Kiplinger’s: The Age of the Podcasting 

Hot off the presses! Over my winter break I worked on this illustration for a story on the wide world of streaming audio content. I was happy to have an opportunity to draw both a plaid shirt AND a sailing vessel (two of my favorites,) and to be able to pay tribute to my single greatest source of cultural input. Thank you podcasts! AND, thank you Stacie Harrison for the great assignment!
Podcasts Vs. Patent Trolls: How You Can Help

You know how you don’t pay attention to some threats until they directly target you? Yeah, we got one like that. Listen up, because if you’re a podcast fan, this involves you. And before you go the tl;dr route, just think about a world without your favorite podcasts.

Are you a Welcome to Night Vale fan? How about Thrilling Adventure Hour? Nerdist? AfterBuzz TV? Hell, do you listen to podcasts at all?

Then this is your fight.

According to the article, here’s what’s going down:

The short version is that someone is asserting a patent that claims to control the mechanism by which you subscribe to podcasts. And by “asserting,” I mean that they’ve fired a warning shot at the entire podcasting community by suing Adam Carolla. The way that patent suits work is that a) they tend to file in the plaintiff-friendly Eastern District of Texas, where these companies set up “offices”; b) they sue one major player in an industry and try to extract a large settlement from them, because defending these things is very, very expensive; and c) they then use that precedent to go sue others in the business and get similar paydays. It’s a means by which one can make a lot of money without having to actually produce anything (in fact, many of the trolls just buy idle patents for the express purpose of suing big companies). And if they succeed, it can run into millions of dollars, millions that the defendants don’t have.

But it’s one thing — not necessarily a better thing, just one thing — when the suits target big companies. Podcasting is not a big-bucks business, and the pockets are not deep at all. That’s why it’s kind of perplexing that Adam got sued, and that the podcasting industry, such as it is, is being targeted. Nobody’s getting rich on podcasting at this stage; it’s still early, and many if not most podcasts are more hobby than revenue generator. And if these suits succeed, they could choke off the industry before it is an industry. The good thing is that these patents aren’t likely to win in court if the case goes to trial. The bad thing is, to defend against these claims is going to cost a bundle. Like, a million and a half, easy. Which is why they sue, and why many of the cases never get to the trial stage.

If you want to keep your favorite podcasts around, now’s your chance. Click the link. Donate to the cause. If you can’t donate, reblog the post, retweet the link, do whatever you can to spread the word. If we’re going to shoot this down, we need to do it here and now.

We may not all be citizens of Night Vale, or Adventurekateers, or AfterBuzzers, but we’re all podcast fans, and we need to stop this before it picks up momentum.

EDIT: For those whose browsers don’t like, here’s the direct link to the fundraiser page.

10 Ways to Promote Your Project for Free With Bloggers, Journalists and Podcasters

I was having a conversation the other day with a fellow blogger and writer and we both were lamenting the fact that although we both like to promote indie artists, (mostly writers and comic book creators) we are often inundated with emails, tweets and DMs from people wanting us to promote their work. (I can’t IMAGINE what editors at major publications go through). On top of that, there don’t seem to be any rules of engagement for artists, writers, and creators for how to approach bloggers, journalists or podcasters when it comes to self-publicizing their work. So from that conversation came this list. Let me know what you think!

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‘Alice Isn’t Dead,’ a Dark New Fictional Podcast in a Booming Market
The show, from the team behind the popular “Welcome to Night Vale,” promises a novelistic story in a serialized form, with dark plot turns.
By Joshua Barone

Joseph and Jeffrey are back in the New York Times today, on the launch of Joseph’s new podcast “Alice Isn’t Dead” and their new podcast network, Night Vale Presents!

(That exclamation mark is mine, not part of the network. Unless they get excited.)


Scavenger’s Hoard - A new Star Wars podcast!

Remember that mystery project I’ve been alluding to for a while? Well, I’m now very pleased to reveal that it’s a collaboration between myself and @bastila-bae! We have decided to give podcasting a try - in an effort to inject a few more female voices into the SW discourse - and we really hope that you find our first episode enjoyable and a fun listen!*

The show covers many different aspects of SW, but mainly focuses on the sequel trilogy, with an emphasis on the latest news and spotlight discussions concentrating on particularly interesting areas of the saga. We plan on making this a weekly show, and would love to hear from listeners - what did you like? Is there anything you’d like to see improved? Do you have any questions for us? Is there anything in particular you would like to see us discuss/cover? Whatever your thoughts, we’d love to hear from you.

The podcast is spoiler-friendly, so please be careful if you’re a spoiler-phobe!

We have really enjoyed working on this so far, so hope you find it a fun and engaging discussion.

* Please note that we’re still getting to grips with podcasting, so this recording is far from technically perfect (electronic spikes are currently the bane of my life!). However, we’ll be improving all the time, and said improvements will include boosts in the audio quality.  If you have any technical know-how about audio recording and feel you could offer advice, do drop me a message - I’d love to hear from you!

You can check below the cut for a full description and a quick guide (with time stamps) to what we cover in the episode.

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Fiction Podcasts Are Finally a Thing! Thank You, Sci-Fi and Horror
How the creepiness of found-footage narratives is finding its way into your earbuds.

Great little piece from @wired on the Return of Audio Drama, and the emergence of Fiction Podcasts. Worth a read, and it covers some great work! (You know someone’s listening to the right things when @thelaurenshippen‘s @thebrightsessions are front and center in the coverage!)





We are trying to create a new podcast – the Adventures of Indigo Mare. Think along the lines of Welcome to Night Vale and the Thrilling Adventure Hour, except with a bit of a different format.




“Indigo can’t deal with her life right now. She lost her job, her best friend moved in with her boyfriend (a guy that Indigo hates for a reason she cannot discern), and nobody seems to be cutting her any slack. Did I mention Indigo’s a werewolf? Did I mention her best friend Annemarie’s boyfriend is Bob, Prince of Vampires? And have I mentioned all the trouble the supernatural bring to her? Whether Indigo Mare likes it or not, supernatural occurrences have been drawn to her and through one way or another, she’ll have to deal. With Demons named Steve, annoying hipster cousins of Lucifer named Satin, and monsters called Fluffy or the Refrigerator, Indigo Mare traverses her absurd reality with logic that no one else seems to have.”






Narrator - Narrates the whole thing. Sometimes has conversations with Indigo, to her dismay. - *Chosen*

Indigo Mare - The Protagonist of this tale. She’s the only logical person in the story, really. She’s strong, independent, and lazy. She is in her mid-twenties and is generally the voice of reason in the tale, though she does succumb to a big head at points. She’s smart, but doesn’t always act or talk in an intelligent way. She generally doesn’t think before she speaks, which can make her socially awkward at times. She can be a coward at times, for good reason. She’s more of a reluctant hero trying to survive the strange occurrences happening to her than anything else. - *Chosen*

Michael “Mikey” Goldberg - Indigo’s best friend she met towards the end of college and now boyfriend. He is a dorky sort of guy, but considerate and not socially awkward. He’s a calm and composed person who rarely gets angry. He’s a sweetheart and the type of guy who sticks up for his friends. - *Chosen*

Annemarie Michigan - Indigo’s best friend for as long as she can remember. They had been neighbors since they were babies. She is a bubbly, peppy person who’s not exactly down to earth. She’s not the brightest person, but she makes up with energy and likability. - *Chosen*

Robert “Bob” Robertson - Prince of Vampires and boyfriend to Annemarie. Literally the nicest person Indigo has ever met, but too nice to be natural. He is a smooth talker and always well composed. He generally finds Indigo to be amusing, if anything. - *NEEDED*

Steve the Demon - A likable, deep voiced demon who’s mental break is so great that he seems to have no mental break at all. He’s polite, considerate, and is generally a reliable guy. He’s calmer than he should be and has been a demon for a while. - *NEEDED*

Satin - Hipster cousin of Satan. He generally deals with Indigo whenever she has to deal with Hell. He’s a bucket full of snark and sass. He’s likes to mess with Indigo, when he has free time and wants Indigo to work for Hell. He’s flirtatious to everyone and tends to be a bit flamboyant. - *Chosen*

Arianna Rafaela Meum Est Draco - Fourteen year old Draco Princess. She’s Snarky, cunning, harshly sharp. She’s cold, more because of experience than it being her natural personality. She’s snobbish, graceful to a tee and precise with her diction. This wouldn’t be a very big role. - *Chosen*

Joshua Stein - Michael’s younger cousin. He is about fourteen years old as well. He is a Nephilim. He’s sly, too smart for his own good, and a smart Alec, to say the least. He’s able to outwit anyone in conversation, generally, and wins arguments. This wouldn’t be a very big role.  - *Chosen*

Random Monsters and the Like - Someone who knows how to do a few voices. - *Decently filled, but if anybody wants to join, try out*




Artist - Does the logos and things of that nature. - *Filled*

Musician/Sound expert of some sort - Makes a theme song, deals with the background sounds and other general sounds needed for the episode. This person will also help in the editing of the podcast.  - *Filled*

Web Designer - Someone who knows how to make websites look nice.  - *Decently filled, but if anybody wants to join, try out*

Writer/Editor - Someone who will help in editing episodes and writing episodes.  - *If anybody wants to join, try out*

Media expert(s) - Someone who will be able to run the Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook page for the operation.  - *If anybody wants to join, try out*




Send an ask to Further instructions will be explained to you, depending on what you want to do.




Podcasts don’t pay well. In fact, they don’t pay at all. Not really. Unless we start getting donations, you won’t see any money, and even if we DO get donations, I’d rather start up a charity project with that money than keep it.


Choice and responsibility, the podcast edition.

I host a podcast about video games. (We have tshirts.) I love hosting this podcast, but I feel like podcast listeners sometimes forget about the concepts of choice and responsibility. 

1) It is our choice to make a podcast. We have no contract, and no one is making us do it. We love doing it. 

2) It is our responsibility to make the best podcast we can, every week. 

3) It is your choice to listen to the podcast. We thank you and we love you.

4) It is your choice to provide us with “fan feedback”, which can range to “stop hiccuping” to “more tv star guests” to “lose the Pakistani” to “stop criticizing The Hobbit”. Giving us feedback is your choice, not your responsibility.

5) It is our choice (not our responsibility) to take in your feedback. Sometimes we incorporate your feedback, sometimes we don’t. Not using your feedback doesn’t mean we’re above reproach, it means that we are making the podcast we want, not the podcast you demand. 

6) It is your choice to create the podcast that is exactly what you demand to hear. We’ll never be that podcast. Neither will anyone else. 

7) It is your choice to listen to us or not after we’ve said something that irritates you. It is not our responsibility to make you feel better, or to alter things. Your choice, after you’re irritated, is merely to keep listening or stop listening. Period. We don’t want you to listen to anything that annoys you. 

A lot of listeners make it our responsibility to make them feel okay again once we’ve said something that irritates them. Nothing is more angering and scary than realizing the limitations of your control over this world. It still bugs me on a daily basis. But sorry guys, we’ll never take on the responsibility of your listening to our podcast. Once you start taking responsibility for other people’s choices, in podcasting or in life, you create unstable, unhealthy dynamics with those people. 

And we want stable, satisfying relationships with our listeners. Because we think you’re all pretty cool. (Except for the ones who yell at us when we have the sniffles or the hiccups.)

Hey, Jesse! What Podcasts Do You Listen To?

Since folks ask me all the time, I thought I’d share a list of the non-MaxFun podcasts I listen to regularly. And let’s be clear first: I listen to the MaxFun shows all the time. I hang out with Dave & Graham, laugh with the McElroys, find out about Biz and Theresa’s mom problems, catch up with Bryan and Erin, cringe to the crazy stories on Risk, visit with Dave Hill and marvel at the Memory Palace. But I do listen to a few shows in which I’ve got no vested interest.

They are:

  • On the Media - I think that this is the best news show in public radio. It’s theoretically focused on media, and towards that end you will find many stories about journalism, but it’s also a critical, long-view look at the news. Something I wish there was more of in the world.
  • The Best Show on WFMU - My friend Tom Scharpling hosts this ineffable show. It’s sort of like a regular radio talk show, sort of like a heightened, parodic version of a regular radio talk show, is full of amazing comedy bits featuring Tom’s writing partner Jon Wurster, and generally lives up to its billing as “three hours of mirth, music and mayhem.” It’s my go-to on long car trips, because it’s so easy to slip into this alternate world. Here’s an outshot I wrote about it on Bullseye.
  • Answer Me This - My pal Helen Zaltzman hosts this show with her best college buddy Olly Mann. It’s a Q&A show, with questions about sticky social situations, history, language and everything else. And Helen and Olly are hilarious.
  • 99% Invisible - I think this might be the best show on public radio, even though it’s barely on public radio. A look at architecture and design from superproducer and megahost Roman Mars. Absolutely fascinating every single week.
  • Fresh Air - You know what Fresh Air is, right? Terry Gross is my hero, and Dave Davies is like a Terry Gross that likes sports.
  • Never Not Funny - I’ve been listening to Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap every week since episode one of their hilarious, hilarious show. Like JJGo, it isn’t really about anything, but Jimmy and Matt are wonderful, hilarious guys. The full show’s $20 every six months, and worth every penny.
  • The Dana Gould Hour - Dana Gould has more funniness inside him than maybe any other person on earth. His monthly show is a discussion of a given topic, but it always veers into Dana’s particular pop culture obsessions (Planet of the Apes, Universal horror movies) and his genuinely strange font of knowledge on every topic. Also: hilarious.
  • Good Food - This is a classic public radio food show from KCRW in Santa Monica. It’s good-hearted, well-produced and exceedingly pleasant.
  • Shields & Brooks - I grew up watching the Newshour with my dad, and seeing him get excited every Friday for Shields & Gigot. The Newshour’s still the only place you can find such a concentrated blast of intelligent, balanced and respectful political analysis.
  • This American Life - If it weren’t for This American Life, I wouldn’t be a public radio host. Which, thinking about it, might have been for the better, but you gotta pick your battles. Fifteen-ish years in, they’re still the best thing going.
  • Radiolab - I am so inspired by Jad and Robert’s brilliant show, brilliant production and brilliant minds. Never not fascinating, and a signficantly lower chance than TAL of leaving me unexpectedly in a puddle of tears.

So, there you have it. Just don’t forget to listen to MY SHOWS, Bullseye (arts & culture interviews and recommendations), Jordan Jesse Go (silly comedy talk), International Waters (comedy game show) and Judge John Hodgman (people’s court, but funny).

Publish Your Stuff: Maurice Cherry on Freelancing, Podcasting, and More!

Maurice Cherry is creative principal at 3eighteen media, a design and consulting studio in Atlanta, GA. Maurice is also the founder, editor-in-chief and host of Revision Path, founder and host of The Year of Tea, founder and curator of 28 Days of the Web, and the founder and chairman emeritus of the Black Weblog Awards.
You can follow Maurice online on Twitter, Tumblr, or at his personal website.

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We’re back with a special bonus episode on Life is Strange! You’ve probably heard us talk about it before, but with the release of episode five and a veritable ocean of tears, we thought we should revisit the game with our final thoughts, a discussion of the game’s tropes and themes, and whether we recommend it to others.

Warning: contains spoilers for all episodes of the game as well as some discussion of potentially triggering themes.

Some Links You Might Find Interesting:

Butterfly of Doom via TVTropes

Hide Your Lesbians via TVTropes

Hella Talk: An Interview With Ashly Burch on Chloe Price, Queerness, & ‘Life is Strange’ via FemHype

Bury Your Gays via TVTropes

Review: Life is Strange Episode 4 - On Soap Operas, Glurge, and Unreal Stakes by Maddy Myers

Origin of the “Interactive Pricefield Museum” (Credit where credit’s due, and all)

The Podcast You Didn‘t Know You Didn’t Know Anything About And Might Not Ever Want Anyway But I’m In It, So Hey.

Hail internets, full of grace, and be advised that I have joined forces with a motley crew of space adventurers to do an ongoing podcast analyzing all 52 episodes of the cult British science fiction TV series BLAKE’S 7, which ran from 1978-81 (it is in fact within a month of being precisely as old as I am… it was one of the first TV shows to return to the air after the asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous era).

B7 is delightfully melancholy, frequently goofy as fuck, and prototypical of more TV sci-fi of recent years than you might suspect. Although the discussion is intended for those that have watched each episode in question or at least give a damn about B7 in general, we do offer a plot summary for the benefit of the less fanatical, and if you just want to hear me making an ass of myself in audio format, I will say that I’ve got a decent microphone.

My crewmates on this strange voyage are Liz Myles (co-editor of the Doctor Who essay anthologies Chicks Unravel Time and Companion Piece, and co-host of the Verity! podcast), Michael Thomas (publisher and editor of Uncanny magazine, member of the Hugo-winning Squeecast podcast, co-editor of Queers Dig Time Lords) and Amal el-Mohtar (Nebula-nominated writer and multiple Rhysling Award-winning poet, and editor of Goblin Fruit).

You can find us on iTunes, or on Libsyn:

You can find us on Twitter:

You can find us on WordPress:

Quality of Life Check, For Those Who are Interested.

When recording these fanfic audio books. Would you like to listen to…

  • In character flat recordings. In which I am 6-8 inches from the mic and sound like I am talking to you normally.
  • Close up intimate in character recordings in which its sound like I am right in your ear (2-3 inches from mic, mic represents you ear).
  • Non-character recordings of either version of the above.
  • Music in the background? Y/N?

Keep in mind I am still learning. This will be as professional as I can make them. Also remember I will be reading for well on 10-15 minutes. If you can handle my voice in any of those variations for that long I salute you! I want you all to be happy with these, so, What do you think?

Publish Your Stuff Interview: Jayme Karales on Publishing, Podcasting, Screenwriting, and More!

Jayme Karales has a wide range of writing experience, including:

  • Shootin’ It (podcast) - 2013-present, host                  
  • The Passion of the Christoph / The Flipcast / ThatLitPodcast / Smoke Break (podcasts) 2014-present, producer                  
  • Disorderly (novel) - 2013, published by Before Sunrise Press          
  • Youth (short story) - 2013, published by Before Sunrise Press             
  • David Bowie is Dead (chapbook) - 2013, originally self-published then distributed by Before Sunrise Press                  
  • Gary Busey (chapbook) - 2014, published by Nostrovia Poetry         
  • The Extractor (4 issue graphic novel) - 2014-2016, self-published         
  •  Practice Makes Perfect (novella) - July 2015, self-published/published by ThatLitPress                  
  • The Hutchcast (web-series), actor/writer/director/editor                
  • Practice Makes Perfect (film) - 2016, actor/director/editor                  
  • Convenience Store Diet (series) - 2016, voice actor                  
  • Clever Animals (film) - 2016, screenwriter     

You can find him at ThatLitSite and UnHollywood. You can also follow him through Tumblr, Twitter, Goodread, and  Facebook!

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Some Musings on Podcasting

As many of you know, I write the science fiction audio drama, @thebrightsessions. It’s still a young podcast, with our 13th episode in the pipeline, but the response has been wonderful and I have enjoyed making it more than I ever thought. And while the writing, performing, and sharing of The Bright Sessions has been a wonderful joy, the thing that has surprised and delighted me the most is the podcasting world at large. 

I’ve loved podcasts for a while. I probably first got into them in 2010, when I spent the summer as an intern at npr’s @soundcheckradio. It was a great way to catch up on the backlog of shows so that I could be prepared going into my internship. When I realized all my favorite npr shows could be listened to this way, I was hooked. 

But I didn’t get into audio drama until 2014. Someone had recommended Welcome to Night Vale to me, and I had let the episodes pile up in my queue, never quite mustering the interest to press play. But then I was acting in a short film that was shooting in Angeles National Forest. I had to drive an hour and a half every morning at 3AM, through the hills north of Los Angeles, into the dark and cold woods. I couldn’t handle the news or any of my other non-fiction podcasts that early in the morning, so I put on WTNV. Cecil’s voice turned out to be the perfect thing to ease me into the land of the living and driving through the forest, watching the sun slowly rise over the mountains as I listened to “A Story About You” (still one of the finest pieces of podcast writing I’ve ever heard) is one of my fondest memories of my first year in LA. 

And that’s where my love affair began. I then got into live radio shows - Cabin Pressure (sadly not a podcast but worth the dough) and Thrilling Adventure Hour (made by people I can genuinely say are really freakin’ awesome irl) kept me laughing in the famed LA traffic. Then came the rest of the audio drama world and with it new discoveries about the way sound could make me feel. Limetown made me turn around as I was washing dishes, listening to someone bang at the door and scream “LIA, LIA HADDOCK”, because it felt so real. The Black Tapes and Tanis have made me search online to find out what was fiction and what was based on fact. Wolf 359 has made me simultaneously laugh and feel the loneliness and fear of space (guys, that spider episode. I couldn’t stand it. I hate spiders). 

By the time I started writing The Bright Sessions last year, I was head over heels. I love all entertainment - it’s why I moved to LA to be in the industry. But so often with media that I love, I am on the outside looking in. I consume as much of it as I can, but I know that I may never get to be a part of it. Podcasting hasn’t been like that. It has been a more welcoming and nurturing community than I ever would have expected. 

I’ve been in LA for nearly three years now, and I’ve done pretty decently. I’ve cut my teeth on student films and extra work on big sets, I’ve met with industry bigwigs, gotten an agent, auditioned for network television, and am currently a lead on a web series that actually has full funding and a home with a magazine. But, as I’m sure you’ve heard, the entertainment industry isn’t the warmest place. It’s highly competitive and occasionally ruthless, especially when you’re just starting out. Now that I’ve gotten some experience and made wonderful friends, it feels like people are rooting for me to succeed, instead of fail. I feel like I’m starting to be part of a community - I was at a rehearsal for a short film last weekend that I think will be really fucking awesome and it was one of the first times I felt completely and totally welcomed by a group of people. Everyone there was supporting each other, regardless of position or role. It was a place filled with love and respect. 

I waltzed into the podcasting world as a creator 4 months ago and I feel like that is the environment I walked into: warm, welcoming, unassuming, and kind. I’m sure there are jerks in podcasting, because jerks exist everywhere, but I haven’t met any yet. When I went to reddit to promote the show, I was pretty nervous - I’ve heard how reddit can be. But I was met with enthusiasm. No one was trying to check my credentials, look up my credits, disprove my right to belong there; they were just happy to have me. Podcasters and podcast-fans alike were excited that I was there. 

So I guess all of this is just to say: thanks. Thanks for listening and sharing and most of all, just being open to another person joining this merry group of audiophiles. Thank you, @personalinsanitymoment and @podcake and @workjuice and @podcastreviewing and @smashcutcast and @codename-chamomile and everyone else on tumblr and twitter who have reblogged/retweeted/shouted-out/listened/cared. You all, as the popular saying goes, give me life. I cannot tell you what an amazing surprise it was to find that an industry I had admired so much is actually as awesome on the inside as it is on the outside. 


Tickets are now LIVE and VERY REAL for TopatoCon! Located in the neck sweat of Easthampton, Massachusetts, this convention has all your favorites! Podcasts! Comics! Games! Music! Love???

TopatoCon will run from September 26th-27th, with a concert from thedoubleclicks & @Molly23 on Friday night, at the Academy of Music in Northampton! Tickets for the Friday Concert can be bought on the Academy of Music’s website, or by calling their phone number!

Volunteer Applications are STILL OPEN, so if you would like to help out at the con, apply!

A full schedule of events can be found on our Schedule page, as well as a page for our list of amazing Exhibitors!

If you have any questions, TopatoCon can be reached on our twitter (@)TopatoCon2015 or you can see who else is going near you by joining our Facebook event page!

Hope to see you guys there!