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ep 370 Old Time Radio Superheroes With Steve Darnall

  • Broadcast in Pop Culture
The Word Balloon Podcast

The Word Balloon Podcast


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Writer and radio broadcaster Steve Darnall joins us to talk about his past works in comics. Steve worked in the fringe genres as the comics market struggled to survive after the speculation era went bust. You'll hear about his collaboration with Alex Ross on the 2 part UNCLE SAM prestige series , to his parody of classic romance comics for Slave Labor Graphics and his own companmy Funny Valentine.

We also talk about Steve's current job hosting 2 radio shows which present classic Old Time Radio programs Those Were The Days and Yesterday USA, where he puts a historical context while presenting dramas comedies and documentaries made from the 1930s-1950s. As opposed to a nostalgic "Remember When" angle that older hosts use for a geritatric audience, Steve's show is one of discovery for a younger generation who come to these programs with a fresh perspective.

Then we talk about the radio superheroes some of which predate the 1938 debut of Superman. Darnall talks about the origins of The Lone Ranger and Green Hornet, created by Detroit radio station WXYZ owner Geoge W Trendle and writer Fran Striker. We also look at the 1940 Superman radio serial. You'll learn how many of the common phrases and plot points of the comics originated on radio like Jimmy Olson, kryptonite, and the infamous lines from Metropolis  citizens "Look, up in the sky ..." .