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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mr. Jones!

I received my January 2012 issue of Clubhouse Magazine in the mail yesterday afternoon, and in the Adventures in Odyssey section of the magazine, I saw this picture:

Gary Locke has again done an amazing job in putting a face to the voice we hear on the radio. I, for one, think it is an excellent representation of my mind's picture of Mr. Jones. I did imagine him a bit heavier though...

This first issue of 2012 also featured new pictures of Emily and Barrett Jones further on in the magazine:

(Is it just me, or does Barrett have huge feet?)

I hope I'm not violating any copyright issues in posting these pictures. I stated that Gary Locke was the artist behind the new drawings, so I think I should be okay. But if anyone thinks otherwise, please let me know, and I'll take them down.

P.S. If there's anyone who'd be able to offer me some assistance with the technical aspects of the blog, I need some help. The Internet Explorer version of my blog has the entire right sidebar on the bottom of the left sidebar. No matter what I do in the "design" section of blogger, I can't fix it. All the other browsers seem to be fine. But Internet Explorer is what the majority of my viewers use, so I want to try to get it fixed.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yes! I Finally Posted...

...but it's still not a review. :(

However, my news does (sorta) pertain to reviewing. Although I still don't feel like I have much extra time to be spending writing reviews, I have received something that will aid me in that regard: Album 54! Now, rather than digging back into the archives (or going to FAIO [heh-heh]) to listen to previously-aired episodes, I can just pop a CD into the laptop and review as I listen.

My family celebrated Christmas today on the 24th rather than on the 25th tomorrow in order to maintain the importance of the Lord's Day. We didn't want the celebration of Christmas to conflict with our celebration with Jesus' resurrection tomorrow, so we opened presents today. As you can see in the picture below, I have much reason to be happy with the presents I received. ;)

I'd love to hear about any presents you've received--especially if they have anything to do with Odyssey. And I promise I will try my best to get a review of Forgiving More...Or Less out as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience! Have yourself a merry little Christmas celebrating Christ's birth! But don't forget to go to church on Sunday and celebrate His resurrection.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

New Album 55 Episode Titles

I'm sorry I still haven't gotten around to posting the reviews I promised. I am done with the Bible Bee now but, having been away from school for so long, much of my attention is currently focused on that. Plus, the holidays are coming up, and I really doubt I'll have any time soon to sit down and dedicate my time to listening to an episode and writing a review. But if I ever do have that time, I will certainly do my best to get a review of Forgiving More...Or Less up here.

On the bright side of things, I just saw this afternoon that AIO Wiki posted some information given on the Odyssey Scoopcast regarding more titles of Album 55 episodes. These three new titles are Child's Play, Mistaken for Good, and To Mend or Repair. Added to the seven titles we already knew, these new ones leave us with only two titles to go in Album 55. Here is a list of all the titles so far, if you haven't been keeping up:

Sgt. York, Parts I, II, III, and IV
The Labyrinth, Parts I, II, and III
Child's Play
Mistaken for Good
To Mend or Repair

This album is really building up to possibly be the best release since the relaunch. Now I can't wait for some descriptions of these upcoming episodes!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Now You Can See It

If any of you were lucky enough to see the cover of Album 55 during the few hours that Marvin (The AIO Fan's Life) and I had it posted before we were asked to remove it, congratulations! It's great to know that you follow our blogs so closely. But if you didn't see it, here it is, officially. We were asked to take it down last week because The Official Podcast wasn't going to release it until today. Now it's released, and I'm fairly certain I can give you the picture. So here it is:

I posted my thoughts about the cover last week, but since I had to delete that post, I'll review it again. I think Whit looks great; but why is he wearing his full outfit--including a thick, leather jacket--in the pool? Connie looks a little to Asian, in my opinion; her eyes get more and more stretched out and slanted with every new picture we see. Eugene looks weird in sunglasses, but it reminds me of the days when we couldn't ever see his eyes; but one thing I noticed is that he has a lot of wrinkles for a guy in his thirties. And Wooton...typical Wooton. He is what makes this cover art so great. Although I actually think AIO Wiki's mockup cover (bottom) makes it look better. It seems to add some needed depth perception, and I hope the official cover will follow suit.

But I don't really get it. Is this a scene from an episode? Or is it merely representative of the album's theme, as in the case of Days to Remember? And who's the kid cannonball-ing into the pool? Is it maybe one of the "old friends" mentioned in the album description?

I'm really looking forward to this album. I'd love to hear your opinions of the cover and the album. Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Patience Management

This was a really great episode. It truly felt slice-of-life, even though it had the slightly extreme situation with the salon in the family room. Probably the main reason it felt that way was because it had a strong moral, and a very applicable moral at that. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't struggle with anger mismanagement. And I feel like I'm the "chief of sinners" in that regard. I feel like I'm always working on it, but always falling back into temptation and sinning. Thankfully, I think this episode had a permeable enough message that it will stick in my head and maybe help me in some situations.

I think the reason many of the episodes in this season so far have such great morals and takeaway values is that, because the writers decided to base the album on 1 Corinthians 13, they had to start with the moral and then work out the episode--rather than working the other way around, starting with an entertaining episode idea and then fitting the moral into it. I believe that's also the reason that I didn't like A Penny Saved as much. If I remember correctly, it, along with A Penny Earned, was added into the album at a later date than the rest of the episodes. So I assume the writers had already come up with the storyline and had to fit it into one of the "love is" or "love is/does not" morals. That's probably why the aspect of love was harder to catch in A Penny Saved. It was very obvious in Wooton Knows Best, The Amazing Loser, and this episode, Anger Mismanagement. With the way this season is going, I'm starting to really look forward to the rest of this album (except A Penny Earned, but maybe Mr. McCusker will surprise me).

The first specific thing I wanted to mention about the episode is that I actually really liked Wooton this time! All of his humor felt like old times, and it was all laugh-out-loud funny. Plus, I noticed that none of it disrupted any serious moments. Sometimes, it even added to the seriousness of the point he was trying to bring across to Mrs. Kramer or Olivia. A couple of times during the episode, I was reminded of Grady, because of the teaching mode that Wooton was in with Olivia.

All three of the situations where the characters' patience were tried were very true-to-life circumstances. With Mrs. Kramer, it was an example of when someone gets angry at you for something you didn't have anything to do with. With Mr. Parker, he got angry because others kept him from doing what he wanted to do. And with Olivia, she got angry because someone else had stolen the spotlight for something they didn't do. Each one of those is something that most people have to deal with on a regular basis, so I thought it was great that the writers made the episode so applicable to everyday life.

Olivia's voice continues to really please me. Kelly Stables gives her a voice that expresses her tendency to change emotions and over-express herself. Although it does get annoying and uncomfortable sometimes when she expresses herself a bit too much, it still fits her character really well. And this episode was the perfect way for her to show those qualities, since she shifted up and down from angry to happy to annoyed to patient.

I noticed that Valerie's voice was changed, and I'm glad. Whenever I listened to the Kidsboro episodes I always got her and Jill mixed up. There were literally times where my whole understanding of the episode was messed up because I thought Jill was Valerie. And since Olivia and Valerie had a couple exchanges, it was good that the actress was switched to avoid more confusion. In addition, I think the voice change was good for Valerie; she now sounds more like the popular "chick" girl that she is described as being. In my opinion, she sounds more obnoxious and full of herself than she did before. ;)

I loved Mr. Parker's character in this episode. As usual, the actor pulled off the perfect husband and father voice, and as a result, I really felt for him the entire episode. His reactions and emotions were so genuine, and I was annoyed together with him when he missed "one of the best games in professional football history." I thought he handled his anger quite well, though--better than I would have in his situation. And I liked how he still maintained his role of leadership in the home by making all the decisions.

I didn't know that running a salon would be particularly of interest to a European grandmother, but go figure. It certainly made for an entertaining side of the show. I thought Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Ortega were really in character throughout the whole thing. All of the actors and actresses did amazing jobs.

So I really, really liked this episode, as you can see. Unlike Wooton Knows Best, I didn't even have a single complaint (unless you count Olivia's over-expressiveness). I don't think this one had as strong of a moral as Wooton Knows Best did, but it definitely surpassed it in entertainment and cleverness value. I learned from the episode, which is not a very common occurrence in Odyssey episodes, so I don't think I can give the episode any lower of a rating than I gave Wooton Knows Best. I really feel like this episode deserves a 9.5/10 just like its predecessor.

Thank you for reading! I really love reading your comments, so if you have something to say, please say it! And be sure to come back next week when I review Forgiving More...Or Less.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

An Unexciting Winner

I woke up late this morning, because our electricity temporarily was out, and thus I did not hear my alarm. But thankfully, this episode was relatively simplistic, and I don't have all that much to say about it, so I should be able to review it this morning before I head to soccer.

I liked this show quite a bit. I've always been a fan of scavenger hunts--on the radio or in real life--so I enjoyed all of the clues and riddles. Of course, when you don't know the town of Odyssey like these kids do, it's near impossible to figure out the clues before they do, but it's still fun. The only other two Odyssey episodes that I can remember that are centered around a scavenger hunt are Have You No Selpurcs? and Treasure Hunt, both of which I always enjoy listening to--especially the former, because it has a very good moral.

I thought the moral in this episode was pretty good. It definitely fit "Love is not self seeking." I do wish it had been a little more apparent, like in Have You No Selpurcs? where Kurt and Lucy are supposed to show kindness all the way through the episode. So maybe Barrett could have had several opportunities throughout the hunt to show compassion, rather than just the little girl. But that part of the story was pretty powerful, so I think it did okay standing alone.

I noticed we got to hear Hal from Hal's Diner for the very first time! Is it just me, or does he sound very similar to Mr. Jenkins? Maybe he's Hal Jenkins, and he runs both Hal's Diner and Jenkins' Supermarket (or whatever it's called).

I'm glad they didn't overdo it on the lovey-dovey stuff between Barrett and Priscilla. What they did have wasn't really all that bad. One thing that's good about the couple is that they show commitment. They've been together for 4 albums now. ;D They made a good team, I thought. I'm warming up to Priscilla a little more.

Jay and Matthew were an unlikely team, but they seemed to do well together. Jay was aggressive and competitive, and Matthew was the brains. Jay's humor was great, as usual, and he kept the episode interesting.

I totally fell for the thing with the little girl and her shoes. I was sure that it was like in Have You No Selpurcs where the trick was to spend the money for the right things. And since Barrett was the only one to have compassion on the girl, he and Priscilla were going to win the game. I thought it was all set up by Mr. Whittaker, because he knew Jay wouldn't give the girl the time of day. But it did turn out well in the end.

The twist that "Hail to the Chief" not being the right song was a real surprise to me. I don't know anything about the presidents' musical habits and abilities (other than that Bill Clinton played the saxophone), so I had no idea who made that comment about "Dixie." But I predicted the outcome, without having to know anything about what Abraham Lincoln said, because I knew that Jay had spent his penny, but that Barrett had kept his, so I figured the penny was the missing object, since it featured a picture of President Lincoln.

So there isn't much to address in this episode. It was an entertaining listen, but it wasn't anything all that special. There wasn't anything not to like about it though, so I'll give it an 8/10. Thanks for reading the review! Be sure to tell me your thoughts, and read my belated review of A Penny Saved, if you haven't seen it yet.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Nickel Rescued

Please forgive me for not getting a review out sooner. I have to juggle school, preparing for the National Bible Bee, this blog, and a job, and daily responsibilities all at once right now, and sometimes this blog becomes the lowest on that list of priorities. Thanks for your patience.

I'll say right now that most of this review will be either restatements of, or counteractions to the paragraphs of the review that Marvin at The AIO Fan's Life wrote. I won't follow his order exactly, but most of my points will come from points that he makes. I don't have time to re-listen to the episode, but I've heard the majority of it twice, and Marvin pretty much covered it all, so I'll assume that he's fine with my doing this, and proceed this way. (Hopefully this will be the only times this season that I have to do this.) I'm really tired though, so if the review is a bit disorganized, and I ramble more than usual, I apologize.

My initial perception of the episode when I finished listening the first time, like Marvin's, was that it was very simple. I agree with Ben Warren (the Odyssey Scoop's reviewer) that this felt much like episodes after Darkness Before Dawn and The Novacom Saga that were merely transition episodes. Rather than having an original premise, it merely ties up loose ends that were left at the end of The Green Ring Conspiracy. The only problem with that is that not really any of the issues addressed in the episode were problems at the end of the GRC. Sure it was nice to know that Dr. Trask got what was coming to him, but we could have deduced that outcome for ourselves. He was captured and taken into custody, and there was loads of evidence stacked up against him, so who wouldn't have thought that he'd be found guilty on all charges? But I never would have guessed that Penny would be so depressed about it.

Honestly, I was not looking forward to another episode with Penny in it. In my opinion, apart from the part that she played in helping the folks from Whit's End get more information about Dr. Trask, she could have been taken out of the album, and I wouldn't have missed anything. I really disliked her character and the influence she had on Wooton, and she was just a flat character that didn't intrigue me in the least. Now in this episode, she became more round, because the episode revolved around her, but that didn't make me like her much more. I understand how she would have been really bummed to have to testify against a man who was a friend and a father to her, but I thought the extent of it was slightly unrealistic, and then her quick turnaround at the jail was even more so. I don't think this single episode gave the writers enough time to flesh out Penny's problem and then fully resolve it. Yes, there was a semi-satisfying explanation during the picnic scene, but even that was not much. I probably would have liked the episode more if it was maybe a two-parter that gave me more chance to be emotionally connected to what Penny was really feeling.

I was glad to hear from Detective Polehaus again. It seems like he might become the new Officer Burke or O'Ryan who shows up for any Odyssian crime. I liked that he seemed to be one of Whit's End's regular customers. I look forward to hearing more from him. His humor was pretty good, as usual, and his chemistry with the other characters remained great.

Wooton.... I had mixed feelings about him in this episode. On the downside of things, there were, as has been the writers' ongoing habit, many times where a serious subject was being addressed, and he threw in a punchline that was supposed to get me to laugh, but really just made me groan on the inside. I actually did think he and Connie made a good team though. It seems right for him to be sharing his feelings with her, rather than Penny, or even Whit. I dunno, but they just seem to go well together. I liked the little exchange about how he uses humor to cover up true feelings. Maybe that was Mr. McCusker's way of apologizing for all of the times in the GRC that Wooton killed the sobriety of the moment with a joke. If so, then it was an acceptable apology that made me think for a while. But I still wish he and other writers would hold back on the jokes just a bit. Wooton isn't merely loved for his jokes. In fact, I think since Jay has really taken up that position now, Wooton should primarily be loved for his openness and honesty, which we got to see in this episode. He was always great with kids and a good spiritual example to follow, but recently all he's been is the court jester who comes around to lighten the mood, but who ends up being a nuisance most of the time.

I liked how Connie was wanting to be a faithful friend to Penny throughout the episode. As others have mentioned, I think it's great that Connie finally has someone her age with whom she can socialize and connect emotionally. (I personally just wish that someone wasn't Penny.)

I thought the scene with Professor Bruce was a little weird. Why would he be so annoyed at people who put a counterfeiter behind bars? Sure he was a respected professor at the college, but all that time, he was ringleading a nationwide counterfeiting operation aimed at financially tearing down America from the inside! That's about as bad of a non-violent criminal you can get. But the scene with the college student was pretty funny, freeing my mind back up with some great humor. Some have asked why he was so quick to ask Connie out, and I wonder if those people have ever been around secular college kids. It was very realistic. I listen to a radio show where a guy goes and witnesses to kids on a college campus. And most of them are just like this guy was: morally ambiguous and postmodern--no respect for right and wrong, only caring about their personal views and opinions. (Note: I know that I have many readers who attend college so know that I'm not meaning this to be a generalization of all college kids, just the majority of America's young people.

The thing that I liked least about the episode was that it really didn't feel like it belonged in a collection about 1 Corinthians 13. I have to admit that I totally forgot that the episode was supposed to be describing an aspect of love, and I didn't realize that that was supposed to be the moral of the story until I read somebody else's review on the Town of Odyssey. To me, the episode felt like it was just a story meant for entertainment (though it did a poor job had that been the only purpose), like the rest of the GRC. I didn't notice that an aspect of love was being demonstrated at all. Now, of course, I see how that would have worked, with Connie and Wooton, relentlessly pursuing Penny to help her and understand her feelings, but I really didn't get it while I was listening. Maybe I was the only one who felt that way.

So I wasn't especially interested by this episode. It met my expectations as well as a Penny and Wooton episode could, so it wasn't all that great. Maybe my thoughts are just clouded because I'm tired, and I'm being overly negative, but I don't think this would be an episode I'd want to listen to over and over again. Unfortunately if and when I get the album, this show will most likely be on the same CD as Wooton Knows Best, so I'll sorta be forced to hear it multiple times. Oh well. Please let me know what you thought of the episode, and express any of your differing views about the points I made about various characters. I always love to read what you have to say. Hopefully I can get a review of The Amazing Loser out tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Rating: 5.5/10

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bassett Thinks Worst

Yes, the title is a little cheesy, but now that we're back to regular episodes, I have to go back to opposites. See if you can guess what the title for next week's episode review will be before I post it. :D

Well, I don't have much time to write this morning. In fact, I'm surprised that I am able to do it now. I had to get up really early and hope that had posted the episode link already. Thankfully they had, and I'm listening to it right now. My review might not be as good as usual, because 1. It's early and I'm tired, 2. I have a time deadline rapidly approaching, and 3. I'm just getting back into the reviewing frame of mind after having been off for several months. Plus it's going to be hard doing a different style of review than I did throughout the GRC. So bear with me.

Wow. I actually loved this episode--really loved it. I hope I can go into more episodes this season with low expectations, because this one blew me away. I can honestly say that I liked it more than any other episode that has come out since The Jubilee Singers. It was fully entertaining, and yet it had a very powerful moral that was powerfully driven home without merely being suggested or implied. You could tell that the writers truly wrote this episode to bring across a point, rather than just to entertain. This is the first episode since The Inspiration Station that I actually felt really applied to my life. I was greatly moved by the message, and it's the first time in a very long while that an Odyssey episode really convicted me and made me want to change.

Well now that I've got that off my chest, I'll go review the episode the way I did back in Albums 51 and 52. There isn't really any order to it, but I'll do my best to make it interesting.

It was a pleasant surprise to hear Olivia's new voice in this episode, since I had totally forgotten that that was coming. She sounds like a mix between Charlotte (after she's revealed to be Charlotte) in An Agreeable Nanny and Jill from the Kidsboro episodes. However, I actually think I could like this voice more than I like Hope Levy's voice. As far as I know, she's still played by an adult actress, and there's still a hint of that in there. Oh, I just looked over at AIO Wiki, and not only is she played by an adult, but that adult is Kelly Stables, the same woman who voiced Jill in Kidsboro! I think this new voice is a bit of an improvement, even though she does sound a lot like Jill. Whereas when Hope Levy was Olivia's actress, I complained about how old she made the character sound, I actually like the older, slightly more mature, feeling that Kelly Stables brings to the character. She really brings out the dramatic side of Olivia, which I think is what the writers originally expected Olivia's emphasis to be when they created her. For once, I actually look forward to hearing more of Olivia throughout the rest of the season.

I really enjoyed the sibling rivalry in the episode. The new voice for Olivia fits perfectly to be an arguing opponent against Matthew. Hope Levy's Olivia always left me annoyed after she'd had a fight with Matthew, but Kelly Stables' Olivia really fit well for the role. Her fights with Matthew actually, for the first time, really reminded me of how Jimmy and Donna Barclay were. Could the Parker children finally be giving themselves a good name in Odyssey history as a fictional family that we non-fictional families can fully relate to? Anyway, I was reminded of myself and my arguments with siblings a lot throughout this episode. I once heard Sarah from the Unofficial AIO Podcast say that whenever she encounters families with siblings that almost never fight, she wonders what's wrong with them. :D I agree with her. I think bickering and fighting among siblings, though it is sinful 99% of the time, can bring us closer together and help us to understand each other more. That's exactly what it seemed to do in this episode for Matthew and Olivia. And I loved the resolution scene; for the first time, I think, it really sounded like the Parker siblings really loved each other. :)

Is it just me, or has Wooton's voice changed a bit? He seems to have a more raspy, less silly, edge to his voice these days. But he is still silly. A little too silly. I know he's supposed to be the stereotypical fun-loving, somewhat absentminded, joke-telling, but good role-model character, but I'd like to see the serious side of him once in a while. We did see a little glimpse back into that old, somber side of him when he was faced with a hard decision in the episode, but then he was quickly back to silliness. There was a perfect balance when we had Grady. But now Wooton doesn't really have anybody that he's talking and relating with on a regular basis (unless you want to count Penny, but what kind of an influence on his character has she been?), so we only see him as a flat, one-sided, silly, barely-adult character who is merely there for laughs. Yes, he had a fairly major part in this episode, and we did see a side of him we haven't really seen before (Sunday School teacher), but I was more than a little dissatisfied with him.

The scene with Olivia and her dad was really powerful. I think that's the first time since Always with Ben Shepherd and Aubrey that there's been a real, heart-to-heart, father-daughter talk, let alone one that I felt emotionally connected with. And the music in that scene was amazing; it really added to the poignant atmosphere of the situation. I loved how Scripture was the teaching factor, and not merely words of wisdom from Whit, or worse, a brief lecture from Chris at the end of the show. I honestly think this show had the best moral and the best teaching moments of any show since the relaunch. I very much hope that there will be many more episodes like this to come.

So, that's my review. It was certainly shorter than my GRC reviews, but it was one of my longer ones. I enjoyed writing it, so I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please tell me what you thought about the review, and especially what your reaction to the episode was. Did you like it as much as I did or not? What'd you think about Olivia's new voice? Was Wooton a nice or annoying addition to the heart of the episode?

Rating: 9.5/10 stars.

Be sure to be back next week when I, Lord-willing, review A Penny Saved, which, because it features Penny, I already have low expectations for. Maybe Paul McCusker will surprise me. :D

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Repack Covers and Album 55!

The new covers for both Album 23 and Album 29 have been released! (These ones are actually official [if AIO Wiki can be trusted ;)].) They are a small improvement from the fake ones released before, but I still think those were wonderful! Here they are:

And then here we have the official back cover art for Album 54:

All of these look fabulous! I am continually amazed at Gary Locke's ability to create such quality and yet fun art.

Now for the more exciting part of the post: Information about Album 55! AIO Wiki has put a summary of all that we know about Album 55 (and Album 56) on their "Future" page. The most notable piece of information that I'll include here concerns one of the three-part episodes that we've heard about before:

While The Labyrinth, the episode featuring Jason and Mr. Grote, will remain the same--a three-parter--Sgt. York will not. "This was originally a 3 part episode. However, after editing the voice tracks, the AIO team discovered that the episode is 18 minutes too long. Rather than cut out 18 minutes out of the story, they decided to make it into AIO's first 4-part episode. Because of this, an episode from album 55 will be pushed back to be released in a future album."

Wow!! I have some friends who don't really listen to Odyssey, mainly because of the modern turn it's taken over the last ten years (sometimes featuring snarky and worldly characters); however, I know that they really enjoy the story of Alvin York, so I'm very excited to know that this will be an extended episode about which I will potentially be able to give them a good report. And from what I've heard them tell me about Sgt. York, it should be a very interesting and riveting episode. I can't wait to see how the writers handled it; it has the potential of becoming as much of, if not more of, a favorite than the Jubilee Singers.

Well, I don't know about you, but, minus Album 54, I'm excited about where Odyssey is going in the future, particularly with Album 55. We'd better all stay tuned for what's coming in the days ahead!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

More Misinformation

So, it turns out, I was the information I thought I was relaying from the Odyssey Scoop. Those five album covers I posted the other day are not final; they were created by a fan. I personally think they look wonderful, and AIO should consider using them as the final products. But they aren't official.

Anyway, here's some breaking news: The Blackgaard Chronicles is out today! And there's a special Official Video Podcast to celebrate. It features a "pop-upisode"--A Name, Not a Number, Part I. If you don't remember from the Album 50 videos, a Pop-upisode is an Odyssey episode put to a video with a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes information running throughout it. It should be very interesting.

The word from Jacob Isom (and I'm pretty sure I can trust this information, since he has his own copy) is that The Blackgaard Chronicles features the thirty AIO episodes pertaining to Dr. Blackgaard over 13 hours of audio entertainment on 10 CDs. And just like the Novacom Saga, there's a bonus disc, but in this case, it's a DVD featuring a 30-minute interview with Paul McCusker and Phil Lollar about the creation of Regis Blackgaard. But Jacob argues that the best feature of the new collection may be the brand-new illustrations of Jack Allen, Jason Whittaker, Dr. Blackgaard, Richard Maxwell, and Phillip Glossman!! This alone makes me very badly want to get the set for myself. I so hope this new artwork is released somewhere sometime soon.

One other thing: Just before the pop-upisode starts in the newest video podcast, we see Brock opening the Blackgaard Chronicles package, and behind him there's a dry-erase board that has written on it: "55 Episodes Sgt York The Labyrinth" Could these be the titles of the two three-parters we've heard talk of?! Only time will tell. :D

Thanks for reading! Be sure to tell me what you're thinking about all this new stuff in the comments!

P.S. Here's the back cover for The Blackgaard Chronicles, if you were wondering what episodes are included:

EDIT: There's more breaking news, now that I've watched the Pop-Upisode!!! If you watch the whole thing, almost exactly halfway through, you'll notice that the title of Album 55 has been released! It will be called The Deep End. I was totally not expecting to learn this so soon! Some other special things included within the video were original drafts of The Blackgaard Chronicles' artwork, and original drawings of Dr. Blackgaard. And for those of you who like the Imagination Station series, at the end of the video, you get a peek at the newest book's cover. Also, we get to see new illustrations of Jack Allen and Jason, in addition to the ones already released on Album 23's new cover! This all made the time it took to watch the Pop-Upisode very worth it!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


A couple weeks ago when the new cover for Album 29: Signed, Sealed, and Committed was released, I relayed the information on from The Odyssey Scoop that that album, along with every new repack after it, would feature the new AIO logo. It turns out, that was a rumor from CBD that was not true. Album 29, along with all the other new repacks will, as has been reported in the past, feature the older AIO logo. I think this makes much more sense, and I'm glad AIO has chosen to take this route. Sorry for giving bad information.

Oh, and since I'm posting, I may as well post the final products of the repacks for which I've already shown the art (Albums 2, 23, 26, 29, and 34):

I think all of these look wonderful! Even the album 26 cover. The hot pink background actually totally rights the wrong of the weirdness of the art, in my opinion. And all the others look great as well. What are your thoughts? Please comment!

P.S. If you were wondering why, I have no idea why this front page ends with the previous post. I can't figure out what's wrong with the system, so just bear with me until I fix it. You can find older posts by clicking on "Older Posts" or by looking back through the blog archive.

Friday, August 19, 2011


I was expecting these soon, because we got one of the five albums shown in the Facebook video a few months ago, but I wasn't expecting them in bulk this soon! Unlike I was thinking, all of these are exactly the same as they were shown in the video, and I think at least three out of the four look really good! Here are albums 2, 23, 26, and 34:

I'm sorry the pictures are so small. For whatever weird reason, Blogger won't let me post big pictures anymore because there's an overflow of information. You'll have to go to AIO Wiki or The Campbell County Connection to see the big versions.

I don't have time right now to give my thoughts on them, so you guys'll have to guess which one I don't like as much. Thanks for reading! I hope you were excited as I was to see these. Please comment!