THE END OF PODCASTS?

It’s worth noting that a lot of the podcasts that I was a fan of, have given up the ghost or are giving up the ghost.

Particularly if you go back and look at my Welles Award Winners, quite a few of those shows have moved on. Which is, to be fair, only natural that what amounts to a hobby, something you started to have fun, should be stopped when it stops being fun, and/or becomes a drain on you… time or money wise.

That said I do worry when the landscape of podcasts is shorn of the people who started it for the love. I think that will only leave the people, and big companies, that use it solely as a form of marketing.

So here’s a roll call of the fallen dead:

MONDO MOVIES -Welles Award Winner

FREQUENCY OF FEAR -Welles Award Winner

Q & A with Jeff Goldsmith

WATCHING THE DIRECTORS

COMIC BOOK SAVANT

GEEK SYNDICATE (closes shop in September, will be missed, easily in my top 3)- Welles Award Winner

So if those are the ones that are gone, what remains? We’ll cover that… next installment. See you then! :) .

p.s. I had incorrectly listed BATTLESHIP PRETENSION as a defunct podcast, but the host of the show corrected me. The guys are alive and well and you can view them here. I recommend trying them out.

TOP TEN PODCASTS OF 2010!!… finally! :)

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A picture of how the Academy Award losers really feel! :)

Following up on my previous post, and after yet another disappointing Academy Award season, I’m going to give you an award that IS worth your time.

THE HEROIC TIMES 2nd (kinda) Annual Welles Awards!

Nifty title huh. I wanted to create an award show for this new generation of audio shows, podcasts and streaming radio. And while I toyed with a few people to name it after who had extraordinary voices, the great Paul Robeson, Paul Frees… I settled on naming it Welles after Orson Welles. Listening to Welles’ SHADOW episodes pretty much single-handedly got me hooked on audio dramas and Old Time Radio, and thereby New Time Audio Dramas and Podcasts.

So without further ado, let’s give out…. THE WELLES AWARDS!

1st Category is Top Ten Podcasts of 2010, I won’t bore you with the hundreds of nominees I went through to compile this list (and this section is strictly for podcasts that are hosted, and or referential/review based in nature, be that movies, music, books, whatever. If you have a podcast, but it’s basically just an audio drama, it will be in the audio drama category. There’s some bleed over but that’s basically the division). So let’s get to the ones who made the Podcast list, these are in no particular order, but suffice to say if you see them below the shows were the best most entertaining podcasts I came across in 2010 (notice that “I” if you don’t see your podcast, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you, maybe I just didn’t come across you in 2010— how’s that for being a politician :) ). The best of the best ( And keep an eye out for next installment Top Ten Audio Dramas of 2010, and yes, you’ll find THE RED PANDA there):

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1. COMICBOOK GEEK SPEAK- This US, Pennsylvania based show cracked a 1000 episodes this year, a staggering achievement, and speaks for itself of the dedication and crazy work ethic, that makes them a shoe-in for everyones favorites list. That and just the camaraderie they have, and the community they have created makes for an always compelling listen.

They are one of the oldest, one of the longest lasting, and one of the most popular podcast shows and for good reason. For current fans of comics, lapsed fans, and curious newcomers this show is like hanging out with good acquaintances and is just a great way to stay in the loop on a hobby that needs all the inroads it can get. And again this show admirably illustrates the ability of the passionate amateur to be more in touch with the medium then the so-called professionals. In an age when the major comic companies are losing readers in droves due to bad will and poor public relations skills (particularly at a time when they should be taking advantage of the current Hollywood spotlight), this podcast has without doubt done more to introduce new and lapsed readers back to comics than all the corporate ‘suits’ and gimmicks and stunts combined.

Due to these guys I purchased sight unseen the BLACKSAD HC (excellent, as advertised) put out by Darkhorse. And I think they had a lot to do with that book’s 1st printing selling out, since after they covered it the issue became quite scare and expensive for a bit there, until the new printing came out.

I also tried (thanks to my local library and their recommendations) books from Matt Kindt including SUPER SPY, REVOLVER (ehh) and THREE STORY (very good). Jeff Lemire’s ESSEX COUNTY (okay), got caught up on Incredible Hercules (most of the run is forgettable, exceptions being the very good LOVE AND WAR storyline and the 3 part THOR/HERCULES storyline), As well as SHIELD 1-5 (1st issue good, other four, not so much) and got introduced to the great web-comic WORLD OF HURT.

Highlights of the year were the introduction of Drunk Cap, Batroc The Leaper, Strip Club Bachelor Night, Wedding, Super-Show, and more. You can try the podcast here.

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2. MONDO MOVIE- This British podcast on all things cult film, is probably the first Movie Podcast that hooked me. I heard one episode and became a committed listener. The two hosts do a fantastic job of covering genre films from the obscure to the well known. From the blistering to the bloody. As of this writing they are on episode #111, but really all the shows are great and recommended. Real life intruded a bit in 2010, with them only putting out a few shows, but great shows that I always put on my radar… films I would otherwise miss. Even when I don’t agree with their reviews, I find their take on film, interesting. Based on their mention, in 2010 I rented/purchased the following: TRIANGLE(looks beautiful, it stops being good after the first 15 minutes), MOTHER (from director of MEMORIES OF MURDER), KING OF THE HILL (Spain-looks great, loses steam through the middle/end), RED CLIFF(John Woo, Great). Go listen now, but don’t blame me if you become addicted. Highlights of the year: Best films of the Decade. – You can try them here.

3. GEEK SYNDICATE- I became aware of these guys at the end of 2007, and have been a fan ever since. A two-man British podcast covering all things pop-culture, David and the Nuge are very much, in terms of listenership if not construction, the CGS of the island England, having created quite a community around them, and spurred the creation of quite a few podcasts, two of which have also made this list. These two have a fantastic chemistry, and their show is excellently structured to bring you a fantastic array of news, reviews, feedback, nonsense, interviews and just plain fun. And this extends to their website, which was for most of the year my goto site for entertainment news, from movies, to comics, to TV shows.

This year these guys and their crazy PLANETARY love, reminded me to purchase the 2nd and final ABSOLUTE PLANETARY volume, as well as Bryan Talbot’s GRANDVILLE and ALICE IN SUNDERLAND, and to put on my buy list JUDGE DREDD CASE FILES, And they’ve put quite a few TV shows on my radar to pick up in box sets, such as: HARPER’S ISLAND, DR. WHO, FIXER, SPOOKS (full British/PAL versions not the truncated BBC America versions), BEING HUMAN, PRIMEVIL, MERLIN, as well as keeping me informed on less than stellar TV shows (cough— Smallville). including: and were the first to discuss such topics as the Guy Ritchie ‘Lobo’ movie and the insane sounding plot to Rambo 5. Great show. Check it out here.

4. 11 O’Clock Comics- Is a new introduction to my podcast list, that I started listening to in 2010. With ISRs downtime I began looking around for another podcast, and this one with their 2 hour shows and eclectic range of topics filled the bill. It’s an odd show that brings a lot of good, informative talk/reviews, with a bit of belligerent, crazy talk. (Kyle Baker, comes to mind. As this show seems to take pains to (repeatedly) tell him what style he should, or should not be working in. A CG program or a pencil, it’s all a tool I figure. :) )

But luckily the informative talk outweights the crazy. :) . Since I’ve been listening to them they’ve put on my radar much, quite a few of which I’ve bought. Among them: MCSWEENEY’S #33 (the huge honking newspaper edition), ART OF MCSWEENEY’S HC, JOE THE BARBARIAN, DUNCAN THE WONDERDOG, XFORCE, SIXTH GUN. So the show, definitely is one of the most diverse, they do a PHENOMENAL job, introducing people to a lot in terms of comics, books, films, tv shows, and even drinks. It’s definitely a labor of love, and that currently rises above everything else, to make it a podcast I think is definitely worth your time. And I think another strength of this show is its familial nature, these are all men in their 30s and 40s who bring a perspective of wife and children and responsibilities, and when you toss that into the mix of comics and popculture talk… it makes for, the most part, an intriguing take.

5. FREQUENCY OF FEAR- Great Arizona, US based variety horror/anthology/comic/music show. It is really tailored to fans of old time radio and those old horror records, but if that’s you, you’ll love this show.- Visit them here.

6. HORROR ETC- http://www.horroretc.com/index.html- The Canadians toss their hat in the ring, with this always entertaining two man podcast, covering horror films from classics to current hits. They can be found here.

7. COMIC BOOK OUTSIDERS- A brother podcast to GEEK SYNDICATE, this 2-man Brit show (do you see a trend here) is right up there with GS, but concentrates on under the radar, and Independent comics. Definitely Recommended- Try them here.

8. B-MOVIE CAST- True to its title, this podcast covers classic B-movies, with a leaning toward horror, scifi, cult flicks. Well produced, it includes news, DVD releases, and the main course which is usually a pretty thorough interview of one or two B movies. Recommended! – Try them here

9. ISR- Indie Spinner Rack was awol most of the year as real life intruded, but the episodes they did release were always entertaining. Try them here.

10. THE LOST PICTURE SHOW- This Two-Man Brit Podcast (Nooooooo! Not another one! :) ) each episode explores a, if not lost, definitely under the radar film. But unlike other podcasts the films selected belong to no specific genre. They go from comedy to classics to cult. Visit them here.

Well that’s it folks, the HEROIC TIMES WELLES AWARD Podcast winners for 2010!! Jolly Good Show (that’s my brit speak. Yeah I’ll keep working on it)! And here’s wishing all those podcasts a great 2011! And if you haven’t already received your really hokey award just keep bugging me till you get it. :)

Honorable mentions:

CRANKCAST

WATCHING THE DIRECTORS- A wife and husband duo each show tackle a different legendary director. A great show, that unfortunately came to an end in 2008, however you can for now still sample their old shows online here… http://watchingthedirectors.com/

BATTLESHIP PRETENSION- Well produced show, with two friends giving their views on films and filmmakers. The reviews are hit and miss with me, but the shows are well produced. http://www.battleshippretension.com/homepage.php

RADIO FREETOWN- A streaming audio show, that covers classic African music of the 70s. It’s a must listen. Unfortunately went on hiatus in February, but old shows for now are still up. http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/RF

Other shows I tried in 2010: Image Addiction, Chemical Box, Geek Brunch, Chronic Insomnia, Deconstructing Comics, Wednesday Warriors, Next Issue

Best Individual Podcast Episodes of 2010:

DOLLAR BIN EPISODE- Christopher Priest is one of my favorite creators, and in 2010 with Marvel spending a lot of energy to invalidate all the great work he did on characters such as BLACK PANTHER (who has been stripped of his nation, status, and kicked out of his own book for a dame) and POWER MAN (who has been stripped of his title), it was just nice to have him discuss the medium, his time in it, and the personalities he dealt with. I didn’t care for some of the questions asked, but Priest’s answers were always gold. Just to hear this fount of history, discuss the books I grew up on, including such still pivotal books as SPIDERMAN VS WOLVERINE (my favorite one-shot), as well as talk of his time as Editor of the Spider-man Books, Jim Shooter, Quantum and Woody, Batman and much more.

Horroretc Episode 154 Give Lance A Chance.mp3- This interview conducted by the guys of Horror Etc, with movie and tv stalwart and legend Lance Henriksen is fantastic. One of the best episodes of 2010

Thanks for looking! And feel free to let me know your favorite podcasts, or recommend any you think I might have missed. Thanks!

John Luessenhop’s TAKERS Trailer


TAKERS is another trailer that comes from a relatively unknown director, but fortunately with its cast it has a lot going for it.

Idris Elba, I consider one of the best actors working, being a huge fan of his OBSESSED. From THE WIRE to ULTRAVIOLET he elevates everything he is in so was intrigued enough to give this trailer a look.

(Now all that praise about Idris Elba said, casting him as one of the Norse Gods in the upcoming THOR movie?

Really?

Only if you give me some Neil Gaiman ELEMENTALS type reason for a Norse God to be inhabiting a Nubian dude, failing that I have to agree with the Geek Syndicate guys on this particular casting.

There is no question of Elba’s talent.

There is colorblind casting, but when the ethnicity of the character, is part and parcel of the character, the history, the mythology, then colorblind casting doesn’t come into it. Just as it would be idiotic to have white guys portraying Nubian Gods, or playing Reggae– makes me laugh. Jah is a concept that no amount of braiding your hair can give you. So click on the link to hear the GS take on the casting. That said, they are completely wrong on their Samuel L. Jackson bashing. He was GREAT in IRON MAN II! :)

So yeah, I’m always glad to see Elba in a flick, but like I said… to make this casting okay, make it not a lightning rod against the film, they are going to have to write-in some type of Gaiman ELEMENTALS type reason for it. If they can do that they can make it work.

Okay back on topic…) ,

Before I get to the trailer, the poster… just poor. What the hell is up with these marketing guys. There was a time when posters were high art, as well as sought after collectibles. These days posters more often than not are just lazy.

Thankfully the trailer, has no such issues. Trailers are typically poor, good, or great. I mean you typically either get it right or you don’t.

300, STAR TREK (2010), OBSESSED, WATCHMEN these are examples of GREAT trailers.

I’ve rarely seen a trailer, that starts off in one gear and then kicks in to overdrive, that goes from good to great. TAKERS trailer goes from good to great. WoW. If the movie can live up to the trailer, I’ll be a happy camper.

Take a look! :) .

Geek Syndicate Podcast Update! Episodes 146-157! Still the best podcast out there!

Been catching up on my Geek Syndicate episodes. Listened to episodes 146 thru 157 today. Great stuff! Highlights being a couple great interviews, a great rant on DC’s poor use of the Milestone characters. ( Do you get the feeling DC brought writer Dwayne McDuffie, the driving force behind the smashing success of the JLA unlimited cartoon, aboard the JLA comic just to swindle the rights of the Milestone characters away from him?).

Nifty rant on Smallville. I stopped following Smallville after season III when they got rid of the Pete Ross character, and have had no great interest in returning. I’ve caught maybe three episodes in the 6 years since then, and theyve all just reinforced my decision to ignore the show.

That said, I always enjoy listening to The Geek Syndicate’s reviews and rants. Good stuff.

Also good review on the BLACK PANTHER cartoon, by all reports not yet shown in the US of Amerikkka, so definitely going to check out the DVD when available. Also Recommendation on the comic SEIGE.