Monthly Archives: March 2016


Son of Planet X

A post the day an episode comes out? I know, madness.

Son of Planet X was a difficult one. I reference the death of a fictional child, Hartley, in Mistaking Our Mirrors and My Wife In Hell, but this is the first time I was going to talk about into it. And it wasn’t easy.

While I have not lost a son to a ritualistic murder, I did have a son die not long after he was born. Corvin was born with a considerable amount of internal problems, and I knew he was not long for this world when I first took him into my arms. I did get to hold him, though, which is a blessing I will never forget. But I also felt his tiny, bird-like grow cold in my arms, which haunts me to this day.

Hartley is not Corvin, but in order to talk about chasing after my made-up son, I had to process my feelings about losing my real one. There’s a line in the episode that seems out of place on the surface, but utterly expresses how I felt after Corvin’s death. I’m talking about the possibilities of other alternate worlds, and meeting another me: “Maybe he could tell me what to do.”

There’s was a seemingly insurmountable feeling of powerlessness after Corvin’s came and went from my life. I wanted someone to tell me what to do, but I doubted anyone else could understand what I was going through well enough to give me good advice.

I’m glad I wrote this episode, but it was a hard thing to do. And I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.


As hard as this episode was to write, it was incredibly easy to record. I’ve been wanting to have Sonia and Taleisha on the podcast since I decided to have voice actors. Strix, who reprises her role as the Deitator’s Domo from How’s It Gonna End, is fast becoming a VFPX MVP.

Expect to hear all of these women on the show again. They are too much fun to work with.


Also, how great is that chorus of people saying “I’m Jared Axelrod?” I put out a call on the social medias, and the response was overwhelming.

I have the best listening audience. I know every podcaster says that, but I really think its true in this case.


Saturday night I was at the Beaumont Wherehouse for the Sloppy Film Festival (just what it sounds like), and I was utterly taken by the space. It was like walking into the set of a Tom Waits video: geometric sculptures hung from the rafters, three pianos of questionable functionality hung out near the performance space, ramshackle bookshelves were stocked with odd tomes and animal masks. And lording over all of it, was this impressive proscenium:

I’m not planning a live show of VFPX, but if I was, this is the only place I want to do it at.


Extra special news for those of you who are local to Philly and have nothing to do tonight. I will be a special guest at the first SUPER SECRET Geekadelphia ‘Geekeasy’ event at Tattooed Mom on South St.  You probably haven’t seen anything about it, because it’s, y’know, secret.

I am told there will be drink specials, giveaways, and SPECIAL VIP SECRET SPEAKERS (one of whom is me) talking about podcasting on a mini panel that’ll kick off at 8PM. The event itself starts at 7PM. Fee free to tell your friends, but only tell them by whispering about it in dark corners, or perhaps under streetlamps on a foggy evening.

It should be a blast. I’m not sure what I’m going to talk about tonight. Podcasting, obviously. But beyond that? I don’t know.

I’ll think of something.


Pledge Drives


If you follow me on social media, you probably remember me talking about how “Pledge Drives” was supposed to go up before “Welcome to the Hidden Almanac,” but was pushed back due to technical difficulties. At the time, I was little upset about it, but now, I’m actually kind of glad this episode ended up where it did. It felt right to open the new season with the Hidden Almanac crossover, and this episode does it’s job as a welcoming to the world of the show.

And what a world, that has such people in it! Listeners will recognize my sister Kate, reprising her role from “How’s It Gonna End?” as my GPR supervisor. Phil Thomas, who also put in a voice for “How’s It Gonna End?” shows up with his West Phillians partner Andy Holman. Jennifer Steen, of the much-missed podcast Jennisodes, is someone I’ve wanted to be on the show since I started looking for other people to voice it.

The real coup of this episode about fake public radio shows is two real public radio people. Edison Carter (not his real name) is an award-winning NPR journalist has done NPR’s Morning Edition in, like, three states now. And Ellen Kushner, in addition to being a beloved fantasy novelist (she wrote the delightful Swordspoint) and a subject for one of J.R. Blackwell’s In Their Own Worlds photos, also did a wonderful show called Sound & Spirit. An archive of over 90 episodes of Sound & Spirit are available online for your listening pleasure, and you and your ears (or whatever you use to listen; I don’t judge) should really take advantage of that. I recommend “Dreams” and “Tricksters,” but every one I’ve listened to so far has been great, so I imagine you can’t go wrong.


I recently saw Alexandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain, and it has quickly become one of my favorite films. It’s not for everyone–certainly not for anyone who has problems with plots that are barely there and weirdness for weirdness’s sake–and for all it’s dizzying heights, there are some pretty dismal lows. But it does have a scene where some meticulously-costumed iguanas and toads reinact the Spanish Conquest of Mexico (you can watch it here, with film’s score replaced by Apocalyptica’s cover of “Fade to Black”) and if you can’t see the brilliance in that, I’ve got nothing for you.

Yes, this is going to be referenced in an upcoming episode.

No, not in the way you think.

Actually, maybe in the way you think. You folks are pretty smart. You’ve probably got a lot of what I’m setting up already figured out.


New episodes mean a new Shirt of the Month! And for March, for your sartorial pleasure, we have none other than the glaring visage of Reverend Mord!

Who wouldn’t want that on your chest?

I’m taking votes on what the Shirt of the Month should be for April. Make your voice heard! I’m curious as which one of these shirts you folks like the most.

There is, of course, a possibility of a three-way tie. I don’t know what I’m going to do if that happens.

I’ll think of something.