On occasion, I’ve written about podcasts that I enjoy.
I’ve previously covered the excellent and unique The Joffrey of Podcasts, the Nattercast, and I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve at least linked to David Hart’s Pop Culture Case Studies podcast. This post will be mentioning the Storm of Spoilers podcast, one of my favorite sources of Game of Thrones news and analysis, but the podcast is not really going to be my focus.
Storm of Spoilers is great, but rather than talk too much about the podcast, I want instead to recognize the artistic talents of one of their fans, WikiRascals. (He has a real name, I’m sure, but his Twitter handle @WikiRascals is how I know him. Artists. They’re going to be artsy. And awesome.)
The Storm (of Spoilers) Gathers
Back in 2014 (around April, unless I’m wrong, and I can’t possibly be wrong all the time) Da7e Gonzales (yes, he spells his name with a 7) convinced podcasting potentate Joanna Robinson to co-host a podcast discussing HBO’s Game of Thrones, with discussions that would include details from the books. Ah, those innocent days when the show still had George RR Martin’s published works to adapt…
This was somewhat liberating for fans of Joanna Robinson, who co-hosted an existing Game of Thrones podcast, A Cast of Kings. Joanna’s co-host on that podcast, David Chen, had not read any of the books and was strictly anti-spoiler, which could make discussions about the show awkward.
Chen: Tywin seems to be writing a lot in these episodes. That seems important. Do you have any idea who he’s writing to?
Robinson: Don’t ask me things.
Chen: Oh! Fair enough. Hey, I’m not sure this whole “Robb’s uncle is going marry a Frey” storyline is really gripping me. Can you give me any reason why I should care, Joanna Robinson?
(The above is imagined dialog from me, not a transcript. But I’m sure it’s pretty representative of those times when Joanna was biting her tongue while David speculated.)
So the all-spoilers, all-the-time format of A Storm of Spoilers allowed for unrestrained discussion. Particularly because Da7e (like David) had not read the books, but had zero worries about getting things spoiled. It was a charming dynamic.
They soon added Neil Miller from The Film School Rejects website to round out the podcast, who brought with him a vector of subtle humor and wry introspection to the mix.
But that’s enough background.
The podcast followed the HBO show’s schedule, and went on hiatus when the show was in-between seasons, but the Storm of Spoilers twitter feed continued to be an ideal place to get production news, share theories, chat with the hosts, etc.
During the fifth season of Game of Thrones, podcast listener and illustrator/photographer WikiRascals began to share with the podcast’s Twitter feed his original artwork based on podcast discussions and its continuing references and callbacks.
Just how does Petyr Baelish zip about the map, here and there, breaking the rules of time and space? Clearly, he has a secret giant mockingbird.
Remember when we thought Uncle Benjen might actually return alive on the show? Taking back his position of First Ranger from Alliser Thorne? What a sweet dream that was.
Arya’s pretty spry for getting gutted near the end of Season Six. She must be part direwolverine.
(I’m just scratching the surface here. In particular, he has some amazing original animations regarding the show.)
The Off-Season Tour of Artistic Subjects
The Storm of Spoilers podcast has been so popular that the co-hosts opted to continue the podcast during the off-season. They still report on what Game of Thrones production news they have, but each week they talk about a different entertainment property. Which is great news for fans of the podcast, since we get to continue to hear the hosts.
But it’s also great news for fans of WikiRascals’ illustrations, since each week he supplies the podcast with new and topical artwork for their use.
Classic Redshirt situation.
Every week, I would look forward to each new iteration of the podcast co-hosts, inhabiting some new story environment. And checking out Neil’s beard and Da7e’s eyebrows.
I was particularly pleased with the Hamilton artwork.
I’m not qualified to talk about art. I’m just not. I’m a typical “I don’t know what art is, but I know it when I see it” kind of guy. But I can at least respect the variety of styles and techniques used in mapping the same three people into different entertainment aesthetics.
His mashup of Joanna, Neil, and Da7e as AMC Preacher’s Tulip, Jesse, and Cassidy is amazing. (Amazing to me, Joe Average who can barely spell the word “art”. But I think the more artistically inclined can back me up on this.)
Check out the faithful recreation of these shows’ signatures styles:
… as well as the continuing interpretations of the co-hosts as specific characters in the different universes…
This might be the only time Neil isn’t bearded. Da7e’s eyebrows remain dominant.
WikiRascals has established his own consistent visual grammar for being able to express the co-hosts. For the recent Halloween-themed podcast, he went with a trick-or-treat reference, with Da7e, Joanna, and Neil in costumes. How can we tell who is who?
Joanna’s glasses, Neil’s beard, and Da7e’s eyebrows are on their pumpkins. (Anyone who follows Da7e on Twitter knows of his obsession with Kylo Ren. And Joanna is only a haircut and a bionic arm away from being Imperator Furiosa in my book. WITNESS.)
WikiRascals turning up everywhere, that rascal!
To my delight, more and more WikiRascals work has been showing up alongside things that I love.
He created the logo for Decoding Westworld, a podcast covering HBO’s Westworld with hosts David Chen and Joanna Robinson. (Those names sound familiar.)
He also regularly creates an animated Decoding Westworld Quotable Quote, which are always outstanding.
To my podcasting peeps…
So, I know I have some podcasting friends who follow my blog (they’re either doing their own podcast, or listen to tons of podcasts.)
I just wanted to share with them (and everyone else!) this story of an award-losing illustrator and photographer (I stole that phrase from his Twitter bio. Stole it!) and how he turned being a fan of a podcast into (in my humble opinion) being an integral part of the podcast.
At the very least, if you are so inclined – I’m not the boss of you, follow him on Twitter and enjoy what cool graphical things he puts out.
It seems like there are a billion podcasts out there, and when I first started listening to podcasts for my morning commute (because Howard Stern went off the air, I admit it) I was impressed how the podcasting community was very supportive and was eager to cross-promote.
I don’t know if it’s a similar situation for artists working with the podcasting community, but I hope so. I tend to think that a rising tide floats all boats, and talent should be celebrated.
Anyway, I was pleased that when I reached out to WikiRascals about showcasing his work on a blog post, he was fine with it. (After he made sure it was okay with the Storm of Spoilers team, who had commissioned his work. Thank you, Joanna, Da7e, and Neil.)
Anyone know of an artist I should be aware of? Someone who regularly cranks out cool stuff? Let me know.
(No promises that I’ll write anything up about them. But I am still thinking about publishing my ridiculous three years of Microstories in book form. A few illustrated Microstories would make it a bit more like a real thing.)
Best regards, and keep making and consuming art. I don’t think I need to explain why creativity and imagination is very important in the world right now.
Images by this guy WikiRascals. Maybe you’ve heard of him. You can follow him on Twitter as @Wikirascals, or check out his website at wikirascals.com
I make no claims to the artwork here.
I vaguely make claims to the text that I’ve written here, but as usual, I won’t be upset if this post gets shared. (Look at my cute optimism, that someone might share the post… adorable!)
© Patrick Sponaugle 2016 Some Rights Reserved