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The Variants

The Variants

Bottom Line: A great series for comic book fans, with enough laughs to keep more mainstream viewers coming back. It feels like the characters are growing into their roles and I’m looking forward to seeing how this develops.

Hi. My name’s Joe Cucinotti.

Formerly a radio DJ in Dallas/Fort Worth and a host of the short-lived (but soon to rise again like a phoenix from the ashes) podcast JOE VS KEN that I produced with long time friend Ken Lowery.

In early 2009 Ken and I were approached by Richard Neal – the Eisner award winning owner and operator of Zeus Comics in Dallas TX. (4411 Lemmon Ave… come visit!) He expressed a desire to develop a web series that would appeal to fans of something like Felicia Day’s THE GUILD but fused with the comic/dramatic style that you might see in something like THE OFFICE or 30 ROCK.

Show »

What qualifies Ken and I to help with putting this project together? Well, not a whole lot really. I’ve written a couple screenplays, 2 one-act stage productions, a stage musical and a full length stage comedy. Of those, only 1 of the one-act plays has been produced. Ken writes movie reviews, sits upon his throne as the Lord of Twitter and had a backup story published in THE BLACK DIAMOND #2 – ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD by AiT/Planet Lar. We’re not exactly seasoned comedy writers but that wouldn’t stop us.

After a number of brainstorming and writing sessions, THIS is what we came up with. A show that would pull the curtain back on (and maybe embellish) what life is like for the people who work at a comic book shop. Giving you, the customer/viewer/passhole, a little bit of insight on what we’re saying about you after you leave the store. HAHAHA Just kidding, folks… mostly.


Creators: Joe Cucinotti, Ken Lowery, Richard Neal
YouTube Channel: The Variants
Website: The Variants
Support the Show: Visit The Variant’s Store


RSS Feed: Feed
Facebook Page The Variants


It’s shot inside of a real comic book store with real comic books, that alone will earn you a few credibility points. (Style 3.5)

Pacing 3

This show is the show about what it’s like to be inside of a comic book shop. If you listen closely you will be treated to the dulcet tones of people waxing poetic about all manner of geekery. For people like me, this is great but like French films and John Malkovich movies a lot of people will feel like there is a distinct lack of forward momentum in some of the plots. (Storytelling 3.5)

Polish 4

For better or for worse it feels like you’re watching Clerks, the animated series, not the movie. You are treated to obscure pop culture reference after obscure pop culture reference, and unless you are deeply infatuated with film and comic culture it can be a little too “insidery” (Watchability 3)

Novelty 3

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆