The School of Everything Else Archive
The Making of The Killing Joke

The Making of The Killing Joke

January 20, 2013

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

Grab hold of a copy of the Killing Joke in book form. We’re going to take you through page by page, panel by panel and discuss what it took to turn this into an audio drama and then a motion comic. Joining me I have Matt Ramsey of the Do Try This at Home podcast; AKA Commissioner Jim Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth. Matt’s partner in crime Sharon Shaw who played Jeannie and Street Girl. And for the first time on Gonzo, newcomer Laureta Sela who played Barbara Gordon.

We'll be talking about the complex character of The Joker as depicted here, voices, casting, music, sound FX, and the process of directing remotely.

Spoilers for Batman: Breakdown throughout so listen to that (rather good) show first if you haven't already. 

Batman: The Killing Joke [Audio Drama]

Batman: The Killing Joke [Audio Drama]

January 19, 2013

[Digital Gonzo 2013]

This is an audio drama adaptation of The Killing Joke: written by Alan Moore, and originally illustrated by Brian Bolland for DC comics in 1988.

This show is dedicated to Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy, two of my all-time heroes. Their inspirational work is a key reason why I love Batman so much, and their immense talent as voice-over artists is what made me want to produce performance pieces like this. All credit to Alan Moore for his excellent writing. The few minor changes I made were to facilitate the audio format. Also artist Brian Bolland.

If you enjoyed this, do please check out Batman: Breakdown, which is an original story written by myself and rendered into an accompanying audio drama. You can find it on this podcast feed or on YouTube. As a bonus for newcomers I've included the first six minutes of Breakdown to act as a taster at the close of this production.

If you like my work on this you should check out my original audio drama, The New Century Multiverse, the previous stories are available in audiobook form on Bandcamp with new episodes released as a weekly podcast. 

A huge thank you to my cast, without whom, this would be a considerably less vibrant production.

Cast (in order of appearance) 

JOKER/JACK – Alex Shaw
BATMAN – Alex Shaw
JIM GORDON – Matt Ramsey
GUARD BILL – Jerome McIntosh
BOB BONUS – Daniel Floyd
JEANNIE – Sharon Shaw
GANGSTER JOE – Lorin Grieve
GANGSTER JAKE – Alex Spencer
DOCTOR – Joshua Garrity
CIRCUS FREAKS – Matt Whetter
DETECTIVE MOORE – James Batchelor
OFICER BOLLAND – Nama Chibitty
DON SENIOR – Matt Whetter
ROB SENIOR – Andres Rodriguez
GAMBOL – Aquila Edwards
STREET GIRL – Sharon Shaw
CREDITS - Giles Thomas

The Making of Batman: Breakdown

The Making of Batman: Breakdown

January 12, 2012

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This is a two part epic investigation into the making of Batman: Breakdown. 
There's so much detail, so many hidden references and so much forethought behind the writing and production that this ended up needing two shows to contain it.

I am joined by Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits who played Robin, Neil Taylor of KDS 2.0 who played Nightwing and Sharon Shaw of Gonzo Planet who played Doctor Jennifer Whitman. There is also an extensive discussion between myself and story editor David Hartrick of the wildly popular football website In Bed with Maradona.

Between us we deconstruct the many complex, continuity-accurate and psychologically sound aspects of this dramatic, emotional, disturbing story of The Dark Knight. I've spent a long time layering in audio to give context to the dialogue and make this an entertaining, enlightening document of what might be the best single piece of work I've ever put out there.

Also outtakes. Those are great too.

In the second half we deconstruct the story elements and discuss how said elements were constructed to make this feel like a real part of the Batman story.

Discussed here are the later scenes and the climax. At the very end there is a special treat in the shape of EPIC OUTTAKES. As well as this the tantalizing prospect of further installments to this new continuity.

Once again a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this,  Sassy, Tara, Matt Ramsey and Matt Whetter, James and Leah, David Hartrick on Story and my guests Sharon, Neil and Dan.


Batman: Breakdown [Audio Drama]

Batman: Breakdown [Audio Drama]

January 10, 2012

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This is my first full-length audio drama. It was designed to be enjoyed by comic fans but also to people who are only familiar with the Nolan films the Arkham video games or the Animated Series. I wanted to write something significant, honest and authentic about the Batman legend and with a lot of help from long-time serious Bat-fan, David Hartrick, I was able to shape a series of ideas into a hopefully coherent story. None of the cast, including myself are professional actors, but we all worked very hard to capture the essence of the characters we portrayed. The writing, organisation and editing all of this together took dozens of hours, but it's been equal parts exhausting and rewarding. I'd of course ideally love to see this adapted into a comic mini-series or animated movie someday (hint, hint, DC). Oh and for Batman enthusiasts, take note, this is an Elseworlds tale that takes place after the 2005 storyline Under the Hood, but before the 2006 storyline Infinite Crisis.

Script: Alex Shaw / Story: Alex Shaw & David Hartrick / Editing: Alex Shaw


Bruce Wayne/Batman: Alex Shaw
Barbara Gordon/Oracle: Leah Haydu
Dick Grayson/Nightwing: Neil Taylor
Tim Drake/Robin: Daniel Floyd
Clark Kent/Superman: James Batchelor
Diana Prince/Wonder Woman: Tara Nelson
Selina Kyle/Catwoman: Cassandra Corgard
Alfred Pennyworth: Matthew Ramsey
Doctor Jennifer Whitman: Sharon Shaw
Cops: Matt Whetter/Sharon Shaw/Alex Shaw
Thieves: Neil Taylor/Matt Whetter/Alex Shaw
Bank Clerk: Cassandra Corgard
Estelle: Tara Nelson

David Hartrick writes for In Bed With Maradona, the award-winning home of World Football:

If you like this production and you believe, like we do, that as many people as possible should hear this then please suggest it to everyone you know who likes a good Batman story. Tweet about it, make a big deal on FaceBook, post YouTube comments, leave an iTunes review, get this thing heard. I've been supremely hard at work on my original audio drama series New Century for the past few years. If you like this production you'll love hearing where I go with what I learned. However I think I'm done with Batman audio drama for the time being. It's very unlikely I'll do Hush and Breakdown is almost impossible to follow up on in a satisfying way. Believe me, David and I have gone over potential plots and it really feels better to leave the future of Gotham ambiguous. I'm not saying never, but for now let's just say this and the Killing Joke were my two forays into the Dark Knight mythology. 

Blue Sun [Audio Drama]

Blue Sun [Audio Drama]

December 1, 2010

[Digital Gonzo 2011]

My second attempt at audio drama. This was an adaptation of the first few chapters of the book that eventually became New Century. "The Bright Ones" was completed around 2003 and is pretty scrappy and juvenile, slave to my influences like The Matrix and Final Fantasy. But there were some things that eventually made their way into New Century, despite being set at a different time on different planets. This version, Blue Sun introduces new elements including a heavy MCU influence.


Northern Lights [Audio Drama]

Northern Lights [Audio Drama]

January 12, 2010

[Gonzo Gaming 2010]

This was my first attempt at an audio drama, adapting the opening chapter of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights.