Bags of Action – biting the bullet

Ever since I listened to my first podcast, a Word Balloon interview with Mark Millar talking about Civil War, I’ve considered entering the fray myself.  But I’ve always fought the urge for a number of reasons.   I didn’t want to do a comic based podcast because I felt that would get in the way of trying to establish myself as a writer.  I’d either be reviewing or commenting on books that were coming out or interviewing current creators when I really should have been getting on with writing my own comics.

The other main reason for not doing it was the fact I was working in radio at the time and had years previously been on air myself.  Back in 2001-02 I was the resident film reviewer on the breakfast show on Gemini FM in Exeter under the auspicious moniker of “Popcorn Pete”.  On Friday mornings for about a year I would talk about the latest cinema and DVD releases and give my take on them. The first film I saw in my official reviewer capacity was the first Harry Potter, I went to a midnight showing where the local BBC radio reporter fell asleep on my shoulder.  During my final 6 months at that particular station I also had my own show on Saturday afternoons “The Pulse” talking about live music, theatre and cinema in the area.  Following this I made a brief cameo on the South Wales airwaves covering the breakfast show on Capital Gold when the regular presenter was appearing in pantomime.

Over the years I’ve wavered and I became the semi regular guest host on Comic Book Outsiders when Scott Grandison was away, returning later for a B movie action hero special.   I also got to be interviewed on CBO and on other shows like Sidekickcast about my graphic novel The Interactives.  And over time I became more accustomed to the idea of being on a show, sending in ideas to QPAW! and sitting in the guest host chair on The Hat decides.  And of course appearing on a number of convention panels that were also broadcast as podcasts later.

But it was very recently that I bit the bullet and decided that I wanted to join the ranks of UK podcasters, and that is mainly due to two of my favourite shows and four of my favourite podcasters.   Comic Book Outsiders’ Steve Aryan (who I’m currently co-writing a mini series with), co-host Scott Grandison (the cleverest man to own a 3D TV) and Geek Syndicate stalwarts Barry Nugent (whose Unseen Shadows universe I’m writing within) and David Montieth  (my comic convention bar life coach).   They joined forces recently for a crossover episode looking at great action movies and it was pure podcasting gold.  I loved every second of it and was joining in shouting and laughing at my car stereo from the second it started until it wrapped up.

So I contacted them and suggested making that show into something ongoing, a bit like the CBO Book Club.  But instead of looking at one book a month we’d focus on one action movie, all watching it and giving our viewpoint on it.  And Bags of Action was born and now has a rotating group of hosts including those 4 mainstays of the UK scene I mentioned and myself amongst others.  With a name inspired by one of the hosts Steve Croft, a logo by Azim Akberali, an Arnie impression courtesty of Mike McLafferty and some music courtesy of Audio Network we were on our way.  I think the fact that we’re focussing on something other than comics has been a large part of my decision, it’s quite liberating to be looking at something else instead.

You can hear our first episode now, it’s available here and also under Bags of Action on iTunes.   It focusses on 1989 Rutger Hauer movie Blind Fury, about a blind swordsman protecting his best friend’s son.  We certainly enjoyed ourselves and if you get the chance to listen we’d love to hear what you think.  You can join the facebook group here and follow us on twitter here.   You can also email the show at bagsofaction@gmail.com.  In Episode 2 we’re going to be talking about Haywire and we’d love to know what films you’d like to hear covered in future shows.

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