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From MNU to Marvel, DC, and Beyond

by Carol Best
Taylor Oxner & Billie Taylor do a podcast from comic conference
Taylor Oxner and Billie Taylor podcasting from a comicon
A love for all things ‘nerd’ brought two friends together. The pandemic spurred the creation of their podcast, The Infinite Taylorverse. Enjoy their story by Sarah A. Moser.

Some people used the pandemic as an excuse to binge-watch Wandavision, Loki, and The Mandalorian. Billie Taylor (‘07) and Taylor Oxner (’05), on the other hand, used this time to launch The Infinite Taylorverse, their long-dreamed-of podcast concerning all things nerd-culture.

What took years to dream up only took a month to put into production once they decided to make it happen. In the era of virtual meetings, the Taylors began recording the podcast over Zoom, with the first episode dropping February 25, 2021. As things progressed, they bought better equipment that allows them to record at a higher quality over the phone. With Billie Taylor living in Olathe, Kansas, and Taylor Oxner in Lawrence, Kansas, they only record in person when together at events or when interviewing someone together.

“We’ve had people ask us what the hardest part of starting the podcast was,” says Billie. “We’d say it was coming up with the name.”

With the shared name of Taylor, and infinite topics to cover, the Infinite Taylorverse was born.

The family-friendly podcast covers all things nerdy and pop culture, including movies, TV, comics, video games, tabletop games, and more.

“When I went to high school you couldn’t admit you like this stuff out loud, or you’d get teased,” says Billie, a high-school science teacher in Bonner Springs, who counts many of his students as listeners. “The world has totally changed. Now kids are like, ‘aw did you catch this?’ It’s not the same as when we were kids, and I love that.”

Growth and Goals
The first few episodes garnered only a handful of listeners and subscribers, mostly friends and family. At episode 23, the Taylors saw a jump in listenership when they interviewed a few Marvel and DC comic book authors at a convention.

“That’s when we noticed people started sharing our podcast on social media, and our numbers started growing,” Billie says. “We hit a couple hundred listeners on that one.” Now, the duo boasts more than 3,000 subscribers, with hopes of growing to 10,000-plus—the magic number at which advertisers start taking notice and investing in a podcast.

Billie is married to Emily (O’Neal ’11), his high-school sweetheart, also an MNU alum. The two have four children under 10. Taylor Oxner manages a Culver’s restaurant and is married to Lauren. The pair have a 10-month-old son.

The podcast remains a hobby that brings two friends with a shared passion together. The duo is open to new possibilities if listenership continues to grow and the podcast popularity explodes. And their advice if you’re considering starting your own podcast, no matter the topic?

“Just do it! Don’t overthink it,” says Billie. “With one caveat: Set yourself a roadmap and follow it.”

The Infinite Taylorverse can be found wherever you get your podcasts. If you’re jumping in new, start with the most recent episode; because the podcast covers current culture. If you start with the first episode, the content will be out of date. Check out the duo on their social media pages  @infinitetaylorverse on Instagram, @taylorversepod on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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