One of the great things about living in the digital age is that there are so many intersecting elements of the nerd culture at our fingertips, available for our consumption. Think about you, if you are reading this blog, it’s probably because of your interest and love for Comic books. You took that interest to the internet where you can find everything from previews and reviews, literary dissections of classic works, and the opinion pieces of fans and industry professionals laid out for your reading pleasure. If you turn on your television, there is a high probability that you will watch a series or film inspired from the comics medium or see a product being sold using licensing from Marvel or DC. After that show, there may be another show where comedians and actors discuss the events of that show, and then those people may go on to be part of a reality series about selling comics or going to a convention where creators gather to discuss, sell, and promote their creations and the culture itself. This extends beyond just comics. It does not matter what your “nerdism” is, there is probably a whole network of adjacent subject matter out here in the digital sea waiting for your fingertips to tap your way to reading, writing, watching, studying, playing, buying, or listening to some related aspect of that one base thing you love. One of the best way to tap into this web of media delights is by listening to Podcasts. With Podcasts, you can absorb the culture at your own leisure. If you don’t have the ability to fly across the country or world to the biggest Comic Cons, there are podcasts where you can listen to the breaking news about movies, television, toys, and yes, even the next big comics. If you’re interested in how the sausage is made, there are podcast where experienced and capable journalists interview writers, artists, and editors. If your interested in a niche section of the industry that you aren’t tapping into at your Local Comic Shop, there is almost a 100% chance that you aren’t alone and that someone has dedicated their time and energy to producing a podcast that will titillate, educate, and cultivate interesting exposition on those topics.
Here, I’m going to list some of my personal favorites that, to no one’s surprise, revolve mostly around comic books, although one or two branch out into other areas of fandom. Some of these have a massive listening audience complete with interactive social media sights and Patreon.com accounts, others are grass roots, local casts just getting on their feet. Regardless of audience size or production age, all of these have their own edge of charm and quality, and have brought me hours of enjoyment going off the panel and into my ears.
- 11 O’clock Comics- EOC is the baby of Vince, David, and Jason, three friends who come together (at least audibly) each week enjoy a drink and inspire discussion. These fine gentlemen are not just you’re average fanboys. They are well versed and highly educated on literature and art, having a vast knowledge base ranging far beyond just that of graphic story telling. They use this to discuss the comic medium with a respect, reverence, and intellect that is not normally attributed to conversations surrounding caped heroes, horror stories, or Disney-esque characters. The guys converse in a way that makes feels intimate and has an edge of “cool” that makes the discussion feel casual, approachable, and normative as if this is what everyone is talking about around water coolers and dinner tables. If you’re not careful, you’ll forget that they, and you, are nerds.
- Comic Geek Speak- The CGS guys bleed NERD, and in the very best way. From the way they speak, their vocabulary, their encyclopedic comics knowledge, to just the way they just get giddy, giggle, and geek out about their respective fandoms, the CGS crew make you feel like you are sitting around the neighborhood comic shop drooling over the latest issues on new comic day with your best buds. They deliver fun, mostly lighthearted banter about every aspect of comicdom in a way that envelopes the listener with a pure love for the spirit, history, and emotion of the comic industry.
- Word Balloon- Word Balloon dubs itself the “Comic Book Conversation Show” and in my humble opinion should be considered the gold standard in comics journalism. John Suintres hosts some of the most important and talented comics creators working in the industry today, wherein he expertly interviews them about the works they have produced, the day-to-day grind of being comics professionals, the dynamics of the industry, and what they have coming down the pipeline. You wont hear these kind of candid and informative interviews with this level of talent anywhere else today.
- Comic Book Bears- This is one of those niche podcasts mentioned earlier. This cast is by gay men for gay men and highlights the LGBTQ corner of the comics market. Here you can get introduced to LGBTQ writers and artists, as well as get a perspective on LGBT characters from both the mainstream and indie publishers. You will also get introduced to some really good punk rock along the way.
- The Longbox Podcast- Matt and Tyler barely have a serious bone in their bodies but they have some great taste and insight in modern comics. This is a no-holds-barred podcasts where few things are sacred and everything is funny. The guys bounce from book to book talking about what they’re reading, what they think about what they’re reading, and comics news that inevitably hits the internet from week to week. They’ll also teach you more about wrestling than you want to know, while they take turns being the cast’s heel.
- Talking Nerdy about Digimon- I am personally about as ignorant as they come when it comes to manga and anime. I did, however, grow up watching Digimon on Fox as a kid. The guys on this cast have studied just about every aspect of Digimon, and the connecting Applimon series. They go through each episode, and along the way provide great conversation, lots of sarcasm, and a friendly interpersonal dynamic as they walk you through the different episodes. You also get to hear all about Jerry’s t-shirts, so that’s a thing.
- Game Grinder- This podcast centers around video game as its main focus but doesn’t shy away from touching on all of the intersecting strands of nerdom from comics to film to “Insert your nerdism here.” They also host an ongoing D&D game that you can follow along with. The thing I like most about this cast is that while I do game, I’m not a hardcore, play-everyday, strategize with an online guild kind of guy. Full disclosure, I’m the worst at first person shooters. These guys talk about games and gamer culture in a way that I can follow as a novice with a PS4. I don’t have any problem following along and I don’t get lost when they are discussing things I really don’t know much about.
So that’s what I’m listening to when I’m able. There are a ton of content out there, but hopefully this has been helpful and gives you a direction in which to go if you are interested in listening to a few Podcasts. As always feel free to comment back to me or suggest other things that you have enjoyed.