13th Feb2015

Ch-Ch-Changes – or What’s Going On With PCH These Days?

by Chris Thompson

When I first started Pop Culture Hound in late 2009, I had no idea what it would ultimately become. I had delusions of grandeur (as many did) so, after enduring an incredibly stressful work situation, I decided to take the plunge and pursue it full-time. That sabbatical not only served to recharge and reinvigorate me, but it led me to pursue the kind of work I really wanted.
By mid 2010 I found myself at Orbital Comics and, over the last five years, that role has developed into my current position as Events Manager. Like anyone in comics, I’m deeply passionate about what I do and love it more than almost anything, which can be a problem at times. The bleed over into my personal life already accounts for a strange (strained?) work/life balance, and trying to juggle PCH on top of that was becoming too much.
Besides, there was no good reason to keep things separate any longer. The Pop Culture Hound podcast was birthed out of limitations in what we were doing at the shop, but those didn’t really exist any longer. What I was doing would totally fit in with the direction we were taking, and bringing the two together would only make my life easier … It was a no-brainer. And so the new Orbital in Conversation podcast was born! We even have a snazzy logo for it as you can see above.
For those who have been listening for a while, nothing will really change. You can expect the same great interviews and discussion you’ve enjoyed previously on Pop Culture Hound, with the added bonus of being able to employ all the tools at my disposal here at Orbital Comics. We have so many great creators come through our doors for events (or just a quick visit), and now I’m able to do something more about it.
Case in point is this week’s show with Kurtis Wiebe (Rat Queens, Peter Panzerfaust, and the upcoming Pisces). Kurtis was in town for this weekend’s Demon Con, so it was the perfect opportunity to slip out with him and some friends to conduct an interview over drinks. Not all that different to before, is it? At least not on the surface.
For me the biggest change is that I no longer feel torn or like there’s some conflict of interest going on. My two worlds have finally (and harmoniously) merged into one beautiful whole, that will only enable me to excel in both. I’ll probably be working just as hard as before (if not harder) but it will be with a singular, rather than a split, purpose.
As for the numbering, I decided to keep that for numerous reasons … First of all, Pop Culture Hound has a rich legacy, and I didn’t want to distance myself or the shop from that. Orbital has sponsored the show from the very beginning, so the connection was always there – the change to Orbital in Conversation is just formalising that.
Secondly, it felt right. The current trend may differ, but historically comics would often change title while still maintaining the numbering of the book they came from. My favourite example is Marvel‘s Tales of Suspense, which began life as one thing, before becoming home to Captain America and Iron Man, then eventually morphing into the Captain America solo series with issue 100. That’s exactly what’s happened here, with Pop Culture Hound proudly standing for 115 episodes before morphing into Orbital in Conversation with Episode 116. I’ve even kept the original theme tune – with a few little tweaks, of course!
So, what am I trying to say here? Basically this is my long-winded explanation for what’s been going on, and my way of saying thank you to those who have stuck with me through it all (as well as those who will going forward) … I genuinely believe the best is yet to come, and once again I feel recharged and reinvigorated by the potential. My two worlds have collided (call it a convergence or an incursion – take your pick) and that can only mean the best for both of them. I hope you’ll stick with me and that you like what we’ve got planned!
In the meantime, never fear – you can still enjoy the Pop Culture Hound back-catalogue right here. It’s not going anywhere, and (if all goes according to plan) you won’t even need to change your iTunes subscriptions. Of course, if you haven’t already subscribed then now would be a perfect time to do so – I promise to make it worthwhile.
To get in touch, send feedback or submit projects for consideration, please email reviews@popculturehound.com. And if you missed last week’s episode (or any others) you can find them right here or subscribe via iTunes.
You can support Pop Culture Hound by clicking here to make a donation or pressing the DONATE button below. Your contributions are greatly appreciated, and will help us to maintain the site and get new equipment.

Chris Thompson’s Twitter: @popculturehound
Chris Thompson’s website: popculturehound.com
Orbital Comics’ Twitter: @orbitalcomics
Orbital Comics’ website: www.orbitalcomics.com
Copyright © Chris Thompson 2015

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