Im a really lucky guy. In the course of this work I get to talk to a lot of my personal heroes and my favorite so far has been Ruben Bolling aka the creator of Tom the Dancing Bug. Bolling is a fixture in the alt-comics scene and he has a lot to say about the rise and fall of the alt-weekly and the new laws of popularity. If you want to know how to build and keep an audience you can look no further than a guy like Bolling and hes really nice to boot.
One interesting point that came out of the podcast: that a technological shift, namely cheap printing and Quark XPress, made it trivial to produce a newspaper of real merit. Add in the lucrative classifieds business and you had an industry clamoring for cool content sort of like blogging. Alt weeklies died because of the Internet but Bolling is still making art, the importance of which we discuss near the end of the show. Enjoy.