Ep. 081 “Boiled Eggs and Beef Jerky”


It’s a deep dive into geekdom this week as Ben and Dan settle in to cover 2 topics that go together like, well… eggs and jerky. In the first half of the show we revisit the “Kirkman Manifesto” seven years later. Then in act two, we try to pick the definitive stories and defining artists for DC and Marvel’s most popular heroes.

It’s been nearly 80 episodes since we talked about Robert Kirkman’s green-screened glove-slap to the comics industry. With Rick Remender’s recent proclamation to focus on creator-owned work and the Image renaissance in full swing, it’s a perfect time to look back. Join us as we turn back the clock to a bygone era of prophecy and un-ironic MySpace references.

Shifting gears, completely we look at Big-2 superheroes and try to pick the defining stories for the world’s most popular heroes – it’s harder than you’d think. We give our picks and choose a Can o’ Beans from the resulting list.

With all this – plus Top o’ the Pile and a Granitecon recap – you’ll have plenty to chew on in this 108-minute serving of hard-boiled entertainment.

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Music in this episode by: Mark the Hammer, the Isley Brothers 

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”


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

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