Sunday, June 5, 2016

Adventures in podcasting: 1

It's been an exciting few weeks as I've discovered the basics of publishing my own podcast. I thought I would record some notes here as an aide memoir, and possibly as tips for anyone considering taking the plunge themselves.

First of all I have to acknowledge the help and inspiration of Brian Doob who encouraged and inspired me to start a comics cast. Brian is the driving force behind the British Invaders podcast that we do about British television genre television, he is also an audio expert and guided me through some of the basics of recording and editing, of which more in a later post.

I had been thinking of doing a 2000AD podcast for a while. With the ECBT2000AD cast covering individual progs and megazines I felt that the obvious gap in the market would be to do collected editions, which would allow me to cover stories from the full 39 year history of the comic. In a way it echoes the thematic intent of the volumes currently being published by the Hachette partworks Mega Collection. Brian suggested I could tie this in to my fundraising efforts from getting comics signed at convention and then selling them on eBay for cancer research UK.

My working title for the podcast was Trading Places which sounds daft now and completely non specific. Fortunately I woke up one morning with Mega City Book Club in my head, I liked the way it combined four words all of four letters each, it was catchy and seemed to work nicely. Brian suggested I register it as a domain name. There are several sites offering registration and all sorts of extras as well. I chose Hover and was able to secure using a discount coupon code from another podcast I listen to, A Cast of Kings. My domain name forwards to the podcast blog site, and after fiddling around with the settings on Hover I learnt that ticking the stealth redirection box meant that it still shows in the address bar when your browser gets there.

So I had a title and a domain name, the next thing was to open up Photoshop and design a logo. I spent a lot of time working on a design based on the space spinner free gift attached to the very first issue of 2000AD, but it was difficult to get good quality images of the original toy to play with. The resulting logo ended up looking decidedly amateurish.
I didn't like this at all and was considering paying an online design company when a random google search for Judge Dredd's law book brought up this prop from the much maligned Stallone 1995 movie.
As luck would have it the google images were from none other than Judge John Burdis' own Cellar of Dredd blog although sadly the pictures were not quite good enough to work with in photoshop. So a quick visit to eBay and I soon had my own copy of the book on its way from Hong Kong. It's an odd little notebook with mega city one legal codes printed on the bottom of the pages. Even with my own copy getting a decent photo of the front cover with equal lighting on all the shiny gold lettering was tricky but after a lot of fiddly photoshop manipulation I was able to produce the logo you can see at the top of this post and it looks much more professional in iTunes and on my phone podcatcher.

Next up will be some details of recording and editing before I get on to the complications of preparing individual episodes for publication, and the tricky business of getting a feed and submitting it to iTunes.

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