Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

December 31, 2006


Filed under: Announcements,Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 10:59 pm

So this brings us to the end of the 2006 edition of the Ultraist Studios Blog Journal.
There is more to come in 2007, including more webcomics, new features (such as “Before and After”), and with any luck, the next official comic from the SPY GUY Universe: SPUD & HARRY.

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit, and especially to those who have taken the time to satisfy my junkie fix by leaving a comment.

The TOP 3 Blog Journal Commentors of 2006 were:

3. THAI NGUYEN clocking in with 9 comments. When he’s not trying to get me to work at ILM, Thai has been hard at work spreading the Ultraist virus on the west coast, AND he is the original founding member of the Spy Guy Street Team.

2. MATT CAMPBELL with 23 comments. Matt has been a firm supporter of the Ultraist effort before the Ultraist effort even existed. Matt continues to be the primary source of Ultraist goodness in the greater Boston Legal area.

1. BLAIR KITCHEN with a whopping 39 comments. Blair has been my biggest fan since 1976, and has easily sold more Spy Guy comics than any brick-and-mortar comic shop combined. For that; we at Ultraist Studios salute you!

I’ll send you guys a t-shirt prize.


December 30, 2006

Saddam Hussein Executed

Filed under: Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 1:51 pm

You can read the full news story on any number of news sites.
Here is a link to the BBC complete with video.
And here is a link to Reuters also with video.

My thoughts on all of this can most easily be summarized with the following image:

EDIT – The execution is available for viewing here on GOOGLE VIDEO.

December 29, 2006

Thought Of The Day…

Filed under: Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 3:43 pm

I pulled this article out of the Toronto 24 Hours news flyer last week:

Flashback to a month ago. I was walking down King St. W. on my way to my “Clark Kent” day job when I walked past a city street sweeper. I thought to myself that this was a job worthy of having done. It is benificial to society to have it’s neighbourhood properly cared for. It is worth while to have tax dollars spent on the neighbourhood’s upkeep. And that got me thinking about other social (socialist?) programs. Which ones are worth having tax dollars spent on. This then got me thinking about government…

The problem as I see it, is that the average citizen doesn’t see their elected officials as being worth their tax dollars spent on them. Part of the problem is that the average worker hasn’t seen a real world pay raise since the 1970’s. And yet the cost of living continues to rise. Meanwhile elected officals, unlike the average worker, are in the unique position to vote their own pay increase into law. That is enough to enrage the average citizen and is unfair given that the elected official should primarily be looking out for their citizens best interest. So the question becomes: How can we make sure that the government official’s pay reflects their service to their citizens? What could be a solution?

Median Pay.

If our elected officials were paid the median of the nation’s annual salary, then it would be in their best interest to elevate the wages of those with lower incomes.

While we’re on the subject of elected officials, I also think that their campaign promises should be a legally binding contract, which if they break, the elected official will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law… but that’s for another “Thought Of The Day…”.

December 28, 2006


Filed under: Mantra — M Kitchen @ 12:29 pm

Walt Stanchfield quotes:

“Just being aware of what you are drawing will help to elevate your line from ‘lazy’ to ‘expressive’.” *

“When I am drawing this, I am drawing this.” *

Doodling and Lazy Lines

Filed under: Reference,Weblinks — M Kitchen @ 11:27 am

One of my biggest stumbling blocks at the moment is that I’m not drawing. I’m doodling. Partially due to time constraints and partially due to being scatter brained. It’s tough drawing comics when there isn’t time to get into the grove.

However, to reach the next plateau, this is something I have to overcome.

And Walt Stanchfield had a couple good lessons on the subject.

17. Doodling

32. Lazy Lines

The above .pdf files are once again from Animation Meat where they have all sorts of good instructional stuff from the masters of animation (located in the notes section).

December 27, 2006

SPY GUY – Webcomic pt.15

Filed under: Spy Guy — M Kitchen @ 12:14 pm

Merry Christmas.
Here is another panel.

Due to the lackluster response of the last two half-sized quickies, I’ve gone back to doing full sized comic panels at a reduced speed resulting in nicer artwork and less panels.

December 20, 2006

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK – Archeology Project pt.2

Filed under: Essays,Inspiration,Nostalgia — M Kitchen @ 4:38 pm

The second part of the Star Wars double header was it’s sequel: The Empire Strikes Back. The film premiered on May 21, 1980. Lucas financed the film himself through loans and the earnings he had made from the box-office success of Star Wars.

Lucas offered the role of director to Irvin Kershner, who had been one of his professors at the USC School of Cinema-Television. As well as handing off the director’s chair, Lucas also hired Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett to write the film’s screenplay based on his own original story treatment.

The success of Empire builds on the previous installment of Star Wars.
It is the first we see of the force ability to levitate objects. The first we see the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The first we see of the two masters of the force, both Yoda and the Emperor. The Star Destroyer is one up’ed by the Super Star Destroyer.

It takes the foundation, and builds on it. Takes the drama to new, more extreme levels.

And the AT-AT Walkers…
The AT-AT, more than anything else, is the thing that got my interest in animation. I remember telling my parents that I wanted an AT-AT Walker from Kenner. They told me to save my money. So that’s exactly what I did. Together with my brother, we pooled our resources into a little tupperware container that was to become our AT-AT fund. In what seemed like years later (in 7 year old time) we eventually had enough for the big purchase. And it was worth every penny.

Robert McKee accurately writes in his script writing book STORY: When Darth Vader reveals that he’s Luke’s father, we rush back to the scenes in which Ben Kenobi and Yoda are greatly troubled over Luke’s command of the Force, fearing, we presume, for the young man’s safety. We now realize that Luke’s mentors were actually concerned for his soul, dreading that his father would seduce him to the “dark side”…
When Darth Vader reveals himself to Luke, this pays off multiple setups strung back through two films. In an instant, however, this also becomes the setup for Luke’s next action. What will the young hero do?

Which brings us to another childhood memory. Riding along in our family’s blue station wagen, we got into a heavy philosophical debate with my father on why Darth Vader couldn’t be Luke’s father. My arguement was “Obi-Wan wouldn’t lie to Luke”.

It was the ending of Empire Strikes Back that completely blew my mind. Where the good guys predictably win in the first film, it is the bad guys unpredictably deliver a serious ass kicking here. This was revolutionary. The good guys lose. Something about this clicked with my cynical young mind.

And yet, Empire also had the potential in becoming a train-wreck.
Originally, Lucas had written an exchange between Han Solo and Princess Leia to read as Leia saying to Han “I love you.” with Han replying “I love you too.” Harrison Ford felt that the character was not being taken advantage of, Kershner agreed. After many different takes with several different versions, Kershner shouted to have the cameras begin filming and telling Ford to improvise. Solo’s line was, in this moment, changed to “I know.”

During production, great secrecy surrounded the fact that Darth Vader was Luke’s father. Like the rest of the crew, David Prowse, who spoke all of Vader’s lines during filming, was given a false page that contained dialogue which differed from what is heard in the film. The famous line had been changed to “Obi-Wan killed your father”. Until the film premiered, only George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Mark Hamill and James Earl Jones knew what would really be said.

[I DO have film clips of these segments. I will post them here as soon as I am able. Check back soon]

While Return Of The Jedi was a romp of a wild ride, it never did impact me the way Star Wars, and Empire Strikes Back did. The epic scope of the space battles, and Jabba’s Palace and Speeder chase captivated me. The Luke and Leia thing seemed to come out of nowhere. Harrison Ford suggested to Lucas that Solo should die in this film, which would have given it the emotional threat the movie was otherwise lacking. In hindsight there are elements there that show the beginning of the decline of the Star Wars legacy. Don’t even get me started on the prequels.

This post is another work in progress, and I’ll continue to muck with is as inspiration hits.

December 18, 2006


Filed under: Mantra — M Kitchen @ 12:05 pm

Dave Sim quotes:

“First you get good, then you get fast, then you get good and fast” *

“If you can be that good going that fast, why go slow?” *

“The cliche (which isn’t a cliche, it’s the truth) is that you have two thousand bad pages in you and until you draw them, you won’t start producing good pages.” *

“In my opinion, creators should be sharply aware of the specifics of their own productivity from the very earliest point in their career and tailor the business choices of their creativity around the “givens” of their own productivity. As I said before, if you can do 20 pages a month comfortably you can take a lot more chances than someone who can only do 5 pages a month.” *

December 17, 2006

SPY GUY – Webcomic pt.14

Filed under: Spy Guy — M Kitchen @ 11:40 am

This one was drawn at the same reduced scale as pt.13.

December 16, 2006

Saturday Miscellany

Filed under: Audio,Doodles,Mantra,Ramblings — M Kitchen @ 2:31 pm

Work Doodle…
I did these sketches at work, trying to apply some of those Walt Stanchfield notes on drawing folds. Mildly pleased with the results. A couple more hundred drawings, and I might just get it right.

Thoughts on Blogging.
I never really cared about comments or feedback before. The artwork I would draw, and the stories I would craft were primarily for myself. However since the start of this blog journal experiment I find myself looking for the next comment like a junkie looking for his next hit. Pathetic. As a result, this song has been playing through my head all week:


Which brings me to a new feature / post category:

The idea of this being; any word of wisdom or advice which I constantly need reminding about will go in this category.

In Other News…
Today was a good day for inking. Progress on SPUD & HARRY had just about ground to a halt during the month of November. However for the better part of the day, I managed to ink a good chunk of character stuff on HARRY pg. 14 as well as some backgrounds that previously were causing me problems. Progress pics would have been posted, but they’d give away the story. So for that you’ll just have to wait.

The next SPY GUY Webcomic is ready to go (tune in tomorrow).

In The Mail…
Thai Nguyen (ILM Animator and member of the SPY GUY Street Team) writes:

youre web comic should be called Mashed. its kinda have an emenem sound to it. + its like ur mixing a bunch of style youre trying out. and its been put together quickly


I kind of like it.
Any thoughts?

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