Hosted by Justin Michael, the podcast takes cartoons very seriously.
If you came of age in the early to mid-1990s, an inimitable cartoon series likely occupies all the dark corners of your psyche.
Batman: The Animated Series stars the classic caped-and-cowled crime-fighter in a highly stylized and gothically dark cartoon that helped set the stage for the neo-noir bat-stylings we enjoy today. It’s a show for kids that still tinges with psychological thrill—even as an adult, it’s easy to be won over by a delightful rewatched episode, that perfect blend of nostalgia and genuine quality entertainment.
Despite being such a specific niche interest (it is, after all, a children’s cartoon that ran for just three short years more than 20 years ago), this source material is rich enough and its fans remain engaged enough to be enjoying a podcast that comes out once every two weeks. It’s called Batman: The Animated Podcast and it’s everything a fan podcast should be—silly yet totally committed to Batman’s coolness, funny yet thought-provoking, and rife with great guests to talk at length about their favorite episodes and characters.
The podcast is the brainchild of Justin Michael, who’s tied up in the Los Angeles world of comedy and animation. He caught up with the Daily Dot to let us know how things are going as he cracks open and explores a dark corner of our superhero-filled childhoods.
Batman: The Animated Podcast has just seen the release of its seventh episode. You can listen and subscribe here.
How did Batman become a thing for you?
I don’t know if I have a good answer. I latched on at right age with the Tim Burton movies coming out. In my town they brought the Batmobile to one of the movie theaters. Seeing that as a kid was a larger-than-life theme-park experience.
Batman is a quiet, moody character. When kids don’t know how to express themselves, that attitude means something to them. He’s also just cool.
Why start this podcast when the show is 20 years old?
It endured more than other series. It’s a show in the same boat as X-Men and others that kids would religiously watch. The Marvel shows were much lower quality. The artistic integrity of the Batman series set it apart—the animation is better and more fluid, and the stories treated you a little smarter. There were darker, realer things that happened in every episode. In Spiderman they couldn’t even land a punch.
You get someone attached to the show to appear as a guest every week, and you landed Seth Green for your first episode. How’d you swing that?
I know Seth because I worked with him recently, and work in comedy animation in general. Our studios are small and we got to know each other. He’s so into that world that it felt natural to kick things off with him.
Does it feel strange to be putting yourself so closely to a beloved part of so many of our childhoods?
I knew a lot of people loved the series, but so many people love the series. I have the show’s best interests at heart. I don’t remember most other real life events, but man… Batman existed.
Photo via Batman: The Animated Series/Screenshot