FERGUSON’S 7 QUESTIONS WITH… THE COMIC CAST
Hello and welcome to another edition of 7 questions. (I may have stolen that line). This is the first of some specials I promised. I’ll be interviewing people who have contributed to Irish comics outside of actually making them and nobody can dispute that my first victims have contributed to Irish comics. Fresh off posting (sadly) their last podcast, we have Comic Cast hosts Craig and Liam.
When was the first podcast you did?
Craig: We recorded the first episode in June 2008. In that first episode we reviewed the recently released Iron Man movie so that was quite a while ago. Also in that first episode, if you listen closely, you can hear angry Lisbon Treaty protesters shouting “Vote No” in the background.
Liam: We actually recorded the first episode twice because our first ‘go’ at it sounded awful – not that you’d notice the difference when listening to the second take…
What is the biggest thing you have learned since that podcast?
Craig: I guess the best thing we learned was how diverse, interesting and sizable the Irish Comic scene actually is. When we started the podcast we weren’t certain that we would have enough people to interview to keep the podcast going! So it’s pretty cool that after 5 years of podcasts we never ran out of people to interview.
Liam: I think I learned a lot of interview and recording skills from doing the podcast that have proved very useful now that I work in radio.
How do you think the Irish scene has changed since that podcast?
Craig: Well it’s kind of hard to believe this but way back in 2008 social media wasn’t as big as it is today. Twitter and Facebook were nowhere near as ubiquitous as they are today. Most people were still using Bebo. So because of that there wasn’t an easy way for comic creators to find each other or even know that there were other people out there doing great work. So I think the biggest change is how connected the scene is now and that’s a really positive change.
Liam: What Craig said.
What was your process for doing a podcast?
Craig: Yes. We definitely had a process….
I don’t know if you would call it a process but would just read the comics we were interested in that month and give our honest opinions on them. Also we would seek out Irish comics and comic creators to interview on the show. We also had to try and stop talking about comics on the 30 days of the month that we weren’t recording so that our conversations would be fresh on the podcast.
Liam: The whole thing was very ramshackle, although this past year we kinda upped our game and began having guest reviewers and reports and recorded in a fancy studio. It was a far cry from our humble beginnings of sitting either side of an ironing board with a MiniDisk recorder plonked in between us.
How do you feel after doing your last podcast?
Craig: I think the Irish comic scene is stronger than ever and I’m happy we got to be a small part of that. Also I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy comics again without having to analyse them and take notes while I read etc.
Liam: As ramshackle as the Comic Cast was, it still took a considerable amount of time and effort to produce, so I definitely felt relieved from that perspective after working on it just shy of six years. On the other hand, as I was posting the final show I was listening to LCD Soundsystem’s ‘All my friends’ and dabbing a tear from my eye. I think Craig nailed it in our 5th Anniversary Special when he said it’s an incredible thing to have hours upon hours of recordings of you and your best friend shooting the breeze.
Any plans now the Comic Cast is finished?
Craig: We have been thinking about doing another monthly podcast where we would interview stand up comedians every month. We would probably call it The Comic Cast.
Liam: We could record it on a fishing boat to cash in even more on the title. “Hello and welcome to the Comic Cast where comedians cast their fishing line and their opinions on this weeks news…”
What is your favourite Irish comic?
Craig: There are so many really high quality Irish comics out there that it’s impossible to pick a favourite. If I’m introducing someone to the wonderful world of Irish comics I usually hand them a copy of Paddy Lynch’s superb anthology comic, Stray Lines.
Liam: Yeah, Stray Lines is a cracking comic book. Anything by Philip Barrett.
The Comic Cast on Twitter https://twitter.com/TheComicCast
The Comic Cast Website http://thecomiccast.com/
Craig O’Connor on Twitter https://twitter.com/hanktree
Liam Geraghty on Twitter https://twitter.com/Liam_Geraghty