Is The Longest Shortest Time the best comics podcast out there?

I don't have kids, but I do occasionally listen to Hillary Frank's podcast The Longest Shortest Time. Part of this is simply because I enjoy Frank, a novelist and radio producer. An interesting host whose sensibility dominates the show can make any show interesting. Of course she also has some great conversations with people.

I was struck last week, though, when Frank released a new episode, which was a great conversation with CeCe Bell. Like Frank's daughter I really loved the graphic novel El Deafo (okay, Frank's daughter likes it more than I do, it sounds like, but still) which was an amazing book and she and Frank had a great conversation. Earlier in the year, Frank sat down with Dennis and Jessie Hopeless and they spoke about Spider-Woman and life and twins and marriage and all these related issues.

What struck me is that Frank is better than a lot of comics journalists at covering the form. And maybe one reason is that she's not immersed in the form so much so that she can ask about a thousand other things which she sees and thinks about and bring to the larger conversation we're having about comics.

There are conversations among people who write about comics about how there's no money, how people burn out and move onto other things, how so many people and sites are spending more time and energy on clickbait nonsense (how many dumb posts about movies that haven't come out yet repeating the same rumor will people read?). But I think that what gets lost in this conversation is that by framing the conversation in these narrow terms, we're missing a lot of what's happening in the world. Admittedly I don't think the New York Times covers comics well, but they do cover them. I hear Glen Weldon every week on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. I hear Hillary Frank tackling a topic she probably didn't give much thought to but she covers it well in thoughtful and interesting ways.

I'm sure someone will attack me for the hyperbolic headline, but my point is that more people than ever are writing about comics in really interesting ways. And comics–and all of us–are better for it.

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