Podcast Watch is a new monthly column that, not unlike The Beat’s Kickstarter Roundups does for crowdfunding, highlights podcasts in and around the world of comics. Today we’re covering three relatively new comic book podcasts along with one of the industry’s first that merits some extra attention.
Tape Dec hosted by Declan Shalvey
Tape Dec is exactly the kind of podcast you’d expect if you’ve read or listened to any interviews with Declan Shalvey. It’s filled with thoughtful discussion about the process and realities behind making art. Shalvey doesn’t limit his guest list to comics, the very first episode actually featured directors of a music video for TWRP, but three out of its four episodes were interviews with comic book creators. He’s spoken to Image Comics publisher Eric Stephenson, The Private Eye’s Marcos Martin, and his former intern Eoin Marron who’s now illustrated Killer Groove for AfterShock Comics.
Declan isn’t just a great artist, he has a deep understanding of the craft and expresses it eloquently. His guests are fellow creatives who can keep up with him and offer their own perspectives and insights. Each conversation has a natural flow, and Declan finds unique angles with each subject. You can hear Declan becoming more and more confident as a host with every new episode, and he already started from a great place.
Stegman and His Amazing Friends hosted by Ryan Stegman & Griffin Sheridan
Stegman and Friends has a much looser vibe than Tape Dec, and that’s not a bad thing. It feels like a hangout between two or three friends chatting about writing, drawing, and what it’s like behind the scenes at Marvel Comics.
Donny Cates appears on almost every episode, oftentimes to talk about his Venom run with Stegman, but sometimes just for the hell of it. That’s a big point in this podcast’s behavior. Cates doesn’t otherwise make a lot of podcast appearances, and it’s good to hear from comic’s fastest rising star.
Stegman and Cate’s relationship gets guests to open up more on the show and feel more comfortable than they might in an interview with someone who’s not a comic book creator. In the most recent episode, Stegman, Cates, and Sheridan invited Joe Quesada on the show, and it was easily my favorite episode to date, because of everything we learned about Quesada’s attitude towards making comics and his history with Ryan and Donny.
The Drawl with Jason Latour
Though it airs on YouTube, The Drawl adheres closely enough to the podcast format that it belongs on this list. Reminiscent of Off Camera, the channel features deep conversation between Jason Latour and a friend in comics, oftentimes a fellow cartoonist, talking on a couch or at a table, where Latour and his guest both appear very comfortable. The environment invites a very relaxed conversation, which veers the conversations in directions they might go if the interview was conducted in some kind of studio setting or over the phone/Skype. The discussions are interesting and thoughtful, but neither participant seems concerned about saying something that might not come across that way, almost like they forget the camera is even there.
Word Balloon hosted by John Siuntres
Every month we’ll shine a spotlight on a comics podcast that’s been around, but has done something that merits renewed attention. 2019 might be Word Balloon’s best year to date, which is saying something for a podcast that has been around for almost two decades.
John Siuntres’ background in radio makes Word Balloon unique from all other comics podcasts. He regularly conducts long, meaty discussions with his guests. His lineup of creators is unparalleled. His most popular guests return so frequently their episodes are given special monikers like the Bendis Tapes, the Rucka Debrief, and the King’s Speech. With rare exception, you will only hear from Bendis on Word Balloon, and there’s no one better than Siuntres at getting the most out of him.
I hope you liked the start of this new column. We’ll be back the first Monday of every month!