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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live From San Diego Comic-Con

A drawing of two clinking martini glasses.
NPR
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This week's show is a very special event for us: it's our visit to Comic-Con.

Because Maggie Thompson (mother to PCHH regular Stephen Thompson) was a special guest at San Diego Comic-Con this year, she invited us to do a panel discussion with her. So Stephen, Glen Weldon and I — along with a crucial audio assist from our pal Petra Mayer — set up in one of the rooms upstairs in the convention center and taped a show. (We still don't know what caused the constant thumping. This is what happens when we travel without our producer, Jessica.)

We chatted first about the matter of inclusion and exclusion: how the cultural passions of con attendees (and others) both bind them to each other and potentially become ways that they separate themselves from strangers. When you hear Maggie's argument that this all has to do with flowers on the altars of churches, you'll understand why we wanted to get together and have this discussion.

Next up, we allowed Glen to quiz us about comics — specifically about comic-book sidekicks — right in front of this very discerning crowd. Could Stephen or I get a question right? Would Maggie's clearly superior knowledge make any tangible difference? You shall see, you shall see.

As always, we close with what's making us happy this week. Stephen shocks no one with his eagerness to salute a great creative mind, Maggie geeks out over a book she's recently discovered, Glen recommends a show about which he has nothing but nice things to say, and I recommend a book that was tangentially related to my adventures at press tour.

We've also got a quick Q&A with our audience, including a cameo from one of my dearest TV critic pals.

Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Maggie, and of course Petra. As always, our producer is Jessica Reedy, and our music director/producer emeritus is Mike Katzif.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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