If you are a fan of comics, sci-fi movies, or sci-fi TV – in other words, if you are a SciFiMafia.com reader – you need to be listening to the weekly live radio broadcast of Where Monsters Dwell. Hosted by Remington J. Osborne and Monster Mike, Where Monsters Dwell is a weekly live dose of pop culture talk radio.
Spanning such topics as comics, movies, TV and games, Where Monsters Dwell also features live creator interviews every week along with their own perspective on pop culture news and happenings. You can tune in live around the world on Wednesdays at 8:30/7:30c at WhereMonstersDwell.ca, where you can also download previous broadcasts. Do that.
They’ve been on the air for almost 5 years and in that time have aired nearly 250 episodes and interviewed comic creators both new and established, including Mark Waid, Tony Moore, Darick Robertson, Todd McFarlane, Jamal Igle, Erik Larson, Gail Simone, Jonathan Hickman, Amanda Conner, Marv Wolfman, and Neal Adams.
Co-hosts Remy and Mike and producer Chuck “Chewie” Barry were cool enough to take some time recently to talk to SciFiMafia.com about themselves and their absolutely excellent radio show:
Tell me about your history with comics. How did you get started?
Mike: I learned to read, or at least I learned to want to read from comics. Years later, comics is really how my brain works. It’s how I see the world.
Remy: I actually started reading comics because of Mike. I met Mike when I was in grade 4, and one day at recess Mike and another guy were outside reading comics……actually I think they were drawing……and for whatever reason I walked up to them to see what they were doing. They showed me what they were drawing; Mike was pretty excited because he just got a new shading pencil, after that out came the comics.
Chuck: My step-father was a closet geek. He was a sports star in high school and a very classic 70s/80s “man”, but he LOVED the Adam West Batman TV show, the old Spider-man animated show with the iconic theme song famously covered by the Ramones, Star Trek: TOS, and Conan comics. He and my mom were pretty liberal with what I was allowed to see as a kid so I was immersed in these beautiful Conan comics. I was hooked instantly and it was all downhill from there.
How long a fan?
Mike: I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. It was always superheroes for me but in recent years I’ve grown to really enjoy the medium as a whole. Horror, western, crime, you name it. If it’s comics and it’s good, I love it.
Remy: Since grade 4, so 31 years……give or take.
Chuck: For as long as I can remember I’ve had comics. I had Archie comics when I was preschool age and then moved to reading my step-dad’s more adult comics when I was 5 or 6. My first series that I collected on my own was the original Eastman and Laird Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. I had a lot of that original series.
Mike: Right now I’m really enjoying Hawkeye, Daredevil and Thor: God of Thunder at Marvel. Nowhere Men and East of West at Image are really good as well.
Remy: All time: The Amazing Spider-Man. That’s what I grew up reading. Currently; Mark Waid’s Daredevil, Luther Strode, Punk Rock Jesus, Brian Wood’s new Star Wars book, Thor: God of Thunder, Hawkeye, Superior Spider-Man, Kill Shakespeare, The Goon……I’m sure I’m leaving some out.
Chuck: Of all time it would have to be either The Crow, Sandman, or Cerebus. I was introduced to them by Cal at Strange Adventures shortly after they opened in Halifax and I was instantly hooked. Cal did a lot for nurturing my love of comics that weren’t Marvel or DC and I found some great stories in them. Currently it doesn’t get much better than Hawkeye. I haven’t read a lot of superhero comics in a long time, but Mike’s constant praise turned me to it. I’ve also been on The Walking Dead since issue one and I’m still a fan.
DC or Marvel or …?
Remy: I started with Marvel. For the first little while it was Marvel or nothing. Then after a while I started getting into Batman, and Superman. I think it was around 1989 when all the hype for Tim Burton’s Batman started. Now it’s a little bit of everything; Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, Dynamite, BOOM, if it’s a cool looking book it doesn’t matter who the publisher is.
Chuck: Generally neither. I read the books that seem interesting to me so right now that’s a lot of Marvel, Image, and independent publishers and no DC.
Digital comics – awesome, convenient, or heinous?
Mike: I have a hard time enjoying them. Given the choice, I would take the physical thing any day but I see the benefit of digital as far as convenience.
Remy: If you were to ask me 5 years ago I’d say heinous. But today I’d say convenient. There have been a number of times where I have been doing research on a guest and needed to get my hands on a book. With everybody doing digital now I can pop over to Comixology, or in some cases the publisher’s website, and grab a digital copy at any time. Also, the stuff Mark Waid is doing with digital comics is fantastic. If your readers haven’t checked it out yet, they should take a look at his website www.thrillbent.com. All that being said, I don’t think digital comics will ever completely replace a print comic for me.
Chuck: I’m a huge futurist so I see digital as being the future of comics. The industry is fighting it, but it’s coming and people have to wake up to that fact. Comixology is doing an OK job of ushering in the digital age, but the price point is still too high. Eventually they’ll have to take the iTunes model and make single issues cost $0.99 or be free and it’ll really take off. I still love my printed books though. I see the future of print comics being trades and collected editions. That’s where we’re moving to. Digital singles and physical trades with some other revenue streams that I see coming that they haven’t started tapping yet.
What’s your current favorite sci-fi/fantasy/comics-based TV series?
Mike: Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead get a lot of my time.
Remy: Right now I’m all about Game of Thrones. That show is like crack to me. I’m told crack is addictive. I’m looking forward to season 4 of The Walking Dead, and Joss Whedon’s upcoming Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Chuck: I watch a lot, too much really, of TV. Currently I’m big on Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead like the rest of the world, but I’m also loving Continuum, Falling Skies, Revolution, Doctor Who, Defiance, Warehouse 13, Being Human, and Arrow along with a bunch of non-geek stuff. Once Upon a Time and Beauty and the Beast are my guilty pleasures.
Most highly anticipated movie?
Mike: Right now it’s Man of Steel although a month ago it was Iron Man 3. A few weeks from now it will be Thor: The Dark World. See what I’m getting at?
Remy: Now that we’re past Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness it would have to be Man of Steel. Beyond that it would be the Marvel Studio movies coming up: Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy. I’m also in full on Star Wars mode, all this Star Wars movie news just has my head spinning. 2015 can get here fast enough.
Chuck: This week, Man of Steel, but there’s always the next one to be looking forward to. Overall I’m having a major SQUEE! Over Star Wars Episode VII and I’m with Remy that 2015 can’t come soon enough.
Favorite in recent years?
Mike: The Avengers really succeeded in what they were trying to do. It was a huge order to fill and they hit all the right notes. They hit some bank notes too.
Remy: Our guests always hate it when we ask them this question, and now I can see why. I think last year my favorite movie was Dredd. Didn’t go great at the box office, but it was a killer movie. Also Wreck-it Ralph.
Chuck: Marvel’s The Avengers is hands down the best comic film ever made and I have high hopes for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe including the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show. DREDD was also great despite what anyone says and Wreck It Ralph hit me right in the feels.
How did Where Monsters Dwell start?
Mike: I think Remy roped me into it somehow five years ago. He can tell the story better than I can.
Remy: Mike and I use to work at a small radio station here in town, he was the evening drive guy, and I was the afternoon guy. There was a show that came on once a week later in the evening and one of the co-hosts was leaving and he asked me if I wanted to take his spot. So after doing the show with this other guy for a few weeks I asked him if it would be cool if Mike sat in with us, he said sure. (That was his first mistake) It took about a month to phase the other guy out and it was just Mike and I left. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s not as bad as all that. We didn’t really bully him out; we just had different ideas for where we wanted the show to go. Mike and I wanted to talk more about comics and pop culture, and he wanted to keep it more music. It was his show originally, so Mike and I took what we wanted to do to another night. Actually that may have all been a lie, the guy might have moved away so it was just Mike and I left, it’s hard to say. 2008 was so long ago, it’s hard to get proper records or documents from that time.
Chuck: I wasn’t around so I’ll defer to the guys on that one, but I came to the show about five months ago after the previous producer left. I was a fan of the show before that and called in from time to time to harass the guys so when they announced on the show that they were looking for a new producer I contacted them immediately. I started the next week.
What was your first big interview?
Mike: Jim Hardison was our first pro but the biggest first for us was Ethan Van Sciver. We ended up talking to that guy for over two hours LIVE on the air. It went well I recall.
Remy: What Mike said.
Chuck: My second episode with the show was #230 and the interview was with Marv Wolfman who is a living legend in this industry. I was still finding my footing as a producer and with the studio equipment, the format of the show, etc. so I was extremely nervous that I was going to totally screw it up and cut him off half way through. It went well enough and he was a great guest so there was nothing to worry about I guess.
Mike: Too hard to choose. I’m a huge Mark Waid fan so I guess it would be one of those.
Remy: I’ve had so many great personal moments doing the show, but I grew up a Todd McFarlane fan, so getting to interview him was a highlight.
Chuck: For me that’s easily episode #239 with James O’Barr, creator of The Crow. He’s the creator of one of my all-time favourite books. He was extremely funny and easy to talk to when we were setting up the interview off air and the guys had a great interview with him.
What do you like best about your show?
Mike: I do it with my friends.
Remy: Talking about comics with my buddies, the people that make them and the people that read them. And our theme song, our theme song is awesome. We stole it from Motorhead. Sorry Lemmy.
Chuck: I get to geek out with the guys and people listen to it. Willingly even. I also like that all three of us really love what we’re doing with the show and that we’re constantly making adjustments to make it a better experience for us and our listeners.
What guests do you have coming up?
Mike: Terry Moore is up next for us I think.
Remy and Chuck: This week we have Terry Moore (Strangers in Paradise and Rachel Rising). He’s very well known in the world of independent and alternative comics. Past that we have some more great guests including Kurtis Wiebe (Peter Panzerfaust and Green Wake).
What’s the current format for your weekly live radio broadcast/podcast?
Chuck: We just moved to a generally shorter show of one hour instead of two. I say generally because sometimes we have a ton of news to talk about and the guest interview goes longer than expected. We always open the show with news and/or a brief talk with someone that has something to do with news that we’re talking about. That generally lasts about 15-30 minutes and then we take a break for a few ads and a song. I try to play as much local music as possible on the show and it tends to be in the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal genres. Then we come back and jump right in to our interview which will run the rest of the hour and maybe longer. If you’re listening live or downloading the show as a podcast after the broadcast then you can keep listening if we go long. Anyone listening through one of our affiliates that we’re syndicated on has to go to http://www.wheremonstersdwell.ca to get any part of the show past the first hour.
What would you like our readers to know about WMD?
Mike: We do this because we enjoy it.
Remy: We’re Canadian. That’s why Lemmy hasn’t been able to kill us. It would be an act of war.
Chuck: We do this as much for our listeners as we do for ourselves. It’s a labour of love that we make no money off of and donate our time to willingly because we enjoy it so much. We love hearing from our listeners and the interactive aspect of the show can make for some really great radio. We get some great questions for our guests from our listeners and we always welcome more.
Thanks again to Remington J. Osborne, Monster Mike, and Chuck “Chewie” Barry for taking the time to talk with us. I am a giant fan of Where Monsters Dwell and absolutely recommend you tune in or download it weekly. It’s the only podcast I listen to every week, and I never fail to learn something geekily cool from it. Seasoned comics readers will appreciate it but it doesn’t sail over the heads of newbies, and the TV and movie talk sounds like conversations I have on my best days.
Keep an eye here at SciFiMafia.com for news about their weekly guests; the show now has a permanent slot on the SciFiMafia.com calendar for your convenience, and we keep a hotlink to the WMD website in its own special “Friends” spot on our right hand column.
The Where Monsters Dwell live radio broadcast airs Wednesday nights at 8:30/7:30c at WhereMonstersDwell.ca.