Edinburgh lawyer’s superhero podcast to go live

A LAWYER whose superhero comic book podcasts have attracted a cult following worldwide is making his first and last live appearance tomorrow.

Al Kennedy with his comics and podcast gear. Picture: Contributed

Al Kennedy’s House to Astonish sessions broadcast from his front room in Edinburgh, include insider chat from the world of superheroes and giving villains and heros such as Red Skull and Captain America makeovers.

His 90-minute podcasts have run for nearly six years attracting fans from Alaska to New Zealand - including over 100,000 downloads from January 2014 alone.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

However, Mr Kennedy, 34, whose podcasts can take up to eight hours to prepare, said imminent fatherhood was forcing him to stand down.

He is donating cash from the event at 4.30pm at the City Cafe in Edinburgh to Alzheimer’s Scotland in tribute to his grandfather Campbell Kennedy from Kilwinning, North Ayrshire, who died from the disease.

“I’m going to be a dad next month and I just won’t have the time to do it. I want to do a live thing before an audience before I give it up. So it’s quite a bittersweet thing,” said Mr Kennedy who co-hosts the podcasts with a friend.

“I started House to Astonish with a friend, after realising that rather than sitting around the pub boring our friends we might be better received on the internet.

“It started out fairly well but we were launching it into a void. You never think anyone is out there but our number of followers just grew and grew.”

Mr Kennedy said realised the impact of House of Astonish when attending a comic book convention in Leeds.

“A man came up to me and introduced himself as a fan after he recognised my voice. I was talking to a pretty big name in the comic world at the time so I was quite taken aback. The feedback we get is that people see us as really knowledgeable - we’re not the typical “fanboys” who go on the internet raging about slights against their heros.

“Our fan base includes a wide range of people. The image of a comic book fan tends to be the big guy from the Simpsons, someone in his 40s. But we get emails and tweets from people in their teens, all ages, and pretty evenly spread between male and females. We’ve even been sent a load of chocolate from a fan in New Zealand.”

Comic blogger Martin Gray from Edinburgh who writes superhero comic book blog Too Dangerous For a Girl, said: ‘As a regular listener to the House to Astonish podcast I’m excited to be going to a live version. It’s a great show and it’s wonderful that it will be raising awareness and cash for Alzheimer Scotland. Never mind clobbering, it’s fundraising time.”

• House to Astonish - City2, Blair Street, Saturday 31 May 4.30pm. Tickets £12.