Comic News Insider is your podcast for everything comic book, animation, sci-fi and pop culture! With News, reviews and interviews that entertain and excite! Joe Gonzalez approached long time friend, former roommate and comic cohort Jimmy Aquino back in March 2005 about doing a podcast dealing with the comic book medium. Unfortunately, Jimmy had to decline due to his sketch comedy writing/performing but promised to participate once things began. Joe then approached co-worker/fellow comic nerd Julio Soto to co-host. Comic News Insider was born with Episode 1 on April 13, 2005. Within a few episodes, Jimmy started appearing as a "roving reporter". By the end of 2005 and with 20 episodes in the can, Julio had to step down. Joe again approached Jimmy to co-host. They sat down and mapped out a plan. A weekly formatted show covering the news of the industry with reviews and interviews from all sorts of luminaries from the comic book and entertainment field. Since 2006, they have not missed a week and have delivered on that mandate. CNI, the "Entertainment Weekly" of comic podcasts, continues to bring the fun and the funny! (Hey, it's better than being the "US Weekly" of comic podcasts.) Join Joe and Jimmy every Wednesday to laugh, learn and maybe even love!
Jimmy Aquino is the pretty one. The Asian one. The talent. The one ring to rule them all! And clearly, he's the one writing this bio. It's been said by his ex-girlfriend, "No one loves the sound of his own voice more than you!" And thus, a podcasting legend was born. In his spare time away from CNI, Jimmy tends bar in NYC, is Stated Magazine's Pop Culture Contributing Editor, dabbles in writing comic books, drops names, drinks heavily and goes to "gentleman's clubs" to rescue girls from the life. CNI is recorded out of his sprawling crib or sometimes even a bar! Twitter, Tumblr, Blog him.
Joe Gonzalez is the mastermind. The tech guy. The editor. CNI sprang from his fertile brain like a fertile brain baby. Normally a behind the scenes kind of guy, Joe takes to the mic like a crack head to his pipe. Often finding that he has to keep the show on track due to his co-host's rambling. He has a real life, full time grown up job that eats at his soul, so he travels often to recharge and curb the insanity. CNI is recorded live from his phat pad in Harlem.
*Joe left the show in 2011 but helps out with producing on occasion. His spirit is still there. Well, at least until Jimmy stamps it out completely. Please check out Joe saving the world with his non-profit endeavor The Project Solution.
Blair Butler is the cat's meow. A regular writer/producer for G4TV, her on air talent was finally discovered and she is now the resident comic book guru for G4TV. She can be seen regularly on Attack of the Show in her segment "Fresh Ink". (Which, is also her weekly video podcast!) Blair has been known to co-host AOTS, X-PLAY and I'm pretty sure I saw her on a recent episode of NINJA WARRIOR. Due to her extremely busy schedule, she has been unable to appear regularly on CNI for some time now but returns during convention season when available. We still love her! Oh yeah, she's funny, nerdy and purdy.
Maria Bernal-Silva is a big ol' geek. She used to be one of the hosts of the now defunct Girls Gone Geek podcast. Acting as their resident Sci-Fi, comic book, and gaming expert. With no outlet for her nerdiness, Comic News Insider called and Maria answered. She did interviews at San Diego Comic-Con 2009 and reported on several panels.
She's also a qualified and working filmmaker in her own right. She used those big Hollywood connections to land an interview with Rob Zombie himself at San Diego Comic-Con 2009. We're quite sure her roving reporting will land her interviews with some of the biggest names in the business. Or at least the guy from Star Wars who said "These aren't the droids you're looking for."
Brea Grant is best known for playing "Daphne", the speedster, on Heroes. An accomplished actress, she's also been in Friday Night Lights, Dexter, Halloween 2, Max Payne and so much more. She also is a comic book writer and debuted her and brother Zane's zombie comic (We Will Bury You) in 2010. When San Diego Comic-Con came about, she was recruited to do interviews for CNI and rose to the occasion! Having been a guest on CNI several times, she honed her interviewing skills to perfection.
Jimmy & Joe are now worried she may start her own podcast because she was so good at it. Good thing she's too busy shooting movie and TV roles. And look at that. She DID start her own podcast! Check out Mystic Party!
Grace Helbig is already a super famous interweb type person. She and Jimmy were both interviewed (separately) by Stated Mag and he soon found her web show, Daily Grace. He watched and laughed repeatedly. She only had a measly 15,000 subscribers on YouTube then and now she's approaching 2 million (and it just keeps rising) on her new channel it's Grace. G4TV hired her as a correspondent for their flagship show, Attack of the Show. Funny how this all happened after co-hosting CNI a few times! Grace occasionly does reviews and interviews for us in her spare time when paid in alcohol. She's now a global phenom and we're so proud. Our little girl has all growed up!
Erica Schultz came into the world of Comic News Insider through a mutual friend of Jimmy's. But it wasn't until about a year later that Jimmy decided to follow up with her and get her to come co-host the podcast. And a podcast marriage was born. Dubbed "The Podcast Wife", Erica has become the go-to co-host lately bringing her insight, intelligence, humor and loveliness to the show whenever she is on. She's become very popular with the listeners very quickly which worries Jimmy that she'll start her own and forget all about him.
And as a bonus incentive to have her on, she always brings some delicious baked goodies that her real life husband makes. Jimmy wants to marry them both. Besides being so awesome on the podcast, Erica writes and publishes her very own kick ass comic called M3. Click on that link and get to purchasing because it is one of the best crime noir thriller comic books out there.
- Tulpa Black is a hometown pal of Jimmy's from Jacksonville, FL. She joined the CNI crew at Heroes Con 2013 in Charlotte, NC as one of the new photographers. She snapped away at cosplayers, CNI interviews and the panels that Jimmy moderated. She also manned the booth whenever necessary. She works in one of the coolest comic book shops in Jax called Black Hive Comics. If ever in town, stop in and say you heard of her from CNI!
- Melissa Bleier first came to CNI as a favor to good friend Jimmy. He begged pleaded bought drinks asked her nicely if she would assist with some of the roundtables he was covering at San Diego Comic-Con 2010. After even more nice asking, Jimmy was able to persuade her to help cover again for SDCC every year. Her sci-fi fandom is large and in charge and she brings great nerdy knowledge with her questioning. Just ask the casts of Supernatural and Grimm. They're still sweating over the grilling she gave them.
- Mike Cho is our resident manga/anime expert. Not to mention a frequent co-host and CNI photographer as well. He is a big contributor to our weekly news segment and convention correspondent extraordinaire!
- Lorraine Cink is super famous as the host of Marvel's The Watcher web series. She has co-hosted the podcast several times and knows her comics in and out! Seriously. Quiz her. You'll lose. Jimmy loves having her on whenever her busy schedule can allow even though she is still holding some of his comics hostage.
- Kevin Conn is a frequent co-host and has been doing correspondence for CNI for years at various conventions. He brings the funny and the nerd knowledge of all things comics, sci-fi and pop culture. Seriously, he knows his stuff well! Being a creative force himself in comics and comedy, it's always great to have Kevin on the scene.
- Emily Edwards is the official CNI choreographer! Okay, we don't really use her for her awesome dance skills that much, but she has co-hosted, ran the CNI booth at conventions, reported for the podcast and contributed news and reviews over the years.
- Lauren Galliart took CNI by surprise with her love of comic book and sci-fi movies. And not just the love, but her intelligent and often hilarious reviews. She has co-hosted the podcast and continues to add reviews on a frequent basis.
- Kristin G. is the nerd nexus that introduced CNI host Jimmy to a lot of the current CNI crew. They met back in their Browncoat days and since then, she has co-hosted, helped run the CNI booth at conventions over the years and helped contribute with news and reviews for the podcast as well.
- Jessica Spring Harmston is a new member to the CNI team. She joins as one of the official photographers. She has been working in the field of photography since she was an embryo. Talk about graphic pictures.
- Jon Hoche is a frequent co-host and probably reads more comic books than any of us combined. Also a working actor, he brings his awesomeness to the podcast whenever he can and contributes news, reviews and interviews year round.
- Faren Kilpatrick is another old hometown pal of Jimmy's. She comes to see him at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC every year to act as the official CNI photographer. She has had her own professional photography studio (FotosByFaren) for years and is a true artist behind the lens.
- Heidi MacDonald is the EIC of The Beat. A real comics journalist with one of the most popular comics news sites around. She's a good pal and comes on to co-host the podcast frequently.
- Kasha Minenko is one of the official CNI photographers. Years of photography experience and her own delving into the world of manga/anime brought her to CNI's attention. She has covered the big 400th episode live recording among other CNI events/interviews as well as co-hosted.
- Anna Petterson is one of our UK correspondents reporting on various conventions and conducting interviews for CNI across the pond. She has been involved in the world of comic books for years and even helped run the Comic Village at MCM Expo for a few years.
- Gretchen Souerwine brings her enthusiasm of sci-fi and new found love of comics to the podcast. She has co-hosted, ran the CNI booth at conventions and contributed to the weekly podcast. If you see her at a convention, look for her in a Doctor Who Tardis dress!
- Carrie Tucker is a professional writer and came to the attention of the CNI nerd world with her acclaimed book I Love Geeks. Even quoting CNI host Jimmy in a few pages. With that, she co-hosted a few shows and offered commentary as well as reports/reviews on comics, conventions and overall geeky news.