Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

Giving Thanks


Dear Listeners,

Given that we’re in the United States, and it’s that day when it’s customary to sit down and think about what we’re thankful for, we want to take a moment to do that.

We were completely unprepared for how quickly Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men took off. When we started the podcast in April, our threshold for ridiculous, unfathomable success was 50 listeners, not counting our moms. Seven months later, we’re averaging around 10,000 unique downloads per episode. Thanks to your support, the podcast and site have become a significant chunk of Rachel’s job.

But while we are thankful for those things, they’re not really what we wanted to talk about here. What we want to talk about is you.

When we realized how big we were getting, and how fast, we got really worried. We know the Internet; we know what happens when you tip over a certain size or a certain level of visibility. And we sat down and worked out rules for comments moderation, and contingencies for some worst-case scenarios, and generally kind of braced ourselves.

So far, we’ve had to use none of those contingencies. None. Think about that.

On the website, we’ve deleted or stopped maybe a dozen comments. Of those, all but two were accidental double-posts; and despite containing content we decided not to let through, the remaining two were polite and obviously well-intended. We’ve never needed to block a Twitter account. We’ve never gotten an e-mail that didn’t make us smile. (Even the corrections. Especially the corrections.)

Ten thousand listeners.

Seven months.

Two blocked comments.

Listeners, you are amazing. You are passionate and engaged: at our site and on social media, we loved watching you dive into involved, challenging, and universally respectful and civil conversations. You make us think. You make each other think. You share information and resources and recommend books. You make art. You send us wonderful, heartfelt notes that make us mist up at work.

We know a lot of people who podcast; who make art, and write, and work on the web. We’ve never seen anyone with a fan base as universally awesome as ours.

So, we’ve been thinking a lot about what we’re thankful for, in context of the podcast. We thought about characters we love and identify with, comics that have become touchstones and security blankets. But when it comes down to it, listeners–if we had to choose just one thing–we’re most thankful for you.


Rachel & Miles


  1. When I first tuned in to the show, around Episode 6, it was on a lark. I enjoy the X-Men on a casual-to-dedicated range but hadn’t read comics in about ten years.

    This show made me care again and I started buying comics again.

    Monday means the weekend is over and it’s back to the grind, but Monday now means this podcast, and my life is eminently better for it.

    Thank you.

  2. No guys, Thank YOU.

    I can’t even tell you guys how much I love this podcast. I knew I loved X-Men (and Marvel in general) before I started listening, but over the months I’ve been hearing the amazing, ridiculous stories, it’s really gotten me into these comics again with a passion I haven’t had for them since I was 10.
    Thank you guys for giving me something awesome and hilarious to listen to at work/home/pretty much everywhere. Because of you, I’ve been able to connect even closer with friends I didn’t even know were into comics!
    You guys rock. Don’t ever stop. What you’re doing is magical, and I love the crap outta you guys.

  3. I have always dug the X-Men since I was a little kid, but it was always more as characters, as an idea, than as comic books. I don’t think I ever actually followed an X-series, but still I learned everything I could about them from other sources (remember a series of comics that were just collections of character bios for people in the Marvel universe? man, I couldn’t get enough of those), and by inference from the scattered issues I did acquire one way or another. My fanishness for the X-Men, like my fanishness for comics in general, has waxed and waned several times over the years, but that fascination with the character and team dynamics always stayed with me. In other words, the minute a friend finally badgered me into giving your podcast a try, I was hooked.

    And then, today, Thanksgiving, as I got ready to drive out to the fiancee’s family’s place for dinner, I was listening to your episode about the Claremont/Miller Wolverine miniseries, and suddenly I was ten years old again.

    In fact, I walked over to the book case, where I wasn’t even sure it would be any more, and pulled out the copy of that book that I’ve been dragging around for probably 25 years now. I opened it up, for the first time in at least 20, and immediately mouthed along with the attached to one of my earliest memories of being floored by sheer badassery in fiction: “His claws gleam in the half-light. *snikt* So do mine.”… Oh yes. Ten years old again. And happy.

    Thank you for your enthusiasm, thank you for your passion and your knowledge, and thank you for just being such a damned adorable couple that listening to you always makes me happier. But this thanksgiving, thanks especially for making me ten years old again for a bit. Snikt.

  4. I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Your joint creation has quickly become my favorite comic book podcast ever. Its both a nostalgic trip to my comic collecting younger days and an erudite,opinionated, playful conversation obsessed with both the ephemera and depth of X-lore. Its certainly reminded me why I originally loved Scott, Jean, Ororo, Kitty and all the New Mutants, as well as how silly Peter Corbeau is and what an ass Xavier can be. Any comic franchise would be fortunate, nay blessed, to have the two of you as its Boswell. As always, thanks.

  5. Thanks for making this podcast! I’ve been on the fringes of the X-Men for a while, but this is bringing me back into it and remember the parts I read in my youth. Also, it made me realize that my first fictional crush was probably Rachel Summers, but that’s expected when Alan Davis draws her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *