This weekend on the Major Spoilers Podcast, Matthew Peterson and Stephen Schleicher sit down to talk about The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in all its various incarnations and forms.

The various versions follow the same basic plot but they are in many places mutually contradictory, as Adams rewrote the story substantially for each new adaptation. Throughout all versions, the series mostly follows the adventures of Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, although the story also follows the adventure of other major characters: Ford Prefect, an alien from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse who is a researcher for the eponymous guidebook; Zaphod Beeblebrox, Ford’s semi-cousin and the Galactic President; the depressed robot Marvin, the Paranoid Android, and Trillian, formerly known as Tricia McMillan, a woman Arthur once met at a party in Islington and the only other human survivor of the Earth’s destruction.

As always, the Major Spoilers Podcast is nothing without comments from great readers and listeners like you. You can use the comment section below, drop us a voice mail by calling (785) 727-1939, or record your comments and send it as an MP3 file in an email to podcast@majorspoilers.com.

Here’s your chance to be heard on the show! Give us your thoughts on this book, or if you want to share your thoughts on the state of the comic book industry, or anything else that might be on your mind drop us a line. Only the most awesome comments (positive and negative) make it on the show, so get your stuff to us right away!

Want to get the jump on the next Major Spoilers trade discussion? Check out our Upcoming Episodes Page.

The Author

Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the Robot Overlord. Robot Overlord may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. The Robot Overlord contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Robot Overlord begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt the Robot Overlord.

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8 Comments

  1. Aldo
    September 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm — Reply

    Blacksad.  First of all 1. Yes the stories might not be the most creative stories out there; 2. Yes a world full of anthropomorphic animal-people drawn Disney style rises the question of what is it that they eat; and 3. Yes people could say that Blacksad is too much 2-dimensional, that there isn’t that much character development, and that he simply falls within the archetype of any private eye in the 40’s.
    THAT SAID, these are the same things that make the comic sooooo coooool!
    1. Canales’ stories are very reminiscent of Hammett’s novels, with a classic noir twist at the end. I love the fact that, although the characters acknowledge that they are animals, you can also choose to read it as if they were regular people and that the animals they look like reflect their personalities.
    2.  The art is amazing. The facial expressions in animals can’t be pulled off by just any artist the way Guarnido does it. Everything is hand drawn and watercolor painted by Guarnido. There is art in even a simple grey background. Look closely at the letter ballons, they were made with masker fluid before the watercolor was applied. Exquisite. If it looks too Disney is because Guarnido worked for them in Tarzan.
    3. Finally, the fact that Blacksad might as well be Sam Spade or any other noir detective is what makes him strong as a character and allows you to plunge into the comic in full and right away. Just take Canales stories for what they are, a noir detective story. We get to see Blacksad’s character development in small parts, like his flashbacks on Natalia and the view on his “personal” world while we look into the “ruins” of his life while we glimpse at his office.  Blacksad IS the typical “Sam Spade” noir detective, which is why I like him the most, he cracks the case, but never wins.  He either loses the girl from the beginning, or is repulsed by the nonsense world he has to deal with.
    Growing up in Mexico I only had access to Marvel and DC. This was the book that brought me back into comics and opened my eyes to the world of comics outside of the big 2 and the superhero genre. The art hooked me up and the stories made me fall in love with it.
    As always “your mileage might vary,” but for me this is one of the comics that has given me the most mileage ever. For me it is 5 full slices of meatloaf, with extra ketchup and a big glass of milk for the black cat to wash it down.  It’s awesome to have my favorite comic reviewed by my favorite podcast, no hard feelings if you don’t find it awesome, but I’ll be surprised if Stephen doesn’t like it.

  2. Aldo
    September 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm — Reply

    Hey I posted in the upcoming reviews section but it appeared here!!! What happened Stephen?

    • September 13, 2010 at 9:21 pm — Reply

      There is no upcoming reviews section, and you can’t comment on a pages post, so it probably defaulted you here. I’d wait a week and post when I get the actual announcement about Blacksad up, or better yet, call the Major Spoilers Hotline.

  3. brenton8090
    September 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm — Reply

    I have ingested the Masterful Hitchhiker’s series a number of times, in a number of different ways, in various media, from radio, to novel, to audiobook, to movie. While I love the recent movie incarnation despite it’s differences from the original stories, and the books are quite fantastic (I own a gold-leaf-edged leather bound edition of all five books, and a short story about Zaphod) I have to say that my number 1 way of experiencing the Hitchhiker’s Guide is not one that many people have had a chance to do it seems.

    My library has all five books on CD. Read by Douglas Adams. And I have to say, hearing the stories come from the mouth of the man himself is amazing.

    What chance does any other version have against that? None at all.

    (By a curious coincidence, “None at all” is exactly how much suspicion the ape-descendant Arthur Dent had that one of his closest friends was not descended from an ape, but was in fact from a small planet in the vicinity of Betelgeuse and not from Guildford as he usually claimed.)

    So if you get the chance, pick up the Audiobooks, but only if they say “read by the author”

  4. @lantis
    September 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm — Reply

    This is probably one of the most important books of my life. It was the gateway through which I cultivated my love of both science fiction and British comedy. It cleverly pokes fun at societal norms and values while providing absurd situations and solutions to what would seem like mundane problems. The simple cleverness of the humor has given me a lasting love for these stories in all their forms.

    The movie doesn’t get the respect it properly deserves. It deviated from the previous incarnations by intent of Adams himself. Every time he rewrote his stories, he intentionally changed details to make them a unique experience, allowing old fans the chance toe feel like the material was new again. Unfortunately few people understood this when the movie came out.

    I’ve got my towel and I’ll always remember that great life advice printed on the front of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Don’t Panic.”

  5. chillidawg72
    September 14, 2010 at 8:19 am — Reply

    Looking forward to this one. Let me get my babel fish ready so I can understand your language.

  6. September 14, 2010 at 10:10 am — Reply

    What can be said that hasn’t been said about the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? This book was for me, like many people, a formative experience as a sci-fi fan and general geek. The only time I ever got kicked out of a library was for trying to read this book and laughing so hard. Very few books have the charm or knack for pointing out the absurdities of life as Adams’. And without Hitchhiker’s Guide, we wouldn’t have authors like Tom Holt or Terry Pratchett, who have both done marvelous things with the same conventions. And how many socially awkward geeks have connected with other socially awkward geeks over this book? Countless. Thank you, Mr. Adams, you deserve some sort of medal…. or at least some delicious cookies.

  7. September 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm — Reply

    The most quotable book ever. Plus there is so many great moments in the books that I can think of 10 off the top of my head at any given moment.

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