TOP TEN PODCASTS OF 2008!!… 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 1st 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 2008, 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 2008 (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 2008— 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 2008, and yes, you’ll find THE RED PANDA there):

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1. COMICBOOK GEEK SPEAK- This US, Pennsylvania based show with nearly 600 episodes is 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 probably done more to introduce new and lapsed readers back to comics than all the corporate ‘suits’ and gimmicks and stunts combined.

2. FREQUENCY OF FEAR- I’m cheating a little with this one as I became aware of this Arizona, US based variety horror/anthology/comic/music show in 2009. But I’ve listened to its 2008 episodes and they are great. 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.- http://frequencyoffear.com

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 providing one of the most enjoyable and informative shows of 2008. Their Buzz Aldrin episode being the funniest podcast of 08. http://www.geeksyndicate.co.uk/

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4. MONDO MOVIE- With 86 episodes and counting this 2 man British podcast covering all things of genre, cult, horror cinema is eagerly awaited every week or so. Shows are top notch entertaining, and informative too. – http://www.mondomovie.com/

5. 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.

6. 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- http://comicbookoutsiders.libsyn.com/

7. 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! – http://bmoviecast.com/

8. ISR- Indie Spinner Rack had a strong 08 with great Ted McKeever, Jeff Smith, Jeff Lemire interviews and great Indie Comic Reviews. (And peek back in 2007 for their Steve Bissette and Alan Moore Interviews. Two of the best interviews you’ll come across.)

9. 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. -http://thelostpictureshow.com/

And last but definitely not least

10. This slot is a tie between CRANKCAST and COMIC BOOK SAVANT , both shows that are very off the cuff, and can range far afield of comics but in very engaging and in very different ways. SAVANT particularly, as a one man show I find it to be… in places almost a meditation on life, and the living of it. I think all of us hope, that we can meet our… time in Gethsemane with grace. And here is one man who consistently amazes me with his ability to do that. You can find these podcasts at http://crankcast.net/ and http://www.comicbooksavant.com/cbs/index.cfm respectively.

Well that’s it folks, the HEROIC TIMES WELLES AWARD Podcast winners for 2008!! Jolly Good Show (that’s my brit speak. Yeah I’ll keep working on it)! And here’s wishing all those podcasts a great 2009! And if you haven’t already received your really hokey award just keep bugging me till you get it. 🙂 Next installment, best Audio dramas of 2009!

Honorable mentions:

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

And now shameless advertising time! 🙂 If you like this blog, ladies and gents do Papa Heroic Times a favor, and support this blog by going to

this link

and buying a whole bunch of stuff. 🙂 Any funds you spend make it possible to keep these internet doors open as it were, and would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

The way of all sound….

Couple podcasts I was recommending took pretty swift strong nosedives. So I’ve kicked those to the curb, what can I tell you, quality varies drastically, one can be great and others… idiotically bad.

Some podcasts use entire episodes as a joke. So pretty much pulled my recommendations for those guys.

While possibly amusing, it becomes less funny when you realize every episode is potentially the only chance you’ll have to grab and hold someone’s attention. Is potentially someone’s first sampling of what you’re about, and depending what you give them… will be their last.

So to take the time to put out less than your best show, when it’s hard to rise above the rest of the choices out there in the first place, seems idiotic.


So anyhow, here are the podcasts I recommend now. The ones that pretty much in the skant months I’ve been listening, have been consistently reliable:

RAMPAGE RADIO
http://feeds.feedburner.com/therampagepodcast
Political rants, on either side of the divide tend seldom to be my thing. Usually it’s people with too much venom, to be informative, or to get an idea across to more than the choir. I found an exception in this show. I think start with show 82 where the hosts touches on the censoring of science, the idea of science, (like global warming) by the current administration. (Global warming… what’s that? Amazing stuff).

ESCAPE POD
http://escape.extraneous.org/podcast.xml
This is Twilight Zone for radio. Great vehicle for some of the best new short fiction out there.

SHIVERS RADIO
http://24.153.140.30/shiversradio.xml
For the best in Old Time Radio, this is a pretty solid introduction

SOUND STAGES
http://www.ix.storiesonmp3.com/podcast/sstage.xml
Another show introducing new short audio drama, dealing with everything from the humorous to the horrific. Good stuff.

FANBOY RADIO
http://fanboyradio.libsyn.com/rss
On the less serious side, the best show for interviews of writers, artists, and a fun look at the people behind an increasing percentage of movies and video games and tv, …Comic Book Folks.

INDIE SPINNER RACK
http://podcast.inmotionhosting.com/ISR1.xml
For just plain news on what’s the best stuff out there to read, these guys are probably at the top of my list. Whether you want to call them Comic Books, or Graphic Novels, or Sequential art, they introduce you to this paper medium with a heaping helping of fun, and wit.

WORDBALLOON
http://feeds.feedburner.com/WordballoonPodcasts
This show offer indepth, one on one interviews with Comic Creators. Well done, and informative.

So those are the shows, that I’ve found always have solid episodes. That if not always great, you understand they at least strive… to make it the best they can. And not waste your time, or theirs.


Currently don’t have a music recommendation, but still looking. As soon as I find one, I’ll pass it on.

Now go out there and have some fun!

I’m really digging Podcasts!

I’m really digging podcasts.

I’m a relatively recent convert to this medium, but I’m digging it. The technology basically allows anyone the ability to have their own talk/radio show.

And what this means to a pulp culture junkie like myself is a ton of impassioned fans, putting out shows ranging from scifi to horror to mystery to short stories to comics to movies.

And you can listen to this stuff while you work. If you’re surfing blogs more than likely you’re also well informed about podcasts.

So I’ll shelve further exposition, and just give today’s recommendations for a couple great INDIVIDUAL Podcasts; shows covering a variety of genres and topics.

I’ll start with:

COMIC BOOK NOISE #19

– Hosted by Derek at Deliberate Noise, is at times thoughtful, and considered commentary about all things Comic Book related, told from the refreshing viewpoint of a fan and a father. My mileage varies depending on the show, being a fan of more just his commentary shows, rather than review shows. But this one… episode 19… is great. As it deals with comics, Busiek, and Rome, Georgia. In your podcast player just type in COMIC BOOK NOISE and look for this episode. Or you can download it directly by going to http://www.comicbooknoise.com. But definitely jump around as quality varies widely! Other episodes I’d recommend are 21. 31, 5. Jump around and see what grabs you.

ESCAPE POD #24 THE DEATH TRAP OF DR. NEFARIO

– Best way to describe Escape Pod to the uninitiated is Twilight Zone for your ears. It’s a great showcase of speculative short fiction, presented as an audio story for your ears. It’s a great avenue for great short fiction. With endearing introductions by host, creator Steve Ely. One of my favorite episodes of this series, now on episode 47, is this one, #24 THE DEATH TRAP OF DR. NEFARIO. Amazing stuff. Download this episode by going to http://escape.extraneous.org/. Another site, well worth your time.

Gotta run. Feel free to leave your comments for your favorite podcast shows!