I started listening to CGS ten years ago. As of this week's episode, I had to unsubscribe. In short, the domineering influence of one particular Geek has grown too much for me to stand.
CGS was an incredibly important, pioneering comics podcast. What Bryan and Peter did deserves to be remembered. Unfortunately, neither of the founders appear on the show much anymore. It should also be pointed out that the other guys kept the show going respectably well through many incarnations and cast-changes.
Originally, Chris was a very welcome addition to the show. He brought enthusiasm and knowledge to the Spotlight episodes in particular. But then he was made an official Geek... and then he started dominating more and more and more of the audio time... and then he brought his employees on board to become official Geeks as well, and it all seems like the residue of the REAL CGS just doesn't have enough ambition to resist the whole podcast turning into The Wild Pig Comics Podcast.
A very obvious complaint that still must be stated: The Laugh Has Got To Go. Others have remarked on this. Chris's laugh is just so loud, so frequent, and so disingenuous-sounding. At first I didn't mind it, because I thought it was personable for what it was. But it's just continued unabated, actually seeming to increase over the many episodes, and it's basically unbearable at this point. Whenever any of the other Geeks say LITERALLY ANYTHING that has the slightest bit of wit or humor in it, Chris belches out a gigantic laugh. It's to the point where I almost hope that none of the other guys will say anything funny, just so I don't have to hear Chris use it as an opportunity to bring the conversation to a halt so he let out a high-pitched cackling shriek.
Furthermore, he frequently does the whole routine of bashing "big corporations"... but then in the very same episodes he basically runs promotion for Disney, the biggest and greediest entertainment corporation in the world. I'm definitely not defending big corporations here, but the disjuncture in his logic is quite annoying. It seems that he basically says whatever's trendy. It's cool to bash corporations, so he does so. It's popular to be on the Marvel/Disney/Star Wars bandwagon, so he rides it nonstop. Whether you agree or disagree with his opinions isn't really the point. The point is that he basically just says whatever he thinks he's supposed to say to be hip and "smart", even if what he says is boring or contradicts itself. If he REALLY disliked big corporations in any substantive way, he wouldn’t offer nonstop blanket praise to Disney.
He never goes into any details of the actual comics. This could be a criticism of CGS in general post-2012 or so, because it seems like Mike G was the last guy on the show who actually wanted to discuss creative techniques and actual stories in any detail. But Chris in particular just praises certain comics and creators to the moon without hardly ever, ever, EVER saying anything of real substance about what actually happens in the comics. There are some slight exceptions in the Off-The-Racks episodes. But, honestly, I remember hearing more actual story info in 30-second iFanboy reviews than in entire half-hour CGS segments devoted to individual issues. Most of the CGS guys seem allergic to anything that might be a "SPOILER", while Chris on the other hand seems infinitely more interested in swooning and "waxing rhapsodic" over the very mention of a creator's name, rather than in providing any specific examples of great things that happen in the actual comics.
The ignorance and prejudice disguised as intellectualism has gotten out of control. I have no connection to the South. Neither does Chris. I don't like the Confederate Flag. Neither does Chris. But I don't feel obligated to label those who have ancestral connections to the South as most likely racists whose ancestors were Klansman. Yet Chris feels obligated to do so, for no reason. Just because they were reviewing a comic set a century ago in the South is NOT a good enough reason to launch into a tirade against any non-self-hating descendants of Southerners alive today. But Chris apparently had to go down this road because, of course, he thinks it was trendy to do so. He also said that the Civil War was "really about slavery". No it wasn't. It was about states' rights; slavery was a subsection of that. (And I remember CGS's own Jaime D mentioning this years ago!) Lincoln actually said "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it." You'd think Chris, being a history teacher, would know this but-- Oh, no, actually, once you understand that Chris is just politically correct at any cost, then you wouldn't expect him to stand up for actual nuanced history as opposed to trendy reductive revisionism.
On the most recent episode we’re treated to a long monologue in which Chris begins by saying "I've read hardly any Deadpool at all over the years"... and then goes on to say "Let's not make this about Liefeld's style"... but then by the end of it he’s speaking as if he knows all about the development of Deadpool, knows who deserves what amount of credit, and how Liefeld "just drew a bunch of pouches". Again, I don't even like Liefeld, but Chris's hypocrisy, ignorance, and arrogance is astounding. He just likes to hear himself talk.
He's also shoehorned two of his employees into CGS. The guy is barely okay, though he missed the whole point of the X-Men (acceptance/tolerance) by complaining that Morrison’s run was full of “ugly mutants”. The female, however, is openly lazy and forgetful about comics. To her credit, she seems like a very normal person, and she’s honest enough to admit that often she has nothing to say and hates certain comics for no reason. The problem is that all the guys on the show, especially Chris, just grovel before her and pretend that her quick dismissive opinions are powerfully valuable insights.
Murd's Time Bubble is still good.