Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for June 26 2016 – Healing the Dysfunctions

In this episode, I play a song from Yes You Are; I tell the story of work travel, personal travel, a trip to a wedding and seeing family for the first time in 40 year; I talk about explicitly trying to heal the dysfunctions of the past and being emotionally raw and how to work with that.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, June 26 2016

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for May 19 2015 – Around the Podiosphere

In this episode, I talk a bit about the real world hitches that keep delaying the show; I talk about some podcast listening I have enjoyed including Gregg Schigiel interviewing Jackie Kashian; Eddie Peppitone; Brian Quinn and Sal Vulcano; I talk about a local con that is losing me; I bring up unproductive ways people disagree; I talk about where I think modern reporting is losing me; I close by playing a weird piece of music that is also one of my favorites.

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, May 19 2015

Links mentioned in this episode:

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for August 4, 2013 – “DDOP Day 5: Collecting Comics”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 4, 2014.

In this episode, I talk about another thing I enjoy: collecting comic books. I discuss why even the tedious parts I find enjoyable and why it’s the perfect hobby for me.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 13, 2013 – “My Life In Fandom #28”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, September 13, 2013.

In this episode, I finish up the fandom series by covering the years 2000 to present; after that I discuss a few quotes I found funny from recent podcast listening.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for February 20, 2012 – “Haters and Conventions”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, February 20, 2012 (yes, it took me almost two weeks between recording and posting.) This episode is another of a new format recorded in my car. I briefly discuss where I am in the LetterMo challenge; I talk about the notion of “haters” vs legitimately disliking something with the specific example of the Comic Book Men TV show; I talk about which SF and comics conventions I’ll be attending in 2012 and which ones I had to decline; I backtrack a little into my history in various fandoms and talk about the way friendship can flourish even when you rarely see people.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for February 20, 2012 – “Haters and Conventions”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, February 20, 2012 (yes, it took me almost two weeks between recording and posting.) This episode is another of a new format recorded in my car. I briefly discuss where I am in the LetterMo challenge; I talk about the notion of “haters” vs legitimately disliking something with the specific example of the Comic Book Men TV show; I talk about which SF and comics conventions I’ll be attending in 2012 and which ones I had to decline; I backtrack a little into my history in various fandoms and talk about the way friendship can flourish even when you rarely see people.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Special Correspondent for Technorama

I’m still barely dribbling out the con reports from my trip to Balticon and in that time since I’ve been writing them, I’ve been to a whole other con, Heroescon in Charlotte last weekend. I had a lot of fun there, did comic shopping and autograph hunting and all the things a fanboy does at a good sized comic con. This year I also did a few interviews as “special correspondent” for the Technorama podcast. Thanks to Kreg Steppe for lending me his H2 for an hour to walk around and interview a few folks and then toss it back to him for him to do the actual work of making a show from them.

Check out the episode here and let me know what you think. It was a blast to be able to do this work outside of my own shows and just cut loose. I highly recommend it to all podcasters. It really is invigorating.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for July 26, 2009 – “The Alan Bean of Podcasting”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for July 26, 2009. I play a song by Wolf Parade; I play a sponsorship announcement from Bob’s Institute of Time Control; I talk about vacationing in the North Carolina mountains and trying to refocus on what is important; about enthusiasm for and history of new media as it waxes and wanes; I talk about conventions I have and will attend; once again I take a dump on podcasting awards and then play some angry lo-fi punk from Pissed Jeans to seal the deal. Take that!

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

More Heroes Con Wrapups

Me and Derek Coward

More Heroes Con wrapups come in. I’m glad I got to meet and hang out with Derek Coward. I was a little surprised that the show was not as explicitly social as many such gatherings. Had I known that you could get in with only a wrist band like a record show, I’d have brought my own name badge. I like to know who I’m talking to at these shows and I like them to know who I am.

It seems like Heroes is really a dealers room with a con outgrowth from there. That room is the beating heart of the show and while other things happen, they are not the main event. There are panels and programming but a fraction of what you’d expect from a SF convention with 10% of the attendees. I went to exactly one panel in my one day. Even with doing stuff all day to the point of exhaustion, I still didn’t get as much dealers room “digging through boxes for back issues” time as I wanted. It was kind of hilarious as I took my want list to a cramped 3/$1 dealer that every single guy (and they were all guys) stepping over each other and digging through had their own printout of issues they were looking for. It just made me realize that I was really and truly with my people. One guy had the best format I’ve ever seen. I might steal it for my list next year.

These observations are not a bad thing per se. This con is just different from others, long may it wave.

Here are some reactions from other people to this year:

  • Liz Baillie posts her wrapup of the convention, which is not so wildly positive as some. I bought some stuff from her so I did what I could to keep her in the black on the trip.
  • Tom Spurgeon interviews Dustin Harbin about organizing Heroes Con and this years outing specifically.
  • Alec Longstreth posts about his experience. I also got some of his stuff at the con and am looking forward to reading it.
  • Apparently they announced the formation of Rantz Hoseley’s Longbox Digital Comics project on Sunday after I left. I’m interested in seeing how this works. I’d be willing to use digital comics as my issue or two I try to see if I want to actually buy the paper version. I’m not sure if I’d ever buy them exclusively but I can see a place in my comics reading experience for digital comics.
  • Derek Coward records his thoughts on Heroes Con at Comic Book Noise.

I’m glad I went and I’m already looking forward to next year. Like I say “Happiness is a stack of comic books too big to carry.”

Heroes Con Wrapup

Here are some Heroes Con wrapups by people I hung out with: one from Andre and one from Derek. I’ve attended before but the last time was in 1991, so it’s almost like a brand new con to me. A few quick observations from my side:

  • In a lot of ways, it seemed less like a convention and more like a record show. It’s the only fannish con I can remember where you can get in without a nametag, only with a wristband. In certain ways, it feels like the record shows I used to go to in hotel ballrooms. Even when people had nametags, they were hard to read and about useless for conveying the basic information of “who is is person?”
  • The center of the con is the dealers room and everything else works out from there. There were panels but compared to similarly sized events, it was a tiny proportion. It’s all about the sketches and the books. That’s not a problem to me, but it is kind of different from most things I attend.
  • I want someone to draw me a cartoon with this as the caption: “Heroes Con 2009: Happiness is a stack of comics too big to carry!”
  • I was only at the show for Saturday and that wasn’t enough. We went to Carowinds Friday night. I think we could do the same thing but start one day earlier and it would be perfect. Maybe Friday when many folks are at work it would be easier to get autographs.
  • I tried my best to support indie artists. I bought stuff from Alec Longstreth and Liz Baillie and Little House Comics. I also bought a whole lot of 3/$1 and $0.50 comics from longboxes. As I trolled through them with my wish list printout, I’d look to my left and right and there were other guys all with computerized print lists checking off issues as they found them. This gave me inordinate joy, kind of like the bee girl at the end of the ” No Rain” video. I was with my people, even as we jostled each other and got in each other’s way.
  • The Hampton Inn seems like the place to stay. It was relatively cheap, only a block and a half away and pretty good. The pool was inside which bummed out people who had the plan of sunning by poolside. I know at least one pro was staying there because I saw him at the front desk on our way to dinner.
  • I had a great time. Next year I hope to partake of some of the night life and not be so exhausted the whole time. Staying an extra day would help a lot with that.

At Heroes Convention

I’m here in Charlotte a few blocks from the convention center. I’m looking forward to attending Heroes Convention tomorrow. They just had a piece on the con on the 11 PM local news that makes me even more anxious to get there. I brought my full want list of comics I’m looking for, a few issues of things to get signed, and a bunch of stickers and fliers for my various projects. I had considered bringing my Marantz but opted not to because I’m here for fun, not to work it. I do have many of my Reality Break business card and will be handing them out freely.

I know for sure that my friends Andre Pope, Kreg Steppe and Derek Coward will be attending tomorrow. I don’t know how many if any of my friends from Atlanta and Augusta comics fandom (many of whom I haven’t seen for 20+ years) will be there. If you will be there, say hi. I’m leaning my balance of convention travel more towards things like this than Podcast Expo type conferences. I’ll go to the comic podcaster panel tomorrow, get some comics signed, shop for comics until I can’t take it anymore and generally try to have a big time. I think we’ll pull it off too.

A Heroes Con Publicity Offer to All

I’m going to attend Heroes Con in Charlotte in 2 weeks. I’m willing to make this offer to any podcaster or anyone with stuff to promote. Send me your flyers, stickers, postcards or whatever promotional material you have. I’ll take it to the convention and put it on the freebies table there. If there are any left over, I’ll take them to Dragon*Con in September and again, if there are leftovers I’ll take them to XCon Myrtle Beach in October. This offer will remain open until I get too much stuff to carry, if that ever happens.

If you are interested in having your stuff toted around, drop me an email to dslusher at gmail.com and I’ll hook you up with shipping information. The only thing I ask of people who want to take me up on this deal is to get going on it sooner than later. The two days before the con I’ll have plenty of my own details to deal with. I need to get everything I’m going to take with me in hand by Wednesday June 17th.

This whole deal is in honor of Kreg Steppe of Technorama, who last year was good enough to go to a Kinkos near the convention center, pick up my Reality Break flyers and then distribute them around. Thanks, Kreg. I’m just trying to spread that kind of love around.

Around the Podosphere

Here’s a few things that have struck me as interesting from my recent listening.

I’m a fan of Harry Shearer’s Le Show and the July 20th episode featured a lot of talk with John M. Barry, a writer and expert on New Orleanian issues. I liked how Mr. Barry debunked the whole ridiculous “why rebuild a city under sea level?” meme quite well. If you are at all interested in New Orleans, the failure of the federal levees and related topics, I recommend this for a listen.

I continue to be interested in minicomics. I’ll be honest, most of my inspiration and excitement that I get from DIY media lately has come from the minicomics community. I really want to find a place where I can send them some dough and they’ll send me a grab bag of mixed stuff. I’m interested in the medium but the search costs are high. I do love when I can get a nice compact burst of information on the topic, which I did get from this Dollar Bin recording of the minicomics panel from HeroesCon. This panel had a lot of Alec Longstreth in it. This does make me realize that I need to go to Lulu.com and buy the collection of his minicomics.

I like listening to SModcast and I don’t begrudge the boys making some money, particularly when they are paying a dude to edit and lay in their music bed. Considering the music bed is really the third guy on the show, it’s a significant part of the program. However, their Think Geek sponsorship on the show I listened to today was painful. It was goofy and all and in the kind of style I like to do mine, but damn it felt like it went on forever. I checked the MP3 player and it was a little under 3 minutes but it felt like 10. I’d suggest after about a minute, y’all stop. Past that, you subtract value and make me pissed off at Think Geek. I’m just saying.

Convention Season

I’m thinking a lot about conventions lately. This is the first year where not only am I not going to Podcast Expo but I never for a second even considered going. I was scheduled to speak last year but when it came down not only was my day job so crushing at the time but it had been for months and I just couldn’t do it. I had to cancel a few weeks before the show, which was a crappy way to go about it and made me feel bad. However when it came to the actual missing of the show other than not being able to hang out with my friends, I was OK with not going. The extended to this year when I just never considered going at all. Nothing against the event but a combination of losing the scruffy charm of the Ontario CA conference center and just not having much interest in the “podcast industry” as a goal left me uninterested this year.

In contrast, since I have a reborn Reality Break on my hands, I’m trying to increase my attendance at science fiction and comic book conventions. That’s where I choose to put my energy and travel budget now rather than Podcast Expo. I’d rather go where my potential listeners and fans are. People generally have this idea of promoting their show at Podcast Expo but really that’s not a great place for promotion unless your goal is to get the attention primarily of other podcasters.

However because I’m ever less enthralled with getting on airplanes the cons I attend will skew heavily towards the southeast where I can drive to them. I missed Heroes Con but I will be attending Dragon*Con where I will be participating in the podcasting track and also doing interviews. I hope to make it to Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland this fall and do some interviews there too. I have an invitation to OryCon in Portland OR that I’m thinking hard about but is low probability. I’d love to do it as I have lots of friends out there but it’s just such a shlep to get there and back. When I went in 2006 I ended up losing most of one of my days with friends and sleeping in Ohare airport.

There is a new comic convention called XCon that will be starting up in Myrtle Beach this Halloween season. I’ll obviously go to that one. If people have suggestions of good cons for both promoting my work and getting new interview material recorded, let me know. The probability that I can go decreases with the square of the distance from the South Carolina coast but I’d love to know about them.

Recordings and SF Conventions

Tom Spurgeon points out that the panels he moderated at Heroes Con were recorded for posterity by the Dollar Bin guys. I’ve been listening to these and really appreciate them since I wanted to go to the convention this year and couldn’t. This brings up a point I’ve been meaning to blog about for years and keep forgetting to.

When I was a guest at Orycon 2006, on top of interviewing Cory Doctorow I was on a lot of panels. I recorded 5 of the 6 panels I was on. At this point, the only thing I’ve ever done with those recordings was to excerpt a snippet of my closing remarks on one panel in an episode of EGC. However, I do have them and could always do something with them later.

The act of recording them was a pain in the ass – not technically which was very easy – but permission-wise. Every single time, I’d put my Marantz in the center of the table and tell the panelists I was recording. Every single panelist was cool with it every single time. After all, we are there to speak publicly and on the record so why wouldn’t we be? Every single time, though, some bristling occurred from the audience. They always wanted to know what I was doing with the recordings and why I was taping the session. It might have to do with the Oregonian contrarian nature because on the Heroes Con sessions they announce they are taping and no one says a word against it. I hope I don’t seem elitist and like I’m pulling rank but it always bugged me to get push back from the people whose contributions were limited and who might not even be able to be picked up on mic when the panelists were all cool with it.

This did lead me to a way to get around all the painful negotiations and explanations. I think SF and comic conventions should explicitly declare themselves, their grounds and the events that occur during their time period as Creative Commons licensed NonCommercial/ShareAlike/Attribution. Anyone can record via audio or video or photograph anything in public convention space and publish under those terms. 90% of this happens anyway. Flickr is full of photos of any such event you can think of. It just makes it easier and standard how to deal with the issue of recordings. It’s in the best interest of the conventions to spread their mindshare about what makes their shindig unique and this reduces the friction of that. If the convention declares this licensing regime upfront then everyone understand the terms going in.The convention as a whole is on the record and no one should have any issues. It just makes it simpler, and it frees the pros and fans up to do creative work without lots of overhead, which creative work is what they do.

I love the idea of video fanzines published via podcasting mechanisms. It’s the same urge that led to the mimeographs of last century, just realized via a different technology. Let’s make this happen. If you work with a convention, talk about this at the organizational meetings. I’d love to see this adopted around the place.