For those of you who’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Sidebar, be sure to check out the finest art and comics podcast on the Internet before it’s gone.
Sidebar Nation recently hosted its final podcast, and in just under three weeks, their website will be gone forever.
“Shit. No way.”
These were the first words that popped into my head when I read that Sidebar was coming to an end soon. At first I couldn’t believe it, but then I clicked on the link to their Facebook page and realised that this was real. Sidebar, a podcast that had kept me company for many hours when I was younger, was coming to an end.
As the reality behind those words sank in, I began to feel a strange sadness creep over me. The closest thing I can compare it to is the kind of grief that you feel when a character in a book or movie dies. The kind of anguish that a part of your mind tells you isn’t real, but, for some inexplicable reason, still hurts.
While my creative priorities in my life have shifted more towards writing, Sidebar was a significant part of my twenties. I remember many a late night spent hunched over my Wacom tablet in front of my PC with my good friends Dwight, Swain, and later Adrian to keep me company. I would listen to them joke and laugh as they picked at the minds of some of the greatest modern artists, all while I slaved away at whatever piece it was that I was working on. I still remember the odd bits of advice or strange stories that came from the likes of Adam Hughes, Drew Struzan, and Frank Quitely.
Sadly my passion for art began to lessen the older I got. I would still fire up Sidebar whenever I did decide to draw, but as I aged, the more I realised that I was falling behind the curve (unfortunately that’s what happens when you split your time between a part-time job, drawing, writing, and video games), and so less and less time was spent with the Sidebar trio.
An almost daily visit to Sidebar turned into a weekly one. Then weekly into monthly. But despite this growing distance, I always knew that Sidebar was there, waiting for me.
That was until a few days ago.
I haven’t listened to the final episode, and honestly, I might not (I have often stopped reading books/watching movies where I knew the ending was going to be supremely bittersweet) but I just wanted to say this:
Dear Adrian, Dwight, and Swain,
I never dropped you guys an email, nor was I a part of the forums when they existed, but I just wanted to say thanks for all the time, effort, and love that you put into the podcast over the years. Many a late night was spent with you three doing your thing while I drew and painted on my PC. I will never forget the way you guys made me smile, or laugh, or the awesome stories you coaxed out of your guests.
I wish you guys all the best.