Bill Kellogg launches new comic syndicate

I figured it would be only a matter of time before Tundra marketing guru Bill Kellogg branched off and began representing other comic strips. The new syndicate launched Monday and is called Ink Bottle Syndicate and represents eight strips: Tundra (Chad Carpenter), That Monkey Tune (Michael Kandalaft), Sunshine State (Graham Nolan), Holy Molé (Rick Hotton), Biz (Dave Blazek), Future Shock Comics (Jim and Pat McGreal), Half Baked (Rick Ellis) and 15 Minutes (Robert Duckett).

Bill tells me that ever since he started selling Tundra and having success growing Chad’s client list, cartoonists continually asked him if he’d represent them. He always declined fearing it would adversely affect Tundra, but with Chad’s strip closing in on 450 newspapers, he felt like he could take on more work and Chad was supportive of that decision.

At this point, Bill’s ambitions isn’t to be a major competitor to the larger syndicates. He’s limiting the number of strips he represents and has no long term contracts with the cartoonists – they can leave his syndicate with a 30 days notice if they get a better offer. As he puts it, “hopefully I’ll be able to help get some of these other strips going.”

From Graham’s blog we learn that his feature will be placed on a two week delay so as not to compete against paper’s who pick up the features. That was standard practice for most syndicates but is no longer the case. Bill tells me that the delay is not a requirement for the cartoonists, but a suggestion based on feedback he’s had with newspaper editors.

It will be interesting to watch how Bill transitions from representing an exclusive feature to multiple. At the moment, he’s not taking on addition features.

26 thoughts on “Bill Kellogg launches new comic syndicate

  1. When I met Bill at the seminar in Vegas two years ago I was impressed with what he’d accomplished. While I didn’t expect him to begin representing other strips, this doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Bill, if anybody can pull this off successfully, you can. Make some newspapers sing That Monkey Tune, okay?

  2. I still don’t get the part of the contract where I have to shave my back. I’ll wear the damn suit with the K on the front, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

  3. @ Dave – Glad to see your name on the list Dave. I hope it turns out prosperously for you… And hey, wear a “K” or shave away it’s no big deal. Just watch out for any waxing clauses.

    A little shout out to congratulate Michael Kandalaft. “That Monkey Tune” certainly deserves as broad an audience as possible.

  4. Thanks for all the supportive comments.

    @Frank – I will handle merchandising as well, but most of that will probably take time. We only really started that for Tundra in the last year. With a few exceptions, licensing only works well when the strips have a decent following.

    @ Dave – You signed the contract, but you can shave a “K” in your back hair instead if you prefer.

  5. Interesting lineup weatherwise: Tundra and Sunshine State are a complementary pair of bookends.

  6. Congratulations to you guys, best of luck! Always good to see dreams come true.

  7. Good luck Bill! It’s good to see so many alumni of the Success in Comics seminar on your initial list of comics you are representing.

  8. Congratulations,Bill! -that’s GRRRREAAAT! You’re really beginning to make people forget about that other Kellogg guy, the one from Battle Creek!

  9. Thanks for all the good vibes from everyone! Bill never said anything about money. But he did say I could have all the Guinness I can drink…I’ll have him in the poor house in a week!

  10. If Mr. Kellogg is still here – a question:
    Does this in any way affect the international syndication of Tundra by KFS?

  11. @ D.D. Gegg. No. Technically nothing has changed as far as Tundra goes. I still represent Chad the same way as before and we’re still on the same simple contract we did five years ago. I included Tundra on the Ink Bottle web site because that is what I am known for. Plus, it gives Chad more exposure and it helps the other strips I am representing because most editors are familiar with Tundra, whether they like it or not.

    As it is now, whenever I get a call or e-mail from someone wanting Tundra outside the US or Canada, I give them King Features’ contact information and let them handle it. Hopefully the only difference now will be that we’ll get a little more exposure and I will have to do that more often.

  12. It’s nice to see that something is being added regarding comics among so many deletions and cutbacks in the industry.

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