The Reading Pile #11

The Reading Pile is back in your life with this special edition interview with Tony “Doug” Wright, the creator of Day 165 (described as a blend of old school war comics and The Twilight Zone) from Source Point Press. In part 1 of this 2 part conversation we talk about Source Point Press and the beginnings of Day 165.

I’ve known the writer of Day 165, from Source Point Press, Tony “Doug” Wright, for some 20 odd years. Before he wrote comics, he played guitar in a local band at clubs I used to frequent and we road tripped together to see bands on more than one occasion. We lost touch, but reconnected over Instagram in recent years. I knew TD, that’s what I’ve always called him, was writing a comic and with the title generating some buzz lately, I thought it was a perfect time to check out Day 165. Tony has graciously agreed to answer some questions about the book’s history, Source Point Press and a bunch of other queries related to comics and pop culture.

First, can you give me some background on Source Point Press? I know they have been publishing since at least 2013.

Source Point Press (SPP) was founded in 2014 by individuals involved with the Michigan Comics Collective (MCC), which was based out of the Saginaw, MI area. We’re talking people like Travis McIntire, Josh Werner, Trico Lutkins, and David Hayes. SPP is currently based out of Midland, MI and they’re working with creators from all over the world. It’s really amazing to see all of these people coming together at SPP to publish some amazing comics and graphic novels.

I have been pleasantly surprised to notice SPP starting to be named on comic sites, Instagram and Twitter with the release of both The Rejected and Day 165. Have you noticed any palpable buzz?

I’m friends on Facebook with Stan Konopka, who wrote The Rejected, and he was talking about its buzz because it was down to a handful of copies. Stan’s also done quite a bit of work promoting The Rejected and has made the rounds at some cons. As far as Day 165 is concerned, I didn’t hear anything until Travis McIntire, president and editor-in-chief at SPP, told me that it did pretty well with store orders because it was a limited print. Not long after that, I heard from you, and the buzz is real. I do my best to keep track of Day 165 on social media, but the buzz has escaped me for some reason.

Can you give me the history on how you first started working with Source Point Press?

I was heavily involved in creating webcomics at my website Champion City Comics from 2009 until 2012, and a few years after that was something of a webcomics hangover period where I decided to go the self-publishing route. Erik Roman, a friend and an artist I’ve collaborated with, told me that I needed to get in touch with the MCC because they were developing comics and anthologies. I live in Michigan, so it made sense to go with someone in my backyard.

I had some bizarre experiences with publishers during my webcomics years, but the MCC was extremely positive and professional, plus their passion was a great selling point. I worked on a short story with artist Ryan Cairns called Warrior William Galway and it was published in their Michigan Comics Collective Anthology Volume #2. Not long after that, Erik told me that MCC developed into Source Point Press, SPP, and they were cranking out some decent work.

I was working on three comic book projects for publication, Day 165 was one of them, so I decided to submit it to SPP. They liked it and that was the beginning of my relationship with SPP, which has been very positive. SPP believes in me and the artists I’ve worked with in the past at Champion City Comics. What they ask for in return is for me to sell my comics at cons and do everything I can to promote my work. If you put in the work, then they’ve got your back, which is tremendous.

I know you have been doing the convention circuit with Source Point Press for over a year. Hitting New York Comic Con, Fan Expo Dallas, C2E2, Motor City Comic Con, nearly all of the Michigan conventions, etc. What has the experience been like and any funny/interesting/weird happenings or has it been typical con stuff?

I haven’t been to New York, Dallas, or Motor City, but they’re on my list for next year. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been to cons with SPP in Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois. This year I made the trip to C2E2 which was amazing, but exhausting because you’ve got to be selling all day long. We’re not forced to sell, so don’t get me wrong, but it was tough for me personally to take a break at C2E2 with thousands of potential customers walking around. I made a trip in July for Wizard World Boise and that turned out to be a really nice con. The fans were great because they were truly interested in our comics and graphic novels, plus Boise was a very cool city.

SPP this year will have a con presence in the US and Canada that easily numbers between 80 and 90 shows, which is impressive. But people who work with SPP also do signings at comic book stores and also promote their SPP work via podcasts or interviews. People who work for SPP love to hustle and you’ve really got to admire that determination.

Yes, I have some con stories, but they’re mostly those “you had to be there” stories.

Let’s talk about Day 165. Copies have been available at conventions since March, but it only made it out to shops this week. Is that correct?

No, Day 165 has been available from SPP since late 2016 when it was launched via Kickstarter, it has been at cons and at a few stores for sale since 2017, but this summer it was available to stores via Diamond.

Do you know the print run for Day 165?

One thousand copies were printed if I’m not mistaken.

The book was almost immediately sold out on the Source Point Press store. Can you speak about that and if there will be additional copies made available?

The book is currently sold out at this time.

Are you aware of the secondary market for Day 165? I just checked sold listings on ebay and a copy sold for $21 shipped. It definitely was a hot book for the week of its Diamond release.

I had no idea, but I just checked ebay, and a copy is selling for $19.99, which is nice.

Check back next week for part 2 and thanks for reading!

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