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Connie Kendall: No offense, but, uh... are you trying to kill us?!
John Whittaker: Oh, I'm sorry, Connie! I saw him! He was hitchhiking on the side of the road back there!
Connie Kendall: Well, I don't see anyone!
John Whittaker: I'm sure I saw him—as clearly as I'm seeing you right now!
Connie Kendall: ...Are you seeing me clearly right now? How many fingers am I holding up?
—“Malachi's Message, Part 1”
Editorial 54: A Predicament of Comical Proportions
Have you been keeping up with the Elsewhere in Odyssey comic strips? You can read a free monthly comic strip on the official website. And if you're a member of the AIO Club, you also get access to weekly comics. If you've had a look at the comics, what do you think of them? What's your favorite one? There certainly have been a lot of interesting things happening in the comics, especially recently.In our latest editorial we talk about the various storylines that have been created in the Adventures in Odyssey comics so far, and speculate about what future comics could be created. Check out our thoughts in Editorial 54.
Lindy: Who says I'm running away?
Connie Kendall: Just call me Sherlock Holmes.
News: Upcoming Episode and Album 75
Greetings and salutations! A few news items have come up that I thought I’d report. Upcoming Episode First of all, the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcast has just released the Questions and Answers session for Album 74: Buckle Up! where the AIO Team answers the listeners’ questions. In this episode, a question is asked about Ryan Cummings. The AIO Team responded that Ryan Cummings will be appearing in an episode set to release later this year in the Adventures in Odyssey Club called “Alibis“. So, be on the lookout for that episode! I am in favor of Ryan Cummings appearing again in Odyssey! Among the things that they discuss are Phillip Glossman, Album 74, Eugene, and more. Be sure to check it out! Album 75 Cover Art and New Summary The official cover art for Album 75: The Best is Yet to Come has been released. Interesting to note that this album has no top border. Under the title it says, “6 Stories about forgiveness, purpose and God’s gift of memories”. I wonder why it mentions memories. Could it be that the episodes with Eugene will be memories about him? Also, there is a new summary for the album on CBD: Eugene’s medical science creation could improve millions of lives. But it demands a difficult decision that will impact his entire family’s future. Meanwhile, can Suzu and Emily solve a mystery laced with contradictory clues? And a cryptic phone call offers Penny the chance for closure—but comes with painful revelations! christianbook.com The album is available for pre-order on CBD and will be released on CD on October 3, 2023. AIO Club App Wins Award This was pretty unexpected and I do not know how long ago it happened, but I was browsing the “what’s new” section on the AIO Club and found a small article saying that the Adventures in Odyssey Club app won an award from NRB. When we launched the new, improved Adventures in Odyssey Club last summer, we set out to create a dynamic fan community worthy of everyone’s favorite audio drama. It included personalized playlists, badges, fun new content, and . . . well, you know. Even though we ran into some technical challenges along the way, fans have really enjoyed the design and functionality of the new app and website. And it seems you’re not alone. We learned recently that National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) has recognized the Club as its 2023 award-winner for “Best Digital Experience.” Wow, what an honor! Since many of the ideas and upgrades came from our members, we wanted to tell you about the award and thank you for playing an important part. Give yourself ahand! Rest assured, our entire team will keep striving to give you the “Best Digital Expereince” for years to come. AIO Club Pretty cool. I’m surprised I did not hear about this. I just happened to find the article while browsing the Club, and this was pretty hidden. But I am behind in the Official Adventures in Odyssey Podcase, so unless the award was mentioned in an episode I’ve missed, I am surprised that the AIO Team has not been more vocal about it, like when Adventures in Odyssey won Radio Program of the Year from NRB back in 2020. But regardless, a news item worth mentioning. Byte-Sized Adventures I thought that I would give a comment on the latest Byte-Sized Adventure which is currently happening on the AIO social media. The AIO Facebook page has been doing a series of posts of “What-If” scenarios. They are currently doing a series on What If Bart Rathbone Had Been Elected Mayor. One of the pictures in the series Unlike the previous two Byte-Sized Adventures where Gary Locke’s artwork is used for each image, an entirely new illustrator by the name of Noah Snoke is drawing each post in this series. It kind of looks like a comic strip, which I think looks pretty cool. Be sure to check it out on the AIO Facebook page, or on the AIO Club. Well, that’s all the news I have for now. Any thoughts on these? Feel free to leave a comment! Be on the lookout for more news (and other posts) in the future. -Signed, Polehaus53
Whit [answering the door]: Monty, what are you doing here? You know you’re not supposed to leave the hospital. You’re still recovering from the coma.
Monty: What recovery? I’m back 100%, knock wood.
Monty [knocks on wooden door]: Come in.
Silas Van Kreeft: Well, wipe my nose!
—“The Ill-Gotten Deed”
Jason [on an unofficial mission]: We’re going to be on camera the moment we set foot in there.
Eugene: But remember my plan where we don’t.
Whit: Connie, please don’t talk about things you don’t understand.
Eugene: But then she’d never say anything.
Comic Critique #4
Hello fellow Comic-Readers! Welcome back to another Comic Critique! May’s free comic was actually a decent length. At Adwing’s request, I have written up some of my thoughts on it. First off, I was snickering throughout most of it. The picture of Whit on the exercise bike whatever thing had me cracking up. HAHAH I just noticed that he was cutting his mustache. Oh yeah, great idea: trim your mustache while exercising. Also, I’m trying to square this comic with the fact that Whit looked pretty, um, large, in the Bart Rathbone series that went on in the Club. For example: So, maybe this Rathbone series was meant to be set for pre-relaunch. Actually, the more I think about it, the more that makes sense. Bart was planning on selling a calculator with a camera and walkie-talkie, which struck me as odd because most kids have phones that can do all of those things. So perhaps this was meant for the time period in which smartphones hadn’t been invented… However, Whit was still this large in the Edwin Blackgaard series, and this was a series that included Buck and Jules, two characters who only came to town after the relaunch. Hmm. This is confusing. Back to the May comic… So obviously, this comic was poking fun at the change in Whit’s artwork and voice from pre-relaunch to relaunch. What’s also pretty funny about the comic is that Connie and Eugene also receive their new looks – Eugene’s hair looks as if it had been just cut (or grown back, if you want to take “For the Birds” seriously). I like how they made a jab at the fans who weren’t happy with the new voice of Whit: “Eventually they stopped the teasing and got used to it.” To quote one of my cousins’ reaction to Andre Stojka voicing Whit, “Who is this guy?!” One strange thing about this comic is how Connie and Eugene act as if Whit went from large to skinny in a very short amount of time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it does take time for anyone to lose that much weight. So you’d think that the ‘transformation’ would be pretty gradual. However, this inconsistency is probably part of the joke: Whit’s voice change wasn’t gradual, neither was his new artwork. Also, it’s kind of interesting how Bernard says he’ll never change. Kind of like a promise to the AIO fans that they won’t bring him back with a new voice? I don’t know, that’s just a silly theory of mine. But Bernard is on the cover of Album 75, so we’ll see if that is actually the promise. Speaking of Bernard, I think that Bernard has been excellently portrayed in Elsewhere in Odyssey. His artwork is great, and his dialogue has also been on-point. I’ve been very happy with him! All in all, this was a pretty funny comic! Though it does make the comic chronology a bit confusing. Not sure what or when my next post will be, but I’ll definitely be doing more Comic Critiques. If anyone else has suggestions for which ones I should critique, feel free to let me know!
Brenda: Oh, we need to shoot the sheriff too!
Mandy Straussberg: What about the deputy?
Brenda: I don't think we should shoot the deputy.
—“The Spy Who Bugged Me”
Connie Kendall: Sounds like Jeremy's getting himself in pretty deep. I think I know how this is going to turn out, too.
John Whittaker: Well, maybe you do, maybe you don't. The only way to find out is to keep reading.
—“The Tangled Web”
Josiah: Master, I want to be a son of light.
—“The Imagination Station, Revisited, Part 1”
Connie: Here you go, guys, the perfect after dinner treat: a nice dish of Jell-O.
Bernard: I hate Jell-O. If God wanted peaches suspended in mid-air he would've filled them with helium.
Connie: This watch is broken.
June: Bill gave me that watch for our wedding anniversary.
Connie: Well the marriage never worked, why should the watch?
Bernard: I always wondered why blessings wore disguises. If I were a blessing, I'd run around naked.
Lawrence Hodges: No, Jimmy. I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with you. The regular fries are just not as tasty as the crinkle cut.
Jimmy Barclay: You're crazy! They're the exact same thing, just- just in different shapes!
Lawrence Hodges: You just look at the package of crinkle cut fries. Check out the ingredients. You know what's in the list that's not in the list of regular fries?
Jimmy Barclay: What?
Lawrence Hodges: Sodium acid pyrophosphate! And that makes all the difference!
—“And the Glory”
Wooton: Back in Alaska, there was this shepherd boy who tended his flock on the hill above the town. A wolf kept coming down and stealing his sheep, but the boy never caught him doing it. Because he never saw it happening, he became known around town as the boy who *didn't* cry wolf. Anyway, one day the townspeople heard the boy on the hill yelling "Wolf, wolf." Well, they all figured, if the boy never cried "Wolf" when the wolf *was* there, if he yelled "Wolf" now, it stood to reason the wolf *wasn't* there.
Bernard: Boy, nothing gets by you people.
Wooton: That's right. It was a bear. A huge ferocious grizzly bear.
Bernard: [impatiently] What happened to the boy?
Wooton: He became known as the boy who cried continuously.
Eugene: You're not going to believe what happened. I met my father!
Whit: He's alive?
Connie: He's in Odyssey?
Bernard: He's an earthling?
Eugene: Bernard, I said I was sorry.
Bernard: The least you can do when we're gonna see a movie is say it's a foreign film.
Eugene: What's the big deal?
Bernard: I had to stand in front of the screen just to read the subtitles and all that running back and forth to complete a sentence almost killed me!
Whit: I don't really mind Randall being homosexual, I just don't like him dating men.
Ms. Adelaide: You really haven't grasped the concept of this gay thing yet, have you?
Whit: There must be homosexuals who date women?
Ms. Adelaide: Yeah, they're called lesbians.
Charles Thompson: Mom, I can't sleep!
Maureen Thompson: Count sheep.
Charles Thompson: I can't count sheep. It makes me hungry.
Maureen Thompson: Count horses!
Charles Thompson: But Mom...
Maureen Thompson: Good night, Charles!
John Whittaker: Then you leave me no choice but to exercise my right as a citizen and pursue this case until justice is done!
—“The Case of the Secret Room, Part 2”
Album 75: Initial Reaction
ASmouseInTheHouse has returned! No, I haven’t disappeared off the face of the planet, though I wouldn’t blame anyone for thinking so. I had started this post like, a month ago, but things got busy, so I’ll just pretend that I did this when this news was actually released. So, I’m sure everyone has seen the Album 75 reveal. Everything has led to this moment. A new technology created by Odyssey’s own Eugene Meltsner could change medical science as we know it. This new creation would improve the lives of thousands ― even millions. But Eugene is the only one who can guide his work into the future. The four-part adventure “The Best Is Yet to Come” presents an incredibly difficult decision for the Meltsner family, with implications for their fans…and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, in “Two’s Company, Four’s a Crowd,” Suzu Rydell pulls Emily Jones into a mystery where the clues contradict themselves. Will they find a way to work together and solve a bizarre case? And finally, a mysterious phone call gives Penny Bassett an opportunity to bring closure to a dark chapter from her past, though the process comes with its own painful revelations. Don’t miss “As Far As It Depends on Me.” Past, present, and future collide at a critical turning point. This summer, we and our friends in Odyssey will realize that despite difficult times, The Best Is Yet to Come. AIO CLUB Well, here we are. Artwork IS THAT BERNARD?? (this actually wasn’t too much of a surprise because of the previews the team had been giving out on the Facebook page, and they showed a clipping of his hat and the readers figured out who it was) Are they going to bring Bernard back using his old episodes?!? Why? I think Polehaus53 and I have agreed that they will probably be using the recorded, unreleased episode, “The End of an Era” in which Bernard has unused lines recorded. Perhaps “The Best is Yet to Come” will be using that episode to create the cover art scene, which appears to be a going-away party of sorts. On another note, AIO Writer’s Block made a post pointing out how Bernard’s nose got shortened a little bit compared to his previous artwork. Speaking of size, I don’t really like that they made Eugene’s head so big. I get that he’s the focus of the art, but it looks really odd. And now to analyze everyone else: Whit and Connie look kind of sad. Katrina looks happy and sad at the same time. And Buck…what is Buck doing? Does his phone case seriously have a buck on it? Um, interesting. He looks like he’s anticipating something despite being on his phone. Wooton, Bernard, and Jason look pretty neutrally happy. Interesting. Did they want fans to assume this was a going away party? What else could it be? If it was a celebration or something, why would some of them look sad? Summary Quite interesting. I wonder if the technology Eugene created has anything to do with Novacom. That would be interesting if this connected with the Novacom reboot that’s going on. Not sure what to think about another Rydell-Emily episode. Let’s just roll with it and see what happens. At this point, I just expect the worst. Penny’s dark past?? Would this have to do with the Green Ring Conspiracy? I thought she was over this. Unless they’re making up something new about her past, which I wouldn’t be opposed to, but I think GRC could be fun. Totally not biased opinion there. Too Many Questions, So Few Answers I guess the main question that everyone wants answered is: What did the AIO team decide to do about Eugene? Are they going to send him away permanently, or just for a while until they find a new actor? At this point, I doubt they would kill him off. And I also doubt they would send away the entire family, because they just started the Buck and Jules story. My guess for this album is that Eugene (and maybe Katrina) will move away and leave Buck to stay with Connie (yikes!) or Whit (Buck+Rydells=more yikes!). Buck is too popular a character for the team to put him on hiatus. Well, those are some of my thoughts on 75! I’m looking forward to finally getting some answers.
Rodney Rathbone: Are you crazy?
Richard Maxwell: Yes! Now get out of here!
Am I leaving the Odyssey community?
Hey guys! It’s been a while, and I come once again. Now for those who have read my short Odyssey articles, saw how it was frequent, then died out about two years ago. The reason for this is that I decided not to hyperfocus on Odyssey. I decided to focus on my family, friends, school, and now a Christian website for teens. The website is not fully published, but we will hopefully have a youtube channel and instagram one day. Does this mean that this is my farewell debut to the Odyssey community? No, it is not. I hope, but won’t promise, that I will get some content up in the summer. Hopefully if things work out I will have some videos and podcasts up as well. (I usually have lengthy converstations with my friends about Odyssey, and I hope to tape them so that you can enjoy our rambling, sarcasm, and imput on Odyssey.) So for now, this is just a notice that I am alive and doing well but busier than ever. This is Mel, signing off for now.
Jason Whittaker: My faith should be the center of my life. It isn't always, but it should be. It's supposed to get in the way of everything I do, everything that I am.
—“A Question About Tasha”
Editorial 53: A Couple Comes to Town
Buck and Jules have been characters on Adventures in Odyssey for about ten years now. They've gone through some changes over that time, and grown closer together as well. Album 74: Buckle Up! gives us an update about where their relationship is currently at. If you haven't listened to the episode King of My Heart, make sure to do that first before you read further. Given everything that's happened with Buck and Jules, we decided to write about them in Editorial 53: A Couple Comes to Town. We talk about how their relationship has developed in previous episodes, how it might change in the future, and their potential roles as long-term characters on the show. Check out Editorial 53 and then let us know your thoughts on Buck and Jules in the comments below.
Connie Kendall: You still have feelings for him, don't you? But you said you were over your hurt!
June Kendall: No, no, I said I was over my anger. When you've loved someone, the hurt never really goes away.
Album 75 Revealed!
Greetings and salutations! Hope you all had a good Easter. Hard to believe that was two weeks ago. On March 28, the AIO Team did a full reveal of Album 75. But, before I say anything else, I need to issue the standard spoiler warning. *Clears throat* Spoiler Warning! Do NOT read this post if you do not want to know any information about Album 75!! Okay, you’ve been warned. The AIO Team revealed the release date, cover art, album summary, and episode titles for Album 75! The title is: The Best Is Yet to Come Here’s the cover art: Here’s the summary: Everything has led to this moment. A new technology created by Odyssey’s own Eugene Meltsner could change medical science as we know it. This new creation would improve the lives of thousands ― even millions. But Eugene is the only one who can guide his work into the future. The four-part adventure “The Best Is Yet to Come” presents an incredibly difficult decision for the Meltsner family, with implications for their fans…and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, in “Two’s Company, Four’s a Crowd,” Suzu Rydell pulls Emily Jones into a mystery where the clues contradict themselves. Will they find a way to work together and solve a bizarre case? And finally, a mysterious phone call gives Penny Bassett an opportunity to bring closure to a dark chapter from her past, though the process comes with its own painful revelations. Don’t miss “As Far As It Depends on Me.” Past, present, and future collide at a critical turning point. This summer, we and our friends in Odyssey will realize that despite difficult times, The Best Is Yet to Come. AIO Club Album 75: The Best is Yet to Come will be released on the Adventures in Odyssey Club on July 13, 2023 and on CD on October 3, 2023. The album is currently available for preorder on Christianbook.com. Most interesting! I have a lot of thoughts on all this, but that’s another post for later. What do you think about this album reveal? Any theories about it? Any episodes that look particularly interesting to you? Feel free to leave a comment! -Signed, Polehaus53
Bart Rathbone: Shoppers! Don't forget about the Electric Palace's half-off rebate program! Just bring back your receipt whenever the second Tuesday of the month falls on the fifteenth!
—“Prequels of Love”
Connie Kendall: Hi Whit, sorry I'm late!
—“Rumor Has It”
Aubrey Shepard: No. This has to stop!
Ellen Shepard: Oh, Aubrey!
Aubrey Shepard: But Mom, Belinda almost sat on Blieble. She can't have every chair!
—“Bethany's Imaginary Friend”
John Whittaker: Do you remember what I told you when you stopped smoking? Who tempts people to sin?
Nick Mulligan: Satan.
John Whittaker: Well, is that the role you want to play in someone's life?
—“The Bad Guy”
Jimmy Barclay: We should have a big and bountiful feast to celebrate!
Donna Barclay: Yes, we should.
Jimmy Barclay: Good, now go fix it.
Mary Barclay: Some things haven't changed.
—“Thanksgiving at Home”
Artie Powell: Was he my age?
Bernard Walton: Are you 17?
Artie Powell: No.
Bernard Walton: Then he wasn't your age!
—“Bernard and Joseph, Part 1”
Bernard returns to Odyssey, surprising residents with his new nose job
ODYSSEY, USA – After an extended absence from the town of Odyssey, longtime resident and window washer Bernard Walton returned. Friends and neighbors of Bernard threw a welcome home party for their friend at local ice cream parlor, Whit’s End. When Bernard came through the door of Whit’s End, many gasped at his new look. To the surprise of everyone present, Bernard had gotten a rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a “nose job.” What once was a glorious nose that would put Pinocchio to shame was now a small, normal looking nose. Local professor and distant cousin of Bernard, Eugene Meltsner said” Mr. Walton! To borrow the colloquialism, I am stunned! What, praytell have you done to your proboscis?!” As Bernard prepared to respond, he was suddenly cuffed from behind by local Private Investigator Harlow Doyle. He said, “You are under arrest for impersonating Bernard Walton! You look like him in every way except for that nose. Come with me downtown.” Bernard responded, “Well steam me up and call me a teapot, I am Bernard!” The party guests looked on as Harlow dragged him out of the door.
Editorial 52: More Than a Farmer
Are there more stories to tell about Tom Riley? Could he still have a future on Adventures in Odyssey? Tom the farmer, the mayor, the little-league coach, and Whit's best friend is a beloved major character. Even though he doesn't appear in episodes anymore, he'll always be a big part of Odyssey. He's been in more episodes than some other characters, such as Jason and Wooton. In Editorial 52: More Than a Farmer we discuss how Tom faded from the show and speculate on ways to keep his memory alive in future episodes. What do you think of our suggestions? Do you have any ideas about how best to honor Tom Riley's memory? Check out the editorial and then leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Connie Kendall: So, uh, how do you guys know each other?
Jason Whittaker: Well, we're friends who used to work together.
Connie Kendall: Oh, where was that?
Jason Whittaker: Oh, it was at, the, uh—
Tasha Forbes: Oh, uh, boring government work. We were both analysts. You know, white lab coats and pages and pages of manuals.
Connie Kendall: Uh, huh.
Eugene Meltsner: Sounds fascinating!
—“Love is in the Air, Part 1”
Album 75 Available for Preorder, Details to Be Revealed
Greetings and salutations! With Adventures in Odyssey Album 74: Buckle Up! currently airing on the radio, the fans are already asking about the next in the series, Album 75. When will it be released? What will it be about? What is its cover art? Well, the AIO Team is about to answer all the fans’ questions. The official AIO Facebook Page has announced that they will be fully revealing it on Tuesday, March 21. That’s just a couple days away. Previews of the cover art are being posted. Let me tell you, it is pretty cool to have the artwork and information for upcoming albums revealed by the Odyssey team themselves. They first started doing this with Album 74: Buckle Up! last year and it seems as though they intend to continue doing it. However, I miss the time when the AIO fans would discover the upcoming albums themselves. But then again, it is understandable why the AIO Team has decided to take charge of deciding when the world should know about the next albums. Afterall, we all remember last year when an extremely detailed summary of Album 73: 28 Hours was released on Amazon and then the fans spread the word around, only for the detailed summary be soon removed and replaced with a shorter one. I can understand that after all that, the AIO Team isn’t going to take any more chances of letting information about upcoming episodes leak out without their consent. Well, while we wait for Tuesday to arrive, I can reveal that Album 75 is currently available for preorder on Christianbook.com! The page to preorder Album 75. Looks empty. The page for Album 75 on CBD looks pretty empty right now. There’s no summary or title or cover art on it at all like there usually is. Just “AIO #75” as the title. But we now know when it will be released on CD: October 3, 2023. I assume it will release in the Adventures in Odyssey Club sometime in July this year. My question is, what do the letters in brackets, “WT” mean? The page’s title is “AIO #74 (WT)”, What do the letters WT mean? Is it an abbreviation or the initials of the album title? There are plenty of products on CBD that have not been released yet, but none of them have random unexplained letters in the page for them. I’m going to guess randomly that it’s the album title’s initials! What could it be? I seared online for idioms with the initials W.T,, but didn’t find anything that seemed likely. Here are a few random titles I thought of: Wonderful Times Weary Travels Wonderous Tales I don’t know. I could be entirely wrong. I’ve tried doing further research with the little information we do have on the page on CDB, but have been unable to find anything. I would try for a longer amount of time, but I honestly don’t have time, and I’m not sure if it’s possible. Like I said, the Odyssey Team is now being very careful revealing upcoming album information and is doing an excellent job with it. For now, all we can do is wait until Tuesday.Be sure to check out Album 75 on CBD and preorder it! Well, that’s all the news I have for now. We’ll probably have a post on here after the album is revealed on Tuesday, so stay tuned! -Signed, Polehaus53
Tasha Forbes: Remember I told you that "T" in TA418 stands for Tasha?
Jason Whittaker: Yeah?
Tasha Forbes: Well, the "A" stands for Avery.
—“A Name, Not a Number, Part 2”
Better Than a 3-Foot Bunny
Dear B. Log, A lot of people think about chocolate bunnies—I know I do—and some even wonder what they have to do with Easter. But what I think about more are those little yellow marshmallow chicks. At least a chocolate bunny doesn’t really look like a bunny; otherwise I wouldn’t eat it. But those little yellow marshmallow chicks look real (shudder). Well, never mind, the main thing is that it’s almost Easter. Easter was always a big occasion at Bassett Manor. When my twin brother, Wellington, and I were kids, we thought Easter was just for hunting eggs and eating chocolate. Every year, Granddad would buy us each a 3-foot chocolate rabbit from the local chocolate-maker in Anchorage. The gumdrop eyes and licorice whiskers were my favorite part. I remember one special Easter when I was 10. Our butler, Bradford, had invited my whole family to a sunrise service. Everyone thought sunrise came too early. But I’d never been to church, and watching the sunrise sounded exciting. Besides, I liked Bradford. He always had time for me and told me amazing things about God. That Easter morning, I heard how God’s Son, Jesus, let himself be killed. Why? Apparently so I could be forgiven for the bad things I’d done. I remembered lying about who broke the toaster (me) and lying about who painted the marble floors lime green to match his slippers (yep, me again). So I asked Jesus for forgiveness. And then the preacher said Jesus rose from the dead, and we could live with Him forever! I thought, Anybody who’d do all that for me must love me a lot. So I wanted to ask Him to be my best friend, Lord and Savior. Bradford helped me to turn my thoughts into prayers, and I felt as if the world was all brand new. I was brand new. And I couldn’t wait to tell my family about Jesus. I was full of joy … until I got home. That’s when I discovered Wellington had eaten my 3-foot chocolate bunny—and his! He’d waited for me to leave, snuck downstairs and eaten 6 feet of rabbit. Was anything left? Only two chocolate ears, half a licorice whisker and one gumdrop eye, which hit the floor when Wellington jumped after I shouted, “Gotcha.” You can imagine what I wanted to do to my brother. But as I looked at the broken bunny pieces, I remembered how Jesus got hurt for my sins. After about five seconds, I wasn’t mad anymore. I forgave Wellington, even though he didn’t apologize. (But I could tell he was sorry by the way he groaned and held his tummy.) Anyway, I forgave my brother because I love him, which is exactly what Easter is all about. I was also glad it only took me five seconds to forgive Wellington, because five seconds is exactly how long you can let something sit on the floor and still eat it. (Well, not really, but back then I thought the five-second rule was for real.) Anyway, I scooped up those broken candy bits and ate them with a smile on my face and a bigger smile in my heart. (Thinking.) I wonder what that spy, Miss Ulily Mae Willow, is doing for Easter. The post Better Than a 3-Foot Bunny appeared first on Focus on the Family.
Eugene’s Puzzles 2023
Greetings and salutations! Can you solve these perplexing puzzles? April 2023 Complete the grid so each row and column contains every digit from 1 to 4. The number pairs in the shaded rectangles form simple equations. The total is shown in the top-left corner, along with the mathematical operation involved—addition +, subtraction –, multiplication x or division /. If you think you have the answer, click on the puzzle. Now try the bigger puzzle, using numbers 1 to 6. Again, you cannot use the same number twice in any row or column. When you finish the puzzle, click on the image to see the answer. Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is a man who finds wisdom.” These puzzles will get easier with practice, so try your best and have fun! March 2023 Fill in the grid below so each row, column and colored shape includes the numbers 1 to 5. That means no repeats, either horizontally or vertically. If you think you have the answer, click on the puzzle. This second puzzle is even harder. Complete the grid so that each row, column and three-by-three colored box contains the numbers 1 to 9. When you finish the puzzle, click on the image to see the answer. February 2023 January 2023 The post Eugene’s Puzzles 2023 appeared first on Focus on the Family.
“Thank you for driving the girls, Olivia’s mom,” my mother said as I climbed into Mrs. Parker’s car before school. “No problem… Tori’s mom,” Mrs. Parker replied. Olivia and I stared at each other. “Does your mom know my mom’s name?” I whispered. Olivia shrugged. “Maybe she forgot.” I couldn’t believe it. Olivia and I were best friends. How could our mothers know nothing about each other?! “We have to fix this,” I said. Olivia agreed. “Let’s make nametags.” “Or,” I said, “we could organize a mom-over!” “A what?” “A moms-only sleepover. They can watch movies and have pillow fights. By breakfast, they’ll be best friends.” “I don’t think moms pillow-fight,” Olivia noted. I grinned. “There’s only one way to find out.” Olivia was correct: Moms do not pillow-fight. The slumber party started OK. Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Grant arrived at my house, wearing their cutest pajamas. They ate veggie pizza. Olivia and I painted their nails. Then they watched television… in total silence. “What do moms talk about?” Olivia asked. “I don’t know—chore charts?” I said. “Maybe my dad has an idea.” Olivia and I went upstairs and knocked on my parents’ bedroom door. My father peeked out. “Dad, how do we get Mom to talk?” I asked. He laughed. “Track mud on the carpet.” “I’m serious!” I said, close to tears. “If Mom doesn’t talk, she won’t make friends. She’ll be ‘Tori’s mom’ for the rest of her life.” Dad gave me a hug. “It’s sweet that you’re worried, Tori. But your mother is a funny, interesting woman. She could make friends with a brick.” Suddenly, we heard music blasting downstairs. Followed by singing—well, sing-shouting. And lots of laughter. Olivia and I crept back to the living room. My mom had pulled out our old karaoke machine. She was howling a rock song alongside Olivia’s mom, while the other ladies cheered. “Way to go, Sumiko!” Mrs. Jones shouted. I felt warm all over. My mother had friends. I don’t know if the moms slept that night. They stayed up late, talking and giggling as they snuggled into their sleeping bags. At one point, a second sing-along erupted. Dad had to ask them to quiet down—which only led to more laughter. As I lay in bed, I thought about my mom’s new friends. They didn’t bond over pizza or pillow fights. All they needed was time to enjoy each other, to stop being moms (just for a second) and reveal the funny, interesting women they’d always been. Olivia sighed contentedly. “That was the best mom-over ever,” she whispered. A few minutes later, she sat up. “Hey, Tori, what’s your dad’s name?” The post The Mom-Over appeared first on Focus on the Family.
Elaine Washington: What if you'd gotten hurt, or—I don't know, mugged?
Kelly: We live on Sesame Street. Who is gonna mug me?
—“Chip Off the Shoulder”
The Latest Pieces of News
Greetings and salutations! Been a while since I’ve reported any news. With the Odyssey Team being careful to reveal upcoming album cover art and summaries themselves in recent days, it feels like there’s been a dry spell in regard to Odyssey news. However, although I have been unable to find any extremely major news items, we do have a few things to report. Earl Boen First of all, actor Earl Boen, known for his role as Edwin and Regis Blackgaard, passed away on Thursday, January 5, 2023. A tribune podcast featuring a never-before heard interview as well as studio recordings of Boen voicing for Edwin and Regis was recently released, so I recommend giving it a listen. Album 74 Back Cover Revealed Thanks to Tyndale, we now have the back cover for Album 74: Buckle Up! I’m wondering what exactly these collectible inserts inside are. If any of our readers out there know, feel free to tell us, I’m curious! This newest album is available for purchase from Focus on the Family, Tyndale, CBD, and Amazon, so be sure to buy a copy! Young Whit Books 4-5 Back Covers Revealed The cover arts and summaries for books 4 and 5 in the Young Whit books series were recently revealed. Although they are unavailable for purchase, we now have images of the back covers of them both, thanks to Tyndale. The back of book 4, the Phantasmic Confabulator Looks interesting. Whit clearly had the idea of the Imagination Station years before the episodes in Album 5: Daring Deeds, Sinister Schemes, and even before the episode “The Shepherd and the Giant”. The back of book 5, the Cloth of Contention Interesting how it mentions “the evil men on C.O.S.U.” I’m assuming Mangle will be playing a bigger role in this book as well as the organization as a whole. Preview for Young Whit & the Phantasmic Confabulator That’s right, we’ve got a preview for the fourth book in the series! Be sure to check it out and also pre-order it on its page on Amazon! Both books release on August 8, 2023. Well, that’s all the news for now. I do have another piece of information regarding something upcoming, but I’ll save that for another post. Until then, enjoy reading the preview for the fourth Young Whit book and listening to Album 74: Buckle Up! which is currently airing on the radio. Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll be able to make a few more consistent posts. -Signed, Polehaus53
Ethel: The bathroom's right back there. You need change?
Ethel: It's a quarter to get in.
Herbert: What'sa matter, kid? What happens at three thirty? You turn into a pumpkin or somethin'?
Jimmy Barclay: No, not a pumpkin — dead meat. Three thirty is when my dad gets home.
—“The Prodigal, Jimmy”
Eugene Meltsner: I felt... chosen.
—“The Chosen One, Part 2”
Tom Riley: That's 'Rinsodent', available at fine grocery stores everywhere! <off-mike> Whit, we only have one grocery store!
—“The Big Broadcast”
Perry Browning: I'm here to give you some very important news, and I thought that you should be the first to know, Miss Kendall!
Connie Kendall: Me? That's never happened before.
Album 74: Buckle Up! airs on the radio and online
It's here! The new album release is now available on all platforms. The first episode of Album 74: Buckle Up! airs on the radio and online today. Check it out here. It begins with the episode Game Night, a fun and light-hearted follow-up to the action-packed Album 73: 28 Hours. In this show, Connie gathers Whit, Wooton, Penny, Jason and Jillian for a night of fun at her house, but she has very specific rules that could spoil the entire occasion. New episodes will continue airing for the next five weeks. Other episodes will include storylines about Buck and Jules, Renee Carter, Olivia Parker, the Rydells, and more. You can find Album 74 in full on the AIO Club, on CD, and as a digital download on a variety of music platforms.
Jimmy Barclay: Wow! What is that?
John Whittaker: Nothing right now. Maybe you should ask what it's going to be.
Jimmy Barclay: All right. What's it going to be?
John Whittaker: A vending machine.
Jimmy Barclay: A vending machine? You mean for Cokes and candy bars and stuff like that?
John Whittaker: Nope. For prayers.
—“And When You Pray...”
Why I Left AIO To Be a YouTuber
It seems every AIO content creator eventually burns out and suddenly stops posting their articles, podcasts, or videos. Sometimes they’ll even leave without a trace, with no acknowledgment (at least not through their AIO outlet) of their leaving. I wanted to at least acknowledge that I probably won’t be posting on Adventures in Opinions anymore, at least not nearly as much as I have in the past three years. Why? To be completely honest, I don’t know what started it all for sure. One of the big factors was my trip Europe in the summer of 2022. It’s crazy how that already feels like such a long time ago. And it was nine months ago that it started. Spending a few months away from my normal schedul
Comic Critique #3
There’s no particular order to these comic critiques. But I find it more convenient to do the free comic strips because then I don’t have to worry about giving out Club-exclusive content. Without further ado (apart from me saying without further ado), here is my critique of November 2022’s free comic. Bill Kendall is Now Illustrated Yay! Another unillustrated character becomes illustrated. Though he is not at all like I imagined. I’ve somehow always imagined him as an overweight person, and maybe a bit older, but I like his depiction and think it makes sense. Jules Problems As usual, I think something is off about Jules. Hmm. Lately Jules’ artwork in the comics has gotten better, and this isn’t so bad, but I still think she looks a bit strange. Something about the hair looking ragged bothers me, and I would have guessed she would wear makeup of some sort, or jewelry… Whoa – wait – huh? This isn’t a single image I could show; it involves the whole comic. Go look at it if you need a refresher. I think the comic is a bit jarring to follow in terms of correlation of speech to the artwork. It seems as if Bill, Jules, and Connie are having one single conversation throughout the comic. However, the location, their clothes, or the time of day changes in nearly every panel while they are having the conversation. The result is that the text and the art feel contradictory, at least in my eyes. Also, the setting of the island seems extremely remote. Where are they? Why can’t we see the city, or any neighboring beach houses, or anyone else who lives or vacations there? It feels like they just flew to a deserted tropical island that happened to have an old beach house, and then they picked fruits for their Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe it’s just me. Overall, this was a pretty average comic.
Editorial 51: A Listener's Tale
Do you remember last year when we asked you to tell us about impact that Adventures in Odyssey has had on you? It was part of the Fan Letter Contest. We announced the winners of the random draw last month, each of which received a copy of the Novacom Saga on CD. And now it's time to hear what the fans have to say about a show that has been a positive influence in our lives for over 35 years. Your submissions have been included in our latest editorial, A Listener's Tale. The focus on this editorial is to showcase the experiences of various fans and share their stories of listening to Odyssey. After you've had a chance to read Editorial 51: A Listener's Tale, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments! How has AIO impacted you?
Dylan Taylor: For a second there, we thought that we were in big trouble.
Eugene Meltsner: Let me assure you both, you are in big trouble!
—“The Last Days of Eugene Meltsner”
Mrs. Rossini: How many cats do you see here?
Annie McNeal: Um...
Mrs. Rossini: What do you need, a calculator?
Annie McNeal: Seven, okay?
—“The Day After Christmas”
Episodes To Listen To On Presidents’ Day
Greetings and salutations! Happy Presidents’ Day! With the month of February going on, there are quite a few things that go on: the Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day, and Presidents’ Day. And there is an Adventures in Odyssey episode for every single one of these occasions. But today I’m going to be focusing on Presidents’ Day. For those who don’t know, I enjoy studying Presidents of the United States. It is something that I’ve enjoyed studying almost as long as I can remember. Presidents’ Day is a federal holiday, which was first proposed by Congress to honor the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but it eventually developed into a day to celebrate all the Presidents of the United States of America. Today, Monday, February 20, 2023, is Presidents’ Day, and in this post, I’ll be listing some episodes that I recommend listening to on this day! I could probably type of an extensive list of every time a President has been mentioned in AIO, but that would probably be a bit too much. Maybe one day… Lincoln, Parts 1-2 Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is on February 12th. This episode definitely has Abraham Lincoln in a prominent role. We see Jimmy Barclay as he meets Abraham Lincoln, witnesses his second inauguration, the end of the Civil War, and the start of Reconstruction. He also meets assassin John Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators David Herold and Lewis Powell. This episode does a good job featuring some of the highlights of the life of our 16th President. Future 18th President (also on the $50 bill) Ulysses S. Grant also plays a prominent role in this episode. The Day Independence Came Although more of a Fourth of July episode, this episode features Irwin Springer who travels to the Continental Army to receive and then deliver a message from future President George Washington to the Continental Congress in Philidelphia. The episode also features future second President of America, John Adams. We get to see our Founding Fathers (some of them future Presidents) interact together in this episode, which I enjoy hearing. Something Significant In this episode, Trent DeWhite jumps between three different adventures to see stories of people used by God. One of the stories he experiences takes place in 1943, with future 35th President John F. Kennedy when he was in the Navy and commanding the motor torpedo boat PT-109. We see how he and his men were wrecked and got stuck on an island. John F. Kennedy was later awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal as well as the Purple Heart for his conduct during this time. Trent tells Kennedy that he’s going to be President, to which Kennedy laughs and says, “one mission at a time”. These next ones are bit of a stretch, but still involve Presidents: You’re Two Kind The episode starts with Katrina’s students each doing a report on one of America’s Presidents. The reports on the Presidents play a big part in the episode’s plot. Grover Cleavland (the 22nd and 24th President) and Andrew Jackson (the 7th President, also on the $20 bill) are named here. Black Clouds Ethel uses Presidents’ names as exclamations. She mentions John Quincy Adams (6th President), Calvin Coolidge (30th President), Harry S. Truman (33rd President), and others. She also switches it to Vice Presidents, such as Spiro T. Agnew, who served under 37th President Richard M. Nixon. Ethel is a fun character who I’d be interested in hearing if she were to return. B-TV: To Tell the Truth There’s a funny scene in here during the Great Moments in History sketch of George Washington as a kid chopping down a cherry tree and being chased by the angry owner. Although the story of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree has been proved by historians to be a myth created to enamor Washington and teach virtue, the scene is still pretty funny and made me laugh very hard when I first heard it. Well, those are some of my recommendations for episodes to listen to during the month of February, whether it be on Presidents’ Day or Lincoln’s or Washington’s birthday or even just for fun!In case you haven’t figured it out, I enjoy studying the Presidents of the United States of America. These individuals have done many things for our country and should be remembered, respected, and honored every year on this day of Presidents’ Day. What are your thoughts on these episodes? Do you like them? What episodes do you listen to on Presidents’ Day? Feel free to leave a comment! -Signed, Polehaus53
Patrick: Am I a piece of meat that you think you can simply pass around?!
Mieclu: In fact boy, you are.
—“Patrick: A Heart Afire, Part 1”
Actually, Odyssey’s not in Ohio
NOT OHIO- Interviews with Focus on the Family revealed that Odyssey is not anywhere close to Ohio and that fans please stop associating them with that state. According to Odyssey mayor Hicks, “We no longer want our beautiful town to be connected with Ohioans any longer. While we are honored that outsiders would believe this way, we are respectfully distancing ourselves from any Ohio-related incidents.” Apparently Odyssey has been stateless for the longest time, and that clip from Family Portraits was just a blunder. In other news, Danville and Springfield’s mayors have also distanced themselves from any states with whom they have been associated.
John Whittaker: But you also need to know that all your studying may fail you when it comes to understanding God, His ways and the salvation he offers us.
Eugene Meltsner: Fail me?
John Whittaker: The Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to Corinth that God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish, for it was after the world in its wisdom had failed to know God that He in His wisdom chose to save all who would believe by the simple-mindedness of the gospel message.
Eugene Meltsner: Well, that certainly would explain some of the things that don't seem to make sense.
John Whittaker: You see, Eugene, our minds can only grasp so much about the nature of God, of eternity.
Eugene Meltsner: Mm-hmm.
John Whittaker: After that, it’s a matter of the spirit—our spirit links up with His in an eternal relationship that gives us the right perspective to understand Him better.
—“Thy Kingdom Come”
Connie Excited For Yet Another Valentine’s Day Spent Single
Odyssey, USA – Today resident ice cream shop employee Connie Kendall expressed her total joy over yet another Valentine’s Day spent single. On her show Candid Conversation with Connie on KYDS radio, she delved deep into her dating history. During this radio segment, she talked about her relationships with both Jeff Lewis and Robert Mitchell. She discussed how she is very happy with her single life and does not need anyone else to complete her. Witnesses however, noticed that a dark figure who looked uncannily like Phil Lollar passing Connie cue cards during the live recording session.
Mr. Worldly-Wise: Might I offer you a bit of sage counsel?
Christian: Sage counsel?
Mr. Worldly-Wise: Advice.
—“Pilgrim's Progress Revisited, Part 1”
U.S. Military Shoots Down Mystery “Object” Flying Over The Midwest
Today, the Department of Defense released a statement about a recent incident miles above the earth that had many civilians scared and bewildered. Spokesman Karl Stanley told a crowd of reporters “Although many details of this case are classified, I can tell you that our satellites picked up an unknown object flying above the earth. We perceived it to be a threat to national security and it was eliminated.”Many critics have spoken out against this use of force by the government as “unnecessary” and “excessive.” They wonder what was so dangerous about this object that necessitated such a reaction.Karl Stanley reassured his listeners that “the government is always looking out for the safety of the American people and you can always trust us because we are never unwise and we would never abuse power.
Horace Higgenbotham: Wow! If he were alive today, he'd be dead!
—“A Single Vote”
Dave Ramsey Revealed To Have Sponsored The Episode “A Little Credit, Please”
NASHVILLE, TN – Today on The Ramsey Show, host Dave Ramsey revealed a partnership he had with Christian ministry Focus on the Family. Back in 1995, Ramsey joined hands with writer and director Paul McCusker to craft an episode that would teach children about the dangers of credit cards while they were young. Ramsey said “I have the ear of many adults for financial advice, but I wanted to reach some children with my important message. Thanks to this episode, millions of children learned about this very important topic. I hope Connie’s example sufficiently scared them away from the idea of ever using credit cards.” A recent study conducted by the Campbell County Community College revealed that children who grew up listening to Adventures in Odyssey were 74% less likely to own credit cards than their non-listening counterparts. Dave Ramsey is proud of his accomplishment and hopes to roll out new content for children that will scare them away from credit cards in the near future.
Doris Rathbone: Nice man. Shame about that haircut, though — whew!
—“The One About Trust, Part 1”
Horatio G. Spafford: I tell you, Philip, dealing with bureaucracy is no picnic!
Philip Bliss: Yes, it must be very difficult having all that money.
—“It Is Well”
Op-Ed: My thoughts on an animated AIO.
I wanted to keep the news part of this strictly news, so there weren’t really analytics or feedback from me. By now, each and every person reading this article has seen the news I broke not two days ago. Since I’ve been so consumed by the hype, and the aforementioned reason, I haven’t yet said a single word about my own thoughts on the news. I also started drafting this the night I posted the news, so if you read anything outdated, don’t be too rough. That’s all to say; here’s all I think about everything. Personally, the first thing I thought about was, likely like most of you, to check the legitimacy of what I’d found. But the second thing I thought was that it would be so interesting to see developed along with a myriad of questions. I was shocked, of course, and I was excited by the concept and distracted by everything around me to take a good look at the actual story. While walking about, I began to realize that AIO had likely been leading up to something like this all along. After warming up to the fan community in the last year and releasing posts on Facebook and Instagram to expand the Odyssey universe (such as Elsewhere in Odyssey Comics and Fine Art Fridays) to warm people up to this idea. The podcast with Evan David also serves this purpose. The main point is Odyssey is planning this, but they want to reveal it less disastrously than Windows 11 (which I probably aided by purveying this news). Speaking of Windows 11, while it’s too early to tell, it seems the lessons learned from their mistakes in releasing the Club are being applied. They seemed to (at least for as long as they could) really want to keep this under the radar for as long as possible. I’m sure it has to do with marketing psychology somehow, but I’m not entirely sure. Character design is another major thing I want to talk about. Lucy looks like she came out of a Magic School Bus episode or another show I can’t quite put my mind to. The design of Whit looks way younger than I imagined, and that brings up another problem with animating Odyssey in any era: it’ll never truly fit the imagination of any Odyssey fan. While I would never conceive of Whit with brown hair, certainly someone in the design stage did. Odyssey, throughout all its technological changes and voice actor shifts, will always be an audio drama. It’s in a world of its own. Everything about both this new show and the 1990s version will receive some kind of backlash because of this fact. Personally, I’m cautiously optimistic. But while Adventures in Odyssey is exploring new fanbases, they can never forget the ones whose opinions carry the most weight. Lucy’s appearance likely means she’ll be a returning character, but that raises even more questions, such as whether she’ll return as an adult or with Jack. It also raised the inevitable voice actor question. I certainly believe both Lucy and Jack’s actors are well and able to perform as adults, but, at least for Jack, definitely not as kids. There are so many unanswered questions, likely because, as both Phil Lollar and Nathan Hoobler have said, the team is just too early in development. I have lots of other thoughts (thoughts I’ll release if more info comes out), and also, to avoid this point being too long, I’ll cap it off here. I just want to say even with all this, I’m still very excited about what is in the future, whether it takes a few months to a year. I also hope I haven’t put a damper on AIO’s big release, which is more apology than a Windows 11 leaker will give you. For now, you know who it is, signing off.
*AIO Animation Article Reference pages
Read below to see the full article containing the news, and to see the cover page for context. Focus Times Page 3.pdfDownload Focus Times Cover.pdfDownload
Editorial 50: A Grandfather's Love
John Avery Whittaker, the man, the myth, the legend, is the main character of Adventures in Odyssey. We've heard him since episode one, Whit's Flop, aired over thirty-five years ago. He's been voiced by three different main actors, five child actors, and one actor as young adult Whit (Jim Custer). Having been in more episodes than any other character, it's high time we dedicated an editorial to talking about Mr. Whittaker. In Editorial 50: A Grandfather's Love we discuss Whit's unique role on the show and his complexity as a character. What do you like most about Mr. Whittaker? After you've read the editorial, share your thoughts in the comments.
EXCLUSIVE: Adventures in Odyssey releasing new animated series
It’s finally time for a solid post! And not satire, but a perfect scoop of news. “What is this news” you, the imagined reader, may be asking. Well, let’s break it down. Adventures in Odyssey, according to the Focus Times (a newspaper published by FotF and found in their bookstore, is currently producing a brand new 3D animated series. According to Focus themselves, the original animated series seemed not to their liking, almost as much as with most fans. While the original series is animated in classic-Disney style, this new series is intended to be “2D graphics rendered to look like 3D similar to the lighting and shading found on Netflix’s original film KLAUS”. The first three episodes are set to cost 1.8 million. The imagery for the new series on page three is interesting at best and reminds me of the original art for Paul McCusker’s books. A sneak peek on page three shows Lucy as one of the upcoming characters. I believe it is either a re-dramatization of past episodes or a revival of previous ones. I’ll cover Lucy’s appearance another time. As for Focus’ thoughts, they seem to be excited about this. Nathan Hoobler and the rest of the team want to expand their reach. “All kids need to learn about honesty, integrity, responsibility, respect of authority, and other life lessons-but how they learn those lessons changes.” This may explain the constant transition of media over the years, including the recent changes to the Adventures in Odyssey Club. Since this print edition is labeled 2021-2022, I expect this series to come out this year or the next. It will be exciting to see what Adventures in Odyssey comes up with, but strange at the same time. In the meantime, I’ll hopefully share my thoughts in another post and will update as more information provides itself.
Too Lazy, Didn’t Write
TL;DW That is to say, I have been keeping up with the latest album and comics and everything else, but my thoughts are all up in my head and it honestly would take a lot of time to write an individual post on each topic. So…I’m trying to do a little of everything. Basically a buffet of my opinions on selected topics. Elsewhere in Odyssey Well, you’ve seen some of my thoughts on this through Comic Critique. Regarding the little Christmas arc that happened November-December, I posted some of my thoughts on the Soda Shop, so I’ll reiterate some of that. Bernard was amazing! I loved his artwork and all his dialogue. I am a bit wary of the Leonard Meltsner return. I don’t like the idea of the team bringing back characters in the comic that could feasibly return in the audio series. Because then when fans ask about bringing Leonard back “for real,” there’s a chance that the team might say, “We brought him back in the comic!” And also because they consider the comic as canon. The series felt super jarring because of Buck’s artwork. He looked WAY too young. He looked like (and kind of acted like) he was a 12-year-old. As for the current arc that is going on… Glossman returns?? I’m not sure what to think about it. Mostly intrigued. Will this be in any way connected to 28 Hours stuff? If so, how will that work? I really hope they don’t bring back Richard Maxwell in this series for the reason I mentioned above: “Oh, he doesn’t need to come back in the audio series, he came back in the comic!” AIO FaceBook Content Things such as their Twilife Zone, Fine Art Friday, Wooton’s House, Jason’s Jargon, Whit’s Weekly Challenge…. The AI Fine Art is hit or miss. Whit and Bernard’s were creepy if you ask me. Just the concept of the official AIO team posting AI art for AIO characters is a bit strange… Tour of Wooton’s House is fun. It’s cool to see some of the old stuff in Twilife Zone. Overall, it’s great that AIO is being so active on social media, but I do wish that their artwork could be better than photoshop/AI. If they are going to go all-out with Byte-Sized adventures and actually make artwork for every episode, I think they should hire Gary Locke to do original pieces instead of photoshopping. If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Album 74: Buckle Up This album was interesting to say the least. I won’t comment on every episode. Game Night – interesting and valid implications of Jillian’s undercover personality. I have a feeling that more people are going to unintentionally get in on the secret. Overall, I thought the episode premise was a bit strange. I think that’s more of a personal opinion. For some reason, holding a formal game night feels really weird to me (especially with formal invitations with formal rules). I was looking over my old initial reaction and saw that I wrote, “Everyone is in a bad mood in this episode.” Which I still kind of agree with, but lesson was learned at the end, so why am I complaining? Renee Renewed – they changed Renee’s voice actress! I noticed as soon as the episode started and I am pretty sad about it. As for the episode, Horus’ invention is a bit concerning. I wonder if the Personality Enhancer and Astan Lebernis will connect to the 28 Hours arc. Value in the Process – Um… a relatively sane Rydell episode? Maybe? It was definitely better than “The Team.” But whiny Morrie was a bit annoying, and poor Trey has been through a lot in this album… King of My Heart – first off, I really dislike the title. It works, but somehow with Buck and Jules being non-Christians, the title implied something faith-related. Nope. Just an episode making Buckles official. I wrote more about this on the Soda Shop, but the bottom line of my thoughts on this is that I’m worried about having the only official teen dating relationship on the show being between two non-Christians because of how much younger listeners love their characters and (to paraphrase a comment I once read) “use them as an example” for their own relationships. All that being said… Thanks for reading my rambling opinions. I might do this again sometime.
Tom Riley: Mr. Glossman has a lot of bright ideas on how to modernize this city so it can make more money. But there's some of us here who like the old things, Mr. Whittaker, who don't want our town to become all chrome and glass, and your wife was one of those people.
Richard Hudson: You are grounded, and I mean grounded! No phone, no nothing!
—“A Different Kind of Peer Pressure”
John Whittaker: Use your imagination, and anything can happen!
“King of My Heart” Thoughts and Predictions
Greetings and salutations. Happy New Year, everyone! Before I start, I should issue a spoiler warning: SPOILER ALERT FOR ALBUM 74: BUCKLE UP! DO NOT READ THIS POST IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE EPISODES “Tough Call” AND “King of My Heart”!!! Okay, you have been warned. Read at your own risk. This is going to be a pretty short post, but I thought I should write it anyway so that I can have my thoughts out there after listening to “Tough Call”, a good episode that was not what I expected it to be. Why was it not what I expected it to be? Well, I had predicted that the episode “King of My Heart” would be the next part of Olivia’s arc. However, this was not the case; it turned out to be “Tough Call” that was the next one, completely destroying my expectations of the next Buck and Jules episode, which evidently is not “Tough Call”. Thanks to Clubhouse Magazine, we got a summary for the episode “King of My Heart”. Three’s A CrowdHomecoming’s coming. But before Buck can invite Jules to the big banquet, someone else does. Uh-oh! Clubhouse Magazine So, it looks like the Buck and Jules episode is about Odyssey High School Homecoming… and the episode is called “King of My Heart”. Uh, I am unsure of what to think about this… Buck and Jules have been shipped together, being declared as a couple by lots of Odyssey fans. Their ship names include “Buckles”, or “Juliver”. It has been theorized that the album references them, since after all, this album is called “Buckle Up”.I should probably give my opinion on Buck and Jules, but I’d like to save that for another post. I’ll just say for now that I am personally not in favor of Buck and Jules together. So, with all this in mind, where does this put us in regards of what to expect in “King of My Heart”? The album summary gave a general statement on this episode. Elsewhere in town, friendships are at stake when Buck and Jules hit a rough patch that could endanger theirs Album Summary Before, I had just said that I was not feeling very interested in this episode because I thought that Buck and Jules are generally always having disagreements and that this would be no different. But now with Clubhouse Magazine’s very specific summary, I can see how this is something a little more major than other disagreements they’ve had. SO, what are my predictions? Well, my question is who is it that asks Jules to the banquet? I really can’t think of anyone else who would before Buck could. Perhaps the guy, Devan, from “For A Song”? Would the episode be about Buck’s reaction to Jules going with someone else? My guess is that Buck’s side will be shown, his reaction of someone else invited her to the banquet. The album summary says that they hit a “rough patch” in their friendship, endangering it. It would be interesting if the phrase “king of my heart” is used in the episode and Buck overhears it and thinks it is Jules referring to the person who asked her to the banquet and starts overreacting. I’m going to guess that this invite creates tension between them, but that something dramatic will happen that will make them sort out their feelings and realize that they are overreacting over nothing. And I guess someone will be declared Homecoming King. Maybe Buck. I have not been keeping up with the Official Podcast, specifically the episode where they discuss Buck and Jules, so I am unsure of what was said in that episode in regard to the two characters as a couple. But I think that “King of My Heart” will end with them in the same place as they have been because I don’t think the AIO Team will actually pursue this idea. Well, this was pretty short, but those are all the thoughts I have for now. I’ll be listening to this episode as soon as I can. -Signed, Polehaus53
Simeon: Do not grieve for him, Connie. He found the peace and hope you and I know.
Eugene Meltsner: Even though it means death?
Simeon: My son, he found a reason to live that was worth dying for.
—“The Star, Part 2”
Fan Letter Contest Winners Announced
It's time to officially announce the three winners of the Fan Letter Contest. Thank you to everyone who entered. It was so fun reading your entries about what you love about Adventures in Odyssey. It's amazing see the positive impact the show has made in the lives of fans. You'll get to read those entries in an upcoming editorial. After a random draw of the entries received, here are our winners:Ruth P.Callie B.Melanie K. Winners are being contacted via email. All winners will receive a copy of the Novacom Saga collection on CD. It includes all 28 Novacom episodes, plus some special behind-the-scenes features. Thank you again to everyone who entered! As a reminder, even those not selected as winners in the random draw will get to see their submission included in a future editorial on the AIO Update. You can look for that in the coming months.
Walter Shakespeare: Help! Get your oily tentacles off of me. Help! Ed, it's got me! The rumors are true!! The rumors are-!
—“Terror from the Skies”
Tom Riley: There's a... hole in the bottom of the sea!
Jessie Morales: Hey!
Robyn Jacobs: Don't even THINK about it, Jessie.
—“All's Well With Boswell”
Eugene Meltsner: This is curious.
John Whittaker: What is it?
Eugene Meltsner: It looks like a thistle bush, but I've never thought of a thistle bush as a sign of suffering—unless you fall into one.
—“The Search for Whit, Part 3”
Richard Maxwell: Well, do I get a kiss good night?
Donna Barclay: Get lost, Richard!
—“An Encounter with Mrs. Hooper”
Reviewing Split Episodes: “The Eternal Birthday”
Greetings and salutations! This is Polehaus53 from the Odyssey Obsessors blog. Jay contacted us a while ago and offered that we join forces. It is an honor to be part of such a reputable site. Today I shall be reviewing the split episode “The Eternal Birthday”, which is paired with “Bethany’s Imaginary Friend”. Before I start, let’s talk about the Split Episodes. Yeah, I know, split episodes are a very controversial topic. What a great subject to start my first post with. A lot of fans dislike them. They were first created when Albums 33 and 34 were releasing. The Official Guide also states the response: Virtua
The Odyssey ScoopCast Reviews “Higher than Our Ways”
Has it really been a year? With 2022 behind us and 2023 standing ahead of us, some exciting things are happening behind the scenes of The Odyssey ScoopCast! Stay tuned in the days ahead for more podcasts and announcements. Higher than Our Ways in ReviewNext up is “Higher than Our Ways” from Adventures in Odyssey […]
John Whittaker: Really, Eugene, you've been reading too many detective stories.
Eugene Meltsner: I don't read them at all!
John Whittaker: Maybe you should. Then you wouldn't come up with such silly ideas. What are you going to do next, set up bear traps?
Eugene Meltsner: Well, as a matter of fact, I—
John Whittaker: And you, Connie, crawling around like Rambo through the house plants—in camouflage grease-paint!
Another anniversary, I guess?
I’m almost entirely sure that one of my New Year Resolutions for 2022 was to ‘post more,’ and boy, what a joke that was. This goes on record as our most underperforming year in content and content viewership, but it didn’t go without a few noticeable successes. Today marks the second anniversary of AIO Writer’s Block, which as the most dedicated readers of this website should know, started out as “The New AIO Blog” in late 202o. So grab your hot chocolate as I go over the biggest accomplishments of 2022. The exceeding 10k views in May of this year Thanks to all our readers, we superseded 10,000 views on the webpage this year and are now passing 12,000. I know we can make 15,000 in the coming year, and thank you so much for this. Unfortunately, due to a lack of posts, we barely scraped the number of views achieved last year, but I believe this is still an accomplishment. The acquisition of two websites Though I’ve kept this quite quiet over the past several months, two websites (Adventures Happening in Odyssey and Odyssey Fiction) have now joined what is dubbed the AIO Writer’s Block family. Hopefully, we can expand and develop this over the coming year, and I’m very excited to see what I envisioned for this site coming to fruition. Now for the stats: Obviously, 2022 was worse in terms of viewership, which strangely seemed the case around the board for AIO fan content. It may also have been the prime opportunity for creators (myself included); it appeared as though a sharp decline occurred, even though lives were resuming and content was being produced at a normal rate. In 2022, our most popular post was: Mr. Whittaker In Trouble After Details Of His Life Before Moving To Odyssey Emerge …garnishing a spectacular 131 views before the close of 2022. It also pulled in 1,008 views for April 2022, making it our most successful month this year and our second most successful month in history, just missing December 2021’s 1,457. The site also received 75 Likes 20 Comments And now has a total of 32 Followers Congratulations and thank you to our readers and John, without whom none of this would have been possible, and who gets full credit for that post. We now turn to social media, whose stats are significantly more impressive. We broke 100 followers early on in the year on both pages. Let’s take a look at the main page, which has a whopping 118 Followers A number that will certainly increase in the coming year and will hopefully break 150 and possibly even 200. We’ll see. The SONN page now has 116 Followers a surprising figure as it previously superseded the number on the head page, and hopefully will again, with all the goals previously mentioned. It’s almost 2023, and also time to stop looking back on the year and begin looking forward. I’m sure I had a clever way I was going to wrap up this post. But for now, thank God for another year, drink some sparkling cider, and get ready for the best content ever! For AWB, you know who I am; good morning.
Isaac Morton: You know, dad, we live in a real den of impurity.
—“Isaac the Pure”
Jana Whittaker-Dowd: It [the bird alarm clock] sounds like a dying moose!
Kanye West Joins The Bones of Rath After Learning They Are Enemies With The Israelites
ODYSSEY, USA – Today, popular rapper Kanye West announced his support of and involvement in the local gang “the Bones of Rath.” According to Kanye, “I found out the Bones are fightin’ some rival gang called the Israelites. I just gotta help them out.” The Bones of Rath is a gang run by Rodney Rathbone, the son of Odyssey businessman Bart Rathbone. According to our sources, Rodney’s gang has been responsible for much havoc that has been created around Odyssey in recent days. This shocking new development means that this mayhem is quite possibly being funded by a millionaire. Despite the wrongdoing of those like the Bones of Rath, and Kanye West, Jason Whittaker assured us that “the battle of good versus evil will go on no matter the opponent.”
David Harley: Oh, hi, Whit! Caught this suspect committing a 414.
John Whittaker: What's a 414?
David Harley: Grand Theft Mozzarella!
—“Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming”
More Funny AI Generations about AIO
I’m just going to dump some funny and interesting ChatGPT results talking about AIO here: Here’s a joke about Adventures in Odyssey that touches on the theme of doing the right thing: Why did Morrie’s parents always have to punish him? Because he was always getting into “trouble” for doing the wrong thing!
Tom Riley: That’s about the biggest chicken I have ever seen.
John Whittaker: Yeah, or is it a turkey?
—“Pranks for the Memories”
Katrina Shanks: Eugene, Connie thinks a kiss hello would be appropriate behavior.
Eugene Meltsner: Connie wants me to kiss her hello?
Katrina Shanks: No, me.
Eugene Meltsner: She wants you to kiss her hello?
Katrina Shanks: No, Eugene.
Eugene Meltsner: We should all kiss hello? One big, sloppy smooch fest?
Bernard Walton: Well, when you put it like that...
—“Wrapped Around Your Finger”
An AI Wrote this Blog Post
Here is an introduction to a blog post titled “An AI Wrote this Blog Post” containing a poem: Have you ever wondered what it would be like if an AI wrote a blog post? Well, wonder no more! In this post, we will explore the fascinating world of AI-generated text, and how it can be used to create unique and interesting content. We will also share a poem that was entirely written by an AI, showcasing the creative possibilities of this technology. Whether you’re a fan of AI or just curious about this rapidly-evolving field, this post is sure to provide some interesting insights and inspiration. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of AI-generated text! There once was a man named Jason, Whose mind was quite sharp as a scissor, He dis
Editorial 49: Nova Falling
The original Novacom saga, from its beginnings in Opportunity Knocks to its explosive finale in Exit, was broadcast over a period of eighteen months. It remains today as the most ambitious saga in Adventures in Odyssey history. And now with Album 73: 28 Hours, the Chairman of Novacom is back. So the question is, what happens next? This month's editorial is entitled Nova Falling and looks ahead to the future of the Chairman. Who is he? What kind of scheme is he planning next? And what different elements should the writers include in future Chairman episodes? Check out our speculations in Editorial 49: Nova Falling. Then, share your own ideas in the comments section!
Regis Blackgaard: Mwahahaha!
Annie McNeal: I don’t like it back here. It smells bad.
Tommy: It’s an alley — it’s supposed to smell bad.
—“The Day After Christmas”
Connie Kendall: Yeah, but you're different. You can hug a computer and feel loved. Most people can't do that. Actually, nobody else can do that.
Wazzup people? Sorry I haven’t posted, but I am alive. I’ve been really busy with school, church and sports, but I will get back to posting soon. I have things planned, i just haven’t haven’t put them into action. I will try though! Thank you for everyone who has read my stuff and still do!
AIO Update launches the Fan Letter Contest
Today is the big day! Today the AIO Update launches the Fan Letter Contest. Adventures in Odyssey has made such a difference in so many people's lives over the years, and we want to showcase that on our fansite. For this contest your task will be to write a fan letter explaining how Adventures in Odyssey has impacted you. How has the show positively influenced you, inspired you, or supported you? How has it strengthened you in your Christian faith? Is there an episode or saga that has a special meaning for you? Is there a character you especially love and connect with? Everyone who submits an entry by December 31, 2022 will be entered into a draw to win a prize of their very own copy of the Novacom Saga CD collection. Three winners will be chosen. In addition to that, even if you don't win the draw you still have a chance to have your entry featured on the website in an upcoming editorial. We have plans to release an editorial sometime next spring about the positive impact Odyssey has had on us fans. How to Enter: Write a paragraph answering this question: How has Adventures in Odyssey impacted you? For your answer, write between 75 and 150 words.Along with your entry, include your first name and the initial of your last name.Submit your entry to email@example.com before or by the deadline: December 31, 2022.Winners will be announced sometime in the new year. More Details: Open to people worldwideOne entry per personOne prize winner per household (If you and another member of your household are submitting separate entries, please specify this information in your entries)Three prize winners will be chosen in a random drawPrize winners will be contacted to provide their mailing address so that they can receive their prizeEntries to be included in the upcoming editorial are entirely up to the editor's discretion and will be judged on relevance of content, resonance, originality, writing, etc. Entries might not be included in fullNot all prize winners may see their entries featured in the editorialEditorial may include entries from participants who did not win the draw or receive a prize Prizes: There will be three prize winners chosen via a random draw. Each winner will receive one copy of the Novacom Saga CD set. This collection includes the 28 episodes of the Novacom Saga on 10 CDs, over one hour of behind-the-scenes special features with the cast and crew, a 16-page booklet detailing Novacom's master plan, and a behind-the-scenes video of the actors in the recording studio. This special collector's set is a must-have for diehard Adventures in Odyssey fans. Writing Tips: Be specific. Include relevant details. If one episode really impacted you, just focus on talking about that experience.Make it personal. Write about your own personal experience, which will be different from everyone else's. (Just make sure not to include personal info that could be used to identify your location)Check for grammar mistakes and areas that could be smoothed out. If you have any questions, post them below in the comments. Good luck to everyone and make sure to share this contest with your friends!
Editorial 48: 175,200 Hours
Album 73: 28 Hours has finally finished airing on the radio and online, and what a wild ride it was! Every episode except the final one ended with a dramatic cliffhanger. And now it's time to talk about it. If you haven't listened to Album 73 and want to avoid spoilers, read no further. You can find the album on the AIO Club, CBD, Amazon, FOTF, or iTunes. Our latest opinion piece, Editorial 48, is all about Album 73. We celebrate our favorite parts, discuss the album's connection to past episodes, and talk about its implications for the future of Adventures in Odyssey. What did you think of Album 73: 28 Hours? Check out Editorial 48: 175,200 Hours and then share your thoughts in the comments.
Wooton Bassett: Step right up to Wooton the weight guesser! If I get it right, you'll be amazed... so will I... if I get it wrong, you win a prize!
—“The Mailman Cometh”
Dale Jacobs: Congratulations, Rusty.
Rusty Gordon: Thanks. And thank you all. Because without you, there would've been no one to clap for me.
Video: I Remade Google, but it’s Eugene
This video is a demonstration of a project I’ve been working on for a while now, Eugene Search–inspired by the WODFAMCHOCPOD’s t-shirt design. This is a simple website with a look similar to that of Google’s own search pages that redirects you to the Google results for your query while using a fun Adventures in Odyssey theme. Video
Eugene’s Puzzles 2022
Greetings and salutations! Can you solve these perplexing puzzles? December 2022 Complete the grid so each row and column contains every digit from 1 to 4. The number pairs in the shaded rectangles form simple equations. The total is shown in the top-left corner, along with the mathematical operation involved—addition +, subtraction –, multiplication x or division /. If you think you have the answer, click on the puzzle. Now try the bigger puzzle, using numbers 1 to 6. Again, you cannot use the same number twice in any row or column. When you finish the puzzle, click on the image to see the answer. Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is a man who finds wisdom.” These puzzles will get easier with practice, so try your best and have fun! November 2022 Fill in the grid below so each row, column and colored shape includes the numbers 1 to 5. That means no repeats, either horizontally or vertically. If you think you have the answer, click on the puzzle. This second puzzle is even harder. Complete the grid so that each row, column and three-by-three colored box contains the numbers 1 to 9. When you finish the puzzle, click on the image to see the answer. October 2022 September 2022 August 2022 Puzzle by Mary H., 10, from Minnesota Puzzle by Cameron M., 13, from Pennsylvania Bonus Puzzle by Nevena P., 12, from North Carolina July 2022 June 2022 May 2022 April 2022 March 2022 February 2022 January 2022 The post Eugene’s Puzzles 2022 appeared first on Focus on the Family.
Borealis Walton: I'll sic the dogs on him!
Bernard Walton: We don't have any dogs.
Borealis Walton: Then I'll sic the cat on him!
—“Feud for Thought”
Bernard Walton: All those brains, he doesn't have the sense God gave a rabbit.
—“Last in a Long Line”
Nathaniel Graham: Can't we continue our debate like two adults?
Eugene Meltsner: We could, but we're one adult short.
Nathaniel Graham: How droll.
Traci Mulligan: Well, Winona, it looks like it's just you and me, girl. Oh sure, come on up. Oh, and pass the mashed potatoes, will you please. No, no—oh. Actually, I was hoping you'd pass them in the bowl. N-no, I'll get the gravy myself. No, really, but thanks.
—“Leap of Faith”
David Harley: Freeze! Police! Back away slowly, go for the cheese and you'll have it!
—“Addictions Can Be Habit-Forming”
Sam Johnson: You're throwing away your Disney Read-A-Long records? You think they're impure?
Isaac Morton: I don't know. Better safe than sorry, I figure.
Sam Johnson: Bambi?!
Isaac Morton: Who knows how this stuff might influence me at weak moments.
—“Isaac the Pure”
AHiO ep. 002 (ft. Thad)
Sorry for the bad audio, but it’ll be better later. Also I am going to see if I can get this podcast on apple podcasts
Connie Kendall: Hey, did ya have a good trip? We got your postcard from Germany, and Belgium and London and Paris and Rome and..
Jason Whittaker: Oh, I had a great summer. Just what I needed to satisfy my traveling bug.
Connie Kendall: I should hope so. Europe, Russia, China.
Jason Whittaker: You gotta do it sometime Connie. You gotta tour the world.
Connie Kendall: Right, well you buy and I'll fly.
—“For Whom the Wedding Bells Toll, Part 1”
“It’s not real life so the writers get away with it.” Why Worldbuilding and Consistency Matter for Adventures in Odyssey
Adventures in Odyssey has, in a sense, been all things to all men. Some like it for the slice of life episodes, while others prefer the mysteries, the adventures, or the epic sagas.This variety of tastes extends to topics for discussion among AIO listeners. Whatever your favourite subject for discussion—themes, characters, plot, speculations, theories, “shipping,” or the more arcane topic of comparative analysis (whether theological, historical, literary, or all of the above)—you’ll likely find at least someone out there who just can’t stand talking about it.When I wrote a post for the Adventures in Odyssey Fan Club Facebook Group comparing a scene in an Odyssey book to a scene in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, I got this