For anyone with niche interests, podcasts have become one of the primo methods of consistent communication and entertainment. Podcasting has evolved to be on multiple platforms, provide a more menu-based, on-demand format for audio content, and is easy to do quick and often updates as the overhead cost on producing them tends to be kind of low. This is perfectly laid for comics fans because of the weekly releases, ongoing stories, and a diverse and complex field that is ripe for news and commentary. Comic book podcasting, with its support in the convention community, has become a central place for reviews and discussion, and there are dozens circulating the web, all with different voices and preferences. Here are my top five comic book podcasts, several of which have proven to be favorites around the U.S. comics community.
Ok, so I’m already kind of cheating. This is basically a “network” of a host of comic book podcasts, which really provides a whole volume of recent podcasts. This is really a mix bag, but it is worth checking out simply from the sheer volume. There is a little something for everyone, and it is perfect if you just cannot get enough comic book podcasts and discussion.
This podcast runs quite a bit longer than many of the others, and they really get into quite a round table discussing different topics. Like most of the podcasts, they spend a great deal of time on film and television adaptations, as well as special episodes like “best of 2014.” This is a part of the larger Talking Comics website, with quite a few videos, columns, reviews, and more, and also a resource that welcomes fans to begin writing about comics there. This is also one of the more conversational and accessible podcasts, though some of the hosts can be a little over the top.
iFanboy runs primarily as a review show, covering a lot of different comics each episode, running through on a long list. They also post the specific time stamp for the discussion about each book(on their website), and it allows you to avoid ones you don’t want spoiled. As with most of these, the hosts are fun and knowledgable, and they tend to tie it into other cultural and literary things happening. This one is going to be really heavy on reviewing new books, and one of the best for sweeping large numbers of weekly comics.
Out of Salt Lake City, this is one of the most fun comics podcasts, mainly because the hosts are genuinely funny and more irreverant than many of the others. They cover the whole range of comics stories, from festival coverage to weekly reviews. They work well with the technology as well, as they operate a really usable website and allow skipping between segments from mobile devices. They also keep a lot of photo content up and available along with the podcast discussions, which is great for looking at sketches and art. A lot of fun, and one I return to again and again.
This is the reigning champion of comics podcasts. With over 1,500 episodes over its almost ten year life, they do multiple weekly posts of a whole different variety. Their Book of the Month Club looks at Original Graphic Novels or trades in detail, their Comics Talk will be a roundtable on current comic news, Off the Rack looking at three new comics(usually first issues), their Endnotes looking deeply at classic issues, and many more. The Muddle the Murd segment lets listeners send in trivia questions to stump their resident comics-brain to win prizes, and their Comics Forum is one of the most active and interesting out there. Their website, and mobile app, allows for access to the entire backlog of episodes, which is great if you want to learn more about specific periods in, say, Daredevil history, or are re-reading the early trades of Sandman. The hosts are all interesting characters that you get to know pretty well, and it one of the most interesting and dependable podcasts out there on any subject.
My friends of at Chronicle of the Nerds, also do a great podcast, based out of Portland, Oregon. These are committed readers and creators, they have interviews with other local creators, and a lot of celebrity and creator interviews at conventions. A great choice for more than just the podcasts!