The Columbus “Comic Book Central” podcaster interviews directors, producers and actors who bring comic books to TV and film
“I just saw a man fly.”
That was the thought running through the mind of a stunned 10-year-old Joe Stuber as he watched the 1978 “Superman” movie at a theater in his Johnstown, Pennsylvania hometown. Of course, he’d already seen comic-book characters brought to life on TV shows like the live-action “Batman” series or the “Spider-Man” cartoon, but nothing compared to witnessing his favorite superhero on the big screen.
“That was the game-changer,” Stuber said. “[Christopher Reeve] looked like Superman. … He talked like Superman. Everything was perfect about that film. So I’ve been obsessed with not only comic books, but those projects where they come to life.”
Nearly 40 years later, Stuber has channeled his obsession into “Comic Book Central,” a Columbus-based podcast devoted to in-depth interviews with directors, actors, writers, producers and others associated with translating comics to film, television and other mediums beyond the page. Since launching the podcast — available on iTunes — in 2013, Stuber has recorded more than 150 episodes and interviewed more than 200 guests, including big names like William Shatner and Lou Ferrigno.
“Somebody called it the ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ of comic books,” Stuber said. But conversations also extend beyond the behind-the-scenes production stories.
“I want to find out what makes them tick,” Stuber said, and shared some typical questions he asks guests: “What kind of kid were you? What did you watch? Were you inspired by any of these things?”
Stuber also hopes to capture the nostalgia of Saturday morning cartoon-watching in the ’70s and ’80s.
“I loved the ‘Shazam!’ television series when I was a kid,” he said. “They taught you morals [and] they taught you about…