Saturday, May 26, 2012

Chronic Referrals!

Other Nick asked us to post links to the podcasts we recommended on the series finale - so here they are!

Mike recommends:

The Nerdist Podcast
 What began as Chris Hardwick and a couple of pals interviewing nerd-centric celebrities has turned into an empire of podcasts covering a wide array of weird crap.  Ryan particularly enjoys the Writer's Panel show.  Enjoy your burrito!  (This will make sense if you listen to the Nerdist show.  Sort of.)

The Table Top Youtube Channel
Wil Wheaton and various celebrities play table top board games on Felicia Day's "Geek & Sundry" channel

Ryan Recommends:

Where Monsters Dwell
The most unique and comprehensive comics podcast experience on planet earth!  Mike, Remy, and Red Shirt Ryan combine host charisma, creative interviews, and live interaction.  Where else can you get all your comics news, talk to the hosts, then ask your favorite creator a question on live radio?  Answer:  nowhere. 

Two Headed Nerd
Joe Patrick and Matt Baum are writing and performing the snappiest comics podcast on the market.  They try to keep the run time to around 30 minutes, so you're not going to kill your workshift, but my does it pop.  The most densely packed, hilarious little morsel you'll listen to all week. 

Wait, What? 
Graeme McMillan writes for every comics news site you visit, and several you don't.  Jeff Lester is essentially Eeyore, if Eeyore waxed more philosophical, read comics, and laughed mirthlessly every five minutes or so.  Together they've created the most thoughtful and thought-provoking comics podcast on the rack, covering a wide range of topics (including waffles) in staggering depth.  A Savage Critic production.

The Hench-Cast
Chronic fan Mike W and his friends John, Jeff, and Jason record their role-playing hijinx for your amusement.  The show has already bought this crew a ticket in to the Urban Dictionary, ("boating" entry # 2) and they get more hits than Chronic Insomnia....clearly they're doing something right!

Close The Door
PJ and Kyle have essentially created Chronic Insomnia: The Next Generation, blending a bawdy cold-open with comics news, reviews, and inappropriate levels of personal disclosure.  Sound familiar?  Thought so.  They're young in the game, but they've both got chops, and charisma to burn.  The future is CTD!

Bon Apetite, you degenerates!

Ryan Lee

Thursday, May 24, 2012

An Emotionally Compromised Ending To Chronic Insomnia!

I just uploaded the final issue of Chronic Insomnia.  The studio is dark.  The mics are off and the chairs are cooling from the heat of our fine asses.  It's a sad moment in my life.  Five years of podcasting and it comes down to tonight.  It's been ten days since the big reveal and I know it seems that I've been distant but it's been emotional for me.  I was unequipped emotionally to respond to the love that came forth after Ryan's blog entry last week.  I was amazed, overwhelmed and shocked at the impact our little show has had on all of you.  I am humbled and emotionally torn asunder.  

The last five years of doing the show have been some of the most creative years of my life.  Ryan and I have been recording into microphones for many years off and on, but this was something different.  This was creative on a consistent basis.  We also laughed A LOT!  Week in and week out we boiled our brains in semen and spit electrolytes to the airwaves.  I was doing a show with my best friend once a week, are you kidding me, it was the time of my life.  I know that Ryan knows this in the back of his mind but I want to thank him for all the years of laughter and creativity.  It's been a wild ride and there is no one I would have rather done this with.  We strapped on the hiking boots of comics podcasting and walked up the path together.  For good or bad, mostly great, we were ourselves and we laughed together.  For me that was the best part of the show.  The show was Ryan and I, and we put ourselves out there and a very small group of you loved us for that.  I can't express how much that humbles me.  To be part of something this big in my life for so long was an honor and a privilege.  

I am damn proud of Chronic Insomnia.  I thought our show sounded, audio wise, as good or better than anything out there.  Ryan and I laced the show with bits, drops, fake commercials and original songs and I don't know of another show with our unpredictability.  I will take credit for a little of that.  I was the insane one.  The one that came from left field with the craziest shit.  Ryan is the one that made it work.  However crazy my idea was, he would smile and help me figure out how to make it understandable to humans.  Since we had humans listening to the show, that was probably a good thing.  I applaud him for putting up with my crap over the last five years, and more importantly the last 30 years.  It's been since 1983, that first recording with all the "Crossbows and Catapult" pieces flying everywhere, since we started this audio madness and I hope at least in some way it never ends.  

I'm not saying that Ryan isn't crazy, he's fucking nuts at times, but he's crazy in a normal way.  Ryan is a sophisticated lover and a silver track suit wearing, kate beckinsale banging', magenta hair lovin' grey templed ass-man.  That's Ryan Lee in a sentence and he's also my best friend.  

You all need to know that Chronic Insomnia was mostly Ryan.  He did all the research and most of the work.  Definitely most of the writing.  I just don't have the chops like he does.  He's wicked smart and he really carried me along throughout the years.  I'm not saying I didn't do anything, but what I did could be trained into any monkey with a mouse pad and an itchy finger.  What Ryan did was infuse our absurd show with intelligence and sophistication.  He legitimized us.  I wanted to do more fart and dick jokes but Ryan could sense the limit of vulgarity we needed and held me fast to it.   I am glad he did, otherwise we'd have failed miserably.  

In the end Chronic Insomnia is something I will cherish until I die, as I cherish all of you reading this.  Chronic Insomnia you have been a friend and confidant and I hate to let you go, but I think it's time we pack up our microphones and ride off into the sunset. (who am I kidding, I'm going to walk off into the graffiti filled city that God forgot).  Ryan's got some Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi waiting for me and I don't want to be late.  I think we're going to watch "Fletch" for the 50th time and perhaps talk longingly about our five year run.  Ryan, we've got enough "inside jokes" between the two of us to keep us in stitches for a while.   I'm looking forward to more laughter together in whatever we do.  

Don't fret my friends, you might see us again sometime, the sun hasn't gone down on us completely, we're still kicking around in the dust.  If you listen closely to the wind you can still hear us laughing….  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Never Mind the Bollocks.....Here's the End of Chronic Insomnia!

 Things fall apart, the center cannot hold...and after nearly five years of elegance and sophistication, the Chronic Insomnia comic book podcast is no more.

"Good riddance", say some, and to that I say "Shut up, world at large!"  But others, a very tiny sliver of really passionate people that anticipate that (semi) weekly dose of Chronic vulgarity, people that I love dearly...they will want to know:


Truth is, it's the people that want us to stay the most that make it impossible for me to stay.  Truth is, and this is scientifically demonstrable, the quality and consistency of the show are not there, and the commitment is lacking.

I won't do this half assed, because I have too much pride in my work and too much respect for my listeners.  I won't do this half assed because Remy, and Jesse, and Dave Rancor, and Miracle Keith, and Nick, and Glenn, and Other Nick deserve better.  Somewhere out there Elizabeth Scott is waiting to instruct half-assers to get into the toilet.  And you know what?  She should.

Last week's recording got fumbled again, and it was just general life stuff.  But it happens a lot lately, way too much lately, and it never used to.  Our worlds used to revolve around the show.... and it became clear to me that the show has run its course, and that half-assed is all that's left in the tank.  Not good enough.  Not by half.

So I'm done, and Quincy agrees with me, and that's OK.  It's a strange and wonderful little legacy, this show of ours.  I don't think the world will miss us much.  We left a smaller cultural footprint than the Baja Men, and that's fairly horrifying.

On the other hand, I remember Quincy and I with elevated heart rates and girlishly raised voices squealing about how episode # 36 or whatever achieved A WHOLE 12 DOWNLOADS, and HOLY CHRIST, that meant somebody out there was listening that WE DIDN'T KNOW!  As I type this, our latest effort has 382 downloads, many of them from other countries, and many more that listen and don't download.  It aint exactly Adam Carolla numbers, but when we started this nonsense in 2007, neither Quincy nor I ever envisioned 382 people giving a shit about what we were doing.

 Regrets?  I suppose.  A part of me would have liked to continue, to get better, get bigger, and someday be recognized as one of the "leather helmet" pioneers of comics podcasting.  Was that ever possible for us?  I don't know.  I notoriously used to wonder whether we were the Sex Pistols of Podcasting, or whether we could be The Beatles.

I think in the end we were the Sex Beatles, often compelling as we drenched honesty, energy, and balls in a syrup of childish, rebellious shit.  Never quite great, but the spectacle was usually worth it, and I think the pearl beneath the excrement was tantalizing.  We did some good fuckin', us Sex Beatles.  (and some really bad fuckin', too)

I think in the end we did provide a unique, viable product.  The format was essentially what Remy refers to as a "two monkey's on a davenport" vehicle, and that's nothing to be proud of.  But love me or hate me, I had a point of few, and I shot straight with no editing and no bullshit.  When you listened to Chronic Insomnia, you got some comics info, fine.  Some of it was even useful, if I'm not too biased to make a declaration.

Apart from that, and better than that, we invited you into our lives and hearts and thoughts, and even my unintentional celibacy, and the status of my physical plumbing.  It wasn't just:

"Here's comics!"

Anybody can do that.  For Chronic Insomnia, it was:

"Here's me, ALL of me, and here's how we feel about life."  I don't see another comics podcast doing that.  Maybe that's a good thing?  I don't know.  Me, I'll miss it.

I'll miss lots of things.  Doing this show's blog brought me into brief but memorable contact with Ethan Van Sciver, Dan Slott, Chris Samnee.  For fuck's sake, I made up some nonsense about marrying the Fantastic Four and Jonathan Hickman "gave away the bride" to me live on Canadian radio!!!!  Are you shitting me???

My review of Morning Glories # 1 made it to a CBR article, my review of Crossed Family Values # 3 made it to a feature article on Bleeding Cool, and when Irish Mike McLarty was pinch hitting for Rich, Bleeding Cool even had a feature on Market Spotlight.  I'll never forget any of those things.

I never would have had the chance to interview Anthony Del Col, Meagan Marie, or Comic Tube Vikki without the show.  And I never would have met the folks at Where Monsters Dwell.  LOVE the folks at Where Monsters Dwell, now more than ever.  The show has done a lot for me, personally.

And now it's done.  Quincy has talked about doing a series finale episode to say goodbye, and I think that's a good idea.  This week I'm headed up to the cabin when we would normally record, (see how life keeps getting in the way?) but that really ought to happen soon.

And after that?  Hmmmm, never say never I suppose.  I'm not retired from thinking, and I'm certainly not done with comics.  We may hear from each other again some day, in some capacity.

But for now, we're limping to our deaths like a couple of loser fucks.  Somewhere Johnny Rotten is smiling.

- Ryan Lee
Always the Manatee, Steve McQueen, or Louden Swain of Podcasting