Spotlight: The Longbox Podcast
Once upon a time, two dudes started a comic book podcast. An appropriate amount of time later, TNL decided to interview them. Of course, we are talking about none other than Matthew Murphy and Tyler Olson, the creators of The Longbox Podcast. You’re probably familiar with Matt, who collaborated with us on our Definitive Ranking of Stranger Things Characters post. While this is Tyler’s first appearance on The Nerd League, we promise you will be very well acquainted by the end of this rather insane interview.
We should warn you now that, because Matt and Tyler are out of their minds (as they should be), this interview is a tad NSFW. This is, however, a safe place to laugh. So without further ado, we leave you with the Longbox-ers.
1. How did you guys meet?
Tyler: I think we actually sat down next to each other at a mandatory high school rendition of Guys and Dolls. I didn’t know anyone and just sat in an open seat.
Matt: He said his nips were as hard as diamonds and proceeded to rub them through his shirt.
Tyler: He’s actually 100% honest about that even though current me would save that for the privacy of my own home. Current Matt doesn’t care for privacy.
2. What made you think it was time to start a podcast?
Tyler: We’ve been talking about doing a podcast for YEARS at this point. The iFanboy podcast was also a big influence on Matt and I, so wanting to do something like that was something we both strived for. I also think, for me at least, knowing that my college graduation was coming up and I hadn’t done anything worthwhile with those 4 years, I just HAD to do something I could be proud of. That’s a bit dark, but starting the podcast was mainly to prove to myself that I could do it. Also, people should hear Matt’s ramblings. It would be selfish of me to keep those private.
Matt: Tyler had been telling me to listen to podcasts for years. “How Did This Get Made, Matt! Sweet, sweet duck titties, Matt!” Needless to say, I became a deadbeat after college and was bouncing around from place to place. I ended up listening to a few while working at Midtown Comics and then started recording them for ComicsVerse. It was a lot of fun and Tyler and I argue over books every week, we decided to just go for it. And I’ve been discussing comic book porn parodies ever since.
3. How’d you come up with the name?
Tyler: We came up with a bunch of names that both of us liked, but were already in use by other podcasts. So honestly, it was just trial and error. But once we actually recorded and said the Longbox Podcast out loud, it stuck.
Matt: We recently got a fake cease and desist for the name and I almost cried eating a salad at Chop’t.
Tyler: I laughed at him almost crying into a caesar salad. It was like the opposite of the “white girls laughing at salads” meme.
4. Tyler, did you know what was going to happen if you gave Matt a microphone and an audience?
Tyler: I knew exactly what would happen. Honestly, I wouldn’t have done this if Matt wasn’t down to. Matt and I work really great together, because I can rein him in when he gets too ranty and, offensive, to put it bluntly. But I also know when to just let him talk, because 9 times out of 10 something out of his mouth is going to make me laugh. And if I’m laughing, that’s all that really matters, right?
5. Matt, what do you like the most about Tyler?
Matt: I almost said his dick but he wouldn’t let me.
Tyler: I yelled STOP.
Matt: Tyler is the nicest person I know but also the funniest. I react to everything without thinking whereas he is calm and collected. Usually gets quips in a lot faster and smarter as well. He’s the most fun person to be around and getting to do the podcast with him is the highlight of my week.
6. Where do you guys see Longbox a year from now?
Tyler: For me, I’d LOVE to be able to actually sit down with creators for the show and just talk about comics. I’d love to just gush with people I’ve looked up to in the business about the craft of comics and how it’s influenced them.
Matt: I’d love to branch out to other mediums. As a communications major, I loved studying transmedia the most so seeing how the Longbox’s narrative would change across different mediums really fascinates me.
7. What has been your favorite episode thus far?
Tyler: Episode 17: Fill of the Future. Instead of researching some of the creators like a professional BEFORE hitting the record button, I decided to look up some credits for the writer we were talking about during the episode. So I told Matt to fill time. What then happened was pure stream of consciousness from Matt mostly regarding a made up episode of Phil of the Future that just popped into his head. Part of me took my time finding the info I needed so Matt could just keep going with his batshit story.
Matt: My favorite episode has to be Thrown Off His Game. I love the in-jokes we have throughout the show. In the beginning, it was constantly talking about Leah Thompson and then Alex Sinclair being the colorist on every DC book. Thrown Off His Game was interesting because it was the first episode of the infamous Bat Bulge. I couldn’t stop staring, Greg Capullo draws a massive bulge it’s just intense. Tyler groans every time I mention it but I think it’s hysterical. We need a new in-joke.
8. How long have you been into comics?
Tyler: Since I was a kid. I used to look through my dad’s collection of 80’s Marvel comics and absolutely adored all of his Chris Claremont era Uncanny X-Men books. At the time, I didn’t really appreciate the amazing story that was being told throughout, but the art was gorgeous to look at. Fast forward to now, and I’m still reading a stack of comics every week.
Matt: I have a weird relationship with comics. The first comics I ever got were from my uncle. It was Essential Uncanny X-Men Volume 6 from Claremont, not sure who the artist was, and an issue of Chuck Dixon’s Robin run. I liked them but then I tossed them so I could start reading manga like Naruto, Black Cat, and D. Gray Man. I ended up getting a copy of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch’s Ultimates run from in high school and I fell in love. Ultimate Wasp, I miss you.
9. Are comics what kickstarted your friendship?
Tyler: I don’t think it kickstarted our friendship, but it was definitely a big factor. Matt and I have good banter and work well off of each other. My weird compliments his weird, which is what really worked between us. But our comics fandom definitely brought us closer together outside of school. We were even briefly on an episode of MTV’s MADE because of it.
Matt: I wanted to be Tyler’s friend so bad in high school. He dressed really cool and had good taste in music.
Tyler: I wore zebra print skinny jeans. Hardly cool, but thanks?
Matt: Dat ass though. I remember we got really close the summer we went to the mall every day and got Taco Bell burritos. My bowels hated me that summer but I had a new best friend.
10. Living or dead, what creators would you most like to sit down to dinner with?
Tyler: For me it’s Grant Morrison and Alan Moore. Reading Watchmen and what Grant was doing with Batman at the time really opened my eyes to how crazy and fascinating superhero books could get. Not to mention being able to hear the both of them talk with each other would be a totally trippy experience in and of itself.
Matt: I’d love to sit with Frank Miller. I know he gets a lot of shit for his personal views on the world but the man is one of the greatest storytellers.Whether he’s the artist or the writer, his presence on a title demands attention. His work on Batman and Daredevil has been so influential to me growing up, from a teenager to an adult. I actually met him at the Batman V Superman premiere in March and got so overworked with emotion and excitement, I nearly shit myself.
11. Same as above but for fictional characters.
Tyler: Howard the Duck. Hands down. I think we’d both be able to talk about our favorite Seinfeld episodes. I don’t think he’s a Seinfeld fan canonically, but in my head he definitely watches.
Matt: She-Hulk. Take me. I love you.
12. Favorite artist?
Tyler: This is tough. Right now I have to say Darwyn Cooke or Chris Samnee. Samnee’s work on Daredevil was some of the best cartooning that I’ve ever seen in comics. I even tatooed a panel of his on my arm. Darwyn was the same for me. Some of the best, most wholesome and completely superheroic artwork ever in comics.
Matt: I want to say Frank Quitely but I’m going to say Sophie Campbell. Her work on Glory got me back into comics in college after I dropped everything in response to the New 52. She has a style that can be both kinetic and intimate and it really speaks to me as a reader. Also, go read her run on Jem and the Holograms with Kelly Thompson and M. Victoria Robado, it is the bees knees.
13. Favorite writer?
Tyler: Grant Morrison is definitely one of them, but I’ve already gushed about him. Currently, I’m loving everything Jason Aaron is putting out. He manages to write books that are completely different from one another. Southern Bastards is different than Star Wars which is different from The Mighty Thor and so on, but every single one of them has his distinct style, even if it’s masked by a completely different genre.
Matt: I love Grant Morrison but I’m really into Rick Remender write now. I don’t think a storyteller has truly been able to capture my complete attention before in every title he works on. Deadly Class, Tokyo Ghost, and Black Science are my favorite Image books to follow and his Marvel work is just as good. I feel connected to every character on an emotional level, despite how unhealthy they can be. His work sparks emotional reactions from me and that’s what I want in comics
14. Indies or superheroes?
Tyler: I love indies, but for me it’s superheroes. Just being able to read this huge never-ending story about these characters is something I love. I love how characters can change throughout the years, and seeing different creators tackle them.
Matt: I read them endlessly but I’m more drawn to superheroes worked on by indie creators like Kate Leth and Brittney Williams on Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat. I’m a bit exhausted with the genre. I got really into indie classics while working at Midtown like Strangers in Paradise and Love and Rockets and I find them to be more entertaining.. I have a tendency to like kissing books more than action books because I love innovative drama in the medium. Superheroes are glorified soap operas but I get true, intimate stories in indies.
15. Who has the best butt in the MCU?
Tyler: Obviously Spider-Man. Having the proportional strength of a spider really works those glutes.
Matt: Have you seen Milo Manara’s controversial Spider-Man cover? You know the one! I joke, I joke! I’m a DC fanboy so I have to say no butt in the MCU can compare to Nightwing’s. Sexy Batman wins every time.
16. End goal in mind?
Tyler: World domination, obvi.
Matt: Make America mullet friendly again.