Giving Thanks

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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

YOU MADE ART! WE MADE MUGS!

In Episode 31, we dropped the idea of Wolverine running an advice column, and not one but two of you magical folk sent us your versions of what that would look like!

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The column itself, by Chris Baum (text by Dear Abby).

 

A behind-the-scenes candid from Celia Connaire !

A behind-the-scenes candid from Celia Connaire !

 

SPEAKING OF ART! When we were uploading David Wynne’s gorgeous Demon Bear for the print of the week, Redbubble suddenly confronted us with a possibility we had never previously considered but found absolutely hilarious: Demon Bear travel mugs. I mean, look at this:

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After a hurried twitter conference with David, we decided those should probably be a thing, and now they are. (Both prints and mugs will be up at the shop until Sunday, November 30, at which point the prints and probably the mugs will disappear forever.)

As Mentioned in Episode 32 – Off the Map

Listen to the episode here!

Special thanks to Andrew Vestal for help assembling the images for this post.

 

32 – Off the Map

Art by David Wynne

Art by David Wynne

In which we hit the definitive arc of New Mutants; Bill Sienkiewicz blows our minds; Rachel gets choked up over a credits spread; Rahne gets a makeover; Doug Ramsey is justifiably flustered; and Warlock is a friend to household appliances.

NOTE: This episode includes a lot of art talk. While doing so is not strictly necessary to follow the discussion, we recommend listening with the visual companion open.

X-Plained:

  • Warlock
  • The transmode virus
  • New Mutants #18-21
  • The Demon Bear Saga
  • Bill Sienkiewicz
  • Task leaders vs. social leaders
  • Page layout as a storytelling tool
  • Soul armor
  • The Demon Bear and its shadow
  • One of the best covers of all time
  • Makeovers
  • The deeply problematic fate of Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander
  • What the New Mutants are up to these days

Next Week: Crossovers!


You can find a visual companion to the episode on our blog.

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Support us on Patreon!

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

Rachel and Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 14

Week of November 19, 2014

In which we examine the phenomenon of death-by-kinda-high-concept, Uncanny X-Men remains spectacular, and Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program is surprisingly solid.

Reviewed:

  • Axis #6 (0:31)
  • Axis: Revolutions #2 (4:19)
  • X-Force #12 (6:20)
  • Storm #5 (8:12)
  • *Uncanny X-Men #28 (10:35)
  • Magneto #12 (13:51)
  • Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #2 (15:38)

*Pick of the week (18:04)

Video reviews are made possible by the support of our Patreon subscribers. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Your Quiet Cyclops Moment of the Week

(From Uncanny X-Men #28. W: Brian Michael Bendis; A: Kris Anka. Are you following this book? You should be. It’s consistently superlative, notwithstanding what we presume is a balloon error in panel 3.)

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As Mentioned in Episode 31 – Chekhov’s Raygun

Listen to the episode here!

31 – Chekhov’s Raygun

Art by David Wynne

Art by David Wynne

In which there is a whole, whole lot going on; we continue to have no use for Michael Rossi; Wolverine should be an advice columnist; Forge makes bold fashion choices; the health of a timeline is directly tied to the awesomeness of Storm’s hair; and the X-Men get their first dark-future refugee.

X-Plained:

  • Dire Wraiths
  • ROM
  • Tailoring
  • Uncanny X-Men #182-188
  • Just how much story can be shoehorned into seven issues
  • A dubious Silent Hill metaphor
  • The people in Rogue’s head
  • Inexorable momentum
  • Several profoundly uncomfortable conversations
  • Parallel narrative in comics
  • Being friends with Wolverine
  • Casual enmity
  • Forge
  • Miles’s X-doppelganger
  • Tiny shorts
  • Chekhov’s Raygun
  • Rachel Summers (again)
  • Timeline disambiguation
  • Rachel disambiguation
  • “Lifedeath: A Love Story”
  • Feelings
  • Storm, powers, and identity
  • X-Men Mad-Libs
  • Hound marks
  • X-Men: The End

Next Week: THE DEMON BEAR SAGA!


You can find a visual companion to the episode – as well as links to recommended reading and the winners of the stealth / plainclothes cosplay contest – on our blog.

Find us on iTunes or Stitcher!

Support us on Patreon!

Rachel and Miles Review the X-Men, Episode 13

Week of November 12, 2014

In which we are pleasantly surprised by Logan Legacy.

Reviewed:

  • Axis #5 (0:28)
  • *Logan Legacy #4 (2:53)
  • Nightcrawler #8 (5:00)
  • Captain Marvel #9 (6:27)

*Pick of the week (8:10)

Video reviews are made possible by the support of our Patreon subscribers. If you want to help support the podcast–and unlock more cool stuff–you can do that right here!

Into It – The X-Men and Marvel Continuity

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Rachel Here:

Elle Collins and I spend a lot of time talking about X-Men and the Marvel Universe, but this week, we did it on the record! R&MXtXM tends to be really continuity-crunchy and microfocused; being a guest on Into It was a really different (and really fun) chance to take a more macro look at comics and characters I love, starting with X-Men and ultimately sprawling into most of the Marvel Universe (with bonus Heathers, terrifying Franklin Richards, and more).