Welcome to the Zone!

So, it’s been a few days since we launched the site and I just wanted to give you all an introduction. I tried to record a video last night showing my decorated house, snowman village and all, with some updates on the show. It messed up… twice! So I figured I’d expand what I was talking about in the video with a little history for this inaugural post here on the site.

If you’re new to Zone 4, check out the About page to get some of the history of the show and what it’s, well, about. In short, it’s a round table comic book and pop culture discussion show generally running 90-120 minutes per episode. Over the last few months we’ve stayed pretty steady at around 90 minutes. If you look back into the first quarter or first half of the show’s history you’ll find many episodes over two hours because we were having so much fun we just kept going. There were even times I had to break an episode up into 2-3 parts just so it wasn’t too much for our listeners!

We cover everything from comics, to movies, to TV, to bacon and whatever else is on our minds. I think we once did an entire episode on Hamburger University and Taco Bell ads. That was a trippy one to be sure!

Over the years we’ve had a lot of cast changes. Gordon, Captain Ron and myself (Brant) are the current regular hosts and we have 7 official reserves and a few recurring honorary reserves. The official reserves include two of the original hosts, Cary Kelley and Chuck Kennedy (though they are only available once in a blue moon due to their busy lives these days, both with little ones). Also reservists are the co-hosts of The RaynMan Power Hour, Bill Gladman and Frank Raynor. Then we have Mike Luoma, Mike Watson and former full-time cast member John Wilson, who is also one of my partners in Comic Related.

Our honorary reserves/recurring guests include my other CR partner Charles “Chuck” Moore, as well as Decapitated Dan Royer (of the Discussions podcast) and Rob Davis, Captain Ron’s partner in Airship 27 Productions.

We’ve had other guests as well, including Tim Simmons (writer of Spy6teen), Eric Ratcliffe (co-creator of New Comic Day and host of the Why I Love Comics podcast), Mike Baron (of The Badger and Nexus fame), Dirk Manning (of Nightmare World and Tales of Mr. Rhee fame), Glen Arsenau (of Bulletproof Angel), and various others that escape me at the moment.

When we (being myself, Chuck, Cary and our other original co-host, Jason Berek-Lewis) started the show we had to record on Saturday nights for a couple of reasons. One, that was Sunday afternoon for Jason as he lives in Australia, and with a wife and young child that was the only time he had available. And I believe it was the best time for Chuck as well. After they all left as co-hosts the recording day kind of stuck. We have recorded on off days before, even the day it is supposed to go live on a few occasions, but most of the time we are recording these 6 days before they go live, every Saturday night. We gave up trying to fake that a long time ago as we always seem to ruin the illusion. So if you ever hear me say “as you are listening to this…” you know I’m saying that because we’re recording it days before it airs.

This show has grown so much over the years (it’ll be three in April!), and we can’t thank our fans enough for all your support. Watching our number of downloads increase, and seeing new people “liking” us on Facebook seemingly every week, we are truly humbled by it all.

Chuck, Cary, Jason and I really started this show simply as a way to talk to each other. It just happened that our main bond was comics, but we would spend sometimes an hour before and after the show just catching up with each others’ lives. Being such good friends as we were, but living so far apart from each other, this podcast allowed us to interact and have fun with it for all of you in the process. We have forged some great friendships through this podcast, not just with the originals, but others that have been hosts or reservists as well.

The show may have grown and changed somewhat over the course of time, but at its core I like to think it’s still a show about a few friends getting together talking comics and other stuff. I think that’s the heart of what the show is and why you all continue to listen. As we continue to grow and expand the show and do new things with it, we hope we never lose sight of that fact. And if we do, let us know!

Shifting gears, tonight is a brand new Transmissions from Zone 4, so be sure to check that out! We have a pseudo-Western theme going on as we all talk about Western-themed novels, comics and TV shows that have a bit of a twist to them. We think – and hope you agree! – that each show so far has been better than the last, and as such we feel this is our best episode to date. So tune in at 8pm Est on TMVCafe.com.

I had more things I wanted to talk about, but this has gone a bit longer than I anticipated. I’ll jump back on soon with more updates.

Until then, keep listening!


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