This Show Discusses Comic Books In A Thoughtful Way

Mike Rapin
March 1, 2019 - "Structure and consistency are key."
Since 2015
Visual Arts

►Tell us about you and your podcast

Name: Mike Rapin

Podcast: I Read Comic Books

About: IRCB is a weekly panel podcast about comic books, being a comics fan, and discussing comic books in a thoughtful way.

Listeners: Any kind of comic fan, typically someone who is reading some form of comic book/manga/webtoon.


►Why & how did you start this podcast? 

I listen to a a dozen or so podcasts, but this show started before I got into listening to too many other podcasts. The goal of IRCB was to find a place to take the already interesting conversations I was having with comic fans and put them in a place for other people to enjoy. At the time of creation, I couldn't find another podcast discussing comic books in the same format we were - some new, some old, and some specific topic about the broad culture of comics.


►How'd you find the time and funding to do this podcast?

When I started this show ~4 years ago, I told myself: The only way to do this is to do it consistently and to find others who are just as dedicated as I am. Every Sunday, I put myself on my computer from 3pm-5:30pm to plan, discuss, and record our show with two other people. Once the recording is done, we pass the audio to our editor, Zander, (who also volunteers his time) and by Wednesday we have a show ready for release.

What works about our show is having a rotating cast (myself excluded). For the most part, every week, folks two of our 8 rotating regulars on the show making the burden of recording regularly much smaller on everyone else. Folks are usually on the show no more than twice a month, which helps scheduling regular shows much easier.

As far as spending goes? It's about $70 a month for hosting, domain, and software plus a little extra here and there for one off costs (ie. Merchandise).


►What do you gain from podcasting?        

Right now, the only financial gain we get is via Patreon but the money from that is going to pay for things we're already spending out of pocket today. We're still in the red as a show, but that's not the goal. Podcasting for IRCB has never been about making money. Our end goal is to make a smart, fun, interesting show every week for comic fans to enjoy.

Podcasting has definitely benefitted me socially and in an educational sense. I've made very solid friends throughout the last few years on the show, recruiting people to be regular guests, meeting people at cons, and building relationships on social media with our fans. It's incredibly rewarding to hear how the show has impacted others.

And as a comic fan, having a long running, respected podcast helps in meeting new and interesting people in the circles of comics, which is always fun.


►How does your podcasting process look like? 

Each of our regulars has a microphone: an ATR2100-USB, a Blue Yeti, a CAD U37, or a Blue Snoball. We record our show using Audacity locally on each of our machines then pass the audio on to our editor who edits using Adobe Premiere Pro and Auphonic's Leveler to balance our audio out.

For guests, it's a mix between us reaching out on Twitter (our primary means for finding guests) or folks emailing us directly after being recommended by someone. When we do interviews, we usually use Skype in which I'll use Audio Hijack to record the Skype call and my audio separately.

For every every episode of our show, we have a notes document that gets passed around 2-3 days before recording to jot down notes for our regular sections of the show (What have you been reading? What is your comic pick for this week?) plus a section for that week's topics. This doc is also where we drop our audio timecodes for our editor. To wrap up the document, we have a list of credits we funnel through each week.


►How do you market your show?

Our show is on most major podcast platforms (iTunes, Spotify, Google, YouTube, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, etc.). I track some information via Blubrry stats, but I can't tell too much where folks are listening.

But we do push pretty hard on Twitter for marketing in hopes for discovery. This works specifically well when comic publishers and/or creators want to share the show.


►What advice would you share with aspiring (new) podcasters?

Structure and consistency are key. You can always tweak your show as you develop it, but find a release schedule and stick to it and make sure your listeners know your release schedule.

Segment your show. You don't need to add breaks or ad reads, but something to give your show a structure folks can understand and rely on and you'll go very far.

Buy a decent mic and make sure you keep a high standard for audio quality. Be aware of your recording surroundings and background noise (even something as innocuous as a fan in another room can add a level of annoying static to an audio track).


►Where can we learn more about you & your podcasts?

These are our primary sources for info about the show and where most of our interaction is done.


Updated: 6 months ago