''House to Astonish'' is a podcast (originally fortnightly, but less regular following its last hiatus) about comics, presented by Paul O'Brien (''[[http://www.esoterica.demon.co.uk/reviews.html The X-Axis-]]'') and Al Kennedy (''[[http://onehundreddays.typepad.com/blog/ One Hundred Days of Comics]]''). Both formerly wrote for the ''[[http://www.ninthart.org/ Ninth Art]]'' comics webzine before it folded.

The podcast takes an irreverent (and UK-based) look at comics news (which invariably leads them on some strange tangents), looks through ''Previews'', reviews a few titles that the presenters think look interesting (which does not necessarily mean "good"), and concludes with ''The Official Handbook to the ComicBook/OfficialHandbookOfTheMarvelUniverse'', which digs up deservedly obscure characters and imagines how they might fit into the modern MarvelUniverse.

It can be found [[http://housetoastonish.libsyn.com/webpage/general/page/1 here]] (with earlier episodes [[http://housetoastonish.podomatic.com here]]), and an associated blog [[http://www.housetoastonish.com/ here]].


* AmbiguousSyntax: In Episode 153, while discussing Image's then upcoming ''Comicbook/ShirtlessBearFighter'', they get into a riff about whether it's the bear or the fighter who's shirtless, and if the former, does this mean the bear isn't ''normally'' shirtless? Because if the Shirtless Bear Fighter is going to fight Franchise/WinnieThePooh, WesternAnimation/TheHairBearBunch and ''WesternAnimation/{{Talespin}}'' Balloo, then he's a ''dick''.
* AscendedExtra: ''The Official Handbook to the Offical Handbook'' is all about how oneshot villains might Ascend.
* CausticCritic: Sometimes. They're quite happy to declare how much they liked a book, but they'll really put the boot in if they didn't.
** Although this was before House To Astonish, Paul's reviews of [[SoBadItsHorrible the last few issues of Mutant X]] (an ComicBook/XFactor spinoff series) are classic, and will leave you convinced that ''Film/Plan9FromOuterSpace'' must've been an absolute masterpiece compared to that comic.
* {{Cliffhanger}}: The last episode before the hiatus ends with the House catching fire. The first post-haitus episode establishes that they and the recording equipment were unharmed, but they hadn't been back until now.
* ClipShow: "The Handbook Tapes" during the hiatus was a one-off collection of early ''Official Handbook of the Official Handbook'' entries.
* CrossOver: was one of the podcasts involved in ''Secret Convergence On Infinite Podcasts.''
* DeadManWriting: "The Handbook Tapes" were supposedly sent to ''Wait, What?'' on 8-track, along with a letter saying "If you're reading this we are probably dead or retconned out of existence."
* EskimosArentReal: The Netherlands has an entry in the ''Official Handbook''. Therefore, the Netherlands was made up by Marvel writers.
* TheFireflyEffect: They [[ConversationalTroping often comment]] on the tendency for no-one to buy less conventional DC and Marvel books, even when they're highly acclaimed and recommended, because they're only going to get cancelled, because no-one buys the less conventional books...
* AGoodNameForARockBand: Their reaction to some of the ''Comicbook/{{Flashpoint}}'' books with "X and the Ys" titles.
* HypocriticalHumor: In the middle of their 2012 awards episode - in which the winners are announced by Belfast Nick Lowe, Australian Creator/GailSimone, Glaswegian Jim Lee, Received Pronunciation Creator/BrianMichaelBendis, Midlands ([[OohMeAccentsSlipping mostly]]) Creator/GeoffJohns, Cockney Frank Cho (of course), [[UpToEleven French]] Creator/AlanMoore, and Welsh Creator/StanLee - Al criticises the way Bendis writes [[Comicbook/XMen Emma Frost]], because you can't just take someone with an established accent and give them another accent at random.
* MadLibsCatchphrase: Always opens with "And in the week when [genuine news event], we ask: [strange comics tangent]?", except the return from hiatus when they open with "And in the eight monthss when [every comic book news in the last eight months]".
-->"And in the week when riots and flames engulf the whole of England, we ask: Are these ''Comicbook/FearItself'' tie-ins going a bit far?"
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: On the cancellation of ''ComicBook/{{Morbius}} the Living Vampire'' after less than a year:
-->'''Paul''': Basically, straight out the gate it's fallen off a cliff. And that's a stupid place to put a gate.
-->'''Al''': ''{Laughter}'' That is very, very true. Perhaps the cliff wasn't there before?
-->'''Paul''': Well, it's there now.
-->'''Al''': Maybe it's been subsidence. Maybe it's been one of those things where an entire cliff face has fallen into the sea.
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Mocked in the episode "Zombie Pirate Ninja Monkey Viking Cowboy", in which they complain that this sort of thing often isn't nearly as awesome as it sounds, and diminishing returns are setting in on how awesome it even sounds. What set them off was a comic called ''Werewolves on the Moon Versus Vampires''.
* StraightManAndWiseGuy: While Paul makes jokes, there's a tendency for Al to go off on bizarre flights of fancy and Paul to stoically wait for him to finish and say something like "Okay. Back in the real world..."
* ReleasedToElsewhere: Apparently, Creator/DCComics have sent Creator/{{Wildstorm}} Comics to live on a farm, and it's very happy there.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: Parodied. At the end of one podcast, Al announced that ''TOHOTOH'' was being retired and replaced with a new, totally original concept ... which turned out to be ''Who's Who in Who's Who in the Franchise/DCUniverse''.
* TitleDrop: The title of each episode is the most bizarre phrase used in it, such as "A House Made of Baked Beans" and "Is the Nazi the Donkey?" (Exception: the first post-hiatus episode is called "What We Lost In The Fire", referring to the brief acknowledgement at the start that they ended on a cliffhanger.)
* VerbalBackspace:
-->'''Al:''' I have read one comic before that features any incarnation of ''ComicBook/{{Prez|1973}}''.\\
'''Paul:''' Which was ''[[Comicbook/TheSandman Sandman]]''.\\
'''Al:''' Er, I have read two comics before...
* VerbalTic: Paul says "to be fair..." a lot.
* WordSaladTitle: "House to Astonish" looks like the names of two comics were dropped in a blender. Which is precisely the case: it comes from a proposed ComicBook/AmalgamUniverse title by Creator/MarkWaid that would have combined ''ComicBook/HouseOfMystery'' and ''ComicBook/TalesToAstonish''.