[Happy Friday the 13th. I was trying to think about something spooky to cover today, but I wrote about Requiem yesterday which was spooky enough. This is tangential to the spooky supernatural but a little fun and funny too.]
MBMBAM Road Trip Mysteries is a fan-created comic about the three McElroy brothers of the My Brother, My Brother and Me podcast. As the site itself says, it started as a goof on the MBMBAM Appreciation Group (which I personally recommend for fans on Facebook) but the project grew and became something bigger. Twenty-Serpentine (or 20🐍 as most of us referred to it) was the MBMBAM motto for 2017. It was about doing something new, or different than usual. The creators took that to heart when creating MBMBAM Road Trip Mysteries.
The comic, written by Tim Hely & illustrated by Kayla Mitchell with a cover from Chris House, is free on the website roadtrip.axolstudio.com. Although there is a Patreon for Axol Studio, if you’d like to support them further. At the moment there’s just one issue of 24 pages, but I really hope they make more.
In Road Trip Mysteries, we see a comic version of brothers Justin, Griffin & Travis on a cross-country road trip in their own version of the Mysteries Machine, The MBMBAM Van. Griffin spots a theme park called Six Pennants out the window and demands they stop for a visit. Those good, good boys spend all day in the park and then settle in for a tiny break to rest when a mysterious sound gets their attention.
From there, we see the three brothers making their way through the park again, but this time after dark and with a mystery afoot. This story plays on goofs from the podcast, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have listened to the podcast to enjoy what the comic is doing. I think it’s pretty adorable and I also find great appreciation in things that are created out of love spawned by a podcast.
As I mentioned in my post the other day about the MaxFun drive, I get a lot of enjoyment out of the McElroy brothers bevy of work, specifically podcasts like MBMBAM and The Adventure Zone. And it’s awesome to see how their works inspire others in unexpected ways.
I’ve mentioned my love for podcasts, The Adventure Zone and My Brother, My Brother and Me before. Those two podcasts plus the other host of McElroy family of podcasts (like Wonderful! — another favorite of mine) are part of the Maximum Fun network. Last week and this one is the Maximum Fun pledge drive where the podcasts on their network as listeners to help support their work. The pledges go directly to the podcasts you listen to and help support the creators continue making good work. Not all of these podcasters do their podcasts for a living, but some do and personally I like knowing that I can help support that.
I don’t often contribute to these things, or like even patreons for people I don’t know. But in the past few years that I’ve been listening to these shows I’ve come to appreciate how much joy listening to these shows give me. For instance, Episode #400 of MBMBAM which was last Monday’s episode at the beginning of the pledge drive, kept me in stitches. I listened to it while at the gym Tuesday night and I barely noticed my time on the treadmill because I was laughing so hard. I’ve laughed about it in the week since and continued to feel connected to this random group of dudes because it feels like we’ve shared an experience… even though I’m just listening from home, work or the gym.
I’ve consumed a lot of their episodes. Over half of the 400 episodes of MBMBAM all ~90 of The Adventure Zone, most of the new episodes of Wonderful! and a handful of others. I pay good money for things like Netflix or Hulu and honestly, I often get way more enjoyment and bang for my buck from the McElroy podcasts than I do from the shows on those networks.
So last year I promised $10 a month to the MaxFun drive. It got me a cool MBMBAM pin and access to a proverbial shit load of free content dedicated to the pledge subscribers… stuff I didn’t know existed before. This year, I’m planning to increase that donation. Not because I feel pressured to… at least not by these creators. But by my own want to support these creators who give me so much of themselves in each episode.
One of the coolest things to happen so far this year is based on their 2018 motto of “Stronger Together”, Collabor18. I started a MBMBAM Discord channel specifically for fans who write or wanted to get into writing. The channel has over 100 members, is active daily, and we’re in the process of building an anthology of written works about collaboration, any proceeds of which will go to charity. And that’s only one small thing that’s happened from a giant community of fans. (I’ve got plans to post more about this anthology sometime soon.)
If you listen to MaxFun shows, I suggest you think about how much you’ve laughed and enjoyed these shows. And maybe do the same.