How (and why) these four Akron area geeks host Altered Realm Radio every Saturday night
by Megan Combs
Why don’t zombies eat clowns? They taste funny, jokes Dan Gorman, one of the voices and founder behind the Internet radio show Altered Realm Radio. His fellow co-hosts chuckle and then a song about zombies plays in the background, featuring Gorman on the guitar.
Gorman, a comic book illustrator who lives in Cuyahoga Falls and grew up in Green, had always been interested in hosting a radio show. The story of how he landed one goes way back to 2006 when he and his friends Jason Miller and Joe Dutt created a paranormal group called Team Spectre. Together the team went on several ghost hunting missions and were eventually asked to be on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventure” show. Season 3, if you’re wondering.
“After we were on the show, radio host Bob Earley asked us to come on his show to talk about it,” Gorman smiled. “And it was just so much fun. The callers were really into it.”
After being on Earley’s show, Gorman said he and Miller “caught the bug.” They started connecting with other media friends to find out how they could get their own time slot. Eventually they caught wind of a startup Internet radio station opening in Kent: KRMA Radio.
In April 2015, the opportunity came. Gorman and Miller created a format for a three-hour show that started in the 9 p.m. to midnight slot on Saturday nights. Their official launch was in July, and the show was moved to the 8 p.m. to midnight time slot.
For example, a regular feature is when the team calls Gorman’s dad. They say hello and then let him rant for 20 minutes about anything and everything. Then there’s Georgio Pelogrande, the parody sports, weather and traffic reporter who is notorious for getting all his facts wrong. The part is played by Dunphy.
“I wrote his bit a couple times and ‘called in’ as him, and they just loved it,” Dunphy said. “He touts himself as a journalist, but he never gets anything right. For example, he called in when the Cavs lost the championship and said that they won.”
Members of the show include Gorman, a trained medical and comic book illustrator; Miller, owner of Stuff Genie Emporium in Barberton; Brian Dunphy, a comic book illustrator in Akron; and Joseph A. Michael, illustrator and creator behind the “Only Human,” zombie comic book series.
“We laugh for four straight hours,” Gorman said. “We talk about video games, comic books, movies, TV shows, all of it.”
Gorman said the show is a creative outlet for him, his co-hosts and their listeners.
“We get to showcase our skills and talents that we haven’t showcased before,” Gorman said. “I’m an illustrator, but there’s a whole other facet to our personalities.”
The show is starting to gain traction, gathering as many as 500 listeners per night, Gorman said. An estimated more than 7,000 people have tuned in over time. They have interviewed fellow comic book creators, and even celebrities such as Tim Proctor, a “Zombie Hero,” (a walker) on AMC’s “The Walking Dead.”
“There are a lot of radio shows that are geared toward geeks, and they dabble around in a bunch of different things,” Gorman said. “But there is no stream that covers what we cover. We give experienced insight into the things we know best.”
The team also recently did a rebroadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds.”
“It was incredible,” Dunphy said. “We rewrote it and lined up a mix of serious and concerned callers.”
Megan conducted this interview at the Akron Comicon and was dressed as FBI Agent Dana Scully from the “X-Files.”
(Featured photo credit – From left: Jason Miller, Joseph A. Michael, Brian Dunphy and Dan Gorman, hosts of the radio show. Photo by Megan Combs.)