2015 Podcasts the Year in Review: Old Favorites ended and New ones discovered

 

Looking back over the ten year history of this blog I’ve praised my share of podcasts, and seen quite a few shuffle off this mortal coil.

2015 seemed to be a volatile year, with many of my long standing podcast favorites either no longer releasing episodes on a regular schedule or hanging up their mics.

Among some of the great ones that seem to be on hiatus or done are:

 

  • HORROR ETC
  • SIDEBAR

 

 

All of these shows are and were great, and will be missed. And join other great departed podcasts such as:

 

  • INDIE SPINNER RACK
  • GEEK SYNDICATE
  • MONDO MOVIE
  • FREQUENCY OF FEAR

 

But I completely understand, these podcast and blogs, while dearly loved, require HUGE expenditures of time and energy, and sometimes… life gets in the way. And considering most of these podcasts are not a revenue stream, it is understandable that when the effort exceeds the rewards… it’s time to stop doing it. What is amazing is that some of these shows have gone as long as they have.

All that said, you may or may not still find old episodes online. I recommend grabbing them if you can. SIDEBAR particularly interviewed some great artists, and for those interviews to be not easily accessible, seems… a loss.

INDIE SPINNER RACK  had the best interviews with both Alan Moore (One of the greatest and most influential writers in the comics/graphic novel medium – it is a crime that companies, marvel and dc, are releasing books missing his name , and shorn of his insightful interviews. the reasons for this are both well documented and trivial. yes, alan moore can be something of a bridge burner, but his brilliance makes him worth the effort to mend those fences. when he passes off this mortal coil, as we all must, no one wants to be remembered as the company that stole his characters, and froze him out of work. pay alan moore and get him at least authorizing director’s cut versions or writer approved versions of his most celebrated works. it’s one of the reasons i will not part with my swamp thing paperbacks, it is because later introductions are devoid of his introductions, which are as entertaining and informative as his stories. )

and Stephen Bissette (Who remains to this day, with his run on swamp thing, one of the greatest and most influential artists to work in the medium).

 

So the above are the podcasts lost in 2015. Here are some select podcasts enjoyed in 2015:

 

Head over to the German Music Magazine GROOVE and pick up two of the best mix tapes of 2015:

 

DECONSTRUCTING COMICS – anytime you get the chance to hear Stephen Bissette speak, take it. Not only one of the great superstar artists of the 80s with his game changing work on Swamp Thing, but simply an informed, erudite speaker on a number of topics.. including the history of horror and cinema. This Sept 2015 podcast is a recommended listen. They also have an episode of huge interest to any fan of either Edgar Allen Poe or Richard Corben. They also offer a Transformers episode that offers reviews on recent transformer comics.

 

 

THE DOLLAR BIN (Also a show that appears to be on indefinite hiatus) had a couple intriguing episodes in 2015, one covering HIP HOP FAMILY TREE, and one with Golden Age artist Allen Bellman:

 

And if these guys really are  done producing new shows, some of their classic shows that you want to get, while avaiilable, are:

I grew up on Steve Englehart comics and you don’t get today’s sophisticated comics, without first going through him. One of the first to help transition comics from kids entertainment to college and beyond entertainment.

Not one, but two interviews with one of the most elusive, and one of the most talented and innovative writers in comics, Christopher Priest (His SPIDERMAN VS WOLVERINE remains one of the joys of my collection, as well as his excellent run on BLACK PANTHER and QUANTUM AND WOODY).

 

A Bob McLeod interview (Made important because Bob McLeod’s work on the NEW MUTANTS is burned into my brain. That fight with the New Mutants and the Sentinels in a mall, blew my mind as a kid. And as an adult, those images still define for me what great artwork and storytelling should be.)

So quite a few of my favorite podcasts slowed down or completely stopped in 2015. However when one door closes another, as they say, opens.

So some podcasts I started listening to in 2015, and have added to my subscriptions are:

 

  • THE COMICS ALTERNATIVE- Their monthly preview episodes helped me all last year put in my monthly comics order
  • INKSTUDS- Interviews with Comic Book  Creators… some really indispensable interviews.
  • READING LIVES- Interviews with Writers… LOVE IT.
  • WTF- I think without argument the most listened to and successful podcast, with guests from  comedians, musicians, actors, and now a sitting president, Marc Maron out of his garage has created podcast as both high art, and passionate conversation.
  • FILMSPOTTING:SVU- Reviews for the streaming age
  • GILBERT GODFREY PODCAST – I do not find Gilbert Gottfried funny, but his knowledge and love for classic film and television, means he interviews people I want to hear, and he has had some GREAT gustd this year. Thankfully co-host Frank is there to get the podcast back on track when Gilbert starts amusing himself and no one else
  • FAT MAN ON BATMAN- Kevin Smith’s love for the creative process and all things Batman… is an addictive listen
  • HOUSE TO ASTONISH – A comic book podcast from across the pond

AND WRAPPING UP MY 2015 REVIEW, WANT TO GIVE ACCOLADES TO SOME OF MY FAVORITE, AND LONGEST RUNNING PODCASTS THAT ARE STILL GOING STRONG. ALL AWARD WINNING PODCASTS (they all won my Welles Award a few years back, and in my mind have been award winners every year since):

  • CGS – Comic Geek Speak -one of the oldest podcasts, and with great losses, and welcome additions, still an eagerly awaited listen
  • 11′ OCLOCK- One of the most informative and jam-packed and fun of any podcast. The chemistry these three have… works.
  • B-MOVIE CAST – Love this podcast on classic, crazy, genre cinema. Wonderful chemistry between the hosts.

Well folks, that is the podcast scene here as 2015 ends and 2016 takes the stage. Please use this list to see what was special about those shows we lost, and to jump aboard and support those we still have.

Thanks for reading and be well!

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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!