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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Podcast Roundup: Driving Decompressions #37, Comic Geek Speak #5, Geek Fu #16

by Ken Newquist / March 28, 2005

I decided to catch up on my podcasts today, and spent this morning's commute listening to a few of my favorite podcasts, as well as trying out something new.

Driving Decompressions #37

First up was Michael Wolf's Driving Decompressions. Mike hasn't been posting much recently, having abandoned his twice-a-week schedule in favor of prepping for Microsoft's offerings at E3. In #37, he talks about his new PlayStation Portable and the game's he's picked up for it, speculates on Nintendo's new partnership with GameSpy for online gaming services, and offers some observations on a new portable media center he's been trying out.

He also managed to freak me out a bit. I was driving to work in my Wrangler (yeah!) when I heard the low-gas chime sound. I thought I'd checked my gas gauge before leaving Easton, and was a little worried that I'd gone through a half-tank of gas in 35 miles. Then I realized that it was the chime on Mike's Wrangler.

Comic Geek Speak #5

Next up was Comic Geek Speak, which I decided to try out after getting an e-mail from one of the hosts. I'm a big comic book junkie (though you'd probably never know it from reading Nuketown, since I never write about them) and I was more than happy to try out another comic-themed podcast.

I listened to Show #5, and I really enjoyed it. It features two geeks -- Peter and Bryan -- who spend the show delving into to all manner of topics and issues relating to comic books. They focus mostly on DC and Marvel, but that's just fine for me, since most of what I read is mainstream. It's a different sort of podcast from Comicology, where Neil Gorman tends to focus more on the art and story of the books he's discussing. Peter and Bryan also do that, but they also get into the politics, ethos and trends associated with publishing titles today.

For example, in Show #5, they spent a good chunk of time discussing why some artists today have so much trouble making deadlines, and speculate on the role that drawing (or not drawing) background art has in that. That's the sort of thing I don't normally think about when reading my comic books, and enjoyed listening to other fans delve into that level of detail. Good show guys -- you've made my weekly podcast fix list.

Geek Fu Action Grip #15

Mur's latest podcast talks about OpenPodcast.org, which is a podcast featuring pretty much whatever folks around the net decide to add to it. She discusses whether it's better for the program to include a bunch of short promos or longer pieces; I personally tend to agree with the "short is better" school of thought. Give me a taste of what you're doing, and if I like it, I'll check out the full show on my own.

Her essay is entitled "Your Podcast Sucks, Let Me Do It", which discusses the death of tact in marketing. It's an amusing essay, and I can certainly relate, having been on the receiving end of the sort of unenlightened Web site marketing pitches she describes (namely, "here's everything that's wrong with your web site; now hire me and I might consider fixing it"). Thanksfully, I've never had anyone complain about my pores.

On the geek parent front, she mentions not being able to listen to certain podcasts because they drop the "F" bomb. I've had the same problem during my weekly trips out to my parents' house to drop off Jordan. You never know exactly what word a two-year-old is going to fix at on next, and I'd hate for her to show up in Flanders with that sort of newly expanded vocabulary. Fortunately, there are a few podcasts I can count on to either be clean, or to let me know when they're going to take a sidetrip into the linguistic gutter (namely, Mur's podcast, Driving Decompressions, The Dragon Page, The MacCast and Digital Strips.)