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Melding Minds with Ed O'Hare: Interview with Comic Book Jones Podcast Co-creator

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Coming to you live from 2220 Forest ave in Staten Island, New York is the Comic Book Jones Podcast! Roll call: Socko Jones, Tiger Jones, Babyface Jones, Waffle Jones, Tuff Tony Jones, and Ed O'Hare (nicknamed to-be-determined) bring you uncensored, unadulterated, slapstick conversation on just about any and everything and sometimes comic books.

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Ed O'Hare, host of the CBJ podcast, sat down with us at Examiner to discuss the show. How it came to be, who helped put it together, and their unique style of flow to discussion on the show.

How did you come up with the idea to do a podcast?

I listen to a lot of podcasts. If you look at my phone right there's probably about 25-30 different podcasts I listen to regularly. I always liked ones that were willing to go an hour, hour and a half, long form discussion where you really get to know somebody and feel like you're hanging out with them. I always felt like, since the store opened, I've always been a regular customer but I really started coming here a lot around the time of the New 52, summer of 2011. Getting to know Tiger, Socko, Waffle, and Babyface, the dynamic they had, I thought they would work together really well on a long form podcast. That's really as simple as it is. I met these guys, thought they had a nice comradery and we would work well together.

What are the segments on the podcast?

At first, I wanted to have some kind of a loose structure so we would go with the conversation so it wouldn't just be rambling. Some of the first segments were a news segment, I didn't do listener email yet, I figured we had to build an audience first. DC reads a Marvel is another. Steve [Satan Jones] helped me put together the team.

How did you get the crew together?

Steve's my best friend and he's really into film, video production, and he also has some very good experience as a producer. I know he knew technical equipment enough to give us good recommendations. Kenny [Schiebel] and Matt [Flick] just showed up[laugh]. Matt showed up one week and said I really like this, can we put it up on Youtube and Socko and I just went “yeah sure, why not?” Then Kenny saw what Matt was doing, thought it was cool and he brought a second camera one week. The Youtube channel is something, to be honest, I really had no involvement at all, it was those two guys who wanted to do it. Steve, I knew would be able to give us a little focus at the outset. Then, we had a meeting with Socko and everybody, they liked it. We put together a pilot episode which no one will probably ever hear.

Was the pilot episode ever posted or recorded?

No, no, the pilot was never posted. It was recorded, yes, sort of...

Will the lost episode ever air?

Maybe if we get really lazy one week [laugh]. I'm actually afraid to go back and listen to it. The show, I had a loose structure and it just sort of evolved over time. Listeners started sending in emails and we were reading those on the air for the conversation. We got comfortable and had a good banter and, you know, interviews and everything. The secret origins was also an idea, that was a segment for the audience to get to know us.

The secret origins segment, was that a group construct or did you come up with it on your own?

That was part of my original proposal. The segments are my ideas and you can tell because the other guys are always trying to find reasons to not do them [laugh].

Along with you and Socko, does the team engage in content creation for the show?

I may come up wit an idea and put it on paper, but a lot of that is just the flow. It's not like a TV show where we call executives into a boardroom and say “alright, this is the direction we're gonna take for the show.” We may do that, we just may hangout on the couch one week after everyone's left, once a year, and just say do we want to change anything. It's a very, very loose structure. There's no formal structure or any thing like that.

What's your favorite part of the show? What would you fix, if anything?

My favorite part of the show is just listening to everybody else. It's interesting to go back and listen to things and see how certain characterizations evolved. Even then I feel like we've developed personas: Waffle is the troll, Waffle is the really angry guy and it's fun to see him get angry, then realizing when you have to start cutting him off. Socko is the ringmaster, Socko wants to have fun and he's gonna have fun. Tiger would really rather be doing anything else and Babyface just always says that thing that's really creepy. He'll just say something and it'll come out of nowhere, he has a completely different take on the conversation. we'll be talking bout something and he'll say something that sounds so completely unrelated.

Do you think he's actually listening?

Oh! No, he's listening and in his mind it makes perfect sense and he'll explain it and you'll be like “oh, okay.” But, no one else would ever go there - when he starts telling Evan Dorkin (Creator of Milk & Cheese and Beasts of Burden) that he had a dream that he was alone in a house with Evan's daughter and then later on he says he had a similar dream about Robert Kirkman's children.

What was Evan's response?

Evan, understandably, seemed to get visibly upset, berated him, as he did all of us that episode, and quickly we changed the subject[laugh].

Oddly enough, the Comic Book Jones Podcast rarely has discussion about comic books, do you consider it to be a “comic book” podcast?

It's funny because I really like talking about comics and I'm sure I'm a very boring person in real life because all I want to talk about are comics, movies, and TV. The way the show works is we go off the listener emails, generally. The topics they bring up have nothing to do with comics but it's really funny and interesting conversation. Other times, someone will bring up a topic and we'll have interesting discussions about that. I always have something I want to talk about on the show.

Do you plan on adding more comic-related segments into the podcast for listeners who expect it?

That's always the plan but I can never guarantee it's going to happen. Right now I like the format the way it is. I like the loose conversational style. I think the podcast right now is a perfect example of what Socko said his original mission for the store was, to treat it like a neighborhood bar and I feel like you're just coming out and hanging with the regulars. The way I saw this place, I often compare it to Cheers(TV show) because Socko and Tiger have that obvious Sam and Diane thing going on. Waffle is Carla because he's just running around screaming at people all day [waffle screams at someone in background], case in point. And, Babyface is like Coach or Woody, he's just sitting around like “hey, whats going on?” I guess I'm kind of Norm and Cliff put together.

Video of this episode is included with this article. And for more CBJ podcast shenanigans click here for more episodes. For audio episodes click here to listen

Follow Comic Book Jones on Twitter @comicbookjones for all the latest updates and news from the store and Jones'

Follow creator Evan Dorkin @evandorkin

Follow Kenneth Schiebel and Matt Flick on Twitter. Links on their names in article.

**BONUS** exclusive on-air interview with CBJ Podcast on Ep.66.

And finally, a very special congratulations to Socko Jones who has recently been blessed by bringing his first son, Antonio, into this world.

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