We're in the middle of our massive Crossovers Crossover Epic Event* on Giant Size, and it looks like it'll have our first "tie-in issues" thanks to one of the sub-features we've been planning for a long time.
We've planned some moderate expansion for a while in the Giant Size (comics) corner of ESN. Here's a little history on the show you may be completely unaware of, a breakdown of what we're adding, and how it all works.
Giant Size Volume 1
You may be completely new to the show since its relaunch/revival/"re-imagining" on ESN. Searching iTunes and other Podcast apps, you may see another show called Giant Size, which ended in 2013.
I should mention that you've got no reason to subscribe to that now-dead feed. All the content you might want from there will eventually be available on ESN, promise.
The original iteration of the show on 5by5 was never the format I had planned.
The co-hosted conversation with intercut, excerpted (at varying lengths) creator interviews format we have now was what I'd wanted from the start. I'd pitched this format as a show I wanted to call Giant Size, a name I came up with after an incredible amount of time throwing out a bunch of really awful ones.
There was a comics conversation show hosted by my friend Jim Metzendorf that launched on 5by5 (without my pre-awareness) while I was in the middle of what I thought was pre-production for Giant Size, leading to what I thought was an imminent launch. After a protracted amount of silence, I was told that Giant Size would need to be a creator-interview-only show.
There are already a ton of those interview shows. Some great, most pretty awful Chris Farley Show-level horror shows. I wasn't thrilled about the idea of launching a show format that I found pretty well-covered all over the place.
I told myself that I could shift to the format I really wanted over time, and that the important thing was to just get the damn thing launched. I decided that I would hone my interview approach as I waited for a chance to soft-relaunch the show after what I assumed would be an inevitable downturn after the first month or two.
So, for some time, Giant Size was a creator interview compilation show, and that was it. Late in the "Volume 1" run of 38 episodes, I took on The Comic Shack, which Jim had been hosting until he chose to leave it.
I eventually merged the shows into what we have now: the "headline show" format I'd planned from the start. Also...the show never really worked until I finally suckered John into joining me for an after-show. Giant Size isn't Giant Size without him and his big, beautiful brain.
Giant Size ORIGINS
Between the original run of Giant Size and installments of The Comic Shack that I hosted, there are around 20 episodes that, with a small amount of re-editing, fit the "Giant Size Volume 2" mold pretty well.
At some point this year, they will all, with their original posting dates, appear in the main Giant Size feed as "ORIGINS 1, ORIGINS 2, etc.". They will also, as a "sub-show" category of episodes, have their own separate RSS feed in case you want that sort of thing. Once we post all of them, that's all that actually exist.
These are named in the style of X-Men reprints that were re-titled "X-MEN CLASSIC" back in the day. The "ORIGINS" sub-branding partly comes from "CLASSIC" feeling a bit of an overstatement. It's also partly in tribute to SECRET ORIGINS, a DC series that John loves and that I'm finally filling gaps on after only reading issues here and there as a kid.
Just like Captain America becoming an Avenger, the integral and indispensable John Gholson does not appear until a few "issues" into the run.
Artist Edition: The Remastering
The episodes of Giant Size that were all creator interviews are being chopped into individual episodes in the Artist Edition feed, which is why it started on Episode 38 a year ago this month when the network launched. The Greg Pak/Jonathan Coulton interview, as well as the Kelly Sue DeConnick one, have both moved over.
The main impediment to getting these up, to be quite honest, is time. The process could be helped by money to pay an outside editor to chop them up and make some nips and tucks. I'm pursuing a couple of very specific sponsors to help finance that, so we'll see how that goes.
Giant Size One-Shot
We soft-announced these a few episodes back. These micro-episodes will cover one single comics issue apiece that we think deserves or needs a few minutes to itself. The way we've conceived them, they are to consist of just one of us. Think of them as little monologues, in general.
Yes, we will cover our beloved "House That Dripped...Dough?!", issue #395 of Captain America.
We don't plan on a set schedule or frequency for these, and we're playing with exactly how to deploy them. If you want more Giant Size, we thought of these as a great way to do something that isn't an entire second episode each week. If we have a few urges to do a five-to-ten-minute-long tangent on a single issue we're discussing on the main show, we can footnote it and this gives us a place to offload that conversation in a more...official way than shoveling it into an after-show in the Extras feed.
All One-Shot episodes will appear in the main Giant Size feed. There's no separate thing to subscribe to once these start.
Both the ORIGINS "Volume 1" episodes and the One-Shot episodes will appear in the regular old Giant Size feed.
So...if both of those are going in the main Giant Size feed, what is the point of the Channel feed (whose landing page got an overhaul this week)?
The Channel Feed is the only way you get the Artist Edition interviews and Giant Size Channel-specific Extras (pre-show/post-show/deleted/spoiler bits)...as well as a couple of new things planned for later this year.
New Giant Size Shows in Development
There are two: an ongoing companion show, and a Limited Edition miniseries on a very specific topic. They are not guaranteed to happen, but we want them to very, very much.
Both will be part of the Channel Feed, not the Giant Size-only feed.
Both are hosted by John Gholson.
Both will be regularly referred-to on the main show, but you won't be "punished" for not listening to every last thing. Everything is designed to stand on its own just fine.
I might appear as a regular or semi-regular guest on the ongoing one. On the Limited Edition one, I won't have an on-air presence at all.
The plan is for a regular Giant Size episode to tie into and promote (but not be a part of) the Limited Edition miniseries. It's a unique enough concept that I might do a tie-in episode of Electric Shadow related to it, too.
If we have them both up and going by Fan Expo Dallas in May, or San Diego Comic-Con in July, I'll be really happy, but we're more concerned about getting them done right.
We're recording more and more Giant Size episodes in advance, not just to have a "bank" or buffer, but because the ongoing one of the new shows can't, by definition, be "banked".
Speaking of recording Giant Size: we started recording in my home studio with brand-new microphones. How do we sound? Do you miss the distortion and artifacts of John on a USB headset over Skype?
Does the dynamic feel as All-Different, and (if you ask me) "All-Better" as I think it does?
It's going to be a Giant-Size year (among other things) for ESN.
*Yes, the Crossovers Crossover Epic Event has its own sub-RSS feed as a "Category" within the Giant Size feed, in case you want a version of a "playlist"-subscribe-able version of it. We do plan to release an absolutely monstrously long "Omnibus" cut of the entire thing, at an audiobook length that looks to dwarf the Systematic Special with John Roderick.