Tag Archive for Meta

As Mentioned in Episode 37 – Giant-Size Special #1

Listen to the episode here!



THE 2014 SUPER DOCTOR ASTRONAUT PETER CORBEAU AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN X-CELLENCE

corbeau

  • Best X-Writer – Brian Michael Bendis, for Uncanny X-MenAll-New X-Men, and general line architecture
  • Best X-Artist – Kris Anka, for Uncanny X-Men and general visual and costuming impact
  • Best X-Colorist – Chris Sotomayor, for Cyclops
  • Best X-Letterer (Now and Forever) – Tom Orzechowski, for everything ever forever
  • Jean Grey Award for Creative Resurrection – Nightcrawler (Amazing X-Men)
  • Best New Character – Forget-Me-Not (X-Men Legacy #300)
  • Best Complete ArcCyclops #1-5, by Greg Rucka, Russell Dauterman, Chris Sotomayor, Carmen Carnero, et. al.
  • Best Soap OperaAll-New X-Men, by Brian Michael Bendis et. al.
  • Silver Lining Award – Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #4, by Marguerite Bennett, Juan Doe, et. al.
  • Golden Retcon – X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Irene Adler Award for Most Anticipated Future Run – G. Willow Wilson on X-Men
  • About Damn Time – Storm, by Greg Pak et. al.
  • Cyclops Has a Good Day AwardWolverine and the X-Men #40, by Jason Aaron, Pepe Larraz, et. al.
  • Best Listeners of Any Podcast Ever – YOU*

*Details of the Corbeau Coloring Contest will go up on Monday, because Rachel’s parents are visiting this weekend. We appreciate your patience.

 

CLASSIC CORBEAUS (for older X-material covered in the podcast during 2014)

  • Harvey and Janet Award for Best Walk-On – The staff and guests of the Heartbreak Hotel
  • Lost Treasure – Beauty and the Beast, by Ann Nocenti, Don Perlin, et. al.
  • Sure, Why Not? – The Leprechauns of Cassidy Keep
  • Still the Best Issue After All These YearsUncanny X-Men vol. 1 #137

LINKS AND ADDITIONAL READING

37 – Giant-Size Special #1

Art by David Wynne. Prints available until 1/15 in the shop, or contact David for the original.

Art by David Wynne. Prints available until 1/15 in the shop, or contact David for the original.

In which we launch our first-ever giant-size special; God Loves, Man Kills is the definitive X-Men story; Bobby makes his R&MXtXM on-air debut; we repopulate the world with X-writers; Rachel is really excited about x-plaining X-Cutioner’s Song; Miles takes a strong stance on Wolverine’s mask; we award some awards; and it’s all your fault.

 

X-Plained

  • God Loves, Man Kills (Marvel Graphic Novel #5)
  • William Stryker
  • An inappropriate analogy
  • Keeping it interesting
  • Favorite episodes
  • Bridging the fan/critic divide
  • Our ongoing obsession with bit characters
  • The challenge of keeping Charles Xavier relevant
  • X-Planation Curation
  • Several stories we’re really looking forward to covering
  • X-Writers on a desert island
  • Internet fights
  • Favorite stories vs. best stories
  • Stupid hats of the Marvel Universe
  • Dr. Doom as Tim Gunn
  • Havok vs. ceiling fans
  • Educational standards of the Marvel Universe
  • The First Annual Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau Awards for Excellence in X-Cellence

NEXT WEEK: Rachel and Chris Sims X-Plain Arcade

CORRECTION: In this episode, Rachel claims that there is only one Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau in the Marvel Multiverse. This is patently untrue. There are numerous versions of Super Doctor Astronaut Peter Corbeau in the Marvel Multiverse, who may or may not be able to combine Voltron-style into a giant Corbeau Singularity.


You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Support us on Patreon!

Buy prints of this week’s illustration at our shop, or contact David Wynne for the original!

Talking About Video Reviews

Last week, we had a little time after finishing the video reviews, so we decided to pull back the curtain for a conversation about process, sticking points, and the origin of the ubiquitous sunglasses.

Giving Thanks

thankyou_photo

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.

Love,

Rachel & Miles

FAQ, Part Three: Questions and Comments

 

W - Whedon; A - Cassady

W – Whedon; A – Cassady

We get questions.

We get a lot of questions.

But there are some questions we get more than others.

This is the third of a multi-part series. As we post questions and answers on the blog, we’ll also add them to the FAQ page!


 

I have a question for the X-Perts! Where should I put it?

You can send your question via any of the following means:

  • Post it in the comments anywhere on this website.
  • Use the website contact form.
  • E-mail it to us at xplainthexmen (at) gmail (dot) com.
  • Drop it in our Tumblr askbox.
  • Tweet it at @xplainthexmen, or hashtag it #xplainthexmen on Twitter.

 

Why haven’t you answered my question yet?

When we get a question–an X-Plaining question, we mean, not, say, an immediate logistical question–we drop it into a massive spreadsheet, from which we then pull questions for the podcast. As of this FAQ, that spreadsheet contains over 300 questions, of which we have so far explicitly answered around 70 (and covered about that many others within the bodies of episodes).

We usually answer 2-3 questions every episode. Here are some of the factors that go into why we do or don’t pick any given questions for any given episode:

  • Relevance: We try to pick questions that connect–at least tangentially–to what we’re covering in that episode.
  • Novelty: If we’ve covered a question already–either explicitly, or in the body of an episode–we probably won’t revisit it. We’re working on an index of questions we’ve answered in previous episodes; when it’s up, we’ll update this FAQ to reflect that.
  • Tone: Are you being a dick? Are you trying to bait us into bad-mouthing creators or other members of our community, or asking something super personal? We are not into that. Is your question a statement of fact or opinion–or a long diatribe–followed by the word “right”? We are also not into that.
  • Utility: If your question can be answered with a simple Google search, we will probably not answer it on the podcast.
  • Scope: We are good at doing research and entertainingly justifying our opinions. We prefer not to speculate on other people’s private lives and personal motivations, and we don’t have a secret channel to creators’ intentions or the “real” truth about things that have been written inconsistently in canon. If your question is about one of those things, we will probably not answer it.
  • Channels: Did you send the question to the podcast contact form, e-mail it to the podcast address put it in our blog comments, ask through the rachelandmiles Tumblr askbox, or tweet to @XplaintheXMen? If not, your question has fallen down the Memory Hole, to be feasted upon by the Memory Eels who dwell therein.

THAT SAID:
There is one and only one way to make absolutely sure we answer your question: a few of our Patreon subscriber levels include a certain number of bespoke answers, which we will hand write, seal with wax, and mail to you in the dead of night. You can find out more about those here.

Why didn’t you publish / why did you delete my comment?

We are super lucky: most of our listeners–at least the ones who comment here–are rad as hell and make the job of moderating the comments incredibly easy. However, sometimes we come across a comment that we would rather not have on our site. Here are some examples of comments we have removed:

  • Accidental double-posts. These account for the overwhelming majority of the deletion we have done thus far.
  • Posts that contain no content or obviously posted mid-typing.
  • Promotional links that have no bearing on the post you’re commenting on or the conversation you’re entering. Our comments section is not free ad space.
  • Speculation about creators’ personal lives.
  • Speculation about our personal lives.
  • Comments about Rachel’s appearance and/or requests that she smile more, take off her sunglasses, &c. (The same would apply to comments about Miles; we just haven’t gotten any).
  • Rape jokes or things that are so close to being rape jokes that the line is essentially academic.

 

What else might get a comment deleted?

Off the top of our heads?

  • Threats or incitement to violence of any sort directed at real people.
  • Blatantly sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist, or otherwise bigoted language.
  • Blatant derailing.
  • Outing anyone else’s personal information, including real names.
  • Use of sock puppets.
  • NSFW content, or links to NSFW content without warnings.
  • Blatant spoilers for current or very recent media.
  • Gratuitous meanness.

Note, however, that these aren’t hard guidelines, nor a comprehensive list. We reserve the right to remove or edit comments according to our judgment (Incidentally: if we alter the text of a comment, we’ll *always* make a note of that within the comment).

I found an e-mail address for Rachel on her professional website / via an article she wrote. Can I send my podcast question there?

You can, but it’ll go straight to the Memory Eels. Seriously, there are like six ways to send a question to the podcast. Use one of those.

Why haven’t you answered my e-mail yet?

We get a lot of e-mail. If it’s something super time-sensitive, please nudge us.

FAQ, Part One: Content

Cyclops #3. W: Greg Rucka; A: Russell Dauterman; C: Chris Sotomayor

Cyclops #3. W: Greg Rucka; A: Russell Dauterman; C: Chris Sotomayor

We get questions.

We get a lot of questions.

But there are some questions we get more than others.

This is the first of a multi-part series. As we post questions and answers on the blog, we’ll also add them to the FAQ page!


Today, we’re going to cover content:

 

 

Why haven’t you covered my favorite story / character / miniseries yet?

We are working our way through hundreds of characters and thousands of comics. Be patient. We’ll get there.

 

Are you going to cover [specific story arc / X-related series like Excalibur, New Mutants, Fallen Angels, X-Factor, &c.]?

Probably. See above.

 

When are you going to get Brian Bendis / Matt Fraction / Chris Claremont / other X-writer or artist on the show?

When they return our e-mails. *rimshot*

Nah, seriously, we do have a long wish-list of guests–and some very cool ones confirmed for future episodes–but we try to make sure they’ve got a reason to be there, either because they’ve got a relevant book coming out, or because they’ve got a particular connection to territory we’re covering in a specific episode.

 

I am a writer, artist, editor, or other creative professional with experience on X-Men stuff, and I would like to be on your podcast!

Awesome! Please drop us a line!

 

Will you be guests / guest hosts on my podcast / YouTube channel / blog?

Maybe? We are pretty busy, but drop us a line, and we can talk.

 

Can I be a guest or Emergency Backup Co-Host on Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men?

Probably not unless you are an X-book writer, artist, or editor; a very good friend of ours with a lot of podcasting experience and X-know-how; or both.

 

Will you publish my article or guest post?

We are not currently accepting unsolicited pitches or submissions.

 

Will you post my fan art?

If it’s podcast pertinent, totally (we don’t usually post general X-Men fan art, though). E-mail it to xplainthexmen(at)gmail.com.

YAYBO! We’re on Comics Alliance!

xplain_on_ca

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men makes its official Comics Alliance debut with Episode 17: The Island of Dr. Corbeau!

A quick note on what this means going forward:

If you listen to the podcast here, or via iTunes or Stitcher, nothing’s changing. New episodes and visual companions will continue to go up at rachelandmiles.com every Sunday.

BUT new episodes will also be up a few days eariler–Thursdays–at Comics Alliance and on their YouTube channel.

CA is one of our favorite comics sites (full disclosure: Rachel’s a regular contributor, but we’ve been reading it since long before), and we’re really, really excited to be joining badasses like War Rocket Ajax and the Arkham Sessions in its lineup.

For CA listeners who’ve made their way back to us, here are some links to help you get started:

Thanks for listening!

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men Patreon!

xplainonpatreon

 

We mentioned this on the podcast yesterday, but we want to talk a little more about how the Rachel and Miles X-Plains the X-Men Patreon works, and what it is and isn’t.

Patreon is a crowdfunding site designed specifically for serial works. Kickstarter is a great way to raise funds for one big thing; Patreon is better suited to people making a lot of little things over a longer period of time–like podcasts. Patrons pledge a given amount per unit–that can be per item made, or per month (ours is per month, not per podcast)–and can also do things like set monthly maximums to keep from going over budget.

So, what does this mean for the podcast?

We’re solidly committed to keeping Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men both free to download and free of outside advertising. Neither of those things is contingent on the relative success of the Patreon. Neither of those things ever will be.

Then why are you asking for money?

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men takes a lot of time and an increasing amount of money to make happen. As our listener base has grown (awesome!), so has the cost of hosting (not awesome!). We also use a lot of varyingly accessible source material, and we do our best to get it all through legitimate means–which adds up pretty fast, even with a pretty good industry discount at our local comics shop, and services like Marvel Unlimited (which is great but far from comprehensive).

But the real issue is time. Every episode takes about 6-10 hours of work, between research, writing, recording, and things like the write-up and visual companion. There are a lot of things we’d love to do on the podcast or offer on the site that we don’t currently have the bandwidth to put together.

That’s where the Patreon comes in. Rachel is a freelance writer and editor, and the main goal of the Patreon is to let her fold more of the X-Plain the X-Men stuff into her professional workload, as a paid gig. That’ll mean being able to devote more time and energy to more features–things like long-form written posts, giant-size annual episodes, weekly video reviews of current X-books, and more.

What about other stuff, like a one-time Donate button or a bookstore affiliate?

We’ve talked about setting those up, too, and we probably will eventually. Right now, it’s mostly a matter of how much time we have to invest, and where it’ll be best spent, and neither of those was as high on our list of priorities as the Patreon.

If the podcast is staying free, what do we get for donating?

The warm, fuzzy feeling of supporting media you care about!

WAIT, NO. There’s also STUFF!

In no particular order, here are some (but not all) of the incentives we’re offering:

-Fancy foil-variant stickers, because it’s always 1996 in here.

-Tote bags, for lugging around those huge Omnibus hardcovers.

-Semiannual comic-book care packages, featuring semi-random backissues, weird comics-related ephemera, and personal notes (AKA the “No one in Portland buys backissues and we’re running out of box space” reward.)

-Bespoke answers–hand-written and wax-sealed–to your burning X-questions.

-Access to a secret backstage blog, where we’ll be posting scripts, show notes, and other behind-the-scenes stuff.

There are also a series of Milestone goals, based on the total amount pledged–think of them as the badass team-up moves of Patreon. Those are things like additions to the site, video reviews, regular text posts, giant-size annual or semiannual episodes.

Whether or not you choose to pitch in to the Patreon–thank you for listening, and thank you for your support!

Many, many thanks to Graeme McMillan, who helped us a huge amount with navigating Patreon; and to Anne Moloney, Ben Coleman, and Scotty Iseri, who collectively made the video happen.

Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men Is Now Available on Stitcher!

Yaybo! Click here to listen or subscribe!

Meanwhile, we’re gearing up for our second episode. If you’ve got an X-question–especially iconic villains of the Silver Age–drop it in the comments below or our tumblr ask-box, or tweet it to @RaeBeta with the hashtag #xplainthexmen!

YAYBO! Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men is now on iTunes!

Subscribe here!

(We’re still waiting for approval from Stitcher, but we’ll add that link as soon as we’ve got it!)