POW! Midland resident runs independent comic book publisher – Midland Daily News

Travis McIntyre (left) and Greg Wright pose with comic books they have written inside Modern Explorers Guild on Oct. 1, 2021 in Midland. McIntyre is the CEO of Ox Eye Media. (Andrew Mullin/[email protected]).
The past decade has been very kind to comic book properties, to say the least. And this boom in interest for comics has greatly benefited one Midland resident.
Travis McIntyre is the CEO of Ox Eye Media, a Saginaw-based, multi-media company with many divisions related to comic books, graphic novels, board games, and more. This independent publisher has managed to carve its niche in the comic world, becoming one of the industry’s most notable publishers.
“Depending on the month, we are either just in or just out of the top 10 comic publishers,” McIntyre said. “We are certainly a smaller publisher, but we are one of the very biggest of the smalls.”
He co-founded Source Point Press, which would later become Ox Eye’s comic book division. The publisher first focused on pulp and horror, but has grown to include comedy, science fiction, fantasy and steampunk stories to its library. Content published through Source Point ranges from one-off miniseries to graphic novels, McIntyre said. The publisher even dabbles in novels and photography books.
Source Point has slowly built its library over the course of its existence, bringing multiple authors into its pages. One writer who has written multiple series for the company is Bay City resident Greg Wright, who has taught screenwriting classes at Kalamazoo College.
Wright, a former Midland resident, writes his stories by breaking his idea down into outlines and story beats. After consulting with the comic artist, he then writes the story page by page. One series he has written for Source Point includes the horror comedy “Monstrous,” featuring many adventures with monsters, such as Frankenstein.
However, the company does not stray into superhero stories because then it would not stand out to audiences and grab more niche and competitive market, McIntyre said.
“There are successful independent superhero comics, but I do not want to do that because I do not think it is a good idea to try to compete with DC and Marvel,” Wright said. “Instead, (I) say, ‘Look, this is the sidestep to something else.’”
Ox Eye also receives about 200 submissions a month from up-and-coming writers, which McIntyre said he has to comb through and decide what to publish.
Another major division of Ox Eye is Deepwater Games, which focuses on tabletop, fast-learn, and family games. One of the more notable games is Welcome To, which was featured by the New York Times when it interviewed Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe while he played the game.
Other divisions develop mobile apps, legacy games (long-term board games played once), and designing playmats for games. In total, Ox Eye has released about 350-400 comic titles and 15-20 games.
Another factor in Ox Eye’s success may be the blockbuster successes of superhero movies from Marvel and DC Comics for the past decade-plus.
“With the massive success of comic book movies, I think you saw many people who were maybe lapsed comic readers, or were never really comic readers, get interested in the idea of what comics were,” McIntyre said. “When they showed up at the comic bookstore, they saw there were a lot more options available to them than just what they remembered as a kid, or what their assumption was in terms of like Marvel or DC.”
Looking forward, McIntyre said he would like Ox Eye to expand to publishing kids’ books. Media form Oxe Eye can be found at many local comic book and game stores, including Midland’s Modern Explorers Guild, located at 4011 Jefferson Ave.
Andrew Mullin is a reporter for the Midland Daily News.