Monthly Archives: August 2016

Parable Of The Leopard

Almost a year ago, when I asked Strix to be a part of the Voice of Free Planet X, I warned her of two things: 1) her character was integral to the metaplot, so she would be on a lot of episodes, and 2) one of those episodes would be essentially a monologue. Neither of those bothered her, and when I finally delivered this script to her, she dug into it with both hands. Not everyone can handle a 2nd-person future-tense speech delivered to themselves in the past, but Strix took it all in stride. She’s an astounding performer, and this is one of the greatest performances I’ve had the pleasure to record.

It’s an odd show–I know I say that about every episode; it’s always true–but it’s doesn’t feel odd. Strix grounds the more fantastic parts of the script in real tangible, emotion. Which could not have been easy when you have a story about a someone violently interacting with their doubles from alternate earths.

When I listen to this episode, I think about that conversation we had back then. And I am so grateful that she agreed then, so that you can hear this now.

Speaking of Strix, have you seen her roleplaying game show “Weekly Affirmations?” It’s part of the HyperRPG Twitch channel and if you like freeform/indie RPGs, its well worth your time. They’re all on YouTube if you want catch up. The most recent episode has Ajit George, who played the pacifist Jedi Knight in the newsletter exclusive episode. They’re great together.

You should watch the show. It’s pretty decent.

This weekend is the beginning of the Philadelphia Podcast Festival, and this afternoon is the VFPX component of said festival, “The Wake Of The Lacuna.” I’m so excited for this, folks! We had a rehearsal last night, and it was absolutely amazing. It’s more of an actual play than an audio play–the actors are doing all sort of reaction stuff that will delight the live audience but will be lost on the audio. If you’re in the area, there’s no reason you shouldn’t come. It’s free, it’s at 4pm today at the Art Church of West Philadelphia.

If you’re not in the area, there might be a video for Patreon backers. So if you’re not a Patreon backer, maybe you should consider it? There’s some nice bonus stuff there.

Backer or not, you will get to hear “The Wake Of The Lacuna” on the podcast feed in September. I’m really proud of this show, it’s great script, the cast is superb, and I honestly don’t know if I’m ever going to top it.

‘Course, that’s how I felt about “Rap Battle Beyond The Stars,” too.

I’ll think of something.

Just Around Supervillian Corner

A crossover with Chris Morse’s excellent Supervillain Corner! The return of Comrade Cockroach! A small cast (for once)! What could possibly go wrong?

For those who have listened to the episode already, you know what half of it is in Russian, talked over by disaffected BBC translators. Now, I flirted with the idea of taking some Russian audio from some YouTube video, and just laying Graham and Alasdair’s brilliantly bored readings over top. But, I wanted it to be real Russian, so I asked if anyone could translate the script for me.

Mildred Cady and Marnen Laibow Kaiser volunteered and did some amazing work. But, translating one of my weird scripts into another language is big job, and it took more time than any of us was expecting. And so, the episode that was scheduled for March hits your ears in August.

Worth the wait, though. While it took long than expected, this episode came together wonderfully well, from Chris’s fantastic Brainfever to John Davis’s amazing Ursa Major. It was ambitious, and the whole episode might be too meta for some tastes, but I adore it.

Speaking of supervillains, I saw SUICIDE SQUAD recently. A few days before, I watched this video about BATMAN V SUPERMAN and the idea of scenes and moments. Quick version (though you should really watch the video) moments are bits of visual splendor that stick with you, scenes move plot and character development forward.In movies, you can have great moments in a great scene, or they can be split a part. Moments are good for montages, pauses for emotional depth, and dream sequences. Scenes are good for, well, everything else.

Say what you want about Zack Snyder and David Ayer’s directing skills, they are, clearly comicbook fans. Both worked very hard to get particular visuals from the superhero comics they love on to the screen. They are dedicated to recreating their favorite comics on the big screen.

Trouble is, comics are nothing but moments. The elasticity of time in comics means that giant word-balloons can be crammed into panels, allowing whole conversations to occur during an action that takes half a second. But time is not elastic in movies–though Snyder, with his love of slow-motion, is certainly trying his best. Movie moments cannot contain scenes, which is why, no matter how great the cinematic moment is, it stops the film momentum. Great directors can use that to powerful emotional effect. Snyder and Ayer just seem to be tracing their favorite panels.

There’s also a flip-side to this, where creators raised on TV and movies make comics that mainly scenes, but hardly any moments.

I’m not going to name names, but you’ve read them. And you’ve instantly forgot about them.

The Philadelphia Podcast Festival is almost upon us! Is the Voice of Free Planet X involved? You have to ask?

We’ll be transforming the West Philadelphia Art Church into the headquarters of the End of Time Club, a collection of pulp-style heroes. Yep, there’s nothing these daring explorers, daredevil pilots and dark viliglantes can’t face!

Except perhaps, the loss of one of their own.

When the brilliant detective known as the Lacuna goes missing, its up the remaining End of Timers to make sense of the mystery!

Starting VFPX stalwarts Len ‘Cruze’ Webb as Tom Brayve, Phil Thomas as Doc Cosmos, Andy Holman as Operative 7, Sonia Lorraine as Rachnae and newcomer to the podcast Isa St. Clair as Abigail Airheart!

It all goes down at 4pm August 20. Be there if you can, it’s going to be something else. I don’t know how I’m going to top this one.

I’ll think of something.