How Kitchen Table Productions Came to Be Named

When I first started working for Marvel at the beginning of 1990, I lived with my grandparents at their home in Valley Stream, New York, as I had done during my earlier internship the previous summer. This was a great financial benefit, since my starting salary was only $16,000 a year; not a lot to work with in New York, even in those days. And, quite honestly, it kept me from having to operate entirely on my own without a safety net for a while longer.
In those days, it was customary for staff members to pick up freelance assignments to augment their paychecks. Typically, the disciplines most often open to such opportunities were coloring and writing. Virtually everyone who was at Marvel in an editorial capacity did at least a little bit of writing at one point or another, and many of them had numerous regular monthly assignments as well. It wasn't long before I began to pick up a number of assignments, in concert with my writing partner, Mike Kanterovich, often from the editorial office of my friend Evan Skolnick. The very first thing I wrote on a freelance basis was the final two issues of COUNT DUCKULA, based on the animated series produced in the UK, and then-airing on Nickelodeon.
Our typical working methodology in those days without internet access or portable computers was for Mike to make the long drive down to Valley Stream from his home in New Hampshire on Firday evening. We'd gather around the table in my grandparents' kitchen and brainstorm back and forth on stories, writing everything out longhand on pads of paper. Then, when I'd return to work on Monday, I'd use one of the couple available computers there to type up the scripts and turn them in.
If you did a certain amount of work, it was advantageous from a tax standpoint to set yourself up with what was called a DBA (Doing Business As). A DBA essentially turned you into a tiny corporation, for which you might be the sole employee. In this way, your DBA would pay you a salary, and you'd gain some protection from higer tax rates imposed on freelancers who were bringing in more than a certain amount of income. When the time came for me to create a DBA (not that I used it very much, to be honest--I wasn't picking up that much extra work, and I was very laissez-faire in those days about over-worrying my tax situation, since I was making more than enough to live on and my overhead was so low), after some deliberation with Mike, I settled on Kitchen Table Productions.
In the late 1990s, for a time, my wife Jes and I created the Kitchen Table Productions website, a repository for comics stories I had done back in my pre-professional days, as well as a long retrospective on a number of the comics I had read while growing up. This retropspective, the Brevoort History of Comics, was later serialized on a few other more well-traveled websites. Eventually, though, we let our deal with the provider lapse, and after a computer meltdown, most all of the files from that original site were lost.
Fortunately, though, the name Kitchen Table Productions works just as well as the monicker for a food-based site (even more so, if the truth be told), so Jes has resurrected it here as a clearinghouse for her recipes and personal experiences with a low-carb lifestyle. She's also producing a string of instructional videos illustrating point-by-point how to prepare the excellent culinary concoctions she makes. As anybody who's sampled her fare in the past, or who's prepared their own meals from her small self-published cookbook know, her skills in this area are excellent. I'm happy that this gives her a creative outlet, and allows her to showcase her skills publicly for the benefit of other people.
And from time to time, I'll be posting something as well, most likely in connection with my activities with the new M.M.M.S. ( The Merry Marvel Masticating Society, a foodie-crew organized around the title of the Marvel fan club of the 1960s and comprised of several members of Marvel's current editorial team, most prominently C.B. Cebulski.)
Tom B


Below are some of the original ideas for logos as doodled by Mike Kanterovich circa 1990.  I think they decided on the plate, but I think I prefer the bottom left. - Jes