Cellphone reads “New Podcast Episode” with wireless headphones

Cellphone reads “New Podcast Episode” with wireless headphones ()

As a loud and proud pop culture fan and podcast enthusiast, it seems like I can never get enough of the worlds I watch and read. From re-watch podcasts to celebrity interviews, and, most recently, narrative stories, I love delving into the world of various fandoms, comics, manga and more.

1. Fatman Beyond

Hosted by Kevin Smith and Marc Bernardin, this is, personally, my favorite podcast of the tens that I listen to. I stumbled upon the podcast in 2018 after an episode where Smith eulogizing Stan Lee went semi-viral on the web. The podcast began with Smith interviewing actors, additional writers, illustrators and other people connected to the “Batman” world from his home. It has evolved into a podcast co-hosted with writer Marc Bernardin, talking all things pop culture and fandom, often in front of a live audience. The hosts often talk about the pop culture franchise of the moment like the latest Marvel and DC films and the Disney Plus Star Wars and Marvel shows. Then there is a segment on pop culture news. Occasionally, there is a special guest, and the podcast ends with a Q-and-A session with the audience. Each episode usually lasts between one and three hours, so it is great for long commutes, remote workers who need background noise and those looking for in-depth pop culture talk.

2. Harley Quinn and Joker: Sound Mind

This is the first fictional audiobook-style podcast I have ever listened to, and I was immediately hooked. I usually listen to podcasts while driving, cooking or cleaning, and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pay attention because I fell asleep the first time I tried to listen to an audiobook on CD way back in 2008. It seems that audio-narrative storytelling has evolved immensely since then, and I am hooked! The story follows Dr. Harleen Quinzel and her journey working at a low-paying job in the Arkham Asylum. After doing “the right thing” her entire life, her views on right and wrong are blurred when she finds herself enlisting the help of the Joker to help pay for her father’s costly cancer surgery. There are only seven 20-minute episodes so it is great for those short on time; but I must be honest, I totally binged it.

3. Manga in Your Ears

Every three weeks, Kory, Helen, and Apryll talk about a (or a few) completed manga and one that has either recently finished or is currently running. As someone whose manga knowledge is limited after 2003, this is an informative podcast that keeps me up to date in the world of Japanese comics. They discuss some of my favorites such as “Cardcaptors” and “Fruits Basket” but have also brought my attention to some newer titles I want to check out such as “The Cat Proposed” and “Embrace Your Size.” Each episode is usually between 30 and 45 minutes, so it’s good for those who don’t have much time but want to stay current.

4. I Hear Voices

Ron Stoppable (Will Friedle) and Kim Possible (Christy Carlson Romano) team up to talk to the best of the best in the world of animation. From the voices of Bugs Bunny to Tommy Pickles, Penny Proud, Samurai Jack, Batman and more, this podcast has something for everyone because they seemingly cover every brand of animation. Recently, they hosted “The Super Awesome Contest to Become the Next Big Voice Actor!" where they held a nationwide competition in the U.S. to find the next great voice actor. It was fascinating listening to the contestants compete in various games and showdowns and show off their vocal range capabilities. Each episode is roughly an hour, and, to me, that is the perfect, not-too-short but not-too-long length.

5. Marvel’s Wolverine

It did not seem fair to give DC some attention without bringing attention to a fantastic Marvel fictional narrative podcast. I first picked up a Wolverine graphic novel in a comic book store in my early twenties and he became one of my favorite Marvel characters. Listeners will appreciate this two-stories-in-one podcast featuring “Marvel’s Wolverine: The Long Night” and its sequel “Marvel’s Wolverine: The Lost Trail.” Logan (Wolverine) helps to solve a series of murders in Burns, Alaska and then he makes his way to New Orleans to help find missing people and mutants. Each episode is roughly a half-hour, so perfect for those used to nightly sitcom watching.

A Note to Readers: I have provided Spotify links to these podcasts, but feel free to enjoy them wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, “I Hear Voices” is a fairly family-friendly podcast, but parents and guardians should listen to the featured podcasts to ensure the content is appropriate for the entire family due to content and language.

author picture
Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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