Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

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.


December 17, 2008

Let’s Do The Math

Filed under: Educational,Reference,Video,Weblinks — M Kitchen @ 11:29 pm

The following article found via PVP Online via Publishers Weekly

The Kirkman/Bendis Debates: Let’s Do the Math
This story originally appeared in PW Comics Week on November 25, 2008
by Todd Allen

Over the summer you might have stumbled onto Robert Kirkman’s plea for comics creators to leave DC and Marvel behind for independent publishing (or to come to Image, if you read it with a cynical view). You may also have heard that Brian Bendis attempted to call BS on Kirkman’s plea and debated him on the topic.

While the debate didn’t have a clear winner, the stances were clear: Kirkman wishes more creators at DC and Marvel realized how much money they could make by going independent. Bendis thinks Kirkman’s sales are too high to be a reasonable example, finds his Marvel deal (including a page rate, royalties and placing Powers at Icon) preferable and kept talking about the value of trade paperback reprints.

Unfortunately, nobody really got into the numbers of the situation, despite reports of Kirkman having some charts on hand. Fortunately for you, I don’t fear math, so let’s find out what you could reasonably expect to make as a comic creator under the Image deal.


Roll them up.
This follow up story originally appeared in PVP Online on November 27th, 2008
by Scott Kurtz

So, let’s get to first things first: Are Todd’s numbers right for PvP? Yes. PvP sells on average around 3k a month. It breaks even and makes anywhere from 300-500 bucks for me per issue. So to categorize the monthly title as “making beer money” is pretty accurate. Used to be a lot more but I’ve done a lot to ruin that profit margin. Here are some tips for those of you who want to make your own monthly titles.


Mission Statement

This story originally appeared in CBR News on August 13th, 2008
by Robert Kirkman

Below is the original Robert Kirkman video that sparked the Kirkman / Bendis conversation:

December 12, 2008

Ira Glass on Storytelling

Filed under: Reference,Video — M Kitchen @ 5:34 pm

Well worth a watch…

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

September 19, 2008

SPY GUY: Minis – Review

Filed under: Spy Guy,Video — M Kitchen @ 10:08 am

SPY GUY: Minis showed up in Geeking Out Comic Peek O’ The Week 9/12/07
I just found out now. Click here for the full video.

September 8, 2008

Brain Dump

Filed under: Announcements,Inspiration,Video — M Kitchen @ 3:58 pm

“This is an experience… you go through it.”

The next time life gives you a beat down, repeat the above as a mantra. See if it puts your mind in a better place to deal with things. It worked for me.

FanExpo ’08 Report

Blair tells me that the FanExpo this year was another success! Even with only one man holding the booth, he managed to sell enough comics to cover all expenses, which is always the goal with these things. He even reported that there were some SPY GUY fans that came looking to complete their collections! Which is exactly the sort of thing any comic creator likes to hear. It somehow makes it all worth while.

Con Sketch by Blair Kitchen


Hey, I finally figured out how to get a transparency channel in the Ultraist Studios favicon.ico by using this plug-in for photoshop. Neat! Been wanting to do that for ages.

Art vs. Politics

In other web browsing, I saw this variant cover over at Newsarama. Click on over and check out the comments below the main article. They’re interesting, and reveal a lot about the general populace opinion on art vs. politics. Especially interesting as comics originated primarily as political satire. Personally? I think all art should be used as a means of expression. As a matter of fact, it was the Savage Dragon vs. George W. Bush that got me reading The Savage Dragon again. So if The Savage Dragon endorses Obama for President, then all the power to Erik Larsen for putting that on the cover. As you can see below, SPY GUY does NOT.

We at Ultraist Studios do not fall for the false left-right paradigm.

Mark Oakley explained it well over at I Box Publishing.

Letter from M’Oak

Speaking of Mark Oakley, he wrote me this a few weeks back:

“Hey, Mike!

I can’t remember if I thanked you or not for those great comics you sent last year. Just in case I didn’t, Thank-You! They got handed around a fair bit amongst my comics-savvy friends. Your work totally rocks!”

Which is about the nicest thing one artist could say to another. I was going to save this for a future letters column, but since SPY GUY #1 isn’t going to have one… well… there you go. And who knows, maybe I’ll still find a place for it in SPY GUY #2.

The Esoteric Agenda

Mark also posted a link to Zeitgeist The Movie; the same film that Matt Campbell recommended I watch a few months back. Thought the film was well done enough to purchase a copy from the film maker, however I just finished watching The Esoteric Agenda, and I think this film tops it. It’s a great 101 crash course in all the things I’ve been studying over the past few years, and even includes some new thinking I haven’t even encountered before in the final segment. Well worth a watch.

Spy Guy

Was hoping to get more pencils done on page 14 of Spy Guy #1. That didn’t happen. However I did manage to pencil some thumbnails for page 9 of Spy Guy #3. Man, I am just bursting at the seams with anticipation to get this next comic done. Hopefully life will start to calm down enough soon to give me some room to ink.

This Blog Journal entry was brought to you today by the Ultraist Studios Portable Workstation and GO Transit.

July 4, 2008


Filed under: Educational,Video — M Kitchen @ 8:34 am

Happy 4th of July!

Support this film by purchasing a copy at Infowars.

June 19, 2008

The Revolution March – July 12, Washington, DC

Filed under: Announcements,Inspiration,Video — M Kitchen @ 10:31 am

Truely Inspiring.

Campaign for Liberty

June 6, 2008


Filed under: Announcements,Educational,Video,Weblinks — M Kitchen @ 9:28 pm

Who is the Bilderberg Group?

The Bilderberg Group, which convened for the first time in 1954 in Holland, is considered the most powerful decision-making organization in the world. The Bilderberg Group is a genuine “shadow government” of the West that, some critics say, decides the fate of the world to suit the interests of the restricted oligarchy it represents.

For more information check out Jim Tucker’s Bilderberg Diary, The True Story of the Bilderberg Group by Daniel Estulin and ENDGAME: Blueprint for Global Enslavement by Alex Jones.

Or you can simply Google “Bilderberg”.

This years Bilderberg Group meeting is happening RIGHT NOW at the Westfields Marriott at 14750 Conference Center Dr, Chantilly, Virginia. Click here for satellite map.

Reports have steadily been coming in, including the complete attendee list.

For more breaking news as it develops over the weekend, check out:


American Free Press

We Are Change

June 4, 2008

Superheroes Done Right!

Filed under: Video — M Kitchen @ 8:53 am

This was being passed around the office this morning.

Which raises the question… why aren’t superhero FILMS this good?

May 6, 2008

G. Edward Griffin on The Alex Jones Show

Filed under: Educational,Video — M Kitchen @ 8:37 pm

April 29th 2008

The man who heavily influenced the last Ultraist Comic SPUD & HARRY; G. Edward Griffin, appeared on the Alex Jones Show last tuesday, and is now available here for your viewing pleasure.

Also, G. Edward Griffin’s book “The Creature From Jekyll Island” is available for purchase in the Ultraist Studios Store.

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