The Middle East Film and ComicCon is upon us this weekend (April 6-8) and we figured this would be the best time to delve into some of the podcasts that can help you navigate the multiverse of geek territory with valuable insights and some cheeky commentary. Here are our best five:
Fatman on Batman
Director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy) blathers on, usually with one other guest, about his favourite thing in the whole wide world: the Dark Knight mythos. Over time, the podcast has grown to include other properties from the pop culture world: from the Avengers to Netflix’s Marvel shows and Ghostbusters. But the best episodes always feature Batman: one of my personal favourite episodes (#46) features Smith expositioning on Ben Affleck being cast as the brand new Batman, where he peppers the conversation with trivia back from when Smith directed the actor on Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma.
The banter on Fatman is always fresh and accessible, perfect for new entrants into geekdom to get their lowdown on all things pop culture. Our only complaint is the episodes tend to run a little long, sometimes even two hours.
Also, for those who are going to be at ComicCon this weekend, Smith will be speaking to guests through a live video chat at the venue. Arm yourselves with all your Batman-related questions for this one!
Word Balloon with John Siuntres
The Word Balloon podcast has made the world of geek a better place through its one-on-one audio interview show, featuring in-depth talks with the creators of pop culture. Think Jeph Loeb, Ed Brubaker, Brian Michael Bendis, Rob Liefeld and Kelly Sue DeConnick, but also newbies like David Pepose, Kyle Higgins and Steve Orlando. You’ll also hear discussions about film, TV, books, and games in various genres, but the heart of this podcast is still very much about comic books.
Let’s Talk Comics
Ever wondered how your favourite comic book writer or artist got their first break? Host James Viscardi, delves into the origin stories of these creators and manages to nab high-profile guests while he’s at it. Not so much of a surprise because he used to be a manager at Marvel. Previous guests include Brian Michael Bendis (where this super-writer gets the time to appear on all these podcasts is still a mystery), Scott Snyder (American Vampire, Superman Unchained), Jim Valentino (co-creator of Image Comics) and Skottie Young (Cable & Deadpool, Rocket Raccoon), among others.
If you’re a comic book creator or aspire to be one, Kieron Gillen’s Decompressed features in-depth conversations with comic book creators about their process. Whether its art, costume design, writing or form, the podcast has covered it all. An excellent interview (#24) sees Gillen talk shop with Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips, about their early works together and the ones that followed, including excellent comics like Sleeper and Fatale. What I really enjoy about this podcast is that Gillen takes the time to filter through and find indie creators who make non-superhero comics and graphic novels, a welcome break from the world of tights and the cowl.
Women of Marvel Podcast
Three women at Marvel Comics — Judy Stephens (producer), Sana Amanat (director of content and character development), and Adri Cowan (senior social media manager) — talk about all things comics, very importantly adding the voice of women geeks to an industry that often tries to shut them out. From reading guides to interviews with women writers and artists to reviews and general banter, the Women of Marvel podcast has 140 episodes to date, the latest being a two-parter on Women’s History Month.