There are three things I like quite a bit: comics, horror, and podcasts. So imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered someone combined all three!
The Longbox of Darkness is a podcast covering horror comics hosted by Herman Louw. Every episode does a deep dive into a particular horror comic or collection of comics describing the story, the art, and the time the comic was published. The topics include classics from the Golden and Silver Ages, as well as the 70s resurgence in horror comics (where let’s face it things got weird), all the way up to the modern horror being published today. All of it told with wonderful enthusiasm by the host.
And it’s that last bit that really makes the show shine for me. As far as the topic is concerned I’m onboard. I’m a sucker for comics in general and horror comics in particular so the fact that I would listen to the first few episodes was a given. But the real question was: is the show compelling enough to come back again and again? The answer is a resounding yes. And that comes down to the host.
Herman’s easy, laid back delivery and obvious love of the genre makes the show compelling and endlessly entertaining. Anyone can do a show on a particular topic, but to make that topic come alive and infuse it with the same love you have for that topic is not an easy task. Herman does that with aplomb and you get a real sense of the excitement and joy these macabre tales bring him. And it makes it really fun to listen to.
Add to the fact that the topics are well researched, described perfectly, and given spot-on commentary along with a smattering of personal anecdotes to spice things up makes The Longbox of Darkness not only well worth your time but an essential podcast to add to your subscriptions.
Now, a couple of personal takeaways from the show that I particularly enjoy:
At the end of most shows there is a History of Horror segment that is always a highlight for me. I’m someone who loves historical context, finding out how things came to be. I find it fascinating how one thing led to another. For instance how a particular writer or story influenced other writers to expand a genre or experiment in new ways of telling stories within that genre. Or how a trend or controversy at a certain time could do the same, expanding and changing how stories are told and art is made. The History of Horror segment does just that. It gives not only a chronological account but a contextual one as well and it’s a bit I always look forward to.
Also, the show has expanded my own appreciation of a certain genre that I was not particularly enamored with – namely manga. Manga has never been something I’ve been into, basically because I didn’t grow up with it and so did not get that love early in life like I did with say, Marvel and DC comics. And I’ll admit to having a lack of knowledge about the genre to know what to seek out and what to avoid.
In episode 11 Herman covers the stories and art of Hideshi Hino which is bizarre and disturbing and well, horrific. It is also pretty amazing and as I said gave me a better appreciation for this type of comic and has led me down a path of attempting to find more of such things and expand my horizons a bit. So, LOD thanks for that.
So check it out why don’t you?
I highly recommend you listen to a few (or all) episodes of the The Longbox of Darkness and there are several ways to do so:
- The Longbox of Darkness website
- The Longbox of Darkness on iTunes
- The Longbox of Darkness on Twitter
Do check it out, well worth it if you do.