The Incomparable is a weekly dive into geeky media we love, including movies, books, TV, comics, and more, featuring a rotating panel of guests and hosted by Jason Snell.


Apart From All the Skiing

Book Club

Our Book Club returns to discuss two late 1960s works by the legendary Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away earlier this year. We tackle the fantasy novel “A Wizard of Earthsea” and the science fiction novel “The Left Hand of Darkness”, both deeply influential in different ways. The works were new to some of our panelists and old favorites for others, so we discuss both what they represented at the time and how we view them from the perspective of 2018.

Book Club Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Scott McNulty, Antony Johnston and Glenn Fleishman

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Previous Episodes


Mystical Herbologist

It’s already one of the most successful superhero films of all time, but it’s so much more than that. Our topic this episode is “Black Panther,” which dives into issues from feminism to the long-term effects of imperialism to the legitimacy of monarchies. Plus there’s spectacular production design, some amazing action scenes, and one of the most memorable (and sympathetic) villains in recent movie history. Wakanda Forever!

Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Mikah Sargent, Lisa Schmeiser and Moisés Chiullan


A Lifeboat Made of Mom

Put on your super suit, but be sure to take off the cape! We discuss Pixar’s “The Incredibles”, a spectacular story of superheroes, being your best self, family, mid-life crises, and the dangers of machine-learning AIs.

Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, John Siracusa, Joe Rosensteel and Steve Lutz


Joe DiMaggio of the Slide Rule

Rocket Surgery

We return to bad 1950s science fiction for our latest Rocket Surgery installment, which features 1959’s “The Cosmic Man.” There’s a UFO the likes of which we’ve never seen, in the form of a ping-pong ball in a canyon. Army men and a world-famous scientist that even little kids recognize joust over whether the UFO should be used as a weapon or to benefit all of humanity. And meanwhile, there’s John Carradine checking in to a mountain lodge in an outfit that is not at all like what an alien would wear his first time on Earth.

Title Card

Baseball Card

Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Steve Lutz, Philip Michaels and Monty Ashley


High on Mushrooms

Hop into your spore chamber and prepare for Black Alert — “Star Trek” has returned to television, and we’ve got our overview of the first season of “Star Trek: Discovery.” Did it meet our expectations? Was it more comfort food or modern TV drama? “Star Trek” shows live or die by their characters, so did Burnham, Saru, Tilly, Stamets, and company find their way into our hearts? Why were there so many plot twists? And what are we hoping for in season two? We break the whole thing down.

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Mikah Sargent, Aleen Simms, Joe Rosensteel and Scott McNulty


The Ol’ Reverse Lucifer

“The Good Place” just finished its second season, and we still couldn’t love this show more. We discuss the moral growth of all the show’s characters in season two, break down the meaning of the final episode, and float a bunch of theories about where the show might be headed next.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Glenn Fleishman, Kathy Campbell, Chip Sudderth and Brian Hamilton


Quantum Computer for Violence

Comic Book Club

Step through a teleportation door and boot up your brain’s fight computer, because our Comic Book Club has returned to discuss DC’s “Midnighter.” He’s was once a Batman analogue but now he’s his own man, with no secret identity, a penchant for strategic violence, and an amazing dating profile. And thanks to three recent trade-paperback collections written by Steve Orlando, you can get to know this singular superhero as he journeys from Oakland to Boston to various made-up DC Comics cities.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser and Joe Rosensteel


You Stole My Layer

In the 54 years of “Doctor Who” there have been roughly 275 different stories. We collected seven “Doctor Who” fans and forced them to pick favorites in a draft format! The result is a great selection of 28 stories from both the classic and modern eras, unless you’re a fan of the single Doctor who did not have a single episode picked.

Jason Snell with James Thomson, Liz Myles, Alyssa Franke, Erika Ensign, Chip Sudderth and Steven Schapansky


Ice Cream Headache from the Future

Welcome to the 21st! Your mission is to listen to us discuss “Travelers”, an enjoyable time-travel TV series available in most of the world on Netflix. With a twisty science-fictional premise, some fascinating character complications, and a dose of humor, this Canadian import is worth your time. We discuss the basic premise of the show and why we like it a lot, and then fire off the Spoiler Horn to discuss the details of the show’s first two seasons.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Erika Ensign and Lex Friedman


Tales from the Spirit Bathhouse

Our survey of the films of director Hayao Miyazaki continues with 2001’s “Spirited Away.” It’s a real weird one, and sure to be turbocharged nightmare fuel for kids… but as adults, we have more capacity to appreciate a film as absolutely bugnuts as this.

(Some downloads of this file contained an audio error at 32 minutes, with multiple overlapped voices. Re-download the file to get a corrected version, or just skip ahead about a minute.)

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Steve Lutz, Aleen Simms and Moisés Chiullan


Lyrics Are for Losers

Here’s the story
Of nine lovely people
Who were picking songs from favorite TV shows
It was a very short draft
Just four rounds
With some picks no one knows

Jason Snell with Brian Hamilton, Dan Moren, Jean MacDonald, Moisés Chiullan, David J. Loehr, Steve Lutz, Monty Ashley and Kathy Campbell

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