Friday, August 26, 2011

Jason Wallpaper

Here is another wallpaper, Jason style. I will try to maybe do more at some point. Click on thumbnail, then right click and set as background if you would like to use it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

GRC VS DBD: Beware of Spoilers for both albums

With summer almost being over I made a point in getting this done before school starts...

I'm gonna break this down into several categories which will also give points for the final talley of which wins in my opinion. The categories being: Characters, Quotes, Plot, Theme, and "Likeness". 
The majority of the characters in Darkness Before Dawn , aren't specifically new to the album, with a few exceptions. We have many characters that play an important role to the story line and conflict of the plot. Knowing that we already know most of the characters at this point in the show, it's easy to portray a concern for the characters we've grown to love. Such as; Richard Maxwell almost dieing by flying out of the back of a moving car, Jason almost being put in jail, and Jack almost getting  caught in an explosion with Regis Blackgaard. The bad guys here are ones we've pretty much grown to loathe and love both at the same time.

In The Green Ring Conspiracy, we're hit with a plethora of new characters, some of which were introduced in 51 and 52, such as Matthew and Emily whom we've had some time to grow attached to. But the "plethora" includes; Penny, Detective Polehaus, Agent Tanner, Derk Beggs, Dr. Graham, Archie Haggler, Buck Oliver, Mr. Skint, and maybe some I forgot. But as well as the norm recurring characters, it brought Katrina, and Jason whom we hadn't heard from since 50 or before. Another character that was brought back from way back when is Monty Whittaker, a huge surprise there.

Winner: DBD
Darkness Before Dawn has mostly characters that we already knew including the bad guys. The Green Ring Conspiracy has an overload of new characters, but counteracts this with action and intrigue. Though DBD wins in this category for it's usage of characters that we've had time to love and fear.

Quotes- For this section I have scanned through the quotes on aiowiki, picking the ones that stand out to me and compared them against each other.

"Rodney Rathbone: Thanks Pop, you won't regret it.
Bart Rathbone:
I already do regret it. I still don't like any of this. And don't call me--
Rodney Rathbone:
Hey, I'm on the phone Pop." -Angels Unaware

"Bryan Dern: (on the radio) Ladies and Gentleman Dr. Regis Blackgaard!
Connie Kendall:
Jason Whittaker:
No it can’t be!
Regis Blackgaard:
(on the radio) Hello, Odyssey, I’ve come home.
Connie Kendall:
I can’t believe it!
Jason Whittaker:
This is impossible, he’s, he’s dead!" -The Return

"Bernard Walton: Well, stuff me with feathers and call me a pillow!" - The Time has Come

"Jack Allen: I'm not here to save the world Dr. I'm here to save Odyssey nor even Whit's End. I'm here for you. For you're soul. That's the only thing that matters right now. Not money or power or computer programs or viruses or world terrorism. It all comes down to your soul."

"Jack Allen: So, you're...taking over the Israelites.
Jason Whittaker: Yeah.
Jack Allen: Well, I can't stop you...any more than I've been able to stop you from anything you've done over the past few months.
Jason Whittaker: Well, you always said I was stubborn like Dad.
Jack Allen: (chuckles sadly) Stubborn, yes...but not like your dad.

  "Emily Jones: That's not the only thing, Eugene. You have to see what's inside this back pack.
Eugene Meltsner:
Now this isn't a trick I hope. I wouldn't want to be surprised by a spring loaded snake or a collection of badly played banjo music.
Emily Jones:
No, it's [the backpack] full of money.
Eugene Meltsner:
Allow me. <Gasps> Loudly exclaimed euphemisms escape me! This is... <whispers> This is a lot of money! ~ Part 1

"Don Polehaus: I once kidnapped a cow after hitting my head in a car accident, but that's another story for another time." ~Part 3

"Buck Oliver: What are you doing?
Jay Smouse:
Ahh! Me? I was just admiring your truck.
Buck Oliver:
This truck?
Jay Smouse:
Yeah, it's big!
Buck Oliver:
You have a thing about big trucks?
Jay Smouse:
Oh yeah. Ever since I was a kid, you know, (makes truck noises)
Buck Oliver:
If you want to make friends, don't ever do noises like that again, OK?
Jay Smouse:
Yeah." ~ Part 5

"Wally Haggler: Did you write everything down?
Jay Smouse:
I think so, but I had to scribble on [the front of this] receipt from the hardware store, so it's kind of mixed up.
Wally Haggler:
Let's hear it.
Jay Smouse:
They drove the big truck back to a very nice house in a 40 gallon trash can.
Wally Haggler:
Jay Smouse:
Sorry. Brentwood Estates. Then, they took the sheets off the hex-head cap screws.
Wally Haggler:
Jay Smouse:
Furniture! Furniture! I told you this was a mess. And then they drove the big truck down to a lot near Gower's Field where the Tub Shelf Utility Cart is set up.
Wally Haggler:
Uncle Archie's Carnival
Jay Smouse:
Yeah, that. Then they got into a PVC plastic fitting.
Wally Haggler:
Pickup truck.
Jay Smouse:
Pickup truck and drove here to an iron gate on chrome pike.
Wally Haggler:
Gold Camp Road." ~Part 5"

"John Whittaker: So how long are you gonna wait?
The Stiletto:
John Whittaker:
To take off that disguise.
The Stiletto:
John Whittaker:
You know what I'm talking about.
The Stiletto:
Now that's very interesting. I'm afraid the beard won't come off without a razor. However the hat will and the sunglasses. How's that?
John Whittaker:
That's much better. It's good to see you again." ~Part 8

"Wooton Bassett: You know, I've always found that running along the top of a train gives me inspiration.
The Stiletto:
Good, then that's what I'll do." ~Part 12

Winner: GRC
 In GRC there are many more humorous quotes that stand out, rather than serious ones. But not only that, my favorite quote is the one where we find out that Jason is the Stiletto. Compared to DBD, the ones in GRC are sometimes more comical, and more ..the word escapes me...but you get the idea.

This album starts with Odyssey getting hit by different acts of vandalism. It kinda hits home in a way, because Odyssey and different locations that listeners and fans have to know and love are being hit. But it goes much deeper than that. As it progresses, we also hear about the isrealites, and their battle against the Bones of Wrath, A.K.A good vs evil. One twist in the album is Regis returning to Odyssey. Glossman, Regis and a newcomer Jellyfish, thicken the plot by trying to take over Odyssey and Whit's End. Blackgaard runs for mayor, and Richard returns to town to try to stop his evil plans. This album is packed chalk full action and suspense, including Blackgaard blowing up Whit's End and Jack almost not getting out alive.

The GRC takes a different angle. Around Odyssey, there is a counterfeit ring planning to transport a ton of counterfeit money across the country. Monty and Derk Beggs crash in an airplane which begins stirring up things in Odyssey. This album is full of suspense as well, but seems to work in more comedic moments. The biggest plot twist was when the Stiletto was revealed to be Jason Whittaker. My all time favorite character in AIO.

Winner: DBD
Both albums are great in their own way. But DBD has way more scary intense moments that GRC lacks. GRC is presented in a very suspenseful and quick paced way. Which it is easy to miss details that prove to be important later on. DBD has such an interesting plot that can easily fill everyone with distress and hatred towards the evil wreaking havoc on our favorite town. And our hatred doubles as it reveals our favorite villain Blackgaard is behind it all trying to become mayor and reign over Whit's End.

The themes presented in DBD are: Stewardship, Salvation and Spiritual Warship.

The themes presented in GRC include: Friendship, Lies, Trust, Honesty, Wisdom, Discernment, Deception, Loyalty, Redemption, Hope, Fraud, Change, Survival, Evil, Money, Good, Potential, Affection, Justice.

Winner: GRC
The GRC covers a more variety of themes,  and is presented in a very interesting way. DBD has good themes too, but in a different way. So with that, GRC ties it up. So we move on to the last match.

DBD: There are so many aspects to DBD that is liked by fans. The fact that it goes on from episodes before it adds to the "likeness" of this album. But besides this it also has lots of excitement, Jason, and an epic conclusion.

GRC: The GRC has alot to like as well. The action, the excitment, humorous lines/quotes, and of course Jason's return.

Winner: DBD
It was tough to call this one, but DBD beats GRC in Likeness by a just a bit. Some of the reason being that it's more intense for older listeners. GRC still is definitely a favorite in my book don't get me wrong, but DBD tops it by just a little. I can say that GRC tops Novacom though.

Overall Winner: DBD
By a score of 3-2 DBD tops GRC by such a small margin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

GRC Review

 The Green Ring Conspiracy is an amazing tale that takes the listener along with the characters to foil the bad guys. It's filled with suspense, "cliff hanger agony" and twists that make your head spin. If you haven't listened to the Green Ring conspiracy yet, you totally should. That sounded almost like an ad... Well, onto the review. I will touch on different things from the episodes, but for a full summary of the episodes check out aiowiki's episode pages for each part. (Those plots were also mostly written by me.)

Parts 1-3 get you into the swing of things and you find out that things are just getting stirred up. Emily finds a bag of money, plane crashes in Gower's Field, and Connie starts art classes at Campbell County Community College. One downside to these parts is that we don't hear from Monty until part 4, and the first three end with cliff hangers about Monty. One of the victims in the crash says Whit's name; Monty, Monty is missing from the hospital, and then Monty is found at Whit's House on the floor. Although mostly exciting, perhaps that could have been switched up somehow.

As we reach 4-6, we find out tons more information. In part 4 we find out what Monty and derk were doing in Odyssey and why the plane crashed. In Part 5 they follow a lead that connects the carnival to the conspiracy.  Part 6 takes us to the carnival and ends with Monty getting captured as the cliff hanger...

In Part 7-9 things really start heating up. In part 7, Buck and Emily look for his appleberry, and Whit looks into a neat way to find Monty using the chip implanted in Monty's arm. In Part 8, it ends with the biggest twist of the whole album, that the Stiletto is really Jason Whittaker. In part 9 we learn more information, and how Jason connects into the whole thing. and that Archie Haggler is indeed connected with the conspiracy and that he wants the Stiletto out of the way. Note that both 8,9 and 10 end with hangers involving Jason/the Stiletto. But it doesn't bug me as much as the Monty ones because we actually hear Jason.

In 10-12 it dramatically draws to a close. Jason as The Stiletto is taped and drugged and put in with the money, in part 10's ending. Part 11 puts Connie, Penny, and Wooton in a train car with the money, and the rest of the good side searching for where the money is. In the dramatic closure, Jason ends up crashing the train into Wally's warehouse, and the bad guys are stopped.

This album easily makes it's way into my top favorite albums list. I love how they brought Jason back, and I really can't wait to see what they do with him next in Album 55: The Deep End.

I rate this as follows:
Part 1: 3/5
Part 2: 4/5
Part 3: 4/5
Part 4: 4.5/5
Part 5: 5/5
Part 6: 4/5
Part 7: 4/5
Part 8: 5/5
Part 9: 5/5
Part 10: 5/5
Part 11: 5/5
Part 12: 5/5
Average overall: 5/5 Great episodes. My GRC vs DBD head to head is coming. Hopefully before the end of this week as well... But thought I'd go ahead and do this too. That's all for now, this is Freddy Jay saying; "What did you think of album 53?"

Name Not a Number Popupisode

The Official Site has released another popupisode, A Name Not a Number, Part 1. And it may or may not have some "Brock inserted info on 55" in some spots. be sure to check it out.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Contrary to what I posted in a previous post, the real final cover for album 29 has not been shown. CBD isn't necessarily a reliable source for album art. It will be very similar to that, but will have the old logo. The albums 1-50 will remain with the old logo. So for future reference, don't use CBD as a reliable source for album cover information...

Also it has been confirmed that album 2 will have a new title. Brock Eastman is encouraging fans to guess the title on his facebook fan page although nothing has been officially stated on what it actually is. Have any guesses, feel free to comment them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cover Art, 4 of them!

[This was on the fb page, as well as aiowiki.]  Here are the arts for 2, 23, 26 and 34. They are pictured below. we finally get to see Jack!!!!

Album 2: Stormy Weather                                     Album 23: Twists and Turns        

Album 26: Back On The Air                                     Album 34: In Your Wildest Dreams

Monday, August 15, 2011

Album 55 News!!!!

I happened to come across something very interesting. On aiowiki there is now a page for album 55. And it now has a summary for that album. 54 is right around the corner, but I am super excited for 55. Here is the summary.

"When Jason Whittaker tracks the villainous Mr. Grote to London, England, he discovers another ominous plot. With the help of some old friends, will he unravel it in time? Back in Odyssey, Eugene and Red reveal the story of a World War I hero—Sergeant Alvin York."

I was really hoping they'd continue that storyline and looks like we won't be let down. London? Cool! And we get more of Jason. How awesome is that? And more RED! Odyssey loves to keep us in anticipation for the next album.

Click here for other info that we know about this album right now.

We also have the new cover art for album 29. Shown below.
I really like this take on it. We see the wedding cake, and some of the main characters around it, such as Jason, Tom, and Bernard, but you still don't know who is getting married.

The downloads for 54 are now available, mine came about a week ago as part of my prize. I'll save my thoughts for later though ;).   That's all the news I have for now. Discuss what you think.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I met THE Brock Eastman!

Friday, Brock had a book signing and it just happned to be close enough that I was able to go! I met THE Brock Eastman from the Adventures in Odyssey Podcast, as well as author of HowlSage, Taken and the sixth book in the Imagination Station series.  Not only did he sign Howl Sage for me, he also signed the back of my cover for my dollar that won the AIO GRC contest in the 18+ category. Below are pictures of me and Brock, and his signature. Click to see em bigger.

It didn't take long for me to start on his book HowlSage. I really dug into yesterday, and I finished it today. This is an excellent book. In this book, the main character Taylor is a young demon hunter. And the demons he hunts purposely have similar characteristics of werewolves, and vampires amongst other things.  It makes the point that some shows and movies portray werewolves and vampires as heros. But this book puts those creatures in their proper places. This book is an awesome take on the battle of good vs evil. It also contains several interesting inventions and really keeps you guessing. Amongst other things it expresses the need to stay close to God. This book is a great read, and I encourage you to check it out.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Down With faio

I realize this was a heated debate a while back, and it's become even more so now on the ToO. If you're not aware what I am talking about faio is a free site that has Odyssey episodes up for anyone to listen to. Although it may technically not be illegal, it still costs Focus money. Isn't there a proverb like "There is no such thing as a free cookie"? Or something like that, the point being, even though it may be free for those listening, it is costly for FOTF. And even though they encourage people not to download the episodes on the site, it doesn't mean people can't. It also provides links to episodes that are illegally downloaded on sites like youtube and grooveshark. What is my purpose of saying all this? Well, some users of ToO have decided to try to take a step in moving against them with a petition to take down the site. Not sure what will really become of this petition, but I encourage you to sign it. You don't have to use your real name, nor do you have to be a member of the ToO. Here is a link to the petition. Thanks in advance.  This is Freddy Jay saying " Please help the cause."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Album 54 (Clanging Cymbals and the Meaning of God's Love) summaries (The Real Ones)

The previous post was written in part because of hearing so many complaints about post-50 episodes most of which coming from the ToO.... I encourage you to read my perspective which is below. But this post is exciting because it has the episode summaries for album 54 Clanging Cymbals and the Meaning of God's Love. (I got them from Aio Wiki)

Wooton Knows Best
Olivia and Matthew Parker compete for a chance to be Wooton Bassett's camp assistant.

A Penny Saved
Penny Wise deals with the aftermath of her role in the Green Ring Conspiracy and plans for the future.

The Amazing Loser
When Whit's End sponsors a band camp, Matthew, Jay, and Barrett compete in a musical scavenger hunt.

Anger Mismanagement
Frustration abounds as David suggests Grandma Lucia try a test run of her salon business in his living room, and Olivia discovers Valarie stealing the media spotlight for a big parade

Forgiveness More... Or Less
After hearing a story from Red Hollard, Camilla Parker decides to make a forgiveness list.

You're two Kind
Ryan decides to partner with Brad for a school project, but has second thoughts when he overhears Brad making fun of him. Meanwhile, Connie gives Eugene a series of bejeweled gifts and he struggles to tell her the truth--he hates them.

A Penny Earned
Penny Wise searches for her future in a job and as Connie Kendall's roommate.

Never For Nothing
Grandma Lucia recounts to Olivia her story of a childhood friend, an event that taught her that love is "never for nothing."

Emily, the Genius
Emily is overwhelmed when a school test shows that she is a genius.

How to Sink a Sub
When Katrina becomes their substitute teacher, Jay and Valerie rouse the class to revolt, even persuading Olivia to help with a plan to get Katrina fired.

Unbecoming Jay
 Jay schemes a way to ditch his cousin Cindy by leaving her with Barrett, but Priscilla grows jealous of the new friendship.

Childish Things
Before a gallery exhibit of her work, Penny tries a variety of methods to decide whom she can trust in life.

If you'd like to see info on who wrote the episdoes, check it out on aiowiki.

Odyssey In Review

As a show grows things are bound to change. Odyssey has had many changes and phases over the years even before the ones we're seeing now. If you look back at album 1, you'll find shows such as Recollections, Connie Comes to Town, Madge and Guy, and others that are the foundation of Odyssey's history. Although classics, these episodes are more of spring boards, the ones where the main characters are just starting on their roles. It isn't until later that they get more comfortable and adapt to their character. In this album each episode pretty much centered around a different kid. Although an interesting angle, it didn't give the listening audience a chance to attach to any of the kids. In albums 2-15 we get characters like the Barclays, (a favorite family for most fans), and Lawrence, amongst others. We find out more about Whit's past in episodes like Thank You, God, Rescue from Manatugo Point, and Operation Digout. As we start to get the feel for main characters and really get attached to them, that's when things start stirring. In albums 16-26 all sorts of things happen. In The Mortal Coil we almost lose our beloved John Whittaker, In album 17 George loses his job, (And later they move from Odyssey) In 25 Odyssey is hit with the conclusion of the Blackgaard saga with Darkness Before Dawn and it's still popular among fans today.

Odyssey went into a short slump with albums 33 and 34 where some of the episodes were two 15 minute ones. After those, Odyssey was hit by the Novacom saga. This saga is popular amongst fans and for good reason. It's packed with action and intrigue.  But the thing is it lost a lot of its reality at this point. Main characters Whit, Eugene, Connie, Alex, Jason, Tom and some new characters such as fan favorite Mitch, battle try to put a stop to a company that is trying to take over the world with mind control using technology that coverts radio waves to brain waves. The thing that makes Odyssey so different from TV show and regular entertainment is the way it relates to reality and can connect with the listeners lives with lessons and morals that are important. Novacom still has the lessons and morals, but it loses the relation to the listeners that older episodes has.

As Novacom passed, we began to see more of those down to earth episodes. Including the conclusion to the Mitch-Connie story-line. Then we get eugene back in Odyssey and more brain-wave whatcha hoosey... But after Eugene comes back and gets his memory, we hear a saga that isn't wildly out there; The Search for Eugene's father who was lost on an archeolgical expedition years ago, and Eugene found out that he was still alive while on a mission trip to the same Ashanti village Leonard had once been to. This story line is a favorite of mine, because it's not way out there like Novacom, and someone isn't trying to take over the world or Odyssey. This saga covers episodes in albums 45-49. In album 50 we hear episodes with a wide variety f characters, and at times it seems that they just wanted to bring as many back as possible for the 50th album.

Albums post 50 are ones that seem to hit the fans hard. After two years of nothing, when it finally gets more new episodes it returned with all sorts of changes that didn't  seem to go over to well with some fans. For one thing, Paul Herlinger retired as Whit and a new actor Andre Stojka was hired. Some think that Andre sounds younger than Paul, while others think he sounds older. In 51 Andre didn't seem quite in the role of Whit yet, but that's to be expected with any part. The fans also were introduced to new families and characters namely The jones and Parker families, Red, Jay and Wally. And the style of the art has also changed quite a bit too. Not to mention the fact that key roles such as Bernard, Tom, The Rathbones, Washingtons, McKays, and a few others have seemed to slip into the background of Odyssey.  Some seem to think that the writers have taken a step back in quality. But is that the case? In some ways maybe the writers are trying to bring the focus back a little, make things simpler for the younger viewers while bringing in complaints from the older ones.

In album 51 we visited shows focusing on the Parkers and Jones' families mostly. Most of which were hard to swallow for many. Inspiration Station, Clutter and Game for a Mystery were it's four opening shows which gave a pretty weak start. They're not bad persay, but it's where the target age is obvious. Under age 12 kids are more likely to like them compared to 16+. Whereas with older episodes, they seemed more timeless and anybody could enjoy them. Target of the week was one of the best in the season. It was added to the short list of baseball episodes and gave Wooton opportunities to be well himself. Many have said that post-reboot Wooton is too goofy and never seems to be serious. Perhaps this is true. He used to be more of a neutral character that had quirks, but also could teach kids lessons if given the chance. After this one were For the Birds, When You're right You're Right, Grandma's Visit and Finish What you. For the Birds  seemed unrealistic by some, but that begs the question. If that is a main issue, why was Novacom so popular for the fans when mind control is pretty out there too?  The four mentioned again seemed more aimed for the youngers. The quality wasn't bad at all, just not what fans wanted nor expected. The Season Ended with a great three parter The Jubilee Singers, that almost everyone agrees is a great episode.

After Album 51, 52 was a good improvement. Part of the deal with 51 was that so many characters were just getting into their roles. Andre as Whit, the new families etc. In 52, we see more of a balance between story lines. Not every story revolves around the Parker and Jones' families. The season starts with a great two parter, The Mystery of the Clock Tower where we get to go along with the characters as they solve a mystery surrounded by love and heartbreak that really turns out to be a diversion so the bank can be robbed! Following this was Wooton's Broken Pencil Show. This episode was a wacky take on the theme that entertainment should have a point by not having a point. (Slightly confusing I know...) Then came Stage Fright, fast as I can, and The Owlnapping. Stage fright was a weak episode as was Game for a Mystery and The Malted Milkball Falcon. The Emily Jones detective agency episodes while they may appeal to kids, they seem rather difficult for the listener to try to solve the case with the characters. They point fingers one way, then another, and then finally the real solution is found. Fast as I Can presented an episode on fasting in a way that pointed out that there are multiple ways to fast other than just food, and sometimes different people get different things from them. The Owlnapping along with Fast as I Can, A Thankstaking Story and The Mystery of the clock Tower were highlights of the album. The Owlnapping brought us a basketball episode centered around an owl that went missing. Although simplistic, the theme not to put trust into petty things is a good one to remember. the rest of the album includes Square One, A Thankstaking Story, An Agreeable Nanny, The Malted Milkball Falcon, and Grandma's Christmas Visit. Square One was a decent episode, but of these, A Thankstaking Story is the best of them. It presents a new Thanksgiving Story as a parallel to The Grinch That stole Christmas similar to what they did with a Thanksgiving Carol. Odyssey always seems to try to come what with creative ways to keep the listeners interested and to bring their point across, whether it be with BT-V, Kids radio, one of Whit's inventions, or a thought or game by Whit. They usually try to bring in unique ways that will bring in the listeners and post 50 episodes we don't see that quite as much. The rest of the episodes mentioned seem to be a theme from chaos. A good approach to reach kids to get humor from chaotic events, hence An Agreeable Nanny, and Grandma's Christmas Visit. The season started off well, and then sputtered here and there in the perspective of an older listener.

And all this brings us to the most recent album The Green Ring Conspiracy. In the GRC we find old faces returning, several new faces, as well as familiar faces from 51 & 52. It takes us on a wild chase to conquer evil. One of the story lines includes Wooton and new character Penny Wise having a sort of "romantic chemistry". In the episodes Wooton is in it seems he's there for more comic relief than anything else. The greatest twist of the whole story was that The Stiletto turned out to really be Jason Whittaker. This album definitely seemed like the "Old Odyssey", like Darkness Before Dawn and Novacom. Some fans still seem to complain, but many more like it.

The main problem that some fans have is comparing the new episodes to the old and saying this is a rip off of this and things like that. If you take the episodes and look at them for what they are without comparing them, they aren't really all that bad. Some of them may seem lacking luster as if more aimed for kids, but good quality all the same. In fact, the writers should get more credit for what they are doing than some give them. They're keeping a timeless show going even through actor, character and family replacements. So are post-50 albums really that bad? It all just depends on how you look at it.

Wow...I think this is my longest post ever!... And I'm sorry for that.