FW Presents – Meanwhile… #1


In this first installment of MEANWHILE..., Rob, Ryan, and Max discuss what they've been doing to find their joy during the first few weeks of enforced social distancing due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

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Thanks for listening, and stay safe everyone!

24 responses to “FW Presents – Meanwhile… #1

  1. Glad everyone is doing well. It’s pretty much the same situation here in London. I work in fashion retail so we’ve been closed down and I can’t work from home. I am currently being paid to be at home so I’m doing better than many Londoners.

    My husband is working from home so we’ve set up a table in the bedroom so he can work while I’m in the living room with the telly. He only works Monday, Wednesday and Friday so we’re also spending a lot more time together which is nice so far.

    We actually recorded a comics podcast together just over a week ago which I have nearly finished editing. I’m hoping we can use the lockdown to record and release these weekly. Unfortunately we only have one laptop between us so I can’t work on it while he’s working.

    Like a lot of people my main reaction to the coronavirus is fear. The shop I work in only closed down on Saturday night so I was exposed to many people at work and on public transport and I’m fearful that I may have brought the virus home. My husband is in an at-risk group (he has spina bifida which means his lungs are compromised) and I would be heartbroken if I was his typhoid mary.

    Talking of Marys, it was Mother’s day in the UK yesterday (my Mum is called Mary) and it was very sad not to be able to visit her on her day. She is also at risk so I have to worry about her.

    Thank you for providing us with so much to listen to. It does help to occupy my time.

    Take care.

  2. There’s a certain amount of irony that I listened to this episode while getting ready for work. The store I work for is considered essential (as Rob found out last week) and I’m part of the management team, so…weeeeee.

    Anyway, I haven’t been binge reading or watching anything. Not to bring the room down but it’s a bit depressing to work right now. People are fine, so I’m not getting yelled at but there is this weird combination of people continuing like everything is normal and the numbers just keep going up. Our operating hours are getting cut, but for the moment I’m at work using hand sanitizer like it’s going out of style and trying not to get breathed on.

    But I’ll stop there. This is supposed to be fun. I’m glad that my friends are getting a chance to watch/read stuff they wouldn’t normally watch and/read. I am starting a new reading project involving Flash and Green Lantern today, so we’ll see how far that goes.

    Great episode. Luke Daab is a national treasure. Since Rob asked, I’ll raise my hand to be on one of these if someone wants me.

    1. I feel very lucky that my shop is non essential. Hopefully they have put measures in place to protect you. In the UK they have painted lines on Supermarket floors to stop us getting too close to workers but it doesn’t seen enough.

  3. Great discussion, gents. As for the Franklins, we’re all doing well. We had an exposure scare early on, so we started working from home before many others, but luckily everyone came out okay. Cindy and I are both able to work from home, so that’s a plus. My 2 hour back and forth commute is now gone, so I get to sleep in a bit in the morning, and get an extra hour at night, which is a nice silver lining, personally. I’ve been binging a lot of Dark Shadows (I’m around episode 1,000 now) and reading a wonderful TwoMorrows book that has been on my to-read list for some time, Comic Book Implosion.

    I hope everyone out there is safe and healthy, and being smart. Stay home as much as you can, and try and enjoy the downtime if you have it.


  4. Thank you for the show. As Michael Bailey stated, I am “essential” employee in management as well. During the past week I have mostly been catching up on current shows like Flash and Legends but before the everything started going downhill I did pick up some of The Dr. Who blu rays to watch when I don’t want to think of anything else along with watching Adventures of Brisco County Jr. on Amazon prime. Well wishes and good health to everyone out there and tanks again gentlemen.

  5. In response to Max, I recently started a new warehouse job which I order-pick books that are delivered to libraries, universities and online. Since Friday, I’ve been terrified of a shutdown because I need to work. I’m not crazy about borrowing money for future bills from relatives, if it comes to that. By some crazy miracle however, my job has been deemed ‘essential’ and as of now, I can continue to work. They are letting us stay home if we want to (without consequences) but I don’t have vacation time yet.

    Frankly, I find it a relief that books and education can still be deemed ‘essential’ under the era of Trump.

  6. Great episode, I really enjoyed listening to it. It sounds like you guys are coping well so far and staying healthy, which is great to hear!

    It’s been a bit of an adjustment period for us. My wife and I are both working from home, so with school and daycare closed, we have all 3 kids at home with us while we are trying to call into meetings and work. That’s a tall order with a 5 year old & two 2 year olds. Between calling into meetings while watching the kids and trying to home school our 5 year old, we have a lot of balls in the air that we’re juggling. So instead of having more free time, I feel like we have even less through this, even though we aren’t leaving the house!

    To decompress I usually stay up until 12 or 1 reading, which has been great for re-reading my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comics from the original Mirage run, as well as diving into the volume 3 (Image) and Volume 4 (Mirage) runs that I have never really read before. That part has been fun, but exhausting since I’m sacrificing sleep in order to do it.

    I will say that the PlutoTV app has been a nice change of pace on the weekends. 100% free streaming, lots of channels with Viacom owned entertainment, including the “Totally Turtles” channel that plays nothing but TMNT cartoons around the clock 24/7 365. All 3 kids now are frequently requesting “Turtles” which is a nice change of pace from Dave & Eva on Youtube and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on Disney+

    We’ll get by just fine, it’s just a slightly different type of chaotic zoo than we are used to.

    I hope you all continue to weather the storm and stay safe & healthy (both physically & mentally). Thank you for the podcasts!

    1. Also, if you are looking for a guest host, I’d be happy to join you, and slip away to sit in my car parked in the driveway for my “urgent meeting.”

  7. I’ll leave my pandemic experience to my own Meanwhile, if it happens, but on the Universal streaming option… probably not one I’d exercise as a man alone. 20$ (USD) would be a fine price if my usual movie-watching gang could come over, but it’s pretty steep for a single viewer, especially considering what Universal has made available that I haven’t seen yet.

    I recommend The Invisible Man too. I had the same impression as Ryan that the trailer said too much, but it really didn’t, it merely fooled you into thinking it was a Unsane when it was closer to H.G. Wells. The REAL delight that Universal has put up is Emma, a wondrously fun adaptation of the Jane Austen classic. I LOVED that.

    But am I gonna spend 20 bucks on The Hunt? No, I don’t think so.

  8. Thank you guys for taking the time to do some community building. I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home, which has been keeping me busy. My wife has been taking the opportunity to catch up on sewing projects, as well as cleaning/reorganizing our house. My daughter and her friends have formed an online meet up group that we call the Quaranteens, which has been a true godsend. They meet up twice a day to video chat and play Prodigy Math together. My wife and I go for a walk each afternoon, and my daughter and I use pool noodles to hold lightsaber duels in our backyard each evening.

    At noon today, all “nonessential” businesses close in Massachusetts. This led to a flurry of activity in our household yesterday. We’d been planning to adopt a new cat, since our old one passed away in December, and the prospect of our local shelter halting adoptions for the foreseeable future spurred us to immediate action. So on top of everything else, we are now helping the newest member of our family acclimate to his new home.

    To entertain myself, I’ve been reading my New Gods by Jack Kirby paperback collection, which I recently found at my LCS. I’ve also started making my way through Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, which I’ve been wanting to read since I heard about it in the late 90s. On the video game front, I’ve been playing the classic RPG, Baldur’s Gate.

  9. Things to binge:
    Slings & Arrows (it’s on Acorn, which is free for a week) – 18 hour-long episodes about a possibly insane Artistic Director at a Canadian Shakespeare festival town. It’s brilliant and co-written by one of the Kids in the Hall. And Rob, no fart jokes in this one! I hate sitcoms, but this is a dramedy that’s funny and poignant.

    Patriot – Amazon Prime show about a CIA agent. Fargo-funny and ran for 2 seasons.

    Fargo – 3 seasons of freaking brilliance. Some of the taughtest storytelling and amazing acting on TV.

    Justified – all 6 years. Don’t be an idiot, this is inspired by Elmore Leonard. The Big Bads vary from chilling to mundane country terror, and they’re all wonderful.

    Veep! – Iannucci is brilliant. Best comedy on TV since Barney Miller.

    Star Trek; Deep Space Nine – Because it’s the best Trek of all time. And also, the best Captain.


    Slots – a fight book by the incomparable Dan Panosian. The art alone is worth the price of admission as Panosian channels a gritty Mort Drucker.

    Thief of Thieves – Who doesn’t love a heist? THis is around 12 volumes of great heists and team interplay.

    1. Also, I’ve been on a Haney kick, binging the great Titans runs (but mostly because I love Nick Cardy) and the Brave and the Bold stories.

      1. Thanks for the recs! I’d like to toss in Cosmos: Possible Worlds currently running on the National Geographic channel. Non-fic but the cgi is really incredible.

  10. I’m a little close to the issue, working at the hospital during these times.

    What has changed is that most of my admin work is now done from home. So most/all meetings are done here. But I am still heading in for clinical shifts.

    The house is immaculate. I am cooking/baking. I am reading comics. I am heading to early Vertigo to start.

    Stay safe and stay sane everyone.

  11. Just listened to the show. Thanks, I needed to listen to a normal conversation after the past few days I had: in the middle of this coronavirus shutdown, Zagreb experienced a 5.5 earthquake early Sunday morning, with all of the ensuing mayhem you can imagine. And on Monday night, right at the start of ‘spring’, we got our first snowfall of the year. Everyone’s waiting for the kaiju to start popping up from mountaintops now…

    Anyway, nice to hear that everyone’s doing well and coping. In the last few days, when I’ve been able to consume a little pop culture, I want for the comfortiest of comfort foods: the Archie Americana digests, and an old book of Pogo comics. Oh yeah, and watching some episodes of TNG which are being run by a local station here in the evenings. Can’t beat that.
    Stay safe and stay healthy, everyone.

  12. Ryan, I’m praying that the students in your boarding school will find their joy in this time and have happy memories they can look back on for the rest of their lives — despite their unmet (and entirely reasonable) expectations.

  13. Here in Denmark we’ve been on only essential stores open and , with restaurants and food places only being able to do carry out for about two weeks .
    My wife has been working from home since basically March 12th. So, had to set up a room she could work from. The last day that most schools could be open was the 13th but many upper level schools like her’s closed earlier. The college she teaches at decided to close earlier. She jokes that all it took was a pandemic to allow her and her colleagues to catch up on meetings and grading (yeah teacher dark humor also she has MS in remission so she is a more at risk person so is allowed some dark humor with this ).
    This has allowed me some more time with with cooking, and the chickens have decided this is a good time to start laying again after winter so have made things like egg bread, Vegetarian Sushi bowl with Shoyu Tamago eggs, baked puffed omelets, and vegetarian eggs Benedict.
    Luckily after the wettest February in the last 150 years that Denmark experienced for March the sun has come out more so can get outside and do garden work. Have also been able to put together several LEGO projects including the Tardis, London Skyline, and an A-wing. Started working on my reading stack again A History of Pirates, The Victorian Internet, Hornblower and the Atropos, and checking out Locke and Key. Have also whether I wanted to or not greatly increased my list of kids movies I have seen…

  14. Hi, glad everyone seems to be getting through this with humour and stoicism. It’s funny, I see the big picture, people dying all over, and then find myself moaning about a holiday being cancelled… what a git! I just wish we had an end date, knew when the light would reach the tunnel, and you can think ‘this long’. The stress people are going through, the pain, it’s rotten.

    For those of us who aren’t actually ill, and will still be able to pay the bills, it really is a case of ‘our grandparents went away to fight a war, we have to sit on the couch’. OK, it’s inconvenient having to queue at supermarkets, and horrible not being able to visit family and friends, but boy, it could be so much worse.

    While the ‘covidiots’ need a slap, I’m inspired by the ingenuity on display, for example, today we hear that Formula 1 engineers have very quickly come up with a facial breathing device to stop people with a serious case of the virus having to go into intensive care. Whisky firms are producing hand sanitisers. Vacuum cleaner companies are making ventilators… its amazing, so often I’m watching films and documentaries on the Second World War and thinking about the brilliant ideas and organisation and sheer pluck that was evident, thinking we could never manage that today. Seems I was wrong.

    And wonder of wonders, our poorly PM Boris Johnson commented yesterday that this all proves there IS such a thing as Society, directly contradicting a famous quote from his vile predecessor Thatcher.

    Steve and I both qualify as key workers, with him in the NHS and me in journalism, so could technically be out and about more than most, but really we’ve no excuse – I’m a production journalist, doing page design and editing stories, while he’s a project officer. We can easily work from home and have no excuse to travel and risk catching or spreading anything. As it is, we’ve settled into a pleasant routine of starting work earlier than usual, him downstairs, me upstairs in my blogging ‘nook’, with breaks in the morning and afternoon and a two-hour stoppage for a walk (we usually manage four-five miles) and home for a quick bite. I’m really missing the gym and terrible at runs, but may have to bite the bucket and try Couch to 5K.

    It’s a bugger producing newspapers than can barely be bought in print, but we were in the process of going digital first so more and more people are reading online and actually paying for it. On the one hand, I’m privileged to have a reason to keep a routine going. On the other, gee, so many people over here in the UK are positively agonising about which box set to watch next, and reading Homer and War & Peace, and watching pretty birdies in the garden… bah!

    I do have a few extra hours each day, having lost the commute to work and gym every weekday, and am catching up on my reading – actual books (this week it’s film critic Mark Kermode’s Hatchet Job, if you want a great movie podcast, search for Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review from BBC Radio Five) and trade paperbacks (I’ve just been rereading Abnett, Lanning and and Coipel’s Legion of the Damned story, and it reads even better as a trade). And I treated myself to the DC Wanted collection, if Podcasting’s Michael Bailey does indeed start a podcast on that, I’m sticking my hands up for Doll Man vs the Man in the Arion Mask!

    I’ve subscribed to the new Disney+ channel, a bargain at £4 a week, and hope to watch something eventually. And I see Super Friends has appeared on our Amazon Prime so I may actually seen an episode or two.

    What’s really suffering is my podcast listening, I usually get hours and hours in at the gym or while commuting, so I need to find another activity to be my ‘foreground’ as I listen.

    I’m delighted to hear Ryan and Rob are stocking up the shows, if you chaps ever need a short notice podcast pal, grab me! I like comics and films but am rubbish on toys and any shows or movies starting with ‘Star…’.

    Keep smiling, all!

  15. I just wanted to thank all of you for your kind and heartfelt comments! One of the things that has always been best about this community is the people — the hosts, the guests, and the listeners — and this just confirms that. Thanks for the recommendations, too — so much good stuff! Stay safe, everyone; let’s get through this together.

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