This is a big post, full of exciting news. Are you ready?
We'd hoped that Series 2 of The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program was going to make a splash. A fan favorite mini-series resurrected as an on-going show is worthy of at least some fanfare. But we didn't know how big a deal it would be...
Throughout the run of Series 2, Mystery Program made frequent appearances in Apple Podcast's literature charts, peaking at #4 in the US. And since the launch of Series 2, the show has had over 111k downloads (we're nearing 200k overall). This is the biggest and fastest-growing project our little podcast factory has ever produced in-house. And it's all thanks to you.
To the amazing folks who've shared our strange tales and our incredible Patrons who've entirely funded this project: thank you, thank you, thank you. Our decade long podcasting journey together, since the launch of our first podcast, Nerdy Show, has led us here - to a rebirth and a renewed focus on doing what's near and dear to our hearts: telling weird and wild stories.
We've been teasing details about what's next. Well, here's the skinny:
We have four new series of Cthulhu in the works.
With all the love and trust you've put into us, we wanted to put that back into you. We're committed to continue to explore these anthology adventures, so we felt a show of force was in order.
The way we create the series is by doing multi-day tabletop recording sessions (for which we've flown in some extra-special guests, as you'll see). This is our "principal recording" from which the rest of the development spins - all the improvisational narrative and mayhem. That's (arguably) the easy part. Then comes the post production: sound editing, story editing - enhancing the narrative with new scripted scenes and story elements, score, sound design, casting for additional voices, re-records...
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Here's a loose, loose outline of what's to come, who is involved, and some very brief plot synopsis.
Series 3: Night at Howling House
We play the classic Call of Cthulhu scenario, "The Dare". It's the last days of summer, 1920 - do you know where your children are? Five frenemies venture into a haunted house to spend the night and begin the school year with impeccable bragging rights. But "Howling House" hungers - and the bloodlust of the nightmares that dwell within will be sated.
Starring: Keeper Luke Stram, Cap Blackard (Mystery Program showrunner), artist Manda Bruno, Colin Peterson (Dungeons & Doritos), Brandon Gerson who played Father Grandfather in Series 1, and musician Chris LeBrane of Chris LeBrane’s Campaign and The Universal Funk Orchestra.
Patrons can hear an extended preview of Series 3, here.
Mayhem, monsters, and big feelings. What's supposed to be a simple assignment goes sideways for two down-on-their-luck Bureau of Investigation agents. Hot on the case, they collide with the women of S.I.S.T.R.U.M., and together these strange allies join forces to wake Arkham from its latest nightmare.
Melody Perera and Cap Blackard return as Anjana and Estelle and are joined by the amazing Sarah Rhea Werner of the audio drama Girl in Space and Liam Malone of RPG From Scratch. An original campaign by Keeper Luke Stram.
What would you risk to get rich quick? A Boston mob boss assembles a posse of lowlifes who owe him a favor. Their mission: hunt down some fishy gold coming out of Innsmouth. But can a con man, a communist, a laudanum addict, and an assassin challenge the unknown horrors that dwell in the deep darkness?
Special guest, rapper, storyteller, and handsome devil Astronautalis joins new voices Luke McDuffee (Nerdy Show, No Fangs Radio Hour) and Xanthe Braxton along with the usual suspects Cap Blackard and Keeper Luke Stram (who wrote this original campaign).
Mountain man and renowned author, Moses Cubbenfeld has been called to New York City by his publisher - and he's brought his bosom companion, Hobo King Oswald Sinclair, along for the ride. But Oswald has some dark secrets buried under his top hat. Can these fish out of water make it in the big city, and how does a Harlem pastry chef and an occult enthusiast find themselves tangled up in their sordid shenanigans?
Joshua La Forge and John Sebastian La Valle return as Moses and Oswald, while Jarrod Pope (Flame On!) and magician / NYC native Nelson Lugo (EPIC PIEcast) join the cast for an all-new campaign by Luke Stram.
So there you have it! Four uncanny, forthcoming adventures. Our goal is to get them to you as soon as possible. Though, as I'm sure you can imagine, that's easier said than done.
A production like ours isn't cheap. Series 3 is already in post-production, but Series 4-6 will cost thousands of dollars each! That's why, in addition to Patreon, we're going to launch a crowdfunding event in the near future. The goal will be to fund Series 4, but hopefully can expand to include 5, 6, and beyond.
You, our Patrons, are our very life's blood. None of this would be possible without you. Flying out guests, upgrades to the studio, all the expenses that go into post production including music, sound design, artwork... Not to mention literally keeping the lights on with rent, utilities, and all the services that keep us running. That's all you, and we don't take that for granted.
It's our hope that doing an outside funding drive will catch the eye of folks for whom Patreon isn't alluring and help us take funding the production of these series from a slow burn over multiple years into a regular production cycle were the gaps between seasons are much shorter. Lots more details to come, and please, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us. Our Patrons are our world.
You should know that there's another big announcement coming for our outlet at large, but that's still a little ways off. We're evolving to put an emphasis on telling stories first and foremost and build a sustainable future off what we do best. You've shown us that words have meaning. That stories make a difference. That creation isn't ever something you can take for granted. Thanks to you, we're able to make strange and beautiful art, and we're so gracious for that.
Finally, the long-awaited Cthulhu Q&A will be releasing soon. In tandem to its release we'll also be debuting an all-new, ongoing Cthulhu-related exclusive bonus feature, here on Patreon.
Lots to keep an eye out for, but you have several, right?
Looking back at past teases of these series recordings you might have noticed that they're not in the same order we recorded them in. This is for narrative purposes. The show is still an anthology, taking place at different times, but we want to be sure there's a good flow in the likely chance someone listens in order.
What's now Series 5 was, in fact, our sixth and final (for now) recording. We celebrated by feasting upon a heap of carapaced creatures from the sea floor, boiled in a brine of their own oceanic juices and strange spices from regions unknown to us.
A very, very appropriate end.
Stay tuned, dearly beloved.