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INTERVIEW: Tony Kittrell, Founder of Unbound Realms

Written by Fred McNamara

Comics – we just love them to bits, don’t we? We love buying them, reading them, and supporting them on Kickstarter all day long. But after the Kickstarter has been a success, what then? Sure, you receive the comic you back on whatever crowdfunding platform you supported the comic on, but what happens to the comic after that? How does the creator of that comic ensure it has a sustained future?

It’s a question that Tony Kittrell, mastermind of Advent Comics, has pondered over and come up with a possible solution – Unbound Realms, which is a new way of printing, distributing and sustaining independent comics. Several creators have already joined Unbound Realms, and with more on the horizon, Tony found time in his busy schedule to have a chat with us about what Unbound Realms will offer independent comic creators.

A Place To Hang Your Cape: First off, tell our readers a little bit about Advent Comics.

Tony Kittrell: Advent Comics is an up & coming indie publisher that is focused on providing high-quality comics and fan satisfaction. Some of our titles include Cosmos, Titan the Ultra Man, The Regulators, Advent Comics Spotlight, Darklight and Crew, The War Guard, The Hit Squad and Saviour. We believe that our comic books and graphic novels produce some of the best entertainment that this industry has to offer. Advent Comics will do everything that we can to exceed your expectations if given a chance.

AP2HYC: Spinning off from that, what exactly is Unbound Realms?

Kittrell: Unbound Realms is a new creator-owned imprint that joins the Advent Universe titles being published by Advent Comics. The Unbound Realms books will be published in conjunction with the Advent Universe titles.

AP2HYC: The idea of “what next?” after a Kickstarter-funded comic is a prevalent one, but an idea I haven’t seen directly addressed elsewhere – what made you want to tackle the issue of getting indie comics scene?

Kittrell: First, I am not only an owner of my own comic company but I am a die-hard 40 year plus comic book fan that enjoys the medium. I am an avid supporter of creators that choose to enter into this industry and follow their dreams of making comics. I came up with what would become Unbound Realms (i.e. “what next”) after seeing several great Kickstarter comic book projects which I thought were awesome not receive funding. I wanted to bring some of those types of projects to life by giving them a shot at getting the titles out to the masses.

AP2HYC: What services will you be offering exactly?

Kittrell: Advent Comics will publish, distribute and help promote the titles within our Unbound Realms Imprint. I basically opened the Advent Comics lanes of distribution to them to release their books and will publish these projects for them globally. Some of what we are offering, creators can do themselves but we do have certain established relationships in place that will allow these creators to avoid troublesome industry pitfalls.

AP2HYC: You’re already working with some indie creators under the Unbound Realms umbrella – tell us about them.

Kittrell: Our trial rollout was to take four titles from indie creators worldwide and place them inside of the imprint to see how the line would do. The first four titles are: Michael Mettlen’s Kane – The story of master thief and assassin Cameron Kane who embarks on a search for vengeance which will lead him on a creepy, supernatural journey. This book is a mashup of Ash vs. Evil Dead meets Batman and Spawn.

There’s also Marcello Bondi’s Snapshot – A black & white, six volume anthology series from Italy featuring some of the most talented comics creators in that country. The first volume is “Betrayal” and features several horrifying and thrilling stories which dive into this dark portion of the human psyche.

Plus, Christopher Swartzlander’s Tripping Over Reality: The Death & Origin of a Hero – An excellent and unique novel about the making of a superhero. This is a first for Advent Comics in that this will be the very first novel published by the company. And lastly, James Hachey’s Supernatural Agents – A classic throwback in storytelling to the comics we all fell in love featuring the dawn of a new age of Canadian superheroes.

AP2HYC: How did those creators become part of Unbound Realms?

Kittrell: I initially approached certain creators about what I had in mind (at the time I had not fully developed the concept, it was still in the “what can I do to help” phase), asking them would they be interested. I guess the word got out as to what I was doing and creators began to seek me out asking if I would look at their submissions.

AP2HYC: Are there any other titles you’ve got in the pipeline to be distributed via Unbound Realms?

Kittrell: Yes, we are working with several more creators on putting together the Phase II titles. So far, we have Cop #2 by Sam Bruch which will be starting a Kickstarter on 02/10/17 that we hope you and your readers will support. Also, coming down the pike to the Unbound Realms Imprint will be E-Corps by Rodney Laibahas and The Albatross by James Vegas.

AP2HYC: How can indie creators join in with this project?

Kittrell: I am considering other titles and still accepting submissions for future Unbound Realms titles. Submissions can be emailed to adventcomics@live.com.

AP2HYC: In my time with A Place To Hang Your Cape, I’ve seen countless creators self-promote their own comic to varying degrees of success. What exactly is the difference between your efforts and theirs?

Kittrell: Luck! No seriously, we have been quietly cultivating business relationships with companies, chain stores & comic book shops since Advent Comics’ conception back in 2009 to the point where today our books are carried on six continents and almost 40 countries. Not bad for an indie that no one has heard of, haha.

AP2HYC: Would Unbound Realms be best suited to first-time creators, rather than established creators who may have a built-in audience? Or can anyone join in the fun?

Kittrell: Everyone is welcome to bring their books to Unbound Realms!

AP2HYC: What is the long-term vision for Unbound Realms? It feels like it’s designed to be a long-term investment for creators.

Kittrell: This is indeed a long-term venture and I am looking for creators with a story to tell. Hopefully, they come to the title with a completed title (more than one issue would be great) that Advent Comics can help them put out to the masses. I’m actually speaking with some established creators & other publishers about bringing titles to the Unbound Realms Imprint. If all goes well, Advent Comics will allow other publishers to publish their titles through us (which to my knowledge has never been done before).

AP2HYC: What do you hope to be the most beneficial thing to come out of Unbound Realms?

Kittrell: I want to see indie comics win at the end of the day and will do my part to make it happen.

Many thanks to Tony Kittrell for giving us his time! If you want to find out more about Advent Comics and/or Unbound Realms, you can check out their website here. Let us know if you’re excited for Unbound Realms in the comments section below or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Fred McNamara

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