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.