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:
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