I once looked up when I first made an account on YouTube – and then I quickly browsed to another page because it made me feel old. Apparently I finally got around to making an account in November 2006 (the same month Google bought the site), having spent a lot of time watching videos on there beforehand.
I love making shows on YouTube and I’ve been doing it for several years. My first ongoing show was The Nobmouse Show, named after my oldest comic character, Nob T. Mouse. The Nobmouse Show was a near-daily topical show where I commented on the news, as well as occasionally diverting into other topics such as how many laws Batman would have broken if he were British (and actually existed).
The Nobmouse Show ended in June 2014 as I felt the show had run its course. I took an extended break from YouTube to concentrate on other projects and to decide where I wanted to take my video-making next. The result was a new format for The Nobmouse Show, which returned as a weekly topical show in January 2015.
This version of The Nobmouse Show takes one subject each episode and goes into far more depth than was possible in the previous series. The show also has far more comedy to it, with a range of recurring sketch comedy characters being introduced early in the series.
In addition to The Nobmouse Show, I began a series of retro game review shows in 2015, under the name GameHammer. The GameHammer show has evolved from its first few episodes where I simply played the game in question on a specific retro computer or console and has now become a 20-30 minute show themed around a game (or series of games).
Each episode of GameHammer opens with a sketch comedy scene, and I try to include comedic sections throughout the newer episodes. The idea of the show is to not only introduce viewers to classic games they may not have played before (or which they have played but not for quite some time) but also to review the game and entertain viewers at the same time.
My second YouTube channel launched in 2011 as a vlog but since then it has branched out into four video series. The most prominent of these series is The Monday Book Club, a weekly book review show. Each episode, I take one book and discuss it in a part review, part analysis show. Some of the episodes on modern science-fiction novels such as Greg Egan’s Permutation City have proved particularly popular with viewers.
Continuing the book theme, I also run a show that creates audiobooks of classic, public domain works from the very early days of science fiction and horror. This show, Reading The Weird, is typically half an hour long per episode and either presents a whole story in one sitting, or breaks down a longer work into several parts.
With Reading the Weird, I always go for a story that’s either in the public domain or which I have permission from the copyright holder to create an audiobook from. The stories have proven popular amongst viewers, mainly because it’s the kind of show you can have running in one browser tab and listen to while you do other things; which was the entire point of the show.
The third show, The Vlog, is a vlog show run in magazine format. Each episode either has a particular theme, such as visiting a local museum, or several topics interspersed with pieces-to-camera to introduce the topic and explain what the viewer is about to see.
The Vlog was developed to continue the vlogs that the channel began from, and I’m quite proud of how well some of the episodes have come together, especially the “light writing” episode produced with the help of my good friend, artist and web designer Jade Stewart. In case you’re wondering, the original name of the show, The Zog, comes from “Zoë’s Vlog”.
The Vlog ended its first series after episode 450. It’s now back in daily video format with The Vlog Series 2.
Finally, we have Comic Fridays. This is another magazine format show, combining how-to guides on making comics with comic reviews and comic news. It’s a really fun show to produce and viewers have been incredibly welcoming with regard to some of the guides I’ve produced for the show.
Comic Fridays took a break in 2015 while I focussed on some other projects. A new series is coming soon.