I don't remember when I first corresponded with Deanna Chapman online, but it was probably in our college years while she was rooming with our mutual friend Zack. She began her first podcast, Missaligned, in August of 2015. I was a guest on episode 016. I don't think either of us realized at the time how large or enmeshed our podcasting careers would later become.
She carried on that first show for another 89 episodes on the Modern Vinyl network. Changes in the hosting lineup never slowed her down. She eventually ended it in April of 2018. At the time, I thought that 105 episodes in 2.5 years was one hell of a run. Heck, it's still impressive. At the time I'm writing, that's exactly the number of episodes I've published on all of my independently hosted programs combined. I digress...
She may have ended her show, but she wasn't ready to call it quits on the medium. Within a few months, she started Sport's Up with Murjani Rawls. This one only lasted 33 episodes, covering about a year of sports news and events. But the same week they called it a day, she launched what would become her biggest podcast yet.
Until I went browsing through my history of podcast appearances, I'd forgotten that I was a guest on the very first episode of Welcome To Geekdom in October of 2016. On that pilot, we talked about TV and how we watch it in a cable cutter's world. Plex was a major point of discussion. I think it set a tone of "anything goes" which carried throughout the show's run. Episodes that followed covered TV, music, movies, hobbies, sports teams, careers, apps, and so much more.
My podcasting partner Mike Comite and I started Bantha Fodder in January and Variable Bitrate aired its pilot in June. The former ran for 39 episodes before life got busy. The latter ran for 25 consecutive weeks, burning me out in a big way. And that's why I'm in such awe over Deanna. For over 6 years, she published weekly conversations with a wide variety of guests—new and returning. I believe she only ever took two breaks from the show and neither lasted longer than two months. The consistency is staggering.
My podcasting relationship with Deanna grew steadily over the years. Mike and I both appeared on her show(s) multiple times and it was the a great outlet to have. I had my own shows to talk to friends about Star Wars and the music industry, and Welcome To Geekdom for the rest. In its run of weekly episodes, I returned a total of 12 times. Topics included Apple Music, Frank Ocean, Pixar Shorts, Gravity Falls, two Alien movies, and some Star Wars topics that didn't really fit on our own show.
When I moved my podcasts from Libsyn to the newly-erected Transistor platform, I toyed with the idea of starting a network. In the end I decided I didn't want the hassle and really just wanted to support my friend's projects in smaller, more immediate ways. That meant redesigning Geekdom's artwork and pulling Deanna's show into my account. We've split rent ever since.
The artwork was a fun challenge. Deanna was attached to the iconography of the original, but recognized that it was too simplistic and didn't look great in smaller sizes. I came up with a more modern take on the concept and composed the above with icons designed by Oliver.
As the first guest, I was invited back for a lot of landmark episodes. Episodes 50, 100, 200, and 250 all carry my voice. Today the final episode of the podcast aired, episode 300. Mike and I were both there to help send it off in style, talking about Aliens.
While I'm sad the show has ended, I'm glad to know that the obligation of the show has left its host. Deanna is a prolific podcaster, but nobody on a schedule that rigorous can avoid the mental toll that comes with it. Historically, she's worked through the stress, pushing even harder to keep the train running—often against my advice—but as her career outside her shows has grown, so has she. I'm proud of her and agree with her decision to move on.
Welcome To Geekdom represents a remarkable accomplishment and will continue to exist as a wonderful time capsule of her friends and interests during its run. She still has Chat Sematary going, chronicling the entirety of Stephen King's bibliography and its countless adaptations. So she's not totally off mic. And, frankly, I wouldn't put it past her to start up something new in the future. For now, though, she deserves a little bit of a break. Time to enjoy some movies and TV shows without the pressure to make content about them.
🎉 Congratulations, Deanna, on 300 episodes. Thank you for continually inviting me back to rant and rave about passions and obsessions for way longer than your intended run time. It's a shame it had to end before we got around to Alien³...