminders for the Curious or Confused and a popular blog, Kris is out to change the world. The world of words.

Dominique James, universally dubbed the less-interesting co-host, invited two self-professed non-grammar-experts, Ro and Cassidy, to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I might’ve joined them, but between show-producing, score-keeping, and scheme-scheming ways to shove as many hyphenated-words into this para-graph, I was rather busy. Plus, I would’ve won by a landslide anyway (and, depending on who you ask, technically did win by a landslide).

This is the most fun we’ve had in a while. You don’t have to love grammar to love this episode, you just have to love fun! And who doesn’t love fun? Plus, I’ve got a feeling you’ll be changing your tune after listening to this episode… but in the immortal words of Levar Burton: “don’t take my word for it!”

Do yourself a favor and follow Kris on social media. Her web presence is as delightful as it is educational. If you just love the dynamic–the ol’ back-and-forth–of this episode, you can always sojourn to the archives of our lil’ show and listen to the last time Kris was on. You’re welcome.

If I have made any grammar mistakes in this post please don’t call me out as it will hurt my feelings. Similarly, please do not fact check any of my wild claims because between you and me many of them are exaggerated if not outright false. Also, please don’t tell Dom any of the things that I’ve said about him here. He is bigger than me and might beat me up. Again.


Austin Lewis and Dewey Collins

People don’t Die in the Comics Anymore

What does that mean? Is that true? What does anything mean?? Is there such a thing as objective truth? You decide!

Dom and I sat down to chat with spunky up-and-coming local filmmaking duo Austin and Dewey, of Remember Tommy Productions. The two met at film school, and Dewey quickly became a regular collaborator in such projects as Nick Triumph & the Paci Fist. and The DIE-NER (their entry in the 48-hour film fest). Also, other things!

Their most recent and most ambitious endeavor is the feature-length People don’t Die in the Comics Anymore. The movie follows a man known only as The Filmmaker as he attempts to film a documentary about the Off Switch, a device which allows anyone who has one (in this world, mostly everyone) to quickly, cleanly, and painlessly commit suicide. It’s all the rage!

Want to find out more? Listen to the show, ya donk! Want to find out more, much more?? Seek out these fine young gentlemen at your nearest Blockbuster, or wherever movies are sold.


Andrea Kleine

Andrea is an author, choreographer, performance artist, and former Richmonder! Her new novel Eden is about two sisters twenty years after getting kidnapped as children. With an opportunity to testify against their childhood kidnapper, Hope sets out to find her off-the-grid (titular) sister.

You can find Eden at Chop Suey, Amazon, or wherever you kids buy your friggin books these days!

Paula G

Paula Gillison is an author, poet, artist, and all-around inspiration! She’s got a refreshingly open-minded approach to all creative outlets and is here to share her wisdom and part of a short story!

Paula is an active blogger. You can find all kinds of goodies at her website, You can also usually find her at the monthly Writer’s Den poetry slams!