AD Podcasts, Christopher Moore, and Turn-of-the-Century Impressionism
So this week I’m re-reading one of my all-time favorite books. It’s called Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, by Christopher Moore.
Moore is a writer of comedic speculative fiction, combining fantastical elements from a variety of cultural sources with the sometimes over-ordinary events of daily life. He’s one of my all-time favorite writers; particular gems include Sacré Bleu; Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal; Fluke (or, I Know Why The Winged Whale Sings); Fool; and A Dirty Job (and its recent sequel Secondhand Souls). I’m not sure if Moore has a Tumblr presence, but he’s on Twitter @TheAuthorGuy.
Sacré Bleu is a story that mostly centers on Lucien, a (fictional) baker in the Parisian district of Montmartre, where congregated the great artists of the Impressionist era during the late 1800s. Lucien was taught by Renoir, coddled by Pissarro, sneered at by Degas, condescended to by Monet, and mourned the death of Vincent Van Gogh right alongside Dr. Gachet and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
It’s also about a timeless muse whose skin exudes magical memory-altering blue pigment harvested by a Neanderthal. But that’s not really why I’m writing.
What’s struck me on this second read is how plausible it is to me that all of these great artists knew each other, drank together, suffered together, and orbited each other throughout their lives. Because of course they did! They were all living in France, their paintings hung in the same galleries, and they drank in the same bars! But more importantly, they were the only other people crazy enough to believe with all their beings that their art would sustain them. (ok yes, some of them came from money, so they needn’t have worried–– just stick with me here, the point is coming.)
(collage courtesy of Ryan Estrada)
Back in the spring, I was invited to a group forming online which now includes most of the people who make your favorite fiction podcasts: Wolf 359. Wooden Overcoats. Archive 81. Kakos Industries. The Cleansed. We’re Alive. Our Fair City. Small Town Horror. The NoSleep Podcast. The Truth. The Black Tapes & Tanis. Within the Wires. ars Paradoxica and the Bright Sessions, of course. And that’s just some of the more well-known examples. I could go on for a huge wall of text listing all the shows who contribute. (To all of my podfriends I did not list, I love you all as well, and please feel free to tag yourselves!)
Not only do we discuss the ins and outs of writing, production, recording, gear, publishing, marketing, and social media – did you think #AudioDramaSunday happened by accident? – but we also have an incredibly lively Random/Off-Topic section where we talk about video games, food, TV shows, events, school, work, illness, life stresses, and general shenanigans. We’ve become a huge group of friends. I’ve honestly never seen a more supportive, welcoming, and friendly group of people, especially one so large and whose member list is constantly expanding. I feel so, so lucky and grateful to be included in this wonderful weird audio drama podcast family.
We support each other because we are the only other people crazy enough to believe, with all of our beings, that our art will sustain us.