Ode to the Comic Geeks

This is a long overdue tribute that started off as one final salute to an individual, but after some thought I felt it needed to be expanded to encompass the entire group to which this individual belonged, and in a broader sense all of comic fandom.

I stumbled upon the Comic Geek Speak (CGS) podcast as I was disillusioned with all the local radio stations selection from for my daily car commutes to work. I’d heard there were a few good podcasts out there covering a wide range of topics and at first I wasn’t even looking for a comic podcast. While I already owned tons of comics and many of the more popular graphic novels at the time (the story of how I got most of that is worthy of it’s own blog), I wasn’t in tune with any of the then current comic scene and thought that a podcast would be nice to bring me up to date. This was back in 2007 and I’d seen that one of my friends had ‘liked’ the CGS Facebook page so I figured it was as good a place to start as any.  So I downloaded the most recent podcast they had on their website which was somewhere around number 250, listened to it, and immediately knew I’d found a gem in the wasteland that is the internet. I went went back to their very very first podcast, started listening one at a time, and haven’t looked back. Their main podcast, now well over 1600 episodes, is every bit as good and in many ways even better than that first show.

Starting off as a simple two man experiment in 2005 by Bryan Deemer and Peter Rios, the show remains the most prolific podcast dedicated to comics. In the years that have passed, crew have come and gone (and come back), spinoff podcasts were launched, and the podcast garnered a worldwide loyal audience. They had their own conventions, anniversary shows with public fan gatherings , their own magazine for a short time, and have had a myriad of comic creators as guests on their show ranging from celebrities like Stan Lee down to young talent just getting their feet wet. They’ve had guests who were comic legends that have since passed away like the great Gene Colan and Joe Kubert, leaving us with now treasurable interview recordings. Aside from the comics themselves, their discussion topics encompass everything comic related, whether it be movies, TV, or anything remotely geeky. When not hosting their own booth at comic cons, they become one of us, slithering through artist alleys, recording and interviewing creators, letting us enjoy conventions virtually if not in person. Over the years they have also recruited a few recurring guests who we’ve come to know almost as well as the hosts themselves including the always hilarious ‘Uncle’ Sal Abbinanti whose Storytime with Uncle Sal purple prattle episodes always leaves listeners in stitches.

Some of the regulars and semi-regulars that have manned the mic over the years include Adam “Murd” Murdough, Shane Kelly, Matt (Just “Matt’), Kevin Moyer, Chris Eberle, Dani O’Brien and notably Brian “Pants” Christman, who has blossomed from a one-time wallflower on the show to being the bellwether through some hard times.

Which brings me to the impetus for my writing this venerable blog, the anniversary of the passing of the late Jamie Dallesandro a pillar CGS crewmember who left us 2 years ago.You see the CGS crew aren’t just folks who diligently give us the latest scoop and their take of the comic world. When you tune into CGS they are more than just friends giving opinions and facts. Sure we get to know the personalities, likes and dislikes of the individuals, but it goes deeper. While keeping some things respectively private, they have also let us share their world. We know their day jobs, their pastimes, their families and a lot more. For most of the CGS audience the CGS crew are like family.

And it was as a family the CGS clan of listeners first learned when Jamie was diagnosed with the dreaded Big “C”. We traveled that road of treatment, remission and eventual relapse even as we listened to him lavishing praise on his beloved Avengers. And we were all shocked when we heard of his passing. He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten. And neither will we forget the CGS crew who continue bringing us comic news … and more.

R.I.P Jamie “D”, the shiznit pimp, May 2, 2014

Visit CGS at www.comicgeekspeak.com

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