iTunes, Stitcher, and your favorite podcatchers are home to hundreds of podcasts centered on comic books. But comic book podcasts are home to discussions about many elements of the hobby. To break them down further, it makes sense to categorize the shows based on topics that fall within under the comics banner. One of those subjects is the art and business of making comics. Here are five excellent podcasts that serve as helpful resources to aspiring creators, each in their own unique way.
Comic Book Commentary
There’s no way to learn the creative process behind a piece of art than from the creators themselves. Created by Ben Blacker, the TV and comic book writer who hosted the Nerdist Comics Panel, Comic Book Commentary is a podcast during which the writer pages through one of their works and describes how it all came together. Rather than using a standard interview format, the podcast consists of the creator (or creators) speaking into a mic about their work. Very simple, but extremely effective. Past guest hosts include Ben Blacker himself, Ed Brubaker, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Gerard Way, and over a dozen other high-profile creators.
Creator at Large
Jeremy Melloul’s podcast on making comics mostly deals with the business side of things, which is just as significant as the creative side for anyone who wants a future in the industry. Some episodes of Creator at Large summarize current events in the world of comics, breaking down the most important news of the month happening in comics. Other episodes invite a special guest to discuss a subject they have a unique insight into. Jeremy has talked about being a comics ambassador with Newsarama’s Chris Arrant, the practicality of indie comics with Jim Zub, and crowdfunding with Tyler James, to name only a few. They’re excellent deep dives into important subjects with the people who understand them best.
Make It Then Tell Everybody
Dan Berry’s podcast, the delightfully titled Make It Then Tell Everybody, features free-ranging interviews with different comic book creators (most often cartoonists) every episode. Dan doesn’t try to guide the conversation, comfortable with whatever topics his guests find most interesting. Because of that, the talks feel very natural. Berry and his guest often dive into the nitty-gritty of making comics, all the way down to subjects like specific artistic techniques and their favorite pencils and brushes. The podcast feels very relaxed, like listening to a chat between two new friends.
Graphic Novel TK
This podcast is brought to you by The Beat, but that has no bearing on why Graphic Novel TK makes this list. The podcast is hosted by cartoonist and freelance editor Alison Wilgus and Gina Gagliano, the head of Random House’s Children’s Books Graphic Novel imprint
Similarly to Creator at Large, Graphic Novel TK covers a different topic every episode with special guests, but its most unique insights concern the book market. Despite the massive success of kids graphic novels (Dog Man, anything made by Raina Telgemeier), they’re an infrequent topic on your average comic book podcast. Graphic Novel TK does a wonderful job filling that gap thanks to hosts who live and breath that pocket of the industry and guests who bring even more insight into each discussion.
Comic Book Workshop
Comic Book Workshop is a podcast about the craft behind making comics hosted by Jason Holiday Ham and Kent Heidelman, two creators working towards full-time careers in comics. Most episodes center on a specific topic that they first discuss with each other and then bring a guest with expertise on the subject to join them. That’s a unique and very smart approach. They’re able to introduce the topic in a conversation between the two of them, proving all necessary background. When a third party joins them they can dive right into the meat of the subject so that the creator can spend their time on what they personally bring to the table as an expert on the topic. That offers more opportunities for insight, first from two people who understand a concept and then from another who’s mastered it
These five podcasts about making comics are only the tip of the iceberg, but they’re some of the best resources you’ll find anywhere in your pursuit.