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.


The Years Have Pants

Comic Book Club

Want to pick up a comic book or graphic novel and don’t know where to start? Our panel has a bunch of very different ideas for you to choose from! We’ve made a list of nearly two dozen for you to try—all available in collections, all ready to pick up without knowing anything about history or backstory or continuity or anything.

Comic Book Club Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, David J. Loehr, Lisa Schmeiser, John McCoy and Nathan Alderman

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Sorry, Ocean

Book Club

It’s our annual read of the annual science fiction and fantasy shortlist, the Hugo Awards nominees! Our panelists catch up on the three books that weren’t covered in our Nebula Awards episode, and then Jason and Erika spend a little time on the short fiction nominees. And the raging debate on whether a planet is space or not continues!

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty and Dan Moren


ASMR From Hell

Alex Garland has followed up his film “Ex Machina” with another philosophical drama about technology, the miniseries “Devs.” It’s unique, beautiful, thought provoking, and doesn’t remotely stick the landing. We spend a lengthy pre-Spoiler Horn slot discussing why you might want to watch it (and why you might not), and then we break down the strengths and weaknesses of the show overall and the final episode in particular.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Brian Hamilton, James Thomson and Glenn Fleishman


Chekhov’s Land Mine

It’s time to take a trip back to Vietnam and discuss Spike Lee’s new film, “Da 5 Bloods”! We discuss Netflix’s decision to release the movie right now, the plot’s many twists and turns, and all of the ways Spike Lee incorporates references to other genres and directors. Plus, heaps and heaps of praise for the cast.

Cicero Holmes with Philip Michaels, Brian Hamilton, Moisés Chiullan and Shareef Jackson


Burning Man for Aliens

They should have sent a poet, but instead we sent ourselves to celebrate the 23rd (it’s a prime number, as any alien would know) anniversary of the Robert Zemeckis film “Contact”, starring Jodie Foster in an adaptation of the novel by Carl Sagan. How do we reconcile the film’s debate about science and religion? Is this really two movies in one? How showy are the film’s set pieces and special effects? We’re ok to go—otherwise this podcast would be an awful waste of space.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Jean MacDonald, Glenn Fleishman and David J. Loehr


Knights of Exposition

Our walkthrough of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” continues with season 5, in which Buffy inherits a sister with retcon powers, the gang loses someone close to them, and everyone realizes it’s time to grow up. Also, the Big Bad thinks she’s prettier than Buffy, but when you spend all that time around a bunch of gnomish lackeys, your aesthetic sense is bound to get a bit skewed.

Jason Snell with Aleen Simms, Jean MacDonald, Quinn Rose, Steve Lutz and Mattie Cox


Words Aren’t Cool

Rocket Surgery

It’s not 🧠🧑🏻‍🔬⚛️, it’s 🚀🧑🏻‍⚕️🔪. Emojipedia’s own Jeremy Burge joins our crew to watch the heck out of 2017’s “The Emoji Movie,” a very 😑 movie in which Patrick Stewart plays 💩 and we’re told that 🍆 belongs in the Loser Lounge.

Jason Snell with Jeremy Burge, Glenn Fleishman, Kathy Campbell, Steve Lutz and Monty Ashley


Relics and Garbage

Put on your Sunday clothes and get ready to patrol the trash heap that is Earth, because it’s time to discuss Pixar’s “Wall-E.” We cover the nearly dialogueless first act, whether the broader comedy on the B&L ship Axiom works, Fred Willard (RIP), and the greatness of Ben Burtt. Watch out for rogue robots!

Jason Snell with Jean MacDonald, Kelly Guimont, Moisés Chiullan and Steve Lutz


Mother of Androids

We break down the third season of HBO’s “Westworld”, a show that we may appreciate more for the big swings that it takes rather than the number of times it actually connects. This just-finished season was messy, with one clear through-line and a bunch of other characters who are not served particularly well. We break down the character arcs for Dolores, Bernard, Dolores, Maeve, Dolores, Serac, and Dolores. There’s also praise for Marshawn Lynch (and his shirt), for the show’s continued excellent use of music, and we ponder who the emotional center of the show might actually be.

Jason Snell with Cicero Holmes, Nathan Alderman, Kelly Guimont and Don Melton


Intensely Interesting

Old Movie Club

Old Movie Club takes on two distinctly different Raymond Chandler adaptations: 1946’s “The Big Sleep” (with Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe) and 1973’s “The Long Goodbye” (with Elliott Gould as Marlowe). Both of them have twisty plots that unravel, leaving dead bodies behind. Women throw themselves at Bogie! Elliott Gould needs to buy cat food! Film Boir will never be the same.

Jason Snell with Philip Michaels, Shelly Brisbin, Monty Ashley and Dr. Drang


Like a Fruit Salad

Book Club

We’ve completed our read of this year’s six Nebula Award nominees for best science fiction/fantasy novel of the year, and have returned with our opinions! And this year was a pretty good one, with very few of our readers experiencing the pain of bad books. From space opera to portal fantasy to Mexican mythology, there are almost certainly books on this list that will strike your fancy. Also, we debate the perennial question: Are planets in space?

Jason Snell with Erika Ensign, Aleen Simms, Scott McNulty and Dan Moren

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