This past weekend in Reading, PA, the Comic Geek Speak Podcast celebrated 10 years of continuous podcasting
Comic Geek Speak (CGS) is a comic book related podcast that debuted in March 2005 and is possibly one of the podcasts that has been continuously releasing shows. It all started when Bryan Deemer and Peter Rios decided to try their hand at the then-new world of podcasting after Deemer read an article about podcasting in the February 2005 Wired magazine. The two decided that this podcasting thing sounded interesting and comic books would be the perfect subject for them to discuss.
Over the years, the roster of hosts has expanded to include their friends who they knew from their local comic shop, Golden Eagle.
The show covers a variety of topics besides current and small-press comic books/events. Show topics include creator interviews (such as up and coming creators such as Stan Lee, Terry Moore, Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan, Dave Sim, Geoff Johns, Matt Fraction, Joe Kubert, Paul Pope, and Jonathan Hickman) , commentary on the comic book craft and industry, comic-related movie discussions,character spotlights and more. The Geeks (as they are referred to) bring their individual opinions and preferences to the show provides the listener with a show that comes across as an informal discussion between friends hanging out at home or at the local comic shop, and makes the podcast unique and accessible to listeners.
Meet the Geeks:
As mentioned above Bryan is the guy that decided to start the podcast and recruited Peter to start CGS. Bryan started reading comics in 1985 after getting a copy of Groo from his friend. He worked at, Golden Eagle, for a few years while in college, which is where he met and befriended most of the other geeks. He’s a man of many ideas and a shark brain that never stops thinking about what is next for the show.
Peter is one of the resident “encyclopedia of superhero knowledge” on the show. He began reading comics in 1982 starting with Justice League of America #210 and is known for his love of the Teen Titan characters.
Shane Kelly is a comic book, toy-loving, Sci-Fi fanatic whose earliest memories are watching re-runs of the Batman 60’s TV show, Star Trek, and Superfriends cartoons on Saturday mornings in the late 1970s. Shane was asked by Bryan and Peter he would like to join them for some comic book and toy talk on a new venture they were trying called a podcast, he jumped at the chance.
Matt has worn several hats since he started on the show: A-Hole to some (though refreshingly honest to others), Object of focus for the Church of Mattitude, Roast Master General, and Host of alternate universe CGS (see episode 666). Matt is a fan of Batman who prefers the “Dark Knight Detective” to “The Caped Crusader”, and old school Pulp comics such as The Shadow.
Brian Christman, perhaps better known as “Pants,” is best known for his obsession with collecting – both comics (over 17,000 books – mostly DC – going back as far as the 1950s) and comic book art (sketches of the original Batwoman and original art pages from a certain weekly book). He’s also a frequent convention attendee, once going to two different shows in one day.
Adam is perhaps the least talkative of the Geeks and the other encyclopedia of superhero knowledge on the show. He has been reading comics since 1991, beginning with Marvel’s Infinity War, but he only recently became aware (thanks to CGS) of the benefits of discussing them with groups of friends. He has a Master’s degree in Popular Culture Studies (yes, really), as part of which he wrote a thesis about Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Chris is the newest member of the group and brings a unique perspective to the group as owner of Wild Pig Comics on New Jersey. Unlike some shop owners, Chris has a genuine love for the comics medium and his insight and his retailer perspective rounds out the group
Last year the Geeks lost one of their own. Jamie was the elder statesman of the group, having read comics for over 30 years. He was a Marvel boy at heart, the Avengers and Captain America were his favorites, but nevermet a comic or comic company he wouldn’t try at least once. He was an ambassador for comics of all kinds and championed the art form where ever and whenever possible. His opinions and input into the discussions is greatly missed.
Comic Geek Speak is much more than a podcast. It is a community of comic fan of all sorts
Over the years, CGS has grown from a group of friends in a room with microphones talking about comics into a worldwide community of comic fans that helps to foster and grow the love of comics that is vital to the industry’s success. The show’s online forum has members from all over the world who participate and interact with the geeks and other listeners.
My personal experience with the Comic Geek Speak goes back to 2006 around the time I moved here to Albany from West Virginia.
I came across the podcast when I found out about podcasts while looking for something to listen to on the 12-hour drive and continued listening to it on my iPod while I slaved away at my job. I can’t remember exactly what the first episode I listened to was, but it was somewhere around Episode 150 or so because it was when DC’s first yearly series 52 started mid-2006.
November 2006, the guys celebrated their 200th episode with a live recording at Golden Eagle, like they did for their 100th episode back in January of that same year. I missed that opportunity but when I heard they were doing a similar event again I considered making the trek down for the day. The Saturday of the recording I woke up early and drove the 4 hours from Albany to Reading, PA mainly because I was bored and had nothing else to do. When I got there I really didn’t know anyone, a just tried to take everything in and enjoy myself. I met the guy who started the Raging Bullets podcast, a DC Comics centric show I would also listen to during the day. I remember they had artist Mike Norton doing sketches and had him do Green Arrow Ollie Queen and Tim Drake Robin, and had him sign the issue of X-Men he had recently drew. Looking back on the experience all I can say is that I should have planned better. After the recording I went to dinner with some of the people I had met and then went to TThe Works (think Dave & Busters) to hang out a bit more. By the time I left Reading that evening it was already 10:30 pm and the 4 hour trip back to Albany seemed daunting.
Well the “4 hour trip” turned into 5-6 since I got lost trying to get back to the interstate…this was pre GPS using the wonderful print out directions that was MapQuest.
I did make it home and was dead tired when I did.
Since that first trip to Reading I have returned for all the major events such as Episode 300, the Super Shows (conventions organized by the Geeks and attended by artists and listeners from around the world), and sponsored events over in New Jersey at the Wild Pig Comics shop.
Each time I went I met more and more people and slowly became friends with them many of which still continue today. As Episode 300 approached I decided I would, like everyone else, grab a hotel room for the weekend.
I posted on the forums that I was looking for someone to split a room with for the weekend. While I was reading through the posts I saw that this guy from Troy, NY, which just minutes from Albany where I live, was also planning to go to the show. I sent him a message and asked if he wanted to carpool down, he turned me down, which in hindsight didn’t work that well for him since he had multiple issues with his vehicle. He ended up finally making it to Reading, PA and we finally met at the gathering the night before the show.
Since that time we have been hanging out, running around the Capital District on Free Comic Book days, being founding members of the local comic group that meets twice a month, attempted to start a podcast and then doing Comic Book Laundry (currently on a brief hiatus), and traveling to shows together since that time.
Over the years I have gotten to know the people that regularly attend the events hosted by CGS, be they well known artists, aspiring creators, or just regular people, like me who enjoy reading and yes, collecting comics.
It is also great when I have gone to other shows and run into any of the Geeks and we always stop and catch up since it is rare that we meet in person. The guys on the show are also very approachable and willing to take their time and help me with information that I have used her for the blog, for example Brian “Pants” Christman, was the one who I interviewed last summer about how to prepare for going to the larger conventions and I have talked to Adam about certain topics which I eventually plan on getting around too
The CGS guys have, in my opinion, improved the overall comics community over the past 10 years and while some of their projects were more successful than others such as the magazine Comics Now (a magazine by comic fans for comic fans, not as a means to promote their product…looking at you Wizard Entertainment) most have be very successful such as their own Super Show conventions and as organizers of the London Super Comic Con.
The podcast is a fun, informative, and well-rounded listening experience that is sure to have something for everyone.
As their tag line for the podcast clearly proclaims they are “Uniting the World’s Mightiest Heroes, One Listener at a Time.”
The show can be found on iTunes or streamed through the website