"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1
"The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1
"I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes
As some of you may know, I was doing a Podcast with former Dtoid writers Conrad Zimmerman and Jim Sterling called The Dismal Jesters. It was more-or-less a continuation of the version of Podtoid that Jim put together in 2011. The first cast was me, Jim, Max Scoville and our former Dtoid show co-host Tara Long. Then it was just me and Jim for a while. Then Conrad and Hamza would join in sometimes. Then Conrad became a regular. Now it's just Jim and Conrad, though my understanding is that they're looking to start a new show with a new cast member.
I think the show has something between 12K and 22K regular listeners, and since last week, a lot of them asked why I quit the show. So I'm here to say something about that!
It wasn't because I didn't like doing the show. Jim is endlessly amazing and fun. Conrad is smart as a whip, sniper like with his humor and spot on observations. It wasn't because the listeners were jerks either. They were largely awesome to me, and even when they weren't, the worst I'd likely get is a slightly off-putting reference to a past episode or some other form Jimpersonation that was easy enough to deal with.
So why did I quit? There are actually a ton of reasons, large and small, why its smarter for me not be on a show like Dismal Jesters than for me to be on a show like Dismal Jesters. Not more fun, just smarter. I'm not going to get into them all though, because it's reaaaaally hard for me to imagine that they are all that interesting, but I will talk a little about the #1 reason-
It's a really, really dumb idea to work in health care and be on a semi-popular podcast where your friend almost always verbalizes his fantasies about killing you and/or having sex with you and/or doing some crimes.
If I worked at a day job in a field like accounting, or carpentry, then I could probably be on Dismal Jesters and without worrying about it coming back to bite me. Or if Dismal Jesters had like 500 listeners, then I probably could have gotten away with it and still worked in health care. But I've been getting recognized on the street from the show more and more. People find me on twitter and ask me to explain the meaning of pages on the Podtoid/Dismal Jesters site that describe human mutilation multiple derogatory labels for people that suffer from mental illness, etc. As time went on, it appeared more and more likely that eventually, one of my patients or coworkers stumble upon the show someday continued to mount, so I had to quit.
I want to try to do something else with Jim and Conrad. I already offered to do a videogame podcast or a movie commentary podcast or something, anything that isn't often about putting me in the spotlight and/or the shitlight would probably be fine, as long as it doesn't get to popular. I also offered to close out Dismal Jesters with another episode or two, as taking a risk on a couple more shows wouldn't likely do much more damage than has already been done. They didn't seem into it though. We'll see what happens in the future.
For now, I am glad to that I no longer have to wrestle with the fact that the surreal, fun, and almost always disgusting conversations I have with my friends are being shared with the public anymore. I'm going to miss talking to Conrad and Jim every week. That was the point of doing the show for me. I also feel badly about letting down the people who enjoyed the show and wanted it to keep going, but they have +3 years of the show to listen to if they want, so I think they'll be OK. More so, I'm sure Jim and Conrad's next show will be even better than what we've been doing. Most Dismal Jesters listeners will likely forget about me within a month or so.
Still, if there was a guarantee that only the people who would ever listen to the show, read about the show, and make fan art related to the show are the people who are into it now, then I would probably keep doing it. As it is, I'm already risking a good amount by writing blogs like this and doing other internet stuff. Doing game blogs and internet videos is worth the risk though, as it's a big part of who I am.
Ultimately, Dismal Jesters wasn't worth the risk, as it's not a big part of who I am. It was just recordings of me talking to my friends. The fact that it developed the most passionate fanbase out of all the things I've ever done is a puzzle, but we don't get to choose what others appreciate (or don't appreciate) about us. We only get to choose what we do with our lives, and hope for the best from there.
I hope for the best for Jim, Conrad, and all the listeners. Thanks for everything guys.
Thanks again to everyone that supported the Sup Holmes Kickstarter! We made almost 3 times our initial goal. We totally won.
The show is coming back today with Mike Kasprzak, one of the organizers of the Ludum Dare Gamejam organization. Some of the biggest names in small development (Vlambeer, Terry Kavanaugh, Sophie Houlden) are regular participants in Ludum Dare. It's one of the best places for a new developer to get started, so restarting Sup Holmes with one of the people who help keep it alive seemed like the perfect choice.
We're going to be streaming the show through youtube now, so check it out as it airs, along with all the reruns, right here if you want!
As some of you may know, Dtoid Reviews editor Chris Carter, former Dtoid powerhouse Tony Ponce, and myself have been working with a conclave of nerds and videogame experts on making a print magazine called Nintendo Force. We had seven issues go to print last year, which was pretty neat. Year 2 is on Kickstarter now if you want to check it out.
Print is expensive, and the magazine doesn't run any ads, so that means that there isn't much money to go around. By that I mean, there isn't any money, but that hasn't stopped us from working our butts off to make the magazine as great as we can, especially Tony, who's written some amazing features for the thing.
Why have we volunteered to put so much time and energy into creating a videogame magazine, when we could be spending the same time and energy working on "profit deal" website like Destructoid?
Just like my old friend Clarissa, this video explains it all.
Hi everybody! I've been working on a lot of stuff. Here is some of it!
Jim Sterling, Conrad Zimmerman and I used to host Podtoid. Now we host a show called The Dismal Jesters. It's almost exactly like how Podtoid used to be, except with some differences. It's funny how just hanging the name and the venue of a podcast can bring a different psychological element to the chemistry. We're having a good time with it so far and I bet we'll keep going for a while.
We're also working on a new episode of Teenage Pokemon. I wasn't sure I was going to keep going with the series, as producing Season 2 was really exhausting and anxiety inducing. Then I had an idea I that I couldn't stop thinking about, asked one of the animators if he could put together the visuals relatively quickly, and checked with Machinima to see if they could pay him. It all worked out, and the episode should be coming this month, next month at the latest.
We've also been working on a new cartoon for Machinima and a beautiful man named Tor about drunk Nintendo characters. It's pretty cute. First episode for that should be done this month too.
The big-ish thing in the oven is a new show for Dtoid with Caitlin Cooke. Dtoid has a loooooot of new stuff planned right now, so it's not a sure thing that this show will fit in the overall picture, but I hope it does, because Caitlin is hilarious. We've only show a pilot so far, but is was so much fun to make. Hopefully we'll get to keep making more.