Saturday, March 9, 2013

Seven Years of Secret Identity


I had intended to sit down and write some profound reflection about the 500th episode of the Secret Identity Podcast and the fact that we are celebrating our seventh anniversary this month (we started in march 2006). But the more I thought about it, the more I realize my memories of the past seven years are a series on snippets, moments and factoids from my experiences with the show. So, I’ve decided to do this as kind of a list of those things that stick out to me, and that people may find interesting. Here goes:


  • When we started Secret identity in March of 2006, my co-host Matt Herring, along with most of the world, did not know what a podcast was.
  • We originally started the show because the season of Battlestar Galactica was over and we wanted a reason to still get together on Saturday nights.
  • When we started Secret Identity, there were only a handful of comics podcasts out there, Comic Geek Speak being the most notable one (they started in 2005). podcasting was still in its infancy at that time.
  • The two major podcast influences that led to the creation of Secret Identity were The 1UP Show and This Week in Tech (TWiT).
  • Secret Identity’s website for the first few years was matmancomics.com, a website Matt had started a few months before we began the podcast. He used to do news, reviews and interviews on that site.
  • There was a time when we were planning on expanding Secret Identity in a big way, similar to how sites like Revision 3 have a stable of audio and video content. We were going to have a monthly video magazine, and a variety of audio podcasts covering different topics under the Secret Identity umbrella. For a variety of reasons, those plans never came together.
  • On at least 3 separate occasions, we have come very close to creating a print magazine for Secret Identity.
  • During our time with SI, both Matt and I have dabbled in various aspects of the comics industry. Matt was involved with PR for Archie comics for a time, and I worked as a contributing writer for Comic Book Resources.
  • Despite being one of the longest running comics podcasts, we have only 26 customer ratings on iTunes.
  • Roddy Piper once did a video intro for one of our Big Apple shows.
  • Kane Hodder (my favorite Jason Voorhees) once did an audio intro for the podcast.
  • We once interviewed Todd McFarlane over Skype while huddled around the coffee table in my living room.
  • While Matt and I have had small disagreements over the past seven years, we almost never argue and we are consistently on the same page when it comes to the direction of the show.
  • Matt and I treat Secret Identity like it’s our full-time job, despite never having earned a dime from the show. In fact, it costs us hundreds of dollars a year to put the show out and maintain the website.
  • Before we began Secret Identity, I had a two-year old daughter. Now I have a nine-year old daughter and a six-year old son (named Parker, after Peter Parker).
  • While we are posting of 500th officially numbered episode, we have actually produced more than 700 episodes. For approximately 200 of them, we would use half numbers for the second show each week (Episode #37 and 37.5, for example.).
  • All told, we have produced over 1500 hours of programming. If you listened to every minute of Secret Identity consecutively from the beginning, it would take you over two months of 24/7 listening to get through it.
  • We have posted approximately 350 interviews with people in the comics, gaming, movies and television industries. We have about 50 more that haven’t been published yet, and some that never will be, for one reason or another.
  • There is a very short list of people that we still want to get on the show but have never had on. Some of the names on my personal short list are Mark Waid, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, Peter David and Clive Barker.
  • On our way back to the train station on the last day of NYCC 2011, Matt stepped out of a cab and something flew from his pocket and right into the sewer drain. There was a moment of panic, as he believed it was his recorder with over 20 interviews on it. Turns out it was his cell phone. I will never forget the look on his face as we hears the “kersploosh” of the phone landing in the water below.
  • Of all the creators we’ve met, almost all of them have been as cool as we’d hoped they’d be. My only real “bummer” interview was with Larry Hama, when I found out he wasn’t as excited about GI Joe as I thought he would be. He was still super nice, though.
  • Most interesting panel I’ve seen at a show--Dan Slott, Chris Claremont and Larry Hama together at a Big Apple show. Claremont and Hama bemoaned the current state of writing and the industry, and Slott was the enthusiastic one who disagreed with almost everything they said. Made for great conversation.
  • Some of my closest friends I met through Secret Identity. Two current podcasts I do, Co-Op Critics with Dan Evans and lbobi Radio with Jeff Rodgers would not exist if it weren’t for Secret Identity.
  • Matt and I have been in published comics a handful of times. We had a starring role (along with our pals Steve and James) in issue #34 of Jonah Hex, drawn by Mark Sparacio. We’ve had cameos in the Big Hero 6 2008-2009 miniseries drawn by David Nakayama, G-Man Vol. 2: Cape Crisis by Chris Giarrusso, an issue of Vin Ferrante’s Witch Hunter, the Hero Envy comic miniseries and an issue of the Hebert Brothers’ Lazerman series. This year, we will be appearing in the third volume of Chris Giarrusso’s G-Man series.
  • Matt and I appeared in a few episodes of the Hero Envy web series. I had a recurring character called “Nut Shot” who was a spoof of my favorite Joe, Quick Kick. We have also appeared on a some episodes of the Swass Cast as well.
  • My favorite part of Secret Identity will always be the community that has sprung up around it. There are some amazing people who listen week in and week out, and our community continues to be a very open and welcoming place for people to hang out on the internet.
  • I know there are ton of things I’m forgetting as well, so I’ll probably post again or add to this list as I remember.

I can honestly say that despite everything else that has gone on in our lives over the past seven years, Secret Identity is something that Matt and I look forward to doing week in and week out. Many times, it has been the highlight of an otherwise difficult week. The fact that people take time to listen to the show every week still amazes us, and we are very thankful to all the folks who have spent time with us over the years. One of the things I am most thankful for is my friendship with Matt, which will always be tied to Secret Identity and the time and effort we've put into this thing we love.

Thanks for listening,

Brian