So, you’ve gotten addicted to Panels’ Oh, Comics! podcast, in which Preeti and Paul talk everything comics. If you’re like me, a week is a long time and you’re keen to find one or two complementary shows. Well, here’s a dozen, none of ’em affiliated to Panels, all of ’em worth a listen.
Sean Whelan and Jim Segulin have commendable chemistry as they discuss recent DC comics in-depth. Really in-depth. Listen to these guys talk ‘strategery’ and be awestruck by how they manage to be so relentlessly positive without pretending things are always perfect.
As well as the general shows, there are dozens of character or series-specific podcasts. This one, you may guess, is devoted to the Doom Patrol. Hosts Paul Hix and Mike Garvey’s Doom Clock tells us how long it’s been since the last issue of a DP series, they review old issues and talk to famous fans. And if you’re not interested in the material, you could just sit back and enjoy the super-cheery accents of this charming pair.
I know there are loads of Barbara Gordon fans on Panels, so this podcast could be just the thing. Babs devotee Stella ‘Moose’ Bowman looks at stories old and new, tracing the development of the red-headed heroine through the decades and continuities. Stella’s perky humour is a total tonic on a grey day, though her opinions on the divine Velvet Tiger are ALL WRONG!
Canada’s best comics and pop culture podcast (not a huge field, but still…) features Charles, Owen, and George swapping opinions on comics news and their favourites of the week. As a big old DC and Marvel guy, it’s great to hear so much discussion of Image and the Indies here, delivered with a whopping great dollop of Canadian good manners. And poutine.
As a long-married couple, Chris and Cindy Franklin offer a unique spin on the usual co-host deal as they chat superhero weddings, TV and film adaptations, Starman, Halloween comics and lots more. Chris is the archetypical fanboy, Cindy the woman able to prick any beloved story with her power of Super-Logic (go on, let her ruin New Teen Titans tale ‘Who is Donna Troy?’ for you today).
Like most of my favourite podcasters, Graeme McMillan and Jeff Lester talk American comic books and movies. But of all the shows I follow, this has the widest range of cultural and political references. Manga and 2000AD. Anime and Archie. Maus and Moore. Italian movies. Lovecraft. Bush. And waffles. Lots and lots of waffles. Graeme is pixieish, Jeff tries not to overthink… They’re outspoken, funny, decent chaps, always aware that they’re two straight, white guys talking about an industry traditionally run by straight, white guys, and trying not to be asses. They succeed.
Well, two, anyway – original co-host Maddy from When Fangirls Attack! is no longer able to do the show regularly, but Sue of DC Women Kicking Ass and Kelly Thompson of CBR’s She Has No Head keep the podcast powerful. Except it’s on a teeny hiatus because Kelly’s so busy. Still, there’s a whopping great archive of 78 shows in which the Chicks do what it say on the tin – review comics. They also have some fascinating guests, everyone from Batgirl’s Brenden Fletcher to Dr Mirage’s Jen Van Meter. That’ll keep you going until their triumphant return.
Gary Lactus leaves his spaceship, The Beast Must Die exits his haunted castle and they sing their way into the Reviewniverse, there to examine comics from the big publishers and small press alike. Who knew space gods and werewolves were British?
One webpage, numerous shows – The Marvel Super-Heroes Podcast! Diana Prince, Wonder Woman! Power of the Atom! The Idol Head of Diabolu! DC Bloodlines! Amazing Heroes! Exclamation Points! OK, I made that last one up, but Diabolu Frank (that’s a Martian Manhunter reference, obvs), Illegal Machine and Mister Joe Fixit churn out show after show, full of great trivia, massive enthusiasm and no-holds-barred opinions.
Paul, Darren, Scott and Matt dip in and out of six decades/1000 years of Legion of Super-Heroes adventures, praising, panning and occasionally just laughing at their favourite team. If you didn’t know that ka-THOOOM! is the most overused sound effect in comics, you soon will.
It’s been running just a couple of months but already this has become one of the best sources of mainstream comics history online. Ryan K Daly and guests look at stories from the Eighties version of DC’s classic brand, then expand the conversation to include the entire histories of the likes of Captain Marvel, the Star-Spangled Kid, Doll Man and Shadow Lass. A delight.
Brilliantly bickering hosts The Irredeemable Shag and Rob Kelly talk everything Aquaman and Firestorm. Extra shows look at Power Records, Zany (Bob) Haney DC stories, DC’s old Whatever Happened To series and more. And then there’s the spin-off Who’s Who: The Definitive Podcast of the DC Universe, a brilliantly entertaining, page by page look at the marvellous handbook. It’s addictive.
And there you have it, just a few of my favourite podcasts from around the world, and around the world of comics. But there are so many more out there. You may already be a fan, and if so, tell us more. What are your regular listens?