Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

December 29, 2010

Back & Forth With Dave Sim at MYRANT

Filed under: Ramblings,Thoughts — M Kitchen @ 1:41 pm

I mentioned earlier of a fax message from Dave Sim to fellow comic legend Steve Bissette via the Comicon.com Message Board. Well it appears the conversation there was derailed by internet trolls, however the discussion now has a new moderated home at Steve Bissette’s MYRANT. This first post contains Dave’s first fax sent just before The Kitchen Family dinner. Click on over to MYRANT for the full discussion. This is going to be a good one!


Excerpt from Steve Bissette:

“I see my Center for Cartoon Studies students every year graduate (some with one-year certificates, some with two year, some with MFAs) into a marketplace that, in the manner we used to define that marketplace, has labored mightily since the mid-1990s to shut them out. That is: Diamond Comics has no room for their work; the so-called “mainstream” American comic book industry has shut them out (I no longer consider it truly mainstream, since the former Direct Market has steadily eroded since the 1990s implosion, and the bookstore chains that now dominate rack far more manga, children’s graphic novels, and a potpourri of “graphic novels” that is comprised of far more diversity of product than we imagined possible in the 1980s); and their sole regular venue for selling their creations has become the regional and national “independent comics” conventions.”

February 6, 2010

The Secret Origin of Mile High Comics

Filed under: Inspiration,Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 8:45 am

I received this e-mail from Chuck Rozanski via the Mile High Comics Mailing List.  These stories I find inspirational, how something enormous sprouts from planting these small seeds.  How making a decision (such as buying a lot of comic books) can grow into a sustainable life path.  Anyway, on to the e-mail:


Chuck and Nanette
in the Smokey Mountains
(click on image for larger view)

Forty years ago today, I was preparing for my first-ever day of selling comics in public. Three weeks earlier, on a very snowy Saturday morning in January, 1970, I had relentlessly badgered my mother into driving across town on dangerous icy roads to help me buy my first major comics collection. That grouping of 4,500 comics (for which I paid 3 cents for each standard size comic, and 6 cents for each annual) contained almost all of the Marvel and DC comics from the 1960’s, ranging all the way back to FANTASTIC FOUR #4, and a slew of 10 cent cover price DC’s. I later learned that I beat out another Colorado Springs comics fan by mere hours in scoring this great collection!

The one problem with my wonderful comics purchase, however, was that it was an all-or-nothing deal. Since I had been reading comics avidly since 1960, and had built a personal collection of over 7,000 comics while we were stationed at an American army base in Frankfurt, Germany, about 3,000 of the comics from my new collection purchase were duplicates. I also owed my mother the $135 (about 1/4th of my dad’s monthly pay from the military…) that she had loaned me to buy the collection. Clearly, I had to figure out some way to turn these duplicate comics quickly back into cash.

The solution that I chose was to have my mom twist the arms of the folks who ran the Colorado Springs Antiques Fair, which was held in the City Auditorium on the first weekend of each month. This very upscale antiques show drew in dealers from all over Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, and was known for the high quality of its offerings. While furniture dominated the show, they did allow some collectibles, including coins. My mom was a part-time coin dealer, so she was well recognized among the coin dealers at the show. She leveraged this connection into getting Mr. and Mrs. Black, who ran the show, into letting me rent half of an 8-foot table. Their reluctance stemmed from the fact that I was only 14 years old, and actually looked younger. They did not want some little kid getting bored, and then causing trouble and neglecting their table. They did have a middle-aged lady who wanted to rent just half of a table to sell decorative Avon bottles, however, so they acquiesced to my mom’s pleadings, and reluctantly decided to stick me on the same table with her.

As things worked out, I not only sold over $100 worth of stuff during my first weekend (mostly coins that my mom had consigned to me…), but I also ended up running that Avon lady’s booth when SHE wandered off. By the time that the weekend was over, all of the other dealers at the show were so impressed with my retailing skills that I was immediately elevated to being able to rent to an 8-foot table for the following month’s show. That second show was when I met Bob Conway, the first “real” customer of Mile High Comics. Bob had been a regular at the Antiques Fair, popping in periodically looking for comics. He missed my first month, but during my second month of exhibiting he purchased about $30 of the duplicate comics from that first collection, which put me well on the path of repaying my mother’s loan. The rest, as they say, is history.

Chuck Rozanski,
President – Mile High Comics, Inc.

I should also mention I find it interesting how much of the real success story you decipher by reading between the lines.  It’s obvious this 14 year old kid knew a thing or two about comics.  He was also business savvy enough to be buying 9 year old 12 cent comics at 25 percent of the cover price.  He had financial backing, via his mother who was willing to make a loan equivalent to a week’s pay of his father.  Also, the act of purchasing a collection that big was a pretty ballsy move for a teen-age kid, and it was another business savvy move to sell off the duplicates to pay for the collection.  I wish I was that clever at 14.

October 31, 2009


Filed under: Photos,Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 6:11 pm

Halloween at Ultraist Studios:

October 16, 2009

Chuck Palahniuk: Electronic Print vs. Traditional Print

Filed under: Ramblings,Video — M Kitchen @ 10:21 am

Chuck Palahniuk gets a question about electronic books (kindle) vs. traditional print (books): Answers with a story about his dinner with (name dropping tourettes) NEIL GAIMAN in ITALY… it’s a great answer.

August 6, 2009


Filed under: Ramblings,Video,Weblinks — M Kitchen @ 12:08 am

I’ve been watching Survivorman non-stop here in this final stretch to get SPY GUY #1 done.  For some reason I find it very comforting.  Here is the Baffin Island episode (which reminds me of Greg Hyland’s Lethargic Lad Survivor comic from way back in 2001-04-17 – I’d provide a link for the strip but he’s taken it down – this is the book it’s reprinted in).

“I’m here to survive for seven days, alone, without food, with very little gear, and no camera crew, in the basement, at Ultraist Studios.”

It’d be funny to make a short parody video to post, but I don’t have the time for it – heck, I shouldn’t even be blog journalling.

March 31, 2009

Brain Drain

Filed under: Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 3:01 pm

The past decade, I’ve experienced a steady, slow brain drain.

In the document Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars it states that it is necessary to “Keep the public busy, busy, busy, with no time to think; back on the farm with the other animals.”  Yes, this has been my experience.  Once you’re entrapped in the pseudo paradise we call society, the bulk of your days are spent doing meaningless toil for the benefit of others.  Your most valuable resource, your temporal currency called time, is dwindled away for fiat currency to pay your debts directly to the bankers in interest and taxes.

Frank Miller said in his Keynote Speech at the Diamond Comic Distributors Retailers Seminar June 1994 “For decades, rotten business practices caused a steady, slow brain drain, driving talent away one by one. One by one. Each individual artist or writer, more or less replaceable. There were always new kids to come along and feed the machine.” He was talking about comics, but it applies to other career industries as well.

I’ve always thought this image sums it up succinctly.

Dave Sim said to me in the BlogandMail #182 (March 12th, 2007); “I’ve been privileged to be given a life where I have a lot of time to mull things over and put things together that fall well outside of the “basic survival” mode that most guys live in – and which tends to limit the time they have for speculating and assessing “weighty subject matter”. And also I’ve been privileged to remain pretty isolated so I’ve never had to endure the peer pressure to keep my thinking limited to what was on television last night or who I think is going to win Best Actor on the Oscars.  It was also a conscious choice after I broke up with my last girlfriend. I stood out on the balcony of my old penthouse apartment and resolved that I was going to dedicate myself to thinking from then on and stop rationalizing away things that I knew to be false and to seriously examine the nature of reality with open eyes. And, of course, not having a girlfriend my thinking from that point on was uninterrupted. If it took me four or five days or a week of uninterrupted thinking to arrive at a conclusion to something I was uncertain about, I took the four or five days or the week, examined all of the angles on the problem and then weighed all of them in the balance and came to a conclusion, instead of chasing around the same problem halfway over and over and over again without ever coming to a conclusion which is what happens when your thinking is continually being interrupted.

As an artist, that really is the end goal.

January 20, 2009

Obamanation = Abomination

Filed under: Ramblings,Video — M Kitchen @ 3:03 pm

This administration has once again been brought to you today by a cabal of globalist banksters and their New World Order.

Talk about psi-ops, as part of the mass hypnosis program, the script even had Obama flub his oath of office. Watch for yourself here. Enjoy the next 4 years America! That said; we now leave you with this musical interlude.

Click for an AFP Special Report: WHO IS BARACK OBAMA?

Here’s more information from a guy who predicted things right: WEBSTER TARPLEY.

Alex Jones new film to expose Obama and his agenda: THE OBAMA DECEPTION.

An excellent article by David Icke: BARACK OBAMA: THE NAKED EMPEROR.

January 5, 2009

18 Ways To Stop The Bomb

Filed under: Educational,Inspiration,Ramblings,Video,Weblinks — M Kitchen @ 8:59 am

I have been working on my own list of “action items” to make this world a better place, and to make living in it a more enjoyable experience, and found this list created by the folks at Chycho.com, and since many of the points mirror conclusions that I’ve come to myself, I thought it would be worth while to post below, as this list is already typed and coherent.

Below are some suggestions and resources by Chycho.com to help in bringing about a positive change:

  1. Spend time with who and what you love. Surrounding ourselves with love should help us to remember the beauty of life.
  2. Learn to filter and recognize propaganda. It is corporations that profit from wars, not individuals. Always apply the filter: ‘Ownership determines content’. “If we accept that it is desirable for individuals to practice moral agency as fully as possible, then we should seek to create a different kind of media system.”
  3. Your body, your voice, your mind, and your spirit are required at peace rallies for us to reach critical mass. Additional information at the following news sources: CODEPINK: Women for Peace, Raging Grannies, ANSWER Coalition, Stop War, United for Peace, Guerrilla News Network, Move On, Anti War, Common Dreams, bellaciao, PEJ News, OpEd News, Information Liberation, Project Censored, Rense, Information Clearing House, Global Research, Prison Planet, The Raw Story, Gush Shalom, and Truthout
  4. Stop watching corporate news on TV, they do not provide information, just propaganda. Frequent legitimate unbiased news sources such as: The Real News Network, Democracy Now!, International News Net, Sub Media TV, Free Speech TV, Link TV, and Alternative Radio: Audio Energy of Democracy.
  5. Stop supporting corporate education and entertainment. Learn about your rights , how society functions, what we have done, and are doing to each other and the planet. Watch and learn from movies and documentaries such as: Earthlings, America: Freedom to Fascism, A World Without Cancer, Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre, Chemtrail: Aerosol Crimes, The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror, ‘The Future of Food’ and ‘The World According to Monsanto’, Liquid Crystal Vision, Marcus Garvey: Look for me in the Whirlwind, The Doomsday Code, Iraq For Sale, Plan Colombia, The Revolution will Not be Televised, Freedom Downtime: The Story of Kevin Mitnick, Zeitgeist, and Loose Change.
  6. Learn about the financial institutions that have been established to profit from the ultimate consuming machine known as war. Watch and share: ZEITGEIST, The Movie: Part 3 of 3 (47:05), and the animated Money As Debt (47:07).
  7. Stop supporting mass media that has been the voice of government and corporate propaganda and the driving force behind the recruitment, promotion, and continuation of the war agenda. Begin to acquire your news from actual people blogging and reporting on the true nature of life. News blogs such as: What Really Happened, Ya Ya Canada, Dahr Jamail’s MidEast Dispatches, Desert Peace, Daily Kos , plus countless others available on the Internet.
  8. Write, call, and personally contact your representatives in government ( US and Canada), demanding that they begin to represent you and your family, not corporate money. Realize that most of our representatives have not even begun to grasp the “terminal” path that we are on.
  9. Not only should you be consuming less and locally, but also producing locally. Corporations over the years have destroyed the infrastructure of local economies, but it is time for us to rebuild. Additional information at Post Carbon Institute, People and Planet, BALLE, 100 Mile diet and numerous other sources available on the Internet.
  10. Reduce your dependency on oil by using public transportation and or alternative means of transportation. See Critical Mass for additional information.
  11. Downsize your car and/or convert to hybrid transportation. The sooner you do this the better. This will not only save you money on fuel, it will also allow you to sell your large gas-guzzler before the rise in fuel prices reduces the value of your car to nothing. And you better hurry, because the waiting lists for hybrid cars are long and used models are selling for more then the new cars.
  12. If you are working for an organization which is actively supporting war then try to find a different occupation which does not require of you to promote the destruction of humanity.
  13. Begin to invest in yourself instead of Stock markets who launder money while profiting from war. Additional information for Canada at Stop Pension Plan Investments in War!
  14. Begin to work with nature and not against it by learning about natural resources available in your area. Additional information at: World Changing, Planet Friendly network, and NI Business Info.
  15. Make healthy eating choices. Studies have found that most bankruptcies are due to medical bills, and since the passing of the Bankruptcy Bill you will no longer be cleared of your debts if you declare bankruptcy in the US, which means that you will become a slave to the banking institutions. This will take away your freedom and force you to abide by their agendas, the main agenda of which is war.
  16. Support artists against the war and boycott those that support the war. There are many artists who have officially spoken out against the war and are proactive in their attempts to bring us peace. Some of these artists are: Immortal Technique, System Of A Down, Ben Harper, Dead Prez, Dixie Chicks, Serj Tankian, Anti-Flag, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Charlie Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Rose O’Donald, Banksy, Carlos Latuff , Ben Heine, Simon Regis, and even Sean Penn.
  17. Participate in civil disobedience. Peace organizers are now advocating “people in the antiwar movement to move from protesting to performing acts of civil disobedience that ‘get in the way of the war machine.’”
  18. Understand that we are one people occupying one planet, and that we are and will be held accountable for the actions of our governments. Learn about our history by reading books such as: Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, A People’s History of the United States, Hegemony or Survival, Wilhelm Reich in Hell, Mass Psychology of Fascism [PDF], Pirates of the Caribbean: Axis of Hope, The Shock Doctrine, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, and War Is a Racket written by America’s most decorated general US Marine Corp Major General Smedley Butler.

To read the original post in it’s entirety go here:

WW3 Has Already Started or: 18 Ways To Stop The Bomb

Add your thoughts and comments below.

Postscript:  Here is an additional video by TheopoulaGR in the same vein posted at Infowars.com

December 29, 2008

30 – 70

Filed under: Announcements,Audio,Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 3:44 pm

Many years ago I envisioned the transitioning from a career in animation to a career self-publishing comics.

In animation wage-slavery, there is fairly decent upfront money, only you’re living hand to mouth where the fruits of your labour are owned by your wage-slave-masters.  The most obvious dilemma was that there is no up front money in making your own comic (and potentially no money off the back end either pending public opinion).

My solution to this dilemma:  You start with 10 percent of your time commited to making your comic, and 90 percent of your time earning a slave-wage.  As you begin making progress with your personal work, you can begin the transitional process.  You up the comic time to 30 percent, and then 50 percent, and then 70 percent, and so on until you reach 100 percent.

It’s easy to talk conceptual.  But breaking the mind out of the control matrix and diving off the deep end is hard.

This is where I have been stuck, in the 10 – 90 ratio.

During a “Brain Trust” brainstorm last month, Matt Campbell said:  “There is a source that has unlimited resources.  It’s like an ocean; you can draw a thimble of resources from it every year, or 10,000 gallons every day.  It makes no difference to this source because it has an infinite amount.  It’s the same source that makes planets and solar systems.  All it asks first is that you eliminate fear, judgmental constructs, to be kind, to have love and to be in tune with your surroundings.  It will make everything easy (and make all the wrong choices really really difficult).”

Which made me think how the Bible says something similar in Luke 12:  “Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

2009 will be an ultimate experiment in proving all these theories.

After almost a decade of thinking about this, it appears that 2009 is the year I’ll finally begin to make the plunge.

A change in this years day job will free up a good 30 percent more time for comic making.  However that 30 percent gained in temporal currency is also 30 percent lost in slave-wages, so suddenly the comic work that used to be extracurricular now has to start pulling some weight.  It has graduated to something more than just a hobby.

I get the feeling that the Rubicon is being crossed… and it’s exhilarating.


April 23, 2008

The Paradox of Choice

Filed under: Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 11:37 pm

Wednesday. Lunch. I throw on my rollerblades and make my weekly pilgrimage to Silver Snail for “new comic day”. I was especially excited because I was expecting Glamourpuss, the newest from Dave Sim, to be out on the shelves this week. Unfortunately it turns out Silver Snail didn’t order any Glamourpuss because the guy Michael that makes the orders has a thing against Dave Sim. Which meant I had to throw on my rollerblades and continue west to 3rd Quadrant. Fortunately 3rd Quadrant DID order Glamourpuss, however unfortunately Glamourpuss wasn’t going to be out until NEXT Wednesday. Rats.

Well, I was already past Bathurst, and I already had my rollerblades on, so I figure “what the heck, why not skate up to Beguiling”.

Now, Beguiling is always interesting. They are the alternative comic’s mecca in Toronto. I told myself “I came all this way, I am not going to leave empty handed”.

The problem is, Beguiling has so much “stuff” that you become overwhelmed by choice. See TED lecture below.

And because so much of the stuff is weird and esoteric and obscure, it’s hard to make a choice and decide what to get. More often than not, I become so overwhelmed by choice that I leave empty handed. Well not today. I decided I was going to get something, it wasn’t going to be mainstream, and I would just see what would pique my interest.

What I got was “THREE VERY SMALL COMICS VOLUME II” by Tom Gauld. Chris Butcher seemed to think it was a very good selection. Inside the clever little package was a long panoramic fold out about a bunch of robots (which I didn’t “get”), a full page poster comic of “Alphabetical Terrors” which was very amusing, and an actual micro comic called “Invasion” which was brilliant.

It’s interesting to make an impulse purchase like this, and for one; to see if it was worth it, and two; to deconstruct the reasons WHY out of everything that was on display, did your pick stand out from the others.

In this case, the package intrigued me. I wanted to know what was in it. And since the envelope was open, I could check. And once I was engaged into the comic, it held my interest. Also, when a comic is created in a unique format, that is executed well, I appreciate it. VOLUME III of the same series was also available, however it had bright neon colours, and the comics were all sideways. That didn’t appeal to me. However VOLUME II were nice rich earthy tones that gave a more authentic “artistic” vibe.

I’m very curious if Tom printed these comics himself, or if they were professionally printed. I notice the print run is 2000. Perhaps I should inquire.

If you’re interested in checking out Tom Gauld’s work, you can find him on the web here at www.cabanonpress.com

This ends my Wednesday report.

This is Mike Kitchen, signing off.

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