The Fantasticast at 100: The Fantastic Guest Hosts (Part 1)

This week, we released the 100th episode of The Fantasticast. In a break from showcasing tropes of The Fantastic Four (nearly) ever day, we're celebrating this milestone with a week of special blog posts taking a behind-the-scenes or sideways look at the show. Today, we take a look at our friends...

One of the joys of running a podcast is being able to chat with my favourite podcasters. Over the past three years, I've had the hosts of many of my favourite shows come and join Andy and myself on the show. My podcasting career started by guesting on other people's shows - Teenage Wasteland: An Ultimate Spider-Man Podcast and Amazing Spider-Man Classics, both sadly departed - and before we'd recorded our first show, I'd already pencilled in a number of podcasters to join us on the show.

I've been very lucky with guest hosts on The Fantasticast. Nobody has turned me down*. Everyone has been up for reading comics of varying quality (Should I apologise to everyone from the Strange Tales era for forcing those strips on them?), writing detailed synopses, and singing the Airwolf theme at the drop of tenuous segue. I've had the opportunity to record with podcasters, bloggers and artists that I respect, and had the most amazing time whilst doing so.

So, I'd like to thank every one of our guest hosts from the past three years, offer a reminder of when they turned up on our show, and let you know where they can be found today.

*Someone managed to agree to be on the show then fail to turn up for the record. Twice. Which is even more embarrassing when you realise that he lives in the same house as Andy. But we love him anyway, the work shy fop...

Joshua Lapin-Bertone was the first podcaster to join us on the show, jumping on board for Episode 6. A former member of the Amazing Spider-Man Classics crew, I first met Josh at about 2 in the morning when, having had about four hours notice, I turned up to join the team on one of their earliest episodes. Josh has been a great support to the show, never short of a good word, and never afraid to utter that good word in public. We subjected him to the first appearance of The Wizard and his alarming facial hair, the Puppet Master and his alarming lack of any hair, and Alicia and the creepiness of having her look just like Sue Storm. Josh can currently be found as a member of the Comic Book Film Revue podcast, and has just launched a new podcast covering the TV series Gotham, over at

Donavan Morgan Grant was our second guest host, joining us for Episode 8. Amazing Spider-Man Classics was a huge influence on The Fantasticast (and, in fact, an early episode features Andy and I 'meeting' for the first time, when we both have e-mails read out.), so it was no surprise that another former member of the crew would join us on the show. Together with Don, we broke the fourth wall for the first time as Doctor Doom met Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and were introduced to the villainous Paste-Pot Pete. Ahh, the days when paste was regarded as the supreme weapon... Don and Josh still podcast together on their Gotham podcast at and at the Clone Saga Chronicles. You can also catch him on the phenomenally successful The Next Dimension: A Dragonball Z Podcast.

J. David Weter was our next guest host, joining us for Episode 10. I first encountered Dave as the host of Superman Forever Radio, but it was his Incredible Hulk podcast, focusing on the work of Peter David, that led me to ask him to join us for this show. Fantastic Four #12 was the first 'crossover' book in modern Marvel history, as the recently-cancelled Hulk found himself in the best-selling Marvel book. We had great fun with secret identities, the lack of effort taken to conceal those identities, and were introduced to one of the greatest villains ever to appear on the show - The Acrobat, or, ZANTE! Dave's taking a break from podcasting at the moment, but you can check out his most recent show, Dave's Daredevil Podcast, or read his contributions to the Legion Of Super-Bloggers.

Considering the influence of Amazing Spider-Man Classics on this show and the fact that he gave me my first podcasting breaks (both on ASMC and Teenage Wasteland: An Ultimate Spider-Man Podcast), it was pretty inevitable that Jon M. Wilson would turn up as a guest host for the show, which he did for Episode 16. Our longest episode to date saw us tackle the first two Marvel superhero annuals of the 1960s. One was a tightly-written superhero epic that made use of the extended page count to develop characters and present a superb plot involving the invasion of New York by Atlantis, showing off some of the best artwork produced to date by Jack Kirby. The other was Strange Tales Annual #2. If I were to list all of Jon's past and present podcast projects, there would be no room to showcase other hosts. So, I'll settle for his latest shows - Avengers Inspirations and The Star Wars Saga Cast.

We took a break from podcasters when we invited David Wynne onto the show for Episode 21. I'd met Dave at the first London Super Comic Convention, about 8 weeks into the show, and we bonded pretty quickly over our love of classic comics and podcasts. Flash forward a few months, and knowing that I had an episode involving Hitler, the first modern appearance of Nick Fury, and... er... Strange Tales... I couldn't think of a better person to invite on. Dave's appearance coincided with the arrival of inker George Roussos onto the book, and it was great to have an detailed artistic perspective on the change in inker. Dave's current work includes providing artwork for the superb podcast Rachel & Miles X-Plain The X-Men, and the webcomic Spacescape.

Another dead cert for joining us on the show was Michael Bailey. From Crisis To Crisis has been the keystone for so many podcasts - it was mine and Andy's first podcast we ever listened to - and we wanted to have Michael on for something special. Little did we know that two planned episode would explode into four, meaning that we rounded off our first year of the show by devoting the entirety of December 2012 to Mike's episodes - 25, 26, 27 and 28. It was the first great Marvel crossover, as the Hulk and the Avengers turned up for a truly epic smack down. Grandiose storytelling in the Mighty Marvel Manner doesn't get any better than this. There were also some issues of Strange Tales to round out the episodes. From Crisis To Crisis still continues on its mission to chronicle the post-Crisis Superman comics, and Mike's solo show Views From The Longbox recently featured myself on a Forever Evil retrospective. You can also check out Mike's blog at Fortress of Baileytude.

Our second year of guest hosts kicked off with Shawn Engel, who joined us for episode 31. Shawn leapt onto the podcast scene with his Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner-focused podcast, Just One Of The Guys. We asked Shawn to join us for the Fantastic Four's first crossover with the X-Men, and for a Strange Tales issue featuring the most underwhelming team of super-powered henchmen in Marvel's entire history of publishing. As well as chronicling the 1990s Green Lantern comics, Shawn also wrangles a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine discussion podcast, Listen To The Prophets, and is a co-host on Parallel Lines: The DC Comics Tangent Universe podcast.

Dave Walker is the final guest host we'll look at today, and he joined us on episode 33. Dave become the first (and only) guest host to cover an issue featuring the line of dialogue that he recorded for the trailer - in this case, the unforgettable Burgomeister and his warnings about the castle of Diablo. Talking of Diablo, the big surprise this episode was that the second-rate sorcerer's debut appearance was a pretty decent comic, helped by the inks of incoming inker Chic Stone. We also covered another Paste Pot Pete story in Strange Tales, but at this point, I'd struggle to describe any of the Paste Pot Pete stories from Strange Tales. Dave is the host of the Wally West podcast, Flash Legacies, and is part of the panel for Who True Freaks.

We'll take a break here, and return tomorrow to take a look at the second batch of guest hosts who have helped Andy and myself get through the last 100 episodes.