Ultraist Studios Blog Journal thoughts, musings and other rambling…

June 19, 2007

Letter To Ewart Cameron

Filed under: Mail — M Kitchen @ 9:17 am

Hi Ewart.

Thanks for writing. I had always wondered if those convention flyers had made any sort of impact. The fact that you are here writing almost a year later (without having yet read any of the actual comics) makes me think that the flyers have accomplished exactly what I had intended them to, namely to get people who haven’t yet read the comic to remember SPY GUY. So that is a useful reassuring thing to learn. I plan on making a new convention flyer this summer, possibly even a mini-sampler book, so your letter came at a very opportune time.

Bits of the SPY GUY comics have been posted online, however website maintenance is always one of the first things to get bumped off my priority list of “things to do” so there is no easy web access to them (which sort of defeats the purpose).

Here are links to take you to some online comic stuff for your reading pleasure.

SPY GUY: Bootleg

SPY GUY: Minis pg14 pg19 pg23


SPY GUY: Webcomic

As for your questions on publishing: For SPY GUY: Minis and SPUD & HARRY #1 I used Lebonfon for the printing, with print runs of 5000 and 8000 respectively. Patrick Jodoin is the Sales manager at Lebonfon, and is most likely the person to talk with. You can contact him at 1-866-970-4100 ext. 25 to give them your specs, and receive a quote as to the cost of printing your book.

I’m a big fan of traditional print, especially if you don’t mind boxes of comics kicking around your place of residence. It costs a lot more up front, but you can also make more from each sale. Black and white is obviously much cheaper to print than colour. My intent at the moment is getting my stuff out there, so I figure the more comics I have printed and out there in circulation, the more exposure I get, and the better chances I have of turning this into a full time job at some point in the future.

As for offsetting costs. I don’t. I just suck it up. Charge it to my credit card. Pay that off with my line of credit. Then take some extra animation work to try and break even. If you think you can manage that sort of cash flow, go for it. Other comic artists have come up with all sorts of great schemes to help offset their printing costs (which I fortunately haven’t needed to use). If you haven’t yet, you should read the Cerebus Guide To Self-Publishing, which has all sorts of good information in it. Some of it may be out of date, but most of it is still relevant. I posted a Dick Dale interview from YouTube a while back, where I think he nailed the philosophy we should have when starting out as indy artists.

The other option to traditional print is print on demand, which I plan to use for the SPY GUY: Webcomic when I finally get around to finishing it. There are a number of printers that offer this service, and while I haven’t decided which one to use yet, these are the ones that I am keeping in mind: Lulu, ComicXPress, and Ka-Blam. The good thing about print on demand (especially in your case if you decide to go colour) is that there isn’t a lot of upfront cost or added risk.

Hope some of that information helps.

As for setting up a cross-link… I was hesitant at first with the idea, because I really don’t want to turn my link list into a pay-for-play plugola type thing. I’d rather keep it a list of things I am genuinely interested in, and not just make it a list to barter my own comics plug elsewhere. But luckily none of that is an issue, because after clicking over to your site, I thought your comics were genuinely funny, so I’d be happy to give your site a link and endorsement.

Good luck with your comics.
Hope to see you this summer.

Mike Kitchen


  1. Another printer: IndigoInk

    Comment by M Kitchen — June 20, 2007 @ 10:59 am

  2. Thanks a ton for the advice and the link! Self-publishing is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, but might take time to get done. My biggest hump will be the cost, so the more I learn, the more I can plan it out. So thanks for teaching me something!

    And the flyers REALLY caught my eye last year – even among the mass of other comics on tables there. It was the artwork and the amlost simplistic (but effective) humor in the mini-strip… it was a perfect fit for me! I only “lost” it for a bit because of a move (which, I liked it enough to keep it through a move)

    Thanks again!
    Ewart Cameron

    Comment by Ewart — June 20, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

  3. Hey, I wanted to thank-you for pointing out the usefulness of tracing paper. It’s been a huge help in the last week.

    Comment by Matt Campbell — June 20, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

  4. Cool. Funny that you got to try it out before I did.

    Comment by M Kitchen — June 21, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

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