Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

June 25, 2008

Visions Of An Icon – GALLERY

Filed under: Art,Photos,Spy Guy — M Kitchen @ 8:33 am

Click for slide-show.

December 23, 2007

Studio / Deskset

Filed under: Inspiration,Photos,Weblinks — M Kitchen @ 3:06 pm

Visitors may have noticed the banner change above here at the Ultraist Studios Blog Journal. The complete pic can be seen below. Click on it to see all the stuff on the drawing board labelled.

I’ve always been curious about the workspace of other artists.

I think it was on TheEngine forum where I first found this Deskset of Flickr images.

Then, there is a feature over at the Comic Book Resources called Studio Tours, which gives you a glimps into the studios of some of todays top artists. This link will take you to Stuart Immonen, and then you can follow the additional links at the bottom of the article for everyone else.

Finally, a few weeks ago on Newsarama I discovered this book coming out from Image called Studiospace. It seems to be more a discussion on the work process more than the studio itself, but it’s interesting none the less. Check out the following excerpts:
Excerpt 1 – Tim Sale
Excerpt 2 – Mike Mignola
Excerpt 3 – Frank Miller

Also, check out Dave Sim’s studio space in the Off White House at Aardvark-Vanaheim.

Fun stuff.

December 1, 2007

Last Month Recap

Filed under: Announcements,Audio,Conventions,Photos — M Kitchen @ 2:36 pm

Wow. December. Already.
November turned out to be a bust for blogging.

But that’s okay. ‘Cause I’ve been busy.

Here are some of last months happenings:

Trampoline Hall
October 22

My brother and I were invited to a gathering at Fort York where we acted as Comic Steinographers.

Click for reverse angle.

Our efforts were printed and the book debutted at CanZine.

Contributor list:

Reverend Altor
Roxanne Bieskis
Arthur Dela Cruz
Shannon Gerard
Kathryn and Stuart Immonen
Eric Kim
Blair Kitchen
Dave Lapp
Steve Manale
John Martz
Brian McLachlan
Diana Tamblyn
Sean Daniel Byron Craig
Becky Johnson

… and myself.

Indy Spinner Rack
November 08
The fine folks and Indy Spinner Rack gave SPY GUY a plug in their SPX recap.

With such memorable quotes as… “we have this one, we didn’t have the second one, and I haven’t had a chance to read them… but I WILL read them” and “here we go… ultra… is…. ultra…. ultrai… ultra eye studio… geeze man, I’m drunk.” and “BLAIR was super nice”.

Listen to the snippet below. Or listen to the whole thing here.

[audio:isr99.mp3]

They say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Seriously though, thanks for the plug guys… especially Mister Phil (who actually managed to get “ultraist” right).

Hollywood Hero Con

Blair spilled the beans more than I was going to here, so if you want the full story check out possumpress.

In preparation for the Hero Con show, I also created the mockup cover for SPY GUY#1 and had some nice banners and cutouts created. With any luck, all that stuff is currently in transit back to the Ultraist Studios HQ.

Computer Fixed

The Ultraist Studios Portable Computer had to go in for some repairs and is now slowly getting back to operational status.

SPY GUY Webcomic

I’ve been sitting on this next strip for almost 2 months now. Just never seem to have the time to get it net ready. However there have been some requests to get that strip moving again, so that has been bumped up a notch on the things to do list.

Blog Journal Fodder

Over the past year, there have been a number of articles that I have typed up, and never posted. I had debated between posting them or just letting them die. But I figure they’ve been started anyway – so I might as well post the things. I’ve been especially wanting to kick start that Archeology Project again… a few of those are ready to go.

T-Shirts

Another residual project from the Hero Con show was the Ultraist T-Shirt that I’ve been meaning to make for the past 2 years. Well, the prototype is is done. Now it’s just a matter of ordering a box of black t-shirts and busting out that silk-screen kit.

SPY GUY #1

Trying to get page 5 done this weekend.
Hence the hack job of a blog journal post.
The above will get filled in over the course of the week.
So check back for pics, and audio, and proper grammar.

September 17, 2007

Monday Miscellany

Filed under: Announcements,Photos,Spy Guy — M Kitchen @ 11:19 am

Status Report.

This is the situation from the Ultraist War Room: It’s been a slow going summer. Most of it was spent re-calibrating my life and recovering from working too many jobs. The bulk of 2007 has had me firing on all cylinders, and now that the year is 3/4 over, you wouldn’t know it even happened. Interesting. There has got to be a lesson to be learned in there somewhere… Luke 12:24 comes to mind.

New Weapon For My Arsenal.

In the efforts to boost productivity and to provide a hospice environment when matters are beyond my control, I picked up…

THE ALL NEW ULTRAIST STUDIOS PORTABLE WORKSTATION! It’s an HP Pavilion tx1228 which is fully equipped with everything I need to bring my comic work with me. Small enough to fit in my backpack, and powerful enough to run Maya and Photoshop full size comic pages. The wireless connection allows me to keep this blog up to date. As a matter of fact, this post is it’s first.

I went through some deep meditations to arrive at the decision to make this purchase for the Studio. In the end, the answer that came to me was “What value does money hold? If it holds no real value, then why allow it to hold control over your life? Why allow it to prevent you from doing the work that you know needs to be done?”. Interesting…

In Other News…

Production on SPY GUY #1 has moved from pre-production into full production! Work has begun in transferring the rough layouts and script on to full 11 x 17 pages. Currently page 7 is in the works. Once location and character designs are 100% locked, inking on these pages will begin.

I’m very excited about this one folks.

Hope to do it justice.

August 27, 2007

FAN EXPO 2007: Field Report

Filed under: Announcements,Conventions,Photos,Sketches — M Kitchen @ 6:39 am

It’s been a year since the last Fan Expo. Our first con. Attending Fan Expo 2007 had me reminiscing about the all the conventions we hit this year. What worked. What didn’t. Things to think about for the future. And the realization that the pop-culture crowd seems to be our target audience. If you’d ask me last year, I would have thought that the A.P.E. or T.C.A.F. would have been the crowd that would gravitate to our comics. But the Fan Expo continues to blow all the other cons out of the water. Which has got me seriously considering the other BIG THREE comic cons. Maybe next year?

As for celebrity guests this year: Adam West and Johnathan Frakes were the two I was most interested to see.

On the comic book front, the heavy hitters were John Romita Sr. and John Romita Jr. who had a sketch off that I would have loved to watch, but couldn’t because I was busy selling comics. Sometime this week, I’ll have to scour the internet to see if it was captured on film.

Here is an interesting con sketch… one of our customers was having comic artists finish an old issue of Alpha Flight! Check out the Spy Guy appearance (along with The Grad and The Possum)!

And here are some other con sketches that came out quite well:

Spy Guy vs. Darth Vader.

Spud & Harry vs. Doctor Who.

Spy Guy Batman team-up.

Spy Guy vs. Spy Mite.

Spy Guy Captain Kirk team-up.

Adam West vs. Spy Guy.

Spy Guy SCUD team-up.

Spider-man vs. Spy Guy.

Harry Potter vs. Elijah Wood (as Kevin).

Geeze… the list goes on and on… so let’s end with:

The Possum Spy Guy team-up.

August 22, 2007

TCAF: Update

Filed under: Announcements,Conventions,Photos,Sketches — M Kitchen @ 8:26 pm

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival has come and gone. Another interesting show which had a vibe similar to A.P.E. That is, people seemed to be less interested in the standard sized glossy covered saddle stitched (stapled) pamphlet comics, and more interested in mini-zines, art objects, and graphic novel books. That said, the reaction to the Possum Press | Ultraist Studios joint catalog was actually very good.

The venue for TCAF was the Old Victoria College building and the Burwash Quad on the University of Toronto Campus, which was a nice classy place to hold a con. Gaging the size of the crowd was deceptive due to the multiple rooms and levels, and being in a corner table in a side room, it always seemed as though the place was relatively empty despite a steady flow of people.

It is such a different vibe from the super-hero cons like the Fan Expo (coming up this weekend). I found it strange wandering around the floor as it felt as though I was walking through the corridors of broken dreams. The majority of the vendors are self-publishers, and all of the vendors are dumping their hearts and souls into their work. Each one selling a piece of themselves for a minimal price, desperately looking for takers. Unless of course you are one of the headliners selling art prints for 50 bucks a pop. Now I don’t feel like uploading all of the sketches that were done over the course of the weekend, though here is a sampler (click the image to see the enlarged sketch):

Here is a Mexican couple who were taken by the villianous cast of the Possum #2 (who gave us a literal review of the Spanish portions of the script). Given they are fans of Mexican wrestling, what better sketch to do than Harry pummelling the Seven Deadly Dwarfs! I even had them write the caption.

More fans of The Possum who picked up a Value Pack! Heed Spy Guy’s words or warning about Possum fans… he speaks the truth!

SPY GUY: Minis has always been popular with the ladies. Or, at the very least, the cover has been. I’ve always been curious what they think after reading it…

It’s always a pleasure when asking “what sort of sketch would you like” when the response comes back “draw me”. The “team up” and “versus” sketches usually end up being my favorites.

Trisha wins the prize for “most fun accessories to draw”. Now looking at that sketch, I just wish I remembered to draw in the ground shadows…

Somewhere outside of the old Vic building, a rather depressed looking Seth and Chester Brown were overheard saying: “I wish we were as famous and lovable as the fabulous Kitchen Brothers”…

Indeed.

Indeed.

For more TCAF field reports and sketches, click on over to the Possum Press blog:
day 1day 2

Stay tuned for FAN EXPO 2007.

August 11, 2007

COTTAGE CON: Update

Filed under: Announcements,Conventions,Photos — M Kitchen @ 3:53 pm

The day began in Brechin, on the north beach of Lake Simcoe at Grandpa Kitchen’s cottage. The same cottage where we would read boxes of old DC and Gold Key comics from the early 70’s and sit in the camper trailer drawing all day.

I joined Grandma and Grandpa Kitchen for breakfast, along with my brother Blair, his wife Rochelle, and their son Jacob. The egg sandwich and orange juice arrived courtesy of Mom Kitchen. Thanks Mom!

What better way to start the day than with a quick dip in the lake! Jackson’s Point (location of the Cottage Con) is “that way”.

A quick jaunt around the lake, and we were there. Here Blair, founder of Possum Press, unloads a box load of The Possum! And check out the beach in the background.

I’ve got our signs, and a box of Spy Guy comics, and we’re ready to go.

This is the view of Lionshead Resort – located at the lakeside community of Jackson’s Point Village in Georgina.

And here we are, all set up at the Possum Press | Ultraist Studios “round table”.

The first “Value Pack” sale of the day came quick. And here is the “Spy Guy vs. Wonder Woman” sketch to show for it. After that, the day was extremely slow. Made a few single sales, but most of the time was spent drawing sketches for orders that came earlier in the week. Blair even got some inking done on The Possum #3! But our slow streak ended when…

… the Kitchen Clan arrived! They were our best customers of the day. And while we would have gladly given them their comics for free, they wanted to participate in the Con with a few charity purchases of their own. So who are we to turn away a sale. Besides, those sales probably paid for the gas to get home.

Ah, after a long day at the Con, there is nothing like relaxing on the pier. Good work Blair, and enjoy your rest. You deserve it!

All comics should be made this way…

Coming up next: TCAF.

July 30, 2007

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2007: Update 3

Filed under: Announcements,Conventions,Photos — M Kitchen @ 10:08 am

So that wraps our first ever remote con. Special thanks go out to Ultraist Agent Justin Kupka for making this possible. It will be interesting to see the residual effects of this experiment. I wonder if we’ll get any mail

See below for further San Diego Comicon reports:

NEWSARAMA – SDCC ’07: Coverage Index

July 27, 2007

SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2007: Update 2

Filed under: Announcements,Conventions,Photos — M Kitchen @ 1:04 pm

Ultraist Agent Justin Kupka (shown left) sends us this 2nd wave of intel live from the heart of the Con:

hahahah, all of the nerds have been very polite and orderly. And if you saw how they structured the freebie table, its in the wide open with tons of staff around and a lot of other people’s stuff, so i guarentee someone didnt just swipe the whole box.

-Justin

July 24, 2007

HEY! That’s not SPY GUY!!!

Filed under: Announcements,Photos — M Kitchen @ 3:34 pm

Shifting gears to get something done before the end of the week… spent lunch in Tim Horton’s today inking.

Stay tuned for the final…

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