04. Stephen Schleicher's Artisanal Hero

After teaching and working in tech for over two decades, Stephen Schleicher is finally working full-time at the dream job of his own creation: Major Spoilers. Major Spoilers is a website and podcast network dedicated to comic book and pop culture news and reviews, and includes everything from debates about Batman to Magic The Gathering updates and movie rumors. Nearly 600 episodes into Major Spoilers, and almost 400 in the flagship spin-off Critical Hit, Stephen has built an amazing community around the sheer love of pop culture. 

This episode spans the gamut from cultivating community, combating controversy, and building a business around a podcast. Stephen brings a lot of practical knowledge and wisdom to the table, and talking to him was a joy. You can find Stephen and Major Spoilers at MajorSpoilers.com, or on Twitter @MajorSpoilers!

Show Notes:
- There are twelve shows on the Major Spoilers site, ten of which are updated each week. They are: Critical Hit, Dueling Review, Finally Friday, Geek History Lesson, The Magic Minute, Major Spoilers, Munchkin Land, Top Five, The Want List, Wayne's Comics, Zach on Film, and Zach Plays.
- I feel like I got awkward about age-- I'm 23, if anyone cares.
- Stephen recently taught a class on Star Wars and Popular Culture, which you can hear more about on the MS website. 
- Major Spoilers was in the top ten of the 2013 Podcast Awards in the Cultural/Arts category. They lost to This American Life. 
- Note to college kids: Minor in Business. 

Non-Major Spoilers Shows We Mention:
- Drunks and Dragons
- Roll for Initiative
- Wizard's of the Coast's D&D Podcast
- Thrilling Adventure Hour
- Decoder Ring Theater
- Welcome to Night Vale
- Pseudopod

Shows Stephen's Listening To ("too many!"):
- The Adam Carolla Network
- The Nerdist Podcast Network
- Joe Rogan
- Coverville
- The Frogpants Network
- Decoder Ring Theater
- Welcome to Night Vale

Gear: 
Major Spoilers has a really great page listing each level of production they do. It's a great resource if you're an audio geek or have been working on your podcast for a while. For beginners, he recommends starting with whatever works for you (like the oft-mentioned Blue Snowball). 


Other Shows to Check Out This Week: 
Song Exploder and TLDR.

Song Exploder, hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway is a show that takes a song and analyzes each part of it individually, while interviewing its creator. This week's episode features the song "Go" by Valley Lodge-- a song that you might recognize as the theme to John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight."

TLDR is a rare example of quality short-form news podcasting, which is going to be making a few adjustments in the coming weeks, as long-time hosts PJ and Alex step down. The selections are always top-notch, and this week's episode "Ask Leah" is no exception. Want to know what it's like to write sex advice for fifteen-year-old boys at a video game magazine? Ask Leah.