In my round up of 2011’s Television, I gave the caveat that I hadn’t watched as much TV last year as I normally would, and there’s a reason for that. During 2011, I listened to podcasts almost constantly, getting in around half a dozen a day on average.
Having never been one for the radio (apart from Radio 4 – obviously) I would have called you crazy if you’d told me five years ago I would be sacrificing valuable TV hours in favour of listening to nerds talking to each other.
The ones I mention below are only a few of those I’ve enjoyed during 2011, so honourable mentions must also go to The Nerdist, Comedy Bang Bang, The SideKickCast, 20 Minute Longbox, Mike and Tom Eat Snacks, We Talk Comics and too many more to name.
Best Comics Podcasts (apart from ours, obviously!)
3 – Fuzzy Typrewriter
Fuzzy Typewriter is a podcast started by iFanboy writer Paul Montgomery, digging into the nitty-gritty of “Story and Storytelling, Art and Artists” in the world of comics, movies and novels with a regular cast of revolving co-hosts.
Soft-spoken Montgomery has a great voice for podcasting and is fiercely intelligent and passionate about the subjects he covers – I particularly enjoyed listening to him review all 52 of the DCnU #1 books, especially since we did the same.
It’s not [meant to be] the funniest or the slickest podcast in the world, but it’s always immensely listenable and once you hit play you can just feel yourself becoming more cultured by the minute.
2 – Word Balloon
This isn’t meant to come across as mean, but he really does sound like he comes from a different time, conducting ultra-classy, insightful and often hilarious interviews with…well, everybody in comics. Everybody. His Bendis Tapes are a particular gem.
Unlike other podcasts mentioned here, I don’t listen to every episode. It’s not a downside – Siuntres’ range of guests are so diverse, that due to time constraints I pick and choose which interviews to listen to, but that does mean there’s something for everyone and it’s testament to the quality that I’ve been totally gripped when I’ve found myself listening to interviews with people I’ve never heard of, who write things I’m not interested in.
Plus he’s got a great taste in films (crime and noir in particular) and you’ll always come away from a podcast with a couple of new recommendations to check out.
I like that iFanboy is such a reliable constant in the comics universe. Every Sunday like clockwork you get a one hour Pick of the Week Podcast which follows a tight format and gives you a strong overview of the week’s comics. The guys that present it are smart and funny, and they have honed this podcasting thing down to a fine art by putting out hundreds of hours of quality comics chat.
I have listened to every episode of the PotW Podcast, and have found myself thinking in 2011 that it’s been lacking something it once had. If I could put my finger on it, I would elucidate. But I’ve found that it’s still the only podcast I download and listen to as soon as it appears on my feed.
iFanboy earns this spot on the strength of the PotW podcast alone, when you take into account the numerous other weekly shows they put out, including an always-entertaining video show, they’re clear winners in this category and if you could only listen to one comics podcast, it would have to be this (apart from ours, obviously!).
But not even they come close to the:
Podcast of The Year – Adam and Joe
Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish have been one of the UK’s funniest and most subversive comedy acts since they burst onto the TV scene with their unique brand of ramshackle nonsense in the late ’90s, and their podcasts are even better than the show was, especially since moving from XFM to BBC 6 Music.
Edited down from their Big British Castle radio show with extra content added, the podcast’s mixture of chat, brilliant homemade jingles and audience participation has gone from strength to strength over the years and 2011 bought us such gems as the G6 Lizard, Taffin, Nonsense!, Blah Boobidy Baya 2, Travellin’ Tales and another batch of awesome Song Wars episodes. And yes, I realise that just seems like a list of made up phrases.
The only real downside to their podcast is that stingy (well, strapped) BBC6 Music only offers a small selection of their shows on iTunes, meaning new fans may have to resort to other means to get hold of their back-catalogue.
If you’re not from the UK you probably haven’t heard of Adam and Joe – and even if you are, they aren’t that well known outside of their fanbase. Do yourself a favour and join Black Squadron (the elite listening force) today. Why be Denny Different? Why?
As an aside, if the name Joe Cornish rings a bell, he wrote and directed Attack The Block, which I named my Movie of 2011. Go Joe!