Ep. 080 “It Exists”

Back to normal after a couple of NEAR MINTerviews and our Cinematic Universe countdown, the boys settle in to talk comics, conventions and art. Con season is upon us in New England as we sit poised between Boston Comic Con and Granite State Comicon.

graniteconNEWBen recaps his experience at Boston Comic Con and his modest foray into original art collection. Then, Pat Covey of Double Midnight Comics (and the self-appointed New England Cosplay Ambassador) joins us to talk about Granitecon. We get a full preview of things to come, including Lando, cosplay and a behind-the-curtain look at what goes into putting on a comicbook convention.

All this, plus Top o’ the Pile, Can o’ Beans, and some miscellaneous comic talk that includes Josh’s tepid response to Secret Wars and Fantastic Four. It’s our 80th episode and… it exists.

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Music in this episode by: AC/DC, John Williams, Lake Street Dive

Ep. 079 • NEAR MINTerview w/ Marc Guggenheim

We’re bringing you a bonus episode this month, and couldn’t be more excited about our guest. Marc Guggenheim is a veteran of both comics and TV writing. His new creator-owned book, Stringers, hits shelves this week and we talk in depth about that book as well as his other comics work.

AMS-574Marc was part of the “Webheads” braintrust that re-launched Amazing Spider-Man in 2008, following “One More Day”. His work on that title was well-received, perhaps none more so than the landmark issue #574, which left an indelible mark on the character of Flash Thompson. He’s currently writing two Secret Wars tie ins at Marvel and the comics adaptation of Arrow for DC. These are just some of Marc’s comics work that we discuss before turning our attention to Television.

ArrowWith dozens of Film and TV credits to his name, Marc is well-established in the cinematic realm. He’s a show-runner on the hit CW show, Arrow and literally joins us from the set to take time for this conversation.  Are Ollie and Felicity meant to be? What are Marc’s favorite Arrow Easter eggs? Can we get Diggle a damn costume?! These questions and more are put to the Arrow scribe on the eve of Season 4. Tune in and enjoy this hour-long conversation with a multi-talented, cross-medium all-star creator.

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Music in this episode by: Dire Straits, Cass Dillon, Blake Neeley, Sam Cooke

Ep. 078 “Cinematic Reviewniverse”

With the July release of Ant-Man, Marvel Studios has concluded “Phase II” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this much-anticipated episode, we discuss, review and rank all 12 films. It’s hard to believe that when we started this podcast, Marvel had just released it’s first film. Now, just seven years later, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a fully-developed, galaxy-spanning, multi-billion-dollar franchise with a commanding presence on both the big and small screen.

DrDanWe’ve followed the Marvel movies closely over the life of this podcast and now, with Phase II concluded, we look back and give our definitive statements on all the films to date, including: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s the Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron and finally Ant-Man.

Find out how each of our hosts rank the Marvel movies and hear our thoughts on the franchise as we wrap up the first two phases and look ahead to Phase III and beyond. Grab some popcorn and settle in because it’s time for a movie marathon.

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Music in this episode by: Gary Glitter, Guns N’ Roses

Ep. 077 • NEAR MINTerview w/ James Sturm

The NEAR MINTerview is back! This week, we sit down with cartoonist, professor and entrepreneur, James Sturm. James is an acclaimed graphic novelist, whose works include The Golem’s Mighty Swing, Market Day and the Eisner-Award-winning Fantastic Four: Unstable Molecules. He’s been a contributor to Slate and The Onion and co-founded the Seattle alternative weekly, The Stranger. In 2004, he co-founded the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT – a two year institution offering a Masters of Fine Arts degree in comics and cartoon art.CCSLogo-300x156

In this hour-long conversation, we talk to James about his career, his influences and process as a cartoonist. We discuss alternative comics as a medium and find out all about the Center for Cartoon Studies. It’s a fascinating interview that will leave you feeling smarter than when you started listening.

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Music in this episode by: Simon and Garfunkel

Ep. 076 “Of Heroes and Homewreckers”

Dan and Josh forge bravely into uncharted waters with the first Ben-less episode in Near Mint Comic Show history. First, up in Top o’ the Pile, we talk about The Walking Dead and Old Man Logan, segueing, once again into a discussion on diversity.

With San Diego Comic-Con recently in the rearview, we talk about new movie trailers, upcoming films, and comics news, including ROM the Space Night, Micronauts, new books from Vertigo and of course, Street Fighter vs. G.I.Joe.

There’s more Marvel movie talk, as we preview our upcoming Marvel movie countdown special before wrapping things up with a Can o’ Beans. Ben is barely missed, as Dan and Josh keep the Near Mint banner flying high and do so in super-heroic fashion.

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Music in this episode by: DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Sponge

Ep. 075 “Comic Book Guys”

ComicBookGuy

Ben and Josh are back with an old-school Marvel team-up. No movies, no TV, no fluff, just wall-to-wall comics talk in this milestone 75th episode!

In Top O’ the Pile, we get a field report from the front lines of Secret Wars and Spider-verse. Ben makes a big reveal that crosses something off his geek bucket-list. We dive in deep on #MarvelOctober and give out thoughts on every title in the post-Secret-Wars landscape. Which titles are just wacky enough to work? Why do porn stars have no place in comics, but pro wrestlers deserve a chance? What’s our take on the influx of women and minorities as both creators and characters?

It’s a Marvel-centric episode, but D.C. and the indies get some love in a Can O’ Beans that includes The Wake, Kick Ass 3 and a boat-load of Batman. Suit up and strap in for our diamond-studded 75th show!

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Music in this episode by: Ween, The Jackson 5

Ep. 074 “Writerssance”


Welcome to the writer’s room. In this weeks episode look at some of our favorite writers and what it takes to be a great comics writer. But first, Ben and Josh fly solo across the Narrow Sea for a little Game of Thrones talk. [SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t watched the season 5 finale, skip ahead to 28:15]

11235442_10153353989902243_5350035583952148975_nDan joins the party for Top O’ The Pile and we talk about Claremont/Byrne X-Men, Secret Wars and Chrononauts by Mark Millar and Sean Murphy – both of whom paid a visit to the granite state recently. Ben recaps the Millar/Murphy signing at Jetpack Comics, which kicks off a discussion about the writers we’ll follow anywhere.

As usual, we wrap things up with a Can O’ Beans. Find out what the boys read (or failed to read) last week and what they pledge to read (or not read) for next time. Find out what writers get sight-unseen treatment. Hear Josh speculate on the fate of the iron throne and find out what to wear when you meet Mark Millar. It’s a hair-raising hundred minutes of geek talk, that’s worth writing home about.

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Music in this episode by: Coldplay feat. Emilia Clarke, the B-52s, Gwen Stefani

Ep. 073 “Dandemonium”

Join us on a Dantastic voyage as we welcome back our good friend, Dan Larson to talk toys, comics and plots to rule the world. In Top o’ the Pile, Dan delves into Secret Wars. We live large with Box Brown’s Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. We wax nostalgic with Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, and toss around thoughts on licensed comics, Star Wars and John Cassaday conspiracy theory.

Later, special guest, Dan Larson opens up the toy box to tell us about his latest ventures – art, acting, his vintage toy site, Hard to Find Blog and the newly-launched toy review show, Toy Galaxy. Find out Dan’s favorite collectibles, past and present and take a look into the world of collectible childhood memories cast in plastic.

The fun doesn’t stop there as we crack open cans o’ beans featuring the legendary talent of Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson and Jim Steranko, plus hearty tangents into Batgirl controversy and definitive creator runs on classic characters. We’ve got two Dans, and nearly two hours of podcast that’s too good to miss!

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Music in this episode by: “Weird Al” Yankovic, Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars

Ep. 072 “So Many Beans”

Rorschach

This week, we welcomed a new member into Near Mint family with the arrival of Theodore Maverick Cason-Bertwell, but not even an 8-day-old baby could keep Dan off the Mic. The boys actually read some comics this week and they’re anxious to talk about them.

The Bean-o-Rama starts with Top o’ the Pile as we get caught up on Batman, The Walking Dead and She-Hulk. There’s plenty for you casual fans too as we get Nason’s take on Avengers: Age of Ultron and give props to Marvel/Fandango for their cross-pollinating digital comics offer.

Later, it’s off to Riverdale, where we take Archie Comics to task for their misguided Kickstarter campaign, but reluctantly express interest in Afterlife with Archie and the forthcoming Archie #1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.

Finally, our Can o’ Beans runneth over with Batman: Endgame, and numerous FCBD books, including 2000 AD, Fight Club, Hip Hop Family Tree and more. Listen to find out what outrageous claims we make to read for next episode.

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Music in this episode by: Procol Harum, The Archies

Ep. 071 “Reading Rainbow”

FCBD

The best things in life are free – and this podcast is no exception! This week, we geek out over Free Comic Book Day, Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Eisner Awards, Herb Trimpe and much, much more.

imgresFirst up in Top o’ the Pile, we talk about Essex County,  Uncanny X-Men, and Josh’s refusal to read comics. then it’s off to our local comic shop to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Free Comic Book Day.

Dan and Ben assemble for a (mostly spoiler-free) review of Avengers: Age of Ultron that gives props to big action and breakout characters. Dan chimes in on last week’s Daredevil conversation. We run down some of the recent Eisner Award nominations and make our (no doubt completely wrong) picks to win.

Can o’ Beans closes out the show with promises to read She-Hulk, FCBD comics and, well… anything in Josh’s case.  It’s an action-packed, over-stuffed episode that you won’t want to miss, “but you don’t have to take my word for it.”

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Music in this episode by: Donovan Frankenreiter, Adam Warrock, Jimmy Fallon

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