From Challengers Comics + Conversation in Chicago, this is CONTEST OF CHALLENGERS, a podcast about the business of running a comic book store. Hosted by Patrick Brower and W. Dal Bush. Challengers • 1845 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 • 773.278.0155 •

This is the first of three (3!!) recorded-in-the-car episodes, to and from Memphis, Tennessee.
On the way to the 2017 ComicsPRO Annual Meeting, listen as Patrick and Dal:
-Get lost on I-57!
-Talk about what they expect to be doing all weekend.
-Learn Bane is getting a his own 12-issue series.
-Realize Batwoman, Super Sons and The Wild Storm all debuted this week.
-Tell you our retail neighbor, Boost Mobile, is going away. So is Impossible Industries.
-Discuss that there is going to be a new Peter Parker the Spectacular Spider-Man series, in which Peter returns to NY and gets mustard on his dress shirt.
-And remind you our Revival Wake is this Wednesday!
Opening song: “Memphis” by Joe Jackson.

Direct download: CoC_303.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:37pm CST

Can a geek-centric marketing firm reach the audiences we don’t?
Cancelling FiveStars is harder than getting FiveStars in the first place.
Have you seen Legion? Dal has and likes it!
As we predicted many, many episodes ago, Marvel’s next big “E” event is Captain America-centric and written by Nick Spencer.
Is Marvel abandoning legacy characters and going back to the status quo?
Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt are coming back to Challengers!
Daniel Warren Johnson is also coming back to Challengers!
Gene Ha wants to show you how special comic shops are.
Working harder for 25% off.

Direct download: CoC_302.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:55pm CST

It’s SALE time! We only do one storewide sale per year and this is it!
We feel like our new title good will is running thin. Like, we can’t get people to buy books just on our say so anymore.
What titles do we hope people buy during the sale?
Do you use lists in your everyday life?
Patrick is falling behind his regular comic reading.
Wednesday was Image Comics Day! 25 years of Image Comics! What did we do for it? (hint: nothing)
Dal talks himself into bringing back our lapsed book club, Chattingers.
We want a Brand Manager.

Direct download: CoC_301.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11am CST

It’s the 300th episode of Contest of Challengers!
And we celebrate with… a regular episode. You’re welcome.
When is a collection complete?
The New York Times is dropping their regular list of Best Selling Graphic Novels and we are NOT happy about it.
A major international comics creator is interested in coming to Challengers. Who is it?
Greg Rucka has a new Image title on the way. What do we think about Old Guard?

Direct download: CoC_300.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:46pm CST

We start with a weird and unresolved issue with 2 Saturday shoppers.
Our internet went out and Comcast had many ideas on the issue. Patrick disagreed.
Resist! We can’t help but talk about all of the weekend’s marches, but we keep trying to tie it to comics.
Believe it or not, talking about the Inauguration actually segues into how well we think Tom King is doing on Batman and specifically with Bane.
Event rundown!

Direct download: CoC_299.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:39pm CST

It’s a numbers game this week as we run down the best-selling graphic novels and the best-selling single issue comics of 2016.
How many super heroes have parents that are still alive?
More upcoming Marvel titles are announced (of course there are, as it’s a week in the year).
We dump on Spider-Man. Again.
Quick talk about Pulls Lists. Patrick wants a progressive discount.
You may not have heard of “Extremity” but when it comes out in March you’re gonna love it!

Direct download: CoC_298.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00pm CST

Everything is new! It’s a New Year! We have a new website! The interior of the store has been rearranged! All new for you!
Here’s a little explanation as to why we’ve changed stuff.
Ten 2017 comic industry predictions.
#boostyourLCS, with guest audio from Ross Richie
2016 total sales vs 2015 total sales.
Matt Kindt is coming back to Challengers!
Gene Ha is coming back to Challengers!
The brand new Unstoppable Wasp #1 is really fun and we both enjoyed USAvengers #1, too!

Direct download: CoC_297.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:55am CST

Recorded in the final days of 2016. Mac McCaughan from Superchunk sums it up so much better than we can.
Yes, we sold CD’s at one time, so we can justify talking about music on a comics podcast.
Midwest Merch, our on-demand t-shirt provider, is going away. We’ll miss them.
Love is Love is a great book doing great things for worthy people. So, of course comic retailers have a problem with it.
When asked by the creators to NOT sell Saga #41, what do YOU think retailers do??
Is Patrick a professional comics industry apologist?
Our website is getting a face lift.
Why do vacuum cleaners come to Challengers just to die?
The brand new Hulk #1 is really good, and a worthy successor to the Charles Soule She-Hulk run.

Direct download: CoC_296.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:36pm CST

We talk all about the brand new Star Wars movie, Rogue One, and that includes major plot points, so consider yourself warned.
Lots of spoilers!
Dal loves all movies Star Wars!
Patrick is indifferent.
One of them fell asleep during the movie!
One of them has seen it twice in the first 24-hours of release and once or twice more by now.
Can you enjoy this movie without knowing what WE think of it? Probably, yes.

Direct download: CoC_295.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:36pm CST

Happy Holidays from Challengers!
The Holiday buying season is in full swing!
How do YOU shop for gifts? In-store? Online? Outsource?
Gift-giving is way more Patrick’s thing than Dal’s.
Helping people find Christmas presents, especially when they’re not familiar with comic shops, is kind of the best thing.
You should totally eat at the Haywood Tavern!!
The best way to ask if we have something in stock is to call the store, not to hit us up on social media.
Patrick figures out the % of subscribers that have yet to be in in December.
Patrick finds a thing on that is on sale for $19 when Challengers has it for sale at $75. What does he do?
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a missing box of product! Thanks, UPS!
Have you seen Justice League Action?

Direct download: CoC_294.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:46am CST

Happy Holidays from Challengers!
We maybe start out by talking about Christmas music for a little too long…
And then we maybe talk about toys for kinda long, too.
2017 is starting off great for events at Challengers!
Ryan Browne and Ashley A. Woods, and Amber Benson and Sarah Kuhn, all in January.
Women’s History Month = Women’s Comics Month
We talk a lot about Marvel’s October 2017 title sales vs. Challengers sales of those same titles.
Lastly, slow sales are being felt all across the industry. Some suggest diversification, but what diversification do they mean?

Direct download: CoC_293.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:26pm CST

Sandwich indignity!
Buncha movie trailers have just been released and they mostly look good!
It’s hard out there for a pimp comics retailer. Retailers around the country are vocalizing their current difficulties.
What do comic readers and fans OWE comic retailers? What do the creators and publishers owe retailers?
What got the comics industry out of the slump 20 years ago?
We’ve got something planned for March, to coincide with Women’s History Month.
Curse Words #2 is even better than Curse Words #1! Is Curse Words on your radar?
We end with a brand new Holiday song!

Direct download: CoC_292.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:19pm CST

We have our first ever Holiday sale next week.
Sales are trending down across the industry because readers are no longer engaged.
Event recapping: Local Comic Shop Day and Art Baltazar. Were YOU there?
What could make Local Comic Shop Day a success?
How would we engage people without the internet?
Rounding up for charity, and why we won’t do it.
All the new X-Men titles and creative teams from Marvel.
Wicker Park has a new hotel and hopefully we can use it!
250 prints in 10 separate boxes.

Direct download: CoC_291.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:50pm CST

Uploaded early for your long Thanksgiving commute!
A long and noisy interview with fellow comics retailer Alli Alleman of Collector’s Paradise in LA. Well, that’s where she works NOW.
See! the comics industry thru younger eyes.
Experience! comics retail from a woman’s perspective.
Marvel! at her Rick Remender story from San Diego this past summer.
Learn how similar experiences are for most people that spend their days behind a comic shop counter.

Direct download: CoC_290B.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:53pm CST

It’s Dal’s birthday, but he has a gift for YOU. Maybe.
Tech apologies for episode #287 and a preface to episode #290. That’s not too confusing, right?
3x3: Three things we’ve done wrong and three things we’ve done right. Well, right-ish…
We set up at Pritzker School’s reading night and had fun. Kids sure do love business cards.
“Graphic Novel” vs. “Comic Book” Do you really care what they’re called?
Spider-Man #9 is not the comic we were expecting, sadly.
Turns out we are not your favorite shop in Bucktown. A mobile vintage store van is…?

Direct download: CoC_289.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:11pm CST

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth!
By the Omnipotent Oshtur!
By Agamotto's All-Seeing Eye!
We saw Doctor Strange on opening night, and we talk all about it!
Lots and lots of SPOILERS!

Direct download: CoC_288.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:50pm CST

17 hours in the future! Our first-ever Australian interview!
An interview with Mitchell Davies from All Star Comics in Melbourne.
All-Star is also an Eisner-winning shop and their ideas on retail mirror that of Challengers, from 9,674 miles away.
This interview was fraught with technical difficulties, but Mitch is a wonderful guy to talk to and this episode came out great, despite the recording issues.
Ever wondered how different comics retail is in other countries? Well then this episode is for you!!

Direct download: CoC_287B.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:13pm CST

Does the Cubs winning the World Series make people more or less likely to buy comics right now?
Patrick is the REAL hero of the World Series.
Our Civic Duty Discount is back!
Street construction blows.
Choosing to turn a negative customer interaction into a positive one.
We now have people check their bags, but we hate doing it.
A personal message from the Rough Riders for Challengers!
Red Sonja #0 is 25¢ and Diamond thinks we need to order 87 copies.
A brief talk of original comic art.

Direct download: CoC_286.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:20pm CST

Oh, Marvel. Oh, oh, Marvel. We have some serious issues to discuss.
Cover price. Page count. Unwanted back-up stories.
Seriously, 80% of this episode is problems we have with the current Marvel product.
Curse Words looks great! And other new books for January 2017.

Direct download: CoC_285.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04am CST

As it seems that Patrick and Terry are almost the same person, this half of the interview is more about pro wrestling and heavy metal than it is about comics, but it always comes back around to comics. Just like life!
When these two get together over a bottle of Jameson (yes, there was Jameson), you never know what’s going to come out.

Direct download: CoC_284.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:49pm CST

It’s the first time CoC was recorded in someone else’s comic shop!

Terry is the owner of Third Coast Comics in Rogers Park.

How did he get into comics?

How did he get into retail?

All the influences that make him the man and comic book retailer he is today.

Direct download: CoC_283.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:24pm CST

We’re up for a Time Out Love Chicago Award for best Bucktown shop! Just where is Bucktown, anyway?
Do comic books count as “media” for media mail? Hint: They do not. So just how do we mail comics?
We hate Marvel Comics’ paper stock for their covers.
Lots of damages lately from Diamond Comics, our distributor.
Do we stock the freshest comics?
Dal really wants biscuits. Or pancakes. He’s not greedy; he’ll take either.
Millarworld is Reborn! Haha! That’s a comic pun.
Hollywood celebrities that have written comics.
Marvel’s next Star Wars ongoing stars a completely original character.

Direct download: CoC_282.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:46pm CST

After weeks apart, Dal returns to Contest of Challengers and it’s like no time has passed at all.
New York Comic Con is happening as this episode is recorded, so we talk about new announcements such as Batwoman, Justice League America and Supersons, Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, Warren Ellis and a TMNT/WWE crossover. Yes, that’s right. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures dressed as WWE wrestlers.
We also talk about…
A new Ex Libris Challengers bookplate.
Dal got a Vision t-shirt.
Cave Carson and the feel of DC’s Young Animal line.

Direct download: CoC_281.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm CST

It’s an interview with Jill Thompson!
The triple-threat of pop culture; comics, wrestling, and _________? 
Her brand new graphic novel “Wonder Woman The True Amazon” is out now and she’ll be signing it at Challengers on Saturday, October 15th.
We talk about how she got into comics as a fan, her love of wrestling, Peanuts, Archie comics and all about Wonder Woman.
Bonus: Brian Azzarello is also in this episode at various points, talking about his new Image comic Moonshine (which he’ll be signing at Challengers on Saturday, November 19th), decompressed storytelling and also, professional wrestling.
This episode is presented in an entirely different order than it was recorded, just to confuse you.

Direct download: CoC_280.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:42am CST

This is an international episode of CoC as England-based writer Antony Johnston joins Patrick and this week’s special guest co-host, artist Christopher Mitten, to talk all about how they got into comics as fans and how they wound up working together.

They’ll both be at Challengers on Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.

Also, music from Antony’s SILENCAEON project.

Direct download: CoC_279.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:24pm CST

Dal has an iPhone 7.
Batman Day 2016 causes some Snapchat confusion.
We, once again, sell posters.
This week is an embarrassment of great comic riches. So, so, so many great books came out at once!
There is more entertainment diversity in comics now than ever before.
Patrick does NOT dislike Declan Shalvey’s art. No matter what Dal tells you.
Genre racking in comic book shops.

Direct download: CoC_278.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:16am CST

This starts with probably too much talk about a toilet.
That leads, naturally of course, into the building of our new Back Issue boxes.
This is the last week we’ll bring up our “C” logo t-shirt Kickstarter.
Barnes & Noble is having a rough go of book-selling and that leads us to other retailers and their reasons for a perceived economic downturn. Their reasons surprise us.
DC sales are up. Marvel’s are down.
We’re looking forward to: Supergirl: Being Super, Green Valley, Moonshine, Shade the Changing Girl, Wonder Woman: The True Amazon.
Brian Azzaerllo is joining us for Local Comic Shop Day!

Direct download: CoC_277.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:03pm CST

This one goes over the 2-hour mark as Patrick and Dal talk about:
Messy store shelves
The new Back Issue boxes
Chicago’s impending Amazon store
Image Comics moving their offices to Portland
New title announcements from this weekend’s Diamond Retailer Summit
Whose fault is it when a title gets cancelled? The Publisher? The retailers? The consumers?
Lots of talk about pre-orders and why it is NOT your responsibility.

Direct download: CoC_276.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:28pm CST

In a ‘rewarding’ episode, we talk about how Five Stars is working out for us as a customer rewards program. Is it needed to stay competitive?
On the heels of Wizard World Chicago, we reminisce about our earliest con-going experiences (and John Byrne).
Armed robbery (not of Challengers, but next to).
Secret product drops and the comics industry.
Civil War II is late and longer and going to wrap AFTER the new Marvel Now launches, just like Secret Wars and All-New All-Different Marvel. So we DON’T learn from mistakes?
Patrick is digging a bunch of Dark Horse titles.

Direct download: CoC_275.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21pm CST

Live from Seattle, RJ Casey joins Patrick to talk about self-publishing, small press, and working at Fantagraphics. You may recognize RJ’s name from several Yeti Press events at Challengers, so hear what took him from the Windy City to the City of Destiny. We go back to the beginning of RJ’s comic fandom roots and follow his reading trends away from mainstream comics. Also, Patrick tries unsuccessfully to get RJ to read “The Vision.”

Direct download: CoC_274.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:42pm CST

Fridays are down, man, and we don’t know why. Jesse Hedman from Minneapolis stopped by the shop. Marking up open order variant covers. Five Stars loyalty program. The Cap Statue gets dusted in (human) ashes. Black Panther. Deathstroke.

Direct download: CoC_273.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08pm CST

Emails! We’re sending lots of emails! Crowd-funding to save stores (not ours). Thank you, Dal’s Mom. No Comic Hub. Flashback to 7 years ago. Tilting at Windmills. Hardcover Watchmen. Lady Killer 2 and Animosity reviews. Hurrah!

Direct download: CoC_272.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:28pm CST

The upcoming week is a big one for us behind the scenes, as we install a brand new point of sale system, ComicHub. Patrick and Dal each got to experience the store as customers do. Have you heard of Boulet? He’s très magnifique. And there is way too much time spent discussing Batman The Killing Joke.

Direct download: CoC_271.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:18pm CST

We Want EVERY Award! We Won an International Award but Lost a Local One. An alternative bookstore is NOT a comic shop!! Ebay interactions are ridiculous. Comic-Con International San Diego is happening as we record! Image announces 2 fun-sounding books. And… new action figures are a-coming!

Direct download: CoC_270.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:22pm CST

Holy cats are there a ton of new Marvel Comics scheduled for this fall! There are also many more pre-SDCC announcements. So! Many! And we kind of dump all over Civil War II #3.

Direct download: CoC_269.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:40am CST

What is Dal’s fascination with Kate McKinnon? It’s a cornucopia of pre-San Diego Comic-Con news this week! The Great Lakes Avengers are back!

Direct download: CoC_268.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:57pm CST

My least favorite part of every episode is writing this description. Also, this episode’s title was supposed to be LAST week’s title, but I forgot and just took the name of the song that was playing at the time I posted it.  

Direct download: CoC_267.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:15pm CST

Patrick is joined by a very special guest and they talk about Brexit, Roman Reigns’ suspension, Ikea, a non-Challengers comic shop, the first month of DC Rebirth titles, Civil War II and plenty more.

Direct download: CoC_266.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:28pm CST

It’s total role-reversal this episode as Patrick chats with David Harper of and the Off Panel Podcast.

Direct download: CoC_265.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:30pm CST

Lots more Rebirth talk, about this week’s Rebirth titles.

Direct download: CoC_264.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:07am CST

This episode was only 9 minutes… but then Patrick added to it. You’re welcome.

Direct download: CoC_263.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:48pm CST

Patrick goes solo this week and is sorry for the terrible audio quality of this episode. Even more sorry for the passing of Darwyn Cooke.

Direct download: CoC_262.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:50pm CST

What a week of events we’ve had! Jill Thompson, Lucy Knisley and Free Comic Book Day are all discussed here. Wheee!

Direct download: CoC_261.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:43am CST

A bonus episode! This is a rundown of the free comicsChallengers is offering on Free Comic Book Day!

Direct download: CoC_260.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:48pm CST

DC presented retailers with a Rebirth Roadshow and we were there! Here’s a recap!

Direct download: CoC_259.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:50pm CST

We’ve made an addition to our already awesome Free Comic Book Day line-up, and that addition is the delightful Andrea Bell! The creator of FAIR VOYAGE joins Patrick this week to talk art and comics, to drink beer, and to say “EpiPen” many times. And she doesn’t belch at all. Also, there are many (many) tangents.

Direct download: CoC_258.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:21pm CST

Dal gives us a pre and post show rundown/recap for BotCon 2016, with a brief interlude from Patrick about picking up the free comic book day comics. So you still get BOTH CoC hosts, just separately.

Direct download: CoC_257.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:50pm CST

Lots of news coming out of the weekend’s Emerald City Comicon.

Direct download: CoC_256.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:17pm CST

Faith Erin Hicks will be @ Challengers this Wednesday! We also talk about lots of other stuff. Lots, I say!

Direct download: CoC_255.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:14pm CST

This episode is pretty much and hour and a half of us discussing DC’s Rebirth creative teams. There are a few short stories, but basically all DC.

Direct download: CoC_254.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:42pm CST

Patrick and Dal run down this year’s C2E2 experience. And then Patrick takes you thru 2 successful C2E2 store events. Bonus(?)—the whole episode is recorded in a car!

Direct download: CoC_253.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:18pm CST

Our 2016 FCBD plans are discussed! Amy Chu. And I just realized I never finished writing the description. Too late now!

Direct download: CoC_252.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:13pm CST

Stop stealing from us! Please and thank you. Revolution’s Galaxy Hero Relaunch Party for C2E2. In-Store Convention Kick Off. CBR. ComicsPRO.

Direct download: CoC_251.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:36am CST

With no fanfare (aside from this right here) it’s Episode #250!! We talk about retailer reactions to DC’s Rebirth via Facebook, Warner Bros. possible franchise comics and listener Top 10 pulls list choices!

Direct download: CoC_250.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:42am CST

More on DC Rebirth. Eric Stephenson’s ComicsPRO speech. Do lower cover prices help? And more!

Direct download: CoC_249.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:18pm CST

Let’s charge 3x the cover price for all comics! Lucky Penny is awesome! So is Deadpool! The tip of the Toy Fair iceberg! The post office stole my Deadpool art!

Direct download: CoC_248.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:06pm CST

Patrick’s notes for this episode read, “Podcasting, 360°, Classic Comics Journalism, ‘The Last Mile,’ How Amazon Works, The Cost of Doing Business.”

Direct download: CoC_247.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:15pm CST

Oh Indy Comics, why you be frontin? A new layout for Challengers? More?

Direct download: CoC_246.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:00pm CST

DC Rebirth. What is it? Do we even care? Dal has lots of thoughts.

Direct download: CoC_245.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:41pm CST

For not having a plan for this week’s episode, it sure gets away from us and is extra-long. Personal collections are discussed as is Civil War II, a new club sign-up form, and the Power Rangers.

Direct download: CoC_244.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:36pm CST

Patrick has a list of notes this week! Too many to mention here. And, 2015’s best-selling single issues.

Direct download: CoC_243.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:33am CST

Marvel wanted retailers to hold back 7 books this week. 2015’s best-selling graphic novels. That’s the bulk of it, right there.

Direct download: CoC_242.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19am CST

FULL OF MOVIE SPOILERS! Recorded just after we saw Star Wars The Force Awakens, but held back until more people had the chance to see it. Since then, Dal has seen it 4 times and Patrick, twice. Happy 2016.

Direct download: CoC_241.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:41am CST

We open gifts! We talk 2015 sales vs 2014 sales and DC’s upcoming accelerated shipping plan. Also we really like Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #1. Happy New Year.

Direct download: CoC_240.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:44pm CST

New computers and operating systems. “Fun” customer interactions. How DCYou and All-New All-Different Marvel are faring across the country. Merry Christmas.

Direct download: CoC_239.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:42pm CST

This one feels like it’s half movies/half comics.

Direct download: CoC_238.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm CST

Gift-giving graphic novels (hooray for alliteration!!), The Vision, Harley, Robin War, Local Spotlight Saturdays, alphabetized Graphic Novels, new computer, Comixology woes. And more.

Direct download: CoC_237.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:34pm CST

Our final 2015 Local Comic Shop Day podcast. Trust us; we’re just as relieved as you.

Direct download: CoC_236.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm CST

Marvel’s latest Netflix show ALIAS is really good!

Direct download: CoC_235.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm CST

We have a Patreon… just sayin.’ We talk about a bunch of New Comics and Local Comic Shop Day. And other stuff.

Direct download: CoC_234.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:10pm CST

Marvel is taking a beating in the comics press. We will not have a Batman/TMNT exclusive cover. No-New, All-Similar Marvel readers. New club member emails. All that and a CM Punk cameo.

Direct download: CoC_233.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:23pm CST

This episode is kind of ‘more of the same’ only looking thru a sharper lens. More All-New All-Different Marvel talk. More variant cover talk. And then Dal gets really, really mad. Really mad.

Direct download: CoC_232.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:47pm CST

Eliza Frye joins Patrick to talk about the New York Comiccon, KickStarter fulfillment and to get pelted with Cheerios.

Direct download: CoC_231.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:37pm CST

Doesn’t ANYONE read Dal’s blog?

Direct download: CoC_230.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:56pm CST

Bastions of Positivity, that’s us. Arbiters of Acceptance. Stay off the GD Internet.

Direct download: CoC_229.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:13pm CST

Don’t worry, the 20 minute Blindspot discussion takes place AFTER the outro, so you can easily skip it.

Direct download: CoC_228.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:05pm CST

This was recorded during Riot Fest, but unlike last year you can’t hear any bands, only police sirens. Lots of police sirens. 

Direct download: CoC_227.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:14pm CST

You am HATE this episode with terrible BIZARRO writer Heath Corson. Boo-ray!

Direct download: CoC_226.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:04pm CST

More 5,000 copy Variant Cover ideas. How is the DCYou line doing? Doctor Strange villains. Local Comic Shop Day! Etc.

Direct download: CoC_225.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:38am CST

While that title is actually said in this episode, it’s a little misleading to have it represent the entire show—but we did it anyway. Also, more Hip-Hop variant numbers and what people look for in comic shops.

Direct download: CoC_224.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm CST

Patrick talks to WWE Superstar KOFI KINGSTON about being a comics fan on the road… and maybe a little wrestling talk, too. #clapnation 

Direct download: CoC_223.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:11pm CST

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone pre-ordered comics? Plus, free BONUS material for everyone!

Direct download: CoC_222.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:10am CST

If we were to start naming every episode after Dokken song titles, how long would it take you to notice?

Direct download: CoC_221.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:52pm CST

It’s like 3 episodes in one this week! The usual Patrick/Dal biz talk, then Kent Challenger takes us thru this week’s books, and finally artist Zach Lehner, pitches us his new book, JUNIOR BRAVES OF THE APOCALYPSE.

Direct download: CoC_220.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:34pm CST

Patrick solves a puzzle that’s been plaguing him for 2 years. Also, personnel changes at Diamond, 2 other Patrick interviews and more.

Direct download: CoC_219.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm CST

All the news out of this weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con, and what it means to our business… especially our October 2015 business.

Direct download: CoC_218.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:29pm CST

Not only do we go over the Image Expo announcements and talk about all 44 (so far) upcoming Marvel titles, but we start off with a little shop talk… Email Newsletters, Bagging Graphic Novels, other Podcasts, Plastic Bags, and more.

Direct download: CoC_217.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:47pm CST

A few behind-the-scenes changes from both Marvel and DC impact how we’ll do business in the future. And as San Diego draws near, lots of new announcements are rolling out…

Direct download: CoC_216.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:44pm CST

Dal is away at Bot-Con this week, so filling in for him is a fellow comics retailer from *gasp* a store other than Challengers! Patrick and his guest cover the gamut of current comics retailing, being a fan AND being an employee, and all good stuff in-between.

Direct download: CoC_215.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:08pm CST

All-New All-Different Marvel, more Secret Wars, New DC titles/Divergence, We Stand On Guard, Heck, all-ages single issues. Rest in Peace, Dream.

Direct download: CoC_214.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:16pm CST

Secret Wars a-plenty! Literally, like half the episode, and this one is almost 2 hours. Also, DC writers vs Marvel writers, Convergence, pre-Botcon, the 606, and bunches more. 

Direct download: CoC_213.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:32pm CST

You know what happened this episode? No one brought us ice cream, that’s what. 

Direct download: CoC_212.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm CST

A new song from Adam WarRock. Secret Wars #1. The Star Wars. Barry Allen. A quiz. Podcasting is fun and also bitter.

Direct download: CoC_211.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:26am CST

It’s everybody’s favorite annual episode… the Free Comic Book Day post mortem! And some Batman #40 talk, too.

Direct download: CoC_210.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:31pm CST

Patrick and Dal were both at C2E2 at the same time! This was their day. And this is long. Sorry?

Direct download: CoC_209.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:54pm CST

It’s not just comics this week as the guys talk about Daredevil on Netflix and both the Force Awakens and Dawn of Justice trailers. But, you know, comics, too.

Direct download: CoC_208.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:50pm CST

Free comic books, surveys, KickStarters, selling that which is free, Kaijumax, Gene Ha, and more.

Direct download: CoC_207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:27pm CST

Patrick is a rude jerk. A Turtle “died.” Paste Magazine’s 12 Women that have helped Transform the Comics Industry. Our Graphic Novel racking Survey. And more.

Direct download: CoC_206.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:06pm CST

A (very long) Publisher’s Weekly Retailer Survey. 10 years of (new) Doctor Who. New customers means a brief new comic imbalance. 

Direct download: CoC_205.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:23pm CST

We’re KickStarting our latest t-shirt! Is Marvel cancelling 33 title? Nope. And we do NOT Talk about that Joker Batgirl cover. You’re welcome.

Direct download: CoC_204.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm CST

It’s a potpourri of comic topics this week and Patrick and Dal run ‘em all down, including the post Convergence DC costume changes, Marvel pulling out of SDCC, Gift Bag services and how they inflate sales numbers, and maybe, just maybe, the ROH return of Saoma Joe!



Direct download: CoC_203.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:00pm CST

Spider-Woman #5 is SO GOOD. Wizard Fan Fest? Not so much. And we recap recent events. Plus, robots!

Direct download: CoC_202.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:24pm CST

We survived the Jason Aaron / CM Punk signing! And then what starts as a small rant about how we order Marvel Comics turned into an hour-long rant. 

Direct download: CoC_201.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:07pm CST

I have no idea what to write here as neither Patrick nor Dal are on this episode…

Direct download: CoC_200.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:35am CST

Discussion of DC’s Divergence. Speculation of cinematic Spider-Men. Alliteration is fun! Mark Waid’s thoughts on Comic Retail and Dal takes a quiz.

Direct download: CoC_199.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:00pm CST

Weekly publisher emails; comics published out of order; sale; pre-Toy Fair; Levar Burton, snow sales; and more.

Direct download: CoC_198.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:09pm CST

It’s time for the 42nd annual Festival d’Angoulême, and we’re not there! Also, David Tennant, Chris Pratt, and what Image is doing right and maybe not as right.

Direct download: CoC_197.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm CST

Are you as tired of these CM Punk questions as we are? Good, because we mainly talk about Marvel’s SECRET WARS and DC’s CONVERGENCE. 

Direct download: CoC_196.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30pm CST

First we Run the Jewels and then we compare our 2014 Top Comic Sales to Diamond’s list of the same.

Direct download: CoC_195.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:28am CST

This episode is 90% Image Expo news and opinions. And then there’s some Charlie Hebdo thrown in to bring us all down, too.

Direct download: CoC_194.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:23pm CST

Welcome to a very chilly episode of Contest of Challengers. We’re cold, but we’re chatty.

Direct download: CoC_193.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:52pm CST

This episode is more of a Christmas episode than last episode’s Christmas episode. We talk gifts, traditions, Holiday sales stats and all about Black Mirror White Christmas.

Direct download: CoC_192.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:58pm CST

Merry Christmas from Contest of Challengers. This episode feels more like a cooking show than a comic business podcast.

Direct download: CoC_191.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:04pm CST

Oh, Internet… you get outraged over so very many things. Show opener courtesy of WGN Radio, Chicago.

Direct download: CoC_190.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:07pm CST

The bulk of this episode is made up of talk about the Flash and Arrow TV shows and an upcoming signing with Jason Aaron and CM Punk. There’s also talk about Red Dwarf, Infinity Inc, and the new Secret Six. And a brand new Christmas song by the Divorce Gun, called “Santa.”

Direct download: CoC_189.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:53pm CST

Knights of the Dinner Table, in-store video filming, our Christmas website, a new store mascot (kind of), toy shopping at K-Mart, Incredible Change Bots, and so very much more.

Direct download: CoC_188.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:04am CST

We’ve moved the register; Patrick saw Dee Snider, Mick Foley, Colt Cabana, and Marty DeRosa and was on the radio; the artist of Rat Queens makes a BIG mistake; and we discuss the artistic styling of David Finch.

Direct download: CoC_187.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:29am CST

Strap in—it’s our longest episode yet! Lots and lots of comic talk, and a few new racking ideas, too.

Direct download: CoC_186.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15am CST

We end this episode with almost 25 minutes of Doctor Who talk, but before that is discussion of new ways to rack graphic novels, and how we plan to change up our creator signings in 2015. Also, Tooth and Claw #1.

Direct download: CoC_185.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:45pm CST

Topics include: Publishers we will stop carrying in 2015, #FCBDGate (terrible, terrible name), Revival-ween, Scott McCloud’s “The Sculptor” and a quick interview with writer Dave Scheidt.

Direct download: CoC_184.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:23am CST

Two weeks in the making. First, our immediate impressions of the Gustavo Duarte Art Show, recorded in the car immediately after the event, next, a long segment on #GamerGate and gaming comics, and then highlights of new #1 issues out this week.

Direct download: CoC_183.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:20pm CST

Small changes to Sidekicks and one GIANT addition. New York Comic Con news. Birthright #1 is pretty great. Batman #35 is NOT what you think. 

Direct download: CoC_182.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm CST

Technology talk! Talking about Square transitions into ComiXology transitions into ComicSuite. And then Club talk. Oh, pull and hold service—something has to give. Also, how in-store signings are like Artist Alley tables, and then we talk a bunch of new comics! Thor, Men of Wrath, Gotham Academy, Batgirl and more!

Direct download: CoC_181.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:05pm CST

Half-price recent comics, veteran creators abandoning comic conventions, neighbors, and memorable runs on Fantastic Four. That’s what is talked about this episode. And please welcome our sponsor,!

Direct download: CoC_180.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:36pm CST

Who would have thought we could tie Scottish Independence into the comics industry? Well, we do. We also talk how easy it is to fall behind on current titles, haphazard release schedules, store sponsorship, what’s going on in the current Avengers titles, and Marvel’s AXIS event. 

Direct download: CoC_179.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:35pm CST

Maybe Silent Scream is a better episode name, keeping the Slayer theme. We talk Star Wars, our recent GHA and Speculative Relationships events, how we plan to hold Art Shows moving forward, Thor #1 variants and some over-looked titles from last week.

Direct download: CoC_178.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:51pm CST

Southern Bastards #4; Death of Wolverine #2; Patrick goes under 8 knives; Big Hero Six; Greg Rucka’s “Bravo”; that’s kind of all I can remember, but I know there’s more.

Direct download: CoC_177.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:15pm CST

A dedicated LGBT section; Geek Bar Chicago; Storm #2; Spider-Woman #1; Patrick loves Amy Reeder; more.

Direct download: CoC_176.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:26am CST

This episode delves into Challengers slightly new ComiXology procedures, how recent ComicSuite changes have lengthened the time it takes to place our monthly orders, retailer preview books, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and more.

Direct download: CoC_175.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:34am CST

Toys! Events! Comics! And Guardians of the Galaxy. We’re very current.

Direct download: CoC_174.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:11pm CST

This episode, Patrick, Dal and Puppycat catch us all up on recent happenings @ Challengers, during business hours AND after, and then go over the big announcements that came out of San Diego.

Direct download: CoC_173.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:13am CST

Live from San Diego… Patrick and Ashly Challenger present a day-by-day recap of their adventures at Comic-Con International 2014, recorded every night on the scene.

Direct download: CoC_172.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:50pm CST

It’s a pre-San Diego episode! We talk about what to expect at Comic-Con this year and the exclusives we want. We also talk about the recent comic announcements, including Batgirl, Thor, how good Storm #1 is and more.

Direct download: CoC_171.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07pm CST

It’s not just us; Mark Waid has delinquent club members, too! We also talk about how frustrating it is ordering Marvel Comics every month, ordering grudges, and a few aesthetic changes to Challengers and Sidekicks.

Direct download: CoC_170.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:42am CST

After a weirdly aquatic start, Patrick and Dal jump right back into the Podcast swing by talking about pre-orders, employee expectations, new windows and slow computers.

Direct download: CoC_169.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:45am CST

We talk about how our title sales rate against the national average, with Batman = 100. We talk about Hellblazer writers, and mention the name “Ennis” many, many times. We talk next year’s comic book TV shows and we talk about Arrow way more than we should.

Direct download: CoC_168.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:35am CST

It’s our annual Free Comic Book Day wrap-up episode, and this time it’s not negative! I know! We’re just as surprised as you!

Direct download: CoC_167.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:38pm CST

Whoops. Completely forgot to post this on time. Was too busy working on the June 2014 orders. Always some other Challengers thing gets in the way.

Direct download: CoC_166.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:15pm CST

So weird recording this in the light… Amazon buys ComiXology. Iron Fist, Ghost Rider and Shang-Chi. And, Lumberjanes’ Noelle Stevenson.

Direct download: CoC_165.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:23pm CST

Music! We play a lot of it in the store, but do you actually LIKE it? We don’t care.

Direct download: CoC_164.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:23pm CST

RICHAAAAARRRRDS!!! Also, we turn 6.

Direct download: CoC_163.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:06am CST

This is one of those episodes where the episode title is 100% accurate.

Direct download: CoC_162.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:19pm CST

In an episode that actually has a bunch of comics-related discussion, there sure is a lot of talk about gluten…

Direct download: CoC_161.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:10pm CST

More noise-yums for yer earholes. The return of bike messenger delivery talks, paying for things at many, many cons, and brand new event announcements. 

Direct download: CoC_160.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51am CST

23 years as retailers and we still can’t order right. New Warriors, Mighty Avengers and other Marvel talk. ToyFair 2014 and what we’re excited for. And more. Open them earholes and prepare for noise-yums.

Direct download: CoC_159.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:55pm CST

Oh man… we’re just going to save time and apologize to everyone right now. We have the best of intentions, but some of this may be misconstrued as deliberately insensitive, and that is not our intent at all. And on an episode where we talk about people feeling welcome and safe shopping at Challengers.

Direct download: CoC_158.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:54pm CST in action! No Challengerlympics. Dropped club members. And QuizUp! All this in CoC episode 157. 

Direct download: CoC_157.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:38pm CST

This episode is all about All-New Marvel Now titles, Talk Like Paul Stanley Day, Brian Posehn, Marvel Super Hero Mashers toys, and more.

Direct download: CoC_156.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:54am CST

Contest of Challengers 155: Expo Say

Man, Image sure has a lot of new books coming out. Plus an event 4 years in the making!

Direct download: CoC_155.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:46pm CST

Contest of Challengers 154: Climbing the Stairs of Sales

It’s the first episode of 2014, so after some current news, that means a look back at the best-selling graphic novels of 2013.

Direct download: CoC_154.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:54pm CST

Contest of Challengers 153: Puppet Nation

A look back to Christmas 2013 and other high points of the year.

Direct download: CoC_153.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:55pm CST

Contest of Challengers 152: We Made This

This episode is 90% DC Comics sales numbers over the past 10 years and how the ranking differs for Challengers. There’s more, but it’s really sales numbers-heavy this episode. And an Adam WarRock song for you at the end.

Direct download: CoC_152.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:05am CST

Contest of Challengers 151: Original Graphic Content

We solve the mystery of what to do for Episode #150, by skipping #150 altogether! No, that’s not true; we have only adjusted to the proper episode numbering (thanks to Episode #100.5). Anyway, this episode is all about Original Graphic Novels as a business model and our Sixth Gun party.

Direct download: CoC_151.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:59pm CST

Contest of Challengers 149: Six to the Gun

Bill Willingham, Cameron Stewart and Christopher Mitten were all just here. Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt will be here. But man do we love playing QuizUp. And just who, WHO is this week’s co-host…? Also, Eugene Ahn (Adam WarRock), Colt Cabana, CM Punk and Skottie Young.

Direct download: CoC_149.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:09am CST

Contest of Challengers 148: Rock City

Lone survivor of a dying planet, Aw Yeah Comics Publisher, Chris “Zod” Smits joins Patrick to discuss Byrne/Claremont X-Men, Chicago KickStarter domination, and self-publishing in today’s market. Yes.

Direct download: CoC_148.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:49pm CST

Contest of Challengers 147: Back In The New York Groove

No your ears have not deceived you, Virginia; this is in fact a NEW episode of Contest of Challengers, complete with music from Concrete Cross.

Direct download: CoC_147.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:42pm CST

Contest of Challengers 146: Clubbing Part 2 Nothin to Lose

Dal and Patrick respond to your concerns about the proposed club changes. And they talk about Villains Month and Marvel’s December solicitations, but mainly the club thing.

Direct download: CoC_146.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:33pm CST

Contest of Challengers 145: Clubbing

Theoretical changes are proposed to Your Box at Challengers, our subscription program.

Direct download: CoC_145.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:49pm CST

Contest of Challengers 144: One Man Army Chattingers

It’s another Chattingers episode this week, as Patrick and guests discuss Jack Kirby’s future Captain America, O.M.A.C., the One Man Army Corps.

Direct download: CoC_144.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:17am CST

Contest of Challengers 143: Variants On A Theme

Do you like yelling?  In an episode originally titled “Cataclysm” we yell about, well, a few weeks worth of stored up topics. It’s not like this intro is your make-or-break decision for listening, right? We can be vague here.

Direct download: CoC_143.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:18pm CST

Contest of Challengers 142: Not Good Enough

In order this week… Customer Bags, Ryan North and KickStarter, DC’s Villains Month, and Magic the Gathering. And about 6 audio clip drop-ins. And we cut out 4 minutes on why Patrick loves Richie Kotzen. You’ll just have to ask him about that in the store.

Direct download: CoC_142.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:32pm CST

Contest of Challengers 141: The Boss of the Podcast

I dunno. Stuff.

Direct download: CoC_141.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:49pm CST

Contest of Challengers 140: Anything Nice

Recorded during the 2013 Eisner Awards, Patrick and W. Dal are super-distracted waiting to find out if they won… and the read a LOT of Twitter posts. For the record, 1:09:14 is the money shot.

Direct download: CoC_140.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:42pm CST

Contest of Challengers 139: Quickfire

Here is what is discussed… Changing discounts, Small Press publishers vs. Local Artists, Comics Quickfire, and Paul Pope. Also, someone coughs a lot.

Direct download: CoC_139.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:04am CST

Contest of Challengers 138: Event Horizon

Oh, we have a LOT of events coming up…

Direct download: CoC_138.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27am CST

Contest of Challengers 137: Science

It took me forever to come up with the title for this episode, and I have no more energy left to give you a description. Sorry.

Direct download: CoC_137.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15am CST

Contest of Challengers 136: Coterie of Challengers

Dal is on vacation this week, and it takes not one, not two, but THREE, three other Challengers to replace him. It is, as the title suggests, a coterie of Challengers this week. So of course we talk about donuts.

Direct download: CoC_136.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:52pm CST

Contest of Challengers 135: Birthright

It’s a box episode this week as we shine a spotlight on CHATTINGERS, our monthly Graphic Novel Book Club. SUPERMAN: BIRTHRIGHT takes the stage and you get to listen in as if you were actually there.

Direct download: CoC_135.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11pm CST

Contest of Challengers 134: Gee, Axe Us

We do not talk about the Eisner Awards this week (yet) but instead this episode is almost divided into 2 equal parts about creators altering characters to suit a story and the changing viability of a perceived secondary consumer market. Or, to put it another way, Transformers comics and the X-Box One.

Direct download: CoC_134.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:03pm CST

Contest of Challengers 133: Almost Being Human Nation

Business as usual. Oh, and the words “mom” “teen” and “backdoor” were in this episode, not necessarily in that order, but were edited out. Other than that, we pretty much stick to comics stuff, and a little Star Trek.

Direct download: CoC_133.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:16am CST

Contest of Challengers 132: Suit Yourself

Thank you for the cookies, Lauren (and Ryan)!! This episode comes to you from Ryan Browne’s art studio, surrounded by the sounds of all the God Hates Astronauts KickStarter rewards being packaged. 

Direct download: CoC_132.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:23am CST

Contest of Challengers 131: C2E2/FCBD/13

More Injustice! Just kidding. It’s our C2E2/Free Comic Book Day wrap-up, with guest stars galore! Lizzy Challenger, Ashly Challenger, Luke Smarto, Wendi Freeman, Onrie Kompan and Ryan Browne. But it’s pretty FCBD heavy, for sure. 

Direct download: CoC_131.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:44pm CST

Contest of Challengers 130: In Just Us

The day INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US came out, Dal, Patrick and Samantha bought it and played it for almost 2 hours. This is that.

Direct download: CoC_130.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:44pm CST

Contest of Challengers 129: Non-Stop Comic Party

We spent all week getting ready for C2E2, yet we still have an hour for you. Also this week, a clip from Pat Loika’s LOIKAMANIA #138 featuring Christopher Daniels.

Direct download: CoC_129.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:41pm CST

Contest of Challengers 128: Get On The Wavelength

Geoff Tate, Lucy Knisley, Ryan Brown, Adam Orth and Shane Carruth are all talked about in this episode. Total name-dropping, deluxe.

Direct download: CoC_128.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:12am CST

Contest of Challengers 127: Forgiven and Forgotten… or Forgotten

I really wanted to call this episode “Cold Redemption” but a far better title is “Dirty Laundry.” This one is real, honest and cathartic.

Direct download: CoC_127.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:58pm CST

Contest of Challengers 126: On The Road

In a car. Eating cake. Not at the same time. Happy 5th Anniversary to us!

Direct download: CoC_126.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:20am CST

Contest of Challengers 125: Lying Fallow

A long time ago, we used to be friends, and we talk about a lot of things this week, but the emphasis is on BKV, Marcos Martin and Panel Syndicate.  Also, Marvel NOW sales, DC creative changes and the Justice League too, but mainly The Private Eye.

Direct download: CoC_125.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:31am CST

Contest of Challengers 124: Always Someone Else's Idea

Here is an in order list of the topics of this episode. Marvel Toys Handful of Heroes, Free Comic Book Day, Lighting Issues in Sidekicks, Lucy Knisley, PromicCon, The Massive bookplate, Morning Glories, Harlem Shake and Daniels & Kazarian.

Direct download: CoC_124.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49pm CST

Contest of Challengers 123: Don’t Be A Hero

This episode’s alternate titles include, ”Ephemeral Worth” and “Soul Eroding.” By the time we were done recording this, we had no idea what we just talked about. So that should inspire you to listen, right? There’s also a, um, “bonus” song at the end.

Direct download: CoC_123.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:55pm CST

Contest of Challengers 122: House of Hel

We’re more comic heavy this episode, as opposed to retail-themed, but there’s still plenty of digressions and video game talk, too. But if you take anything away from this one, it’s that you should read HELHEIM #1.

Direct download: CoC_122.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11am CST

Contest of Challengers 121: Shaping Your Narrative

Rejected titles for this episode include “Movement No. 2” and “Some Level of Failure.” 

Direct download: CoC_121.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:14am CST

Contest of Challengers 120: Emotional Investment

This episode we start slow but end big, with talk about Panel Babble 2, Sidekicks, how we shop for toys, Transformers (his name was Orion Pax!), Marvel continuity, and how to get movie fans into the comics of the same characters. 

Direct download: CoC_120.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:06am CST

Contest of Challengers 119: Boots On The Ground

We’d love to tell you what this episode is all about, but that would spoil our new Intro feature (that may never be used again). 

Direct download: CoC_119.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:20am CST

Contest of Challengers 118: Sidekickin’

SIDEKICKS, our all-ages comic room is ready! What does that mean for the Rogues Gallery? You’ll see… or hear… We also talk about Yelp reviews and Brian Posehn. This one is good; I promise.

Direct download: CoC_118.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:03am CST

Contest of Challengers 117: Mr. Flibble

Droolotron, Cubby_13, Pacifighter, Cribulon, Diaperious; The ROBIT BABIES! ™ & © 2013 Challengers, Inc.

Direct download: CoC_117.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35pm CST

Contest of Challengers 116: 5 More Years

Welcome to our 5th calendar year of this Podcast (we started in 2009)! We think this is a good one, with an NYE recap, a New Back Issue system, and the top-selling trades of 2012.

Direct download: CoC_116.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31pm CST

Contest of Challengers 115: Calling All Cars

We take care of a little website hackin’ business first, but the majority of this is New Comic related! And most of that is Amazing #700. Spoilers abound. Happy New Year!

Direct download: CoC_115.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:02pm CST

Contest of Challengers 114: Verbatim

Happy Holidays! This episode was recorded at 4am during Christmas Crisis, with a very, very tired Patrick and Dal. A new Graphic Novel initiative is introduced and both Molly Jane and Ashly Challenger join us for a quick 2012 look back.

Direct download: CoC_114.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:20am CST

Contest of Challengers 113: Meritocracy

This week we talk some Katie Cook, and there’s some griping about event attendance, but pretty much all we really talk about is the Image ‘No More 2nd Prints’ policy. Yeah, a LOT about that.

Direct download: CoC_113.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:34am CST

Contest of Challengers 112: Death By A Thousand Cuts

Holiday Gift Guide; The Sixth Gun; James VanOsdol; roller coaster ordering and hope for the future.

Direct download: CoC_112.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:53pm CST

Contest of Challengers 111: Appreciated Enthusiasm

You hear his voice every week at the start and end of each Contest of Challengers episode. Now you get to hear James VanOsdol all the way through.

Direct download: CoC_111.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:07pm CST

Contest of Challengers 110: Winking Self-Awareness

Do you have any favorite web comics? We mention a few we dig and talk about some new talents (to us). We also discuss JVO’s Q101 book (more on that next week) and dig into The Comics Reporter’s list of the 10 Least Influential People in Comics. Also, Patrick edited this episode while simultaneously listening to the new Lindsey Buckingham live CD ONE MAN SHOW (which is SO amazing) so, you know, keep that in mind while listening… 

Direct download: CoC_110.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:50am CST

Contest of Challengers 109: Fact Packed

The Untold History of Marvel Comics is a grand discussion topic for the week, as is the prospect of opening a new store in today’s market. Also, Kyle Higgins! He’s not, you know, ON the episode, but we talk about him. And we pick on Molly Jane. A little.

Direct download: CoC_109.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:35am CST

Contest of Challengers 108: High On A New Thing

This episode Patrick is joined by the amazingly talented JENNY FRISION. They talk about Jenny’s beginnings as a comic fan up to her present as a comic creator. They also drink a few bottles of some great, fruity Berliner beer from Chicago’s own Pipeworks Brewing. 

Direct download: CoC_108.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:25am CST

Contest of Challengers 107: Select Cut

Who wants to talk about the Lucasfilm sale when there’s Assassain’s Creed III? Trick question. This episode is all over the map as Patrick, once again, has a list of topics to get thru before he passes out.

Direct download: CoC_107.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:15pm CST

Contest of Challengers 106: Like Trolls

Fight injustice! Unorthodox economic revenge. Also, Dal is super-sleepy.  

Direct download: CoC_106.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22am CST

Contest of Challengers 105: Centuries of Taming

No method in our madness, just pride about our manner. This was recorded a week ago and I no longer remember what we talk about! Although I’m pretty sure there’s a bunch of NYCC stuff to go over… And a Batgirl web-series. And vodka.

Direct download: CoC_105.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:04am CST

Contest of Challengers 104: Learning Experience

There is no nerd rage here as Patrick is joined by the lovely and talented Stella Cheeks! Cartoons, comics and burlesque all come together in one infectious laughter-filled episode. 

Direct download: CoC_104.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:24am CST

Contest of Challengers 103: Rocket of Love

I’m a rocket of love; take me! This episode is all about variant covers. You think we’ve said it all before, but we haven’t. All new information abounds. And MorrisonCon. And Parker’s Pick. RIDE! Episode art by Luke Smarto.

Direct download: CoC_103.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:19am CST

Contest of Challengers 102: From All Angles

He’s been a Challengers supporter since the beginning and he has more than put in his time behind the registers in comics retail; this week Patrick talks with Tony Valdez about life on both sides of the counter.

Direct download: CoC_102.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:27am CST

Contest of Challengers 101: The Mac Tutor

This episode is Apple heavy as our guest is Mac specialist and long-time friend, Tony Marengo. Tony, Patrick and Dal used to work together in the 90’s and this is an extended trip down comic book retail memory lane with 3 current small business owners.

Direct download: CoC_101.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33pm CST

Contest of Challengers 100.5: Leftovers

If you can only listen to ONE podcast this week, this is NOT that podcast. So non-integral is this episode, it doesn’t even get its own number. It’s a point five, for sure. This is everything we cut out of Episode 100, yet here it is, daring you to listen. You’ve been warned.

Direct download: CoC_100.5.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:24am CST

Contest of Challengers 100: Net Positive

Century Guild’s THOMAS NEGOVAN turns the tables and interviews Dal and Patrick for this, the recorded live in the store 100th episode. Featuring Tom Kelly, Jose Capetillo, Melissa Chapel and not Jimmy PS Hayes. It’s our secret origin episode.

Direct download: CoC_100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32am CST

Contest of Challengers 99: Like a Father Going Out for Cigarettes in the Middle of the Night

A little bit of everything is on deck this time. Patrick’s episode of “Creative Has Nothing For You”; Ryan Browne talks Blast Furnace all sorts of Hawkeye goodness!

Direct download: CoC_99.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:28am CST

Contest of Challengers 98: Hey, Bella

Oh yes its Ladies Night and the feeling’s right; oh, what a night. That’s right; we spend an awful lot of time discussing a potential Women-Only night, as well as LeakyCon, Wizard World, Square, and Dal’s fake role in “Twilight.”

Direct download: CoC_98.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:58am CST

Contest of Challengers 97: Max Capacity

Dal relives his Wimbledon days as fictitious tennis takes center (clay) court… but only as a lead-in to a much greater Marvel Now discussion. And more from Colt Cabana. 

Direct download: CoC_97.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22pm CST

Contest of Challengers 96: Wear the Crown

Ten years in the making! One half of Serpent Crown reunites as Patrick talks with long-time comics fan Chris Carlson. In another life (the 90’s) they were in a band together, and as an added bonus, the end of this episode features the unreleased Serpent Crown live track, “The Final Stand.”

Direct download: CoC_96.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31am CST

Contest of Challengers 95: Random Donuts from Strangers

This week’s topics include a Writing component for Challengers Assemble!, a few new event announcements, the Mike Norton Surprise Party, and an annoying eBay story. And almost NO Transformers toy talk. Almost. 

Direct download: CoC_95.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:47pm CST

Contest of Challengers 94: Stay Classy

A 2-hour San Diego wrap up! What are the stories that impact Challengers the most? Also, cameos by James VanOsdol (thanks to his show on the Steve Dahl Network) and Tim Seeley (at the very, very end).

Direct download: CoC_94.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:04pm CST

Contest of Challengers 93: Not Losing

This week Patrick and W. Dal talk about successful events, very delinquesnt subscribers, an alteration to Challengers' consignment policy and gallery exhibits that won't be happening.

Direct download: CoC_93.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:22am CST

Contest of Challengers 92: Something to Cry About

In an episode filled with animal crackers, Patrick and Dal talk about Brave, Rebekah Isaacs, KickStarter and more, and there’s even a (pre-recorded) cameo by WWE Champion, CM Punk (from someone else’s podcast).

Direct download: CoC_92.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:25pm CST

Contest of Challengers 91: Self-Preservation

Busy summer! So many books! So many issues of so many books! And... Patton Oswalt! Not, you know, ON the episode, but we talk about him, as he talked about us. Bonus! MORE Transformers toy talks!

Direct download: CoC_91.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:34pm CST

Contest of Challengers 90: Marauding We Will Go

We didn’t go to Book Expo America, but that doesn’t stop us from talking about it. Or the new DC #0 issues. Or Patrick’s childhood visit to the DC offices. And, yes, the secret history of Team America. 

Direct download: CoC_90.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:12am CST

Contest of Challengers 89: Belly Up

It starts with a discouraging weekend and ends with a bunch of future excitement. With 1992 Chicago radio in-between. And Will Eisner “Spirit of Comics” nominations. And then, Belly. And Miss Ion’s Mall Business.

Direct download: CoC_89.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40am CST

Contest of Challengers 88: Fire and Forget

How best to show off the store in a 5-minute video?
Presenting… Challengers To You.
And we’re bringing some old product lines back to the shelves.

Direct download: CoC_88.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:20am CST

Contest of Challengers 87: What Do I Get?

Lots of catching up to do, courtesy of Free Comic Book Day, The Avengers, the Robot Print Art Show and more. Guest-starring Colt Cabana, Kevin Nash and Sammy Hagar. 

Direct download: CoC_87.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:48am CST

Contest of Challengers 86: Sum of One

86! The year Patrick graduated high school! Ha! He's old. And this week it shows, as he takes the reins solo while trying to tackle the question of morality in today's comic market.

Direct download: CoC_86.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:15am CST

Contest of Challengers 85: Officer Down!

It’s time for a post-C2E2 rundown here at Challengers Central, and NO convention wrap-up is complete without a thorough discussion of the beanie shark throwing game known as OFFICER DOWN!

Direct download: CoC_85.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34am CST

Contest of Challengers 84: Radio-Free Challengers

We just can’t get enough of our toys! We talk about lots of stuff this week, but really, all we wanna talk about are our toys. And then we wonder if this actually adds value to your lives? Also, toys. And Colt Cabana drops by.

Direct download: CoC_84.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:11am CST

Contest of Challengers 83: Hoax and Mirrors

Interviews w/ Michael Moreci & Steve Seeley and Ryan Browne, conducted during our HOAX HUNTERS/SMOKE AND MIRRORS launch party! But before that Patrick and Dal talk about what they can't, or SHOULDN'T, talk about, and stories of pranking other stores.

Direct download: CoC_83.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:37am CST

Contest of Challengers 82: First Person Shooter

Us? Where have YOU been? I realize the title of this episode may make you think we interview Jim Shooter. We do not. But we DO talk about video games more than we should. And about Mark Waid. And once again, Dal does not support Patrick’s (self) righteous indignation on ANY topic.

Direct download: CoC_82.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:39pm CST

Contest of Challengers 81: Ultimate Drawing Challenge(rs)

This is the hardest Patrick has laughed while editing an episode, but he’s a child. Can you survive the Ultimate Drawing Challenge! And if you skip Comic Book Men, try The Variants instead.

Direct download: CoC_81.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:34pm CST

Contest of Challengers 80: Radically Off Base

Topics include Marvel Publisher Dan Buckley’s recent media comments and, briefly, Before Watchmen.  

Direct download: CoC_80.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:28pm CST

Contest of Challengers 79: Hand-To-Hand

Yes, we discuss our upcoming C2E2 layout. Sure, we discuss upcoming art shows and new show subjects. Absolutely we converse a LOT about hand selling. But most importantly, we talk about, and eat, s’mores. 

Direct download: CoC_79.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:10am CST

Contest of Challengers 78: Localized Dialogue

Kyle Baker looks towards the future as Patrick and Dal look to the immediate past. Featuring Weekly Email Newsletters, Sketch Blogs and the Chicago departure of Tony Akins.

Direct download: CoC_78.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:05pm CST

Contest of Challengers 77: Featured Guests

Okay, look, this is not our best episode, but it’s real. We talk about 2nd Printings, Art Baltazar, C2E2 and New Events. I deleted most of the s’mores argument and our Happy Endings analysis, but I know I missed editing out an inappropriate joke in there.

Direct download: CoC_77.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36am CST

Contest of Challengers 76: The Second One First

Featuring more listener questions; the collapse of Tundra; Captain America’s fake brother; and, the detailed answer to one of the most asked questions in the store… why do we dress like we do at Challengers?

Direct download: CoC_76.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:30pm CST

Contest of Challengers 75: The Next

It’s the longest CoC episode, by far! It’s a huge look back to a full year’s worth of comic and graphic novel sales. And gushing over Eliza Frye, Sarah Becan and Jess Godwin. Happy New Year!

Direct download: CoC_75.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:14am CST

Contest of Challengers 74: Lost Kitty

A 'lost' episode from April 2011, featuring Tom Kelly & John Siuntres. Recorded in a very noisy Challengers while a sick patron was coughing loudly throughout the night. The coughing was all edited out but the remains are a bit choppy. It’s a good talk, but you have to work for it this week.

Direct download: CoC_74.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:19pm CST

Contest of Challengers 73: Brain Tape

The countdown to Christmas sees the recap of recent events, a questioning of Marvel’s Astonishing line, the desire for custom t-shirts and a brief update on Achewood. Also, Stan Lee!

Direct download: CoC_73.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13am CST

Contest of Challengers 72: Nerd Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve party @ Challengers! Hosted by singer Jess Godwin and writer Elliott Serrano. Food, drink, nerd burlesque, a ‘nerder’ mystery, and more. Details within. Also, 12 Rules for the Comics Industry (not ours) and we love Defenders #1.

Direct download: CoC_72.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:43am CST

Contest of Challengers 71: Completely Antithetical

Dal has completely redesigned the Challengers website, and he tells you why/how. We also talk recent #1 sales numbers and tell you all about why Patrick is annoyed with the local news media, as it relates to last week’s Lance Briggs event. Jerks.

Direct download: CoC_71.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00am CST

Contest of Challengers 70: Man Hours

It feels like New Year’s already as it’s out with the old and in with the new. 2012 promises several new, ongoing events at Challengers, including Challengers Assemble/d, Comic Klatch, and the new Visual Field! And never be afraid of change or of revamping your website when it’s purpose changes. This week’s music by Joe Jackson and E’Nuff Z’Nuff.

Direct download: CoC_70.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:10am CST

Contest of Challengers 69: Your Apocalypse

Two distinct hales of one episode, complete with a musical intermission. In half one, Patrick and Dal go over their January orders and lament the sheer magnitude (Pop! Pop!) of February. And in part 2, a special guest joins them both AND ComiXology.

Direct download: CoC_69.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:19am CST

Contest of Challengers 68: Out of the Box

If money was no object, what would Challengers look like? We also discuss Holiday Sales, a possible New Year’s Eve party, actual sales numbers for Avenging Spider-Man #1 and the New DC 52 collection announcements. Bonus song: Animetal USA sings “Space Battleship Yamato”

Direct download: CoC_68.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:02am CST

Contest of Challengers 67: +1

This episode Patrick and Dal talk about their hiring practices and what they expect from their employees. And who better to help out with this discussion than Samantha Challenger! That’s right, you get 3, count ‘em THREE, Challengers in one episode! Total bargain deluxe.

Direct download: CoC_67.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:49pm CST

Contest of Challengers 66: Human Voices

Lights; music; commerce! The boys talk about WHY they do events and how much thought goes into their execution. That leads into a discussion of Halloween events and then Dal explains the new Challengers Touch Screen Interface. Also, Tumblr!

Direct download: CoC_66.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:39am CST

Contest of Challengers 65: High-Tech Episode

128 tracks of recording quality and 127 of them are Dal!  We’re back and in a brand new studio!  We talk about what we expect from The Rogues Gallery, we introduce Ex Libris Challengers, and we go over the first month of Challengers Unlimited.  And then we discuss Newsarama’s Top Ten stories from the New York Comic Con ( and end the episode looking at Month 2 of the New DCU.

Direct download: CoC_65.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:31am CST

Contest of Challengers 64: Value-Added Proposition

Say, did you ever wonder if comic retailers overreact to things? And, we love you SO much... we recoded this episode twice!

Direct download: CoC_64.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:56am CST

Contest of Challengers 63: #24HCD

This episode goes from the current 24 Hour Comics Day all the way back to the lost 3rd episode of CoC. With a bonus lost snippet added in. 

Direct download: CoC_63.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:36am CST

Conetst of Challengers 62: Antipluralization

What are publishers currently doing right? What should you NOT do when opening a comic shop? And SHOULD Challengers carry more toys?

Direct download: CoC_62.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:44pm CST

Contest of Challengers 61: Oz-mosis

So, how did the first week of New DCU titles sell? And could we have sold more? We also talk some Skottie Young and more.  And Big Daddy Cool starts us off this week.

Direct download: CoC_61.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:22pm CST

Contest of Challengers 60: The Window to our Windows

Yet another new Challengers plan for the future. Or, how you can win $3500.00 worth of new comics. And we talk about other stuff, too, but the $3500.00 is front and center.

Direct download: CoC_60.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:17am CST

Contest of Challengers 59: (un)Limited

Book clubs, shuffled art exhibits and Tardis cakes are discussed as we also reveal all the details and reasoning of what will forever be known as... Challengers Unlimited.

Direct download: CoC_59.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:47am CST

Contest of Challengers 58: Keepin' It P.S.

Events, recent past and future. A call to Jimmy PS Hayes. And how indy creators can help us notice their books.

Direct download: CoC_58.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:05am CST

Contest of Challengers 57: Buying A House For Your Second House

Well, they can’t ALL be winners. 

Direct download: CoC_57.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:13pm CST

Contest of Challengers 56: Wordplay

Post-San Diego.  Brazilian Art Books.  Spider-Man Day. Season One books.  Amazing #669 Variant.  And Kofi Kingston.  I also almost called this episode, “Swoonin’ for Cloonan.”

Direct download: CoC_56.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:58am CST

Contest of Challengers 55: Kidding On The Square

We’re not in San Diego; we’re melting in Chicago. We love “One Soul.” We mock Rupert Murdoch. But do we have a moral imperative to protect you from yourself?

Direct download: CoC_55.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:55pm CST

Contest of Challengers 54: Fit for Reinvention

Patrick cleans out his basement and finds a bunch of stuff he didn’t even know he had. So he describes it. Dal talks about Marvel’s ‘New Store Initiative.’ And they both recap a ‘state of Chicago comics retail’ night they had this week w/ a fellow retailer.

Direct download: CoC_54.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:47am CST

Contest of Challengers 53: Fandom = Vices

After a 2+ week break, Patrick and Dal realize they actually miss doing this show. So they talk... about Stuart Immonen and The Rogues Gallery, comic store fieldtrips, and why Dal is giving up super-hero comics for July.

Direct download: CoC_53.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:55pm CST

Contest of Challengers 52: American Progress

Patrick was at the Summit City ComicCon while Dal was at the store hosting Around Comics. Ryan Browne and his awesome new comic "BLAST FURNACE: Recreational Thief" was at both! How is that even possible? Progress. American progress.

Direct download: CoC_52.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:05pm CST

Contest of Challengers 51: 52 Pick-Up

Oh come on, you KNOW what this one is all about. One thing. Well, 52 new things out of one thing.

Direct download: CoC_51.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:42pm CST

Contest of Challengers 50: Human Bondage Den

Hey ho, strike one; last one in's a son of a gun. Hey ho, strike two; can't fight here, this is the war room.
So kiss me quickly; who'll oblige? Oh come along now, don't be shy. Don't be all surface; no insides. Oh, no.
You've got to stop your grumbling, and all that human bondage den. So swear the heat in baby, no neck ties.

Direct download: CoC_50.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:23pm CST

Contest of Challengers 2.16: Macho Madness

The Challengers website has been streamlined. Comic shop employees make terrible Club Members. Macho Man Randy Savage died (sad). Our pal JVO wrote a book. I guess this episode description is just a string of sentences.  Also, that ‘peasant joke’ is actually about lepers and is from an MST3K Hercules movie. “The lepers are revolting!”  “I’ll say!”

Direct download: CoC2_16.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:34am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.15: Revolution Calling

Youth in Revolt! Party without books! Margaritas! Whose opinion do you really want? What makes a store event good? Are these even the right topics for this week’s episode? I can’t remember! I guess we’ll all find out together! Also, I completely forgot Dal’s episode title (it’s in there somewhere), so I had to pick something else.  Sorry, Dal.

Direct download: CoC2_15.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:53am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.14: FCBDelicious

Free Comic Book Day 2011 was amazing. And here we tell you why.

Direct download: CoC2_14.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:48am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.13: The Gordian Knot

How do you know where to find the Graphic Novels you’re looking for at Challengers? Dal proposes a new racking system and he and Patrick debate its merits. It’s a question without a complete answer and it is beaten to death in a frank and open discussion. And the return of the completely random post-podcast segments!

Direct download: CoC2_13.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:08am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.12: Global Warning

Ha! I thought this was episode 13. We’ve had 2 ‘lost’ episodes in recent weeks, so my internal numbering is off. Anyway, this whole episode gets away from us and becomes darker than we planned. What started as a “we’re not complaining, but…” episode, turns into an hour of outright publisher bashing. But, man do I feel better!

Direct download: CoC2_12b.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:09am CST

Contest of Challengers 1.32: Wolves at the Door

It’s an all-podcast crossover episode with Contest of Challengers, Comics Slumber Party, Comic Geek Speak and Word Balloon all represented!  So let’s go back to Season 1 numbering as we talk to Becky Cloonan.

Direct download: bex.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:52am CST

Direct download: CoC2_11.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:05am CST

This episode is called “The Hammer” for reasons that were edited out. But the name stuck. What you DO get is a C2E2 wrap-up, reasons why Becky Cloonan is pretty f’n awesome and the promised listener mail answers! Buckle up; it’s a long one!

Direct download: CoC2_10.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:13am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.9: Welllllll, it's a Big Show

We don’t mean it to, but this episode is chock full of our C2E2 thoughts, set-up, plans and goals.  Not all at once, mind you, we spread it out for you. And Dal has some pretty great thoughts about the way digital comics should be made. See you at C2E2!

Direct download: CoC2_9.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37pm CST

Like a new line of clothing on the runway, this week Patrick and Dal trot out a list of reasons why they do/don't do the things they do/don't do. Less industry wide/more of a Challengers-specific focus. And the answer to the Riddle of the Ages!

Direct download: CoC2_8.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:18pm CST

Oh man, this one has it all—and LESS! We go from having nothing to talk about to having TOO much to talk about in the span of an hour. We get mad at each other and tensions rise, but we work thru it because we are pros. PROS!  Here’s a brief rundown: MSU’s Comic & Visual Narrative class; the end of DC’s First Wave line leads into Dal’s ultimate super-hero publishing plans; Marvel’s ‘new’ direction for the Marvel Adventures line; more on Ted Adams' Keynote Address from the 2011 ComicsPRO Conference; our secret shopper grade, and less… because we lost our first 5 or so minutes, including Patrick’s first-ever attempt at a disclaimer.  Dal says it all (at 24 minutes and 9 seconds in), “God, this one’s gonna be a winner.”

Direct download: CoC2_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm CST

Contest of Challengers 2.6: Toys Story

This week on the ART OF WRESTLING podcast, host and pro-wrestling icon COLT CABANA talks about support for the show and the possibility of a live recording in the spring.  Elsewhere, Dal’s mind completely freezes and there is talk of Border’s effect on the current comic-buying climate. And... a bonus phone call from Jimmy P$ Hayes!

Direct download: CoC2_6.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:11am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.5: Fearpoint

Man, are we on a roll! So much so that for the second time in 2011 we've had to increase our monthly podcast storage memory to accommodate our more-than-regular schedule! This one is a little shorter as we've already hit you with a Season 1 episode this week, but there's always a little something worth talking about in comics! Featuring Fear Itself vs. Flashpoint and a brief analysis on trying to sell 33 million convention tickets.

Direct download: CoC2_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.31

What? Season 1 numbering? What's going on?!? It's the return to the interview format (and thus Season 1 numbering) as Patrick happily welcomes Samantha LaFountain to Challengers! What gets a 9-year old girl from the wilds of rural New Jersey interested in comics? Where do you even get comics in rural New Jersey? These questions and many, many others are answered in our giggliest episode to date!

Direct download: sam_l.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.4: Variant Diversity

This week, the microphone faces Dal so Patrick is a mere echo! We had to wait a full day to post this, our 5th CoC in as many weeks, because we went over our monthly-allotted storage space w/ Libsyn, but it’s not our fault; comics never stand still, baby! Also, “insert show content here.” Ha! That was a joke! We actually talk about not having to like comics, but WANTING to, the Creators Front for Diversity in Comics, and why we don't stock variant covers anymore. 

Direct download: CoC2_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:30pm CST

Contest of Challengers 2.3: Isocahedral Decoding

Hey kids, remember a thing called the Comics Code Authority? Well, it's dead and we can't seem to care. This week we talk about rating systems for comics, Once A Week (a new internet resource of creator-owned comic information), isocahedral comics, and so very much more. Also, Lady Gaga and Savage Dragon! Um, not "Lady Gaga AND Savage Dragon." Lady Gaga and also Savage Dragon.

Direct download: CoC2_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.2: The 6th Gallery

Cullen Bunn. Brian Hurtt. The Sixth Gun. A thourough and comprehensive discussion on art and art galleries.

Direct download: CoC2_6gun.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:39am CST

Contest of Challengers 2.1: Yesterday and Tomorrow

We're back in less than a week--someone call Guinness!  The world of comic book publishing never slows down, and neither does the news that comes out of it.  This episode Patrick and W. Dal talk about the editorial hierarchy at Marvel; all of the worthy candidates for 2 ComicsPRO industry awards; the return of letter columns, and more.  There is also a tribute to Y&T bassist Phil Kennemore, dueling Michael Caine impressions and Verizon iPhone talk in a record 20 minutes of after-podcast talk.  Oh, you’ll know when you’ve listened too long.

Direct download: CoC2_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:42pm CST

Contest of Challengers 2.0: Return

New Season! New Format!  It's 2.0, baby, and in this pilot episode, Patrick and W. Dal talk about getting a breather on Wednesday mornings, the viability of all-ages material in the direct market, the Architects, red rage and so much more.  Welcome back to the podcast you only thought you missed.  We're here to prove otherwise!

Direct download: CoC2.0.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am CST

Contest of Challengers 1.30: Off The Rails

This episode, the recording, editing and posting, was the most time-consuming experience I have had yet with Contest of Challengers.  So much so that this is a completely different version that the one I just spent an extra hour re-editing.  As a result, I have nothing else to say here.

Direct download: CoC_End.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:37pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.29: I Love You AND We've Chosen Comics

Triple trouble on this episode of Challengers, as Dal talks with comics couple Stien and Christian all about their history, their comics... and the horror of Rashida Jones' comic book.

Direct download: coc_clouston.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:14pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.28: The Immortal Admiral

Onrie Kompan joins Patrick this episode to tell all about the unbeatable warrior, Yi Soon Shin, to talk about digital devices, the Amazing Spider-Man and how an electronic community will never replace a physical, brick and mortar one.  At least we HOPE so... Also, as an added bonus, there's background noise (at the beginning)!  Yes!  The sounds of a busy comic store on a Wednesday.  You're welcome!

Direct download: onrie.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:29pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 027: Original Pirate Material

Dal talks to Jon M. about Doctor Who, The Return of Bruce Wayne, Wonder Woman #600 and other things all obtained legally.

Direct download: coc_mast.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:47pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.26: The Morrison Manister

Patrick is joined by Challenger-in-training KENT FREMON. Kent loves Grant Morrison's Batman and he's not afraid to tell you about it.  And Seaguy. And even some non-Morrison works, like Tales Designed to Thrizzle are discussed!   And cartoons.  Kent is also forced at virtual gunpoint to recommend something for you all to read.  And he does.  Good show, Kent!

Direct download: kent.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:29pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 025: The Amazing Hellblazer

This time out, Dal talks with RYAN VOSS about Amazing Spider-Man, John Constantine: Hellblazer, Amazing Spider-Man, Scalped, and Amazing Spider-Man again.  BONUS: Amazing Spider-Man discussion.

Direct download: coc_voss.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:14pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.24: P.S. = Put Succinctly

Everything old is new again this week as we welcome Jimmy PS Hayes to not only Contest of Challengers, but to Challengers in general!  Jimmy joins Patrick to discuss the figure-four leg-lock, paying people back, Robert Kirkman, the difference between the comics you read as a kid and the comics you want to own now, and Tom DeFalco.  They also do a quick C2E2 wrap-up and Patrick does a horrible impression of a former comic publisher.  Featuring W. Dal Bush and James Galinski.


Direct download: CoC_PS.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:33pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.23: Black Metal Comics

Grant Craig joins Patrick for Episode 23: "Black Metal Comics" in which the subject of 'black metal comics' never comes up.  Comics, sure, and a whole lot of music talk (some of it related to black metal but most geographically located in the Raleigh/Chapel Hill areas).  And while this is certainly a long one, Grant has a great ability to take Patrick's music segues and bring them back around to comics while keep the intened point.  Way to go, Grant!  I also feel the need to point out that my spellcheck is disabled and I feel completely lost without it.  So any spelling mistakes right here are the result of faulty technology and a grown man's terrible inability to spell.  Guest starring W. Dal Bush and Mike Lee!

Direct download: grant.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 11:56pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.22: Lord Farcus

Lord Farcus? Well, our guest this week is MARCUS FOSTER, but we never call him Lord Farcus.  I almost called this episode "Bananas Foster" but I don't call him that, either.  Anyway, join us as Patrick mumbles more than ever while he completely ruins the surprises of "Blackest Night" in a conversation where all the really good bits were cut out because we both name too many names. Yes, you get the second-rate version of the Marcus Foster interview right here!  Also, there are sound effects! Be worried.

Direct download: coc_foster.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:31pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 21: 1100 Years Later

Miss us?  Contest of Challengers is back, and this time we're talking with our own Christina Challenger about what she's reading and what she's looking forward to reading.  Also, the somewhat-declining physique of David Boreanez.  You totally missed us!

Direct download: coc21.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:00pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 20 It's Christmas Eve Eve and we're in the middle of our 30-hours straight Christmas Crisis event.  Poor Donald Cardenas just wanted to pick up his weekly comics and suddenly he's talking to BOTH Patrick & Dal about older brothers who read comics, the Wolverine and plenty more!  And in an effort to get this out quick, NO EDITING!
Direct download: coc_don.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:21am CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 19 Listener mail!  Sort of!  This episode, Dal responds to questions submitted through the Challengers website.  Well, "responds".  It's more like "digresses endlessly and misses the point", but, you know...
Direct download: coc19.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:43pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 018: Psychoschizophrenia

It's a disturbingly egocentric episode this time, as Patrick interviews… Patrick…?  Surprisingly, he has a lot to tell himself as he came prepared with a list of questions and did not try to answer them ahead of time.  And dig this… NO rambling! And for the first time, thanks to our pal Bob Burns of “The Divorce Gun,” we have a theme!

Direct download: coc_pwb.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:30pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.17: Keep it in the Family

We keep it in the family this week as Patrick talks to the man who got him interested in comic books in the first place, his brother George Brower! Yes, the former Rumble Brotheres reunite before your very ears!  Find out what made George start reading comics, which comics and why in this trip down memory lane. George recounts what it was like to be the older brother while corrupting the mind of an innocent.  Ahhh, good times.

Direct download: coc_iv.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:12pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.16: steveBay

Got too many comics?  Patrick talks to Steve Davich about selling your comics on eBay!  Is it fun?  Is it worth it?  Will you make money?  Steve tells all!  They also talk about what got them reading in the first place and both men ramble and digress as much as you'd expect, even without the addition of alcohol.  Yes, really.

Direct download: coc_davich.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:06pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 15 Patrick talks to Frank Davis about what makes a writer worth following and which current writers have lost their 'all access' cards with Frank and why.  It's almost all writers this week, folks, and Frank is okay with that.
Direct download: coc_fdavis.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:08pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.14: Art Wars

This week Patrick & W. Dal talk about comic book art; why they love it, what they look for and the reasons that led them to hold a Comic Art Show and Sale.  Your eyes will well up as each of them recall a specific page of art from their past and they discuss it as if it were a fragile, wounded butterfly that has been gently captured and then run thru with a push pin placing it forever on display.

Direct download: coc_art.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:42pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 13 This week, Dal talks to Bud Sims about comics and carving, as this interview was conducted during day two of our 2009 Halloween Spooktacular.  Thus, expect a slightly distracted couple of talkers.
Direct download: coc_budsims.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:25pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 12 This week we deviate from our weekly interviews and present a selection of excerpts from our ChallengeJuniors recordings.  ChallengeJuniors is our all-ages read-along group that meets one Saturday a month.  For it we gather a cast of friends and record all the dialogue of that month's chosen book.  Then we play that back in the store as everyone follows along in their books.  We have a lot of fun and hopefully it shows.
Direct download: CoC_Juniors.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:22pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 11 In an episode actually recorded in the waning hours of 24 Hour Comic Day, Patrick talks to Jose Mirque about other countries popular comic books, the legitimacy of Doctor Voodoo's degree (*psst* he's a Doctor of Psychology), the sheer number of Hulks and Hulk-related characters and much more.
Direct download: CoC11_Mirque.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00pm CST

Contest of Challengers 1.10: 24 Hour Comic Book Day 2009

Dal and Patrick take turns talking to Seamus Burke, Dan Carroll and Chris Burnham, three of our brave 24 Hour Comic Day competitors.  What were their goals, ideas and reasons behind such madness?  And did they succeed?  Listen on!

Direct download: coc_24hcbd.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:27pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 10b The second of several episodes recorded during 24 Hour Comic Book Day 2009, this time Dal talks to participant Dan Carroll.
Direct download: coc_24hcbd_carroll.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:55am CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 10a The first of several episodes recorded during 24 Hour Comic Book Day 2009, this time Dal talks to participant Seamus Burke of
Direct download: coc_24hcbd_burke.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:18pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 9 This week Dal talks to Joe Askins about a whole heap of stuff, including (but not limited to) Batman & Robin, Dark Avengers/X-Men: Utopia, Blackest Night, and pretty much the whole last month's worth of books that Joe just got around to reading.
Direct download: coc_askins.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:36pm CST

Contest of Challengers - Episode 8 This week Patrick talks to David Lyons about the recent business dealings of both Marvel and DC, Strange Tales, and a LOT more in this record long 25-minute conversation.
Direct download: CoC_Lyons.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:06pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 7 - Dal talks to Chris Revekant This week, Dal talks to Chris Revekant in a DOUBLE-SIZED Contest of Challengers.  Topics include Invincible Iron Man, Dark Reign, Blackest Night and, of course, Superboy and the Ravers.  Of course.
Direct download: coc_revekant.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 4:58pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 6 - Patrick talks to Mike Hodgin and Bob Milausnic This week, Patrick talks to local musician Mike Hodgin about comics, some starring Dick Grayson, some Mike doesn't read.
Direct download: CoC_hodgin.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:20pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 5 - Dal talks to Brian Mead This week, Dal talks to Brian Mead about James Jean, Wednesday Comics and how to make an awesome/unprofitable James Bond movie.
Direct download: CoC_Mead.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:29pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 4 - Patrick talks to Chris Sunzere Patrick talks to Challengers club member Christopher Sunzere about Green Lantern/Blackest Night, Amazing Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man.
Direct download: CoC_Sun.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:17pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 3 - Dal talks to Vincent Chung This week, Dal talks to Vincent Chung about Walking Dead.  BONUS: Ashly Challenger and Real Sounds Of Comic Retail!
Direct download: CoC_003_-_Dal_talks_to_Vincent.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:12pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 2 - Patrick talks to Luke Smarto This week, Patrick talks to Luke Smarto about this year's Chicago Comic-Con, Luke's new book "Pillow Fight," Wednesday Comics and why they each say, "um" or "ahh" to fill the conversational pauses.
Direct download: CoC_2_smarto.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:00pm CST

Contest of Challengers Ep. 1 - Dal talks to Patrick This week, Dal talks to Patrick Brower about the comics he read that week. Topics include Amazing Spider-Man #600, Incredible Hulk #600 and Invincible #64.
Direct download: contest_of_challengers_1.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:44pm CST