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Friday, 2 March 2012

Editing Comics -The Nightmare Facing All Publishers….

…unless, of course, you are a big publisher in which case its the editors nightmare!

Oh yeah -Hooper’s on a roll!



For a while I was having a near breakdown trying to get a page that was not crooked. I rotated. I tilted. I printed the page out and then I saw the problem.  The artist had drawn crooked panel borders.  You can mess about with it as much as you like but short of cutting up a page and re-pasting panels to make them straight (by re-drawing panel borders in some cases) its a lost cause.

The comic was from 1942 -an American comic.  A 1950 British comic had the same problem. The problem continues to this day. I guess if you work to get the job done without inspecting every page as its done you’d miss it.  I have known artists who’ve told me they have submitted pages with crooked panels “but I’m not going to start from scratch or cut up pages am I?”

Fair enough.  You publish the pages and anyone points the problem out you say “talk to the artist” and that’s it.  There are enough headaches in publishing!

I was asked recently about art to be submitted and if I wanted it a specific size.  Well, let me explain how things usually work and why putting a book together can be a pain in the ass.

I get pages the artist has scanned.  Some artists put art right up to the edge of the page which is a no-no. always leave at least 1 -1.5 cm border around the entire page or art can be lost in printing.  To get a printer to bleed art to the edge is long and convoluted and sometimes they ignore you.

So, I get the pages, say 48 of them.  I download and save. I then have to resize because everyone seems to think that scanning at 300 dpi solves every problem. It doesn’t. Pages need to be re-sized.

I used Microsoft Office Publisher where, under format, you’ll find “Size”. I then have to type in 30cms height and once that adjustment is made, move the art to fit the page.  I then have to save that page to Documents where you’ll find the info tells you it is 1240 x 1754  in size.

I’ll need to then open “Paint” to clean up any page border lines showing.  Save that.

Then I have to go to Adobe Photoshop and to image to resize to 30cms x 21.20 and 300 dpi which you’ll find will tell you the image is now 2505 x 3543 pixels. Save that.

That has to be done 48 times along with any tilting or rotating to straighten a page or clean up any dirt from the artists scanner they’ve not notice.

One 52 pp comic just took me two days to make ready -don’t forget that I have to individually upload all the pages to my pdf folder to make a file which then has to be uploaded to the POD service.

Then there’s the cover!

So, when I write that a book can take 2-3 days to make print ready I am not kidding.  Luckily, cover design wise Wade Retro steps in to handle things!  I then only have to occasionally letter then resize and upload.
In the old days it was get rid of any dirt with process white or tippex and then slap the art onto a photocopier.

“Batch Editing” with certain systems does not work. The things is that pages of different scan sizes when adjusted to an overall batch size are still ending up…odd sizes.

If I could employ someone to do this work I would.

So, please, if you have a project think about the page sizes you send.  Better still, if its a finished project make it into a pdf after you’ve scanned and sized the pages as noted.  That way there’s a quicker turn around in getting a book published.

And I stay sane a bit longer. I can also remember that I need to eat and not work from 0900 through to 00:30 or even 02:00 hours!

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