First Questions

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elilie
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Post by elilie » Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:07 pm

alright, so I'm curious, so like if I do my story all rendered in graphite it's printable right? like I'm still curious if it needs a limit on how many tones, like two or three or something.
"But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk. Thank you." conan o'brien

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Fri Aug 22, 2003 12:43 am

Ben-

I'm not totally sure, but I do believe that the graphite images won't be quite as crisp as straight black and white or flat tones, but I still think they will look good. I'm just as new to the printing business as most of you, so I'm not totally sure. This is based on observations I made while looking at various printed mags on the shelf.

I noticed that Derek used zipatone halftones for Same Difference And Other Stories. Not sure if it was simply a stylistic choice (gives it a manga feel) or if it was to preserve the crisp line quality, but the two-tone look is very sharp and easy to read. If you check out any of Enrico's printed work, you'll see how watercolor turns out in greys. While there is a dip in the sharpness of the image, I think it has a nice aesthetic of its own.

I think it also has a lot to do with the quality of the scans. Don't use those images you scanned with my crappy UMAX scanner for any serious business. I only trust that thing for scanning line drawings.

This reminds me, I've been meaning to ask Derek how he set up those halftones... Derek, how did you convert flat greyscale into that zipatone look?

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Joel
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Post by Joel » Fri Aug 22, 2003 10:31 am

So, like what size would guys like the end product to be?

Do you guys have the standard comic size in mind? Or maybe the tankoban digest size?

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Fri Aug 22, 2003 1:53 pm

We were thinking about going with the standard comic book format, but I am totally open to discussion. While I also like the small book format (like Monkeysuit) I think it would be great if this thing looked more like a big, pretty comic book, not a novel. What do you guys think?

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Post by elilie » Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:31 pm

it doesn't really matter to me, but for some reason I like smaller books, I wonder if we can do some unusual proportions? like a 8 by 111/2, or would the unusual cut be more expensive? it'd be nice to have a inch space at the bottom to put something stupid, like a logo, or something an artist wants to put down there.
"But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk. Thank you." conan o'brien

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agent44
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my 2 cents

Post by agent44 » Sat Aug 23, 2003 11:24 am

I agree that if the book's called "flight" then it should be about flight or things associated with it.

I think that normal graphic novel dimensions would work best, it's more accessable and approachable by people. I usually don't buy into silly gimmicks like giant or square shaped comics. The stories and art should do the selling. And with the talent present here, we really don't need to rely on such flimflam.

and I love Lemon Jelly.

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Kean
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Post by Kean » Sat Aug 23, 2003 12:03 pm

I'm actually a big fan of the digest-sized/paperback format (6x9"), but the standard comic size format would work fine, and serve to show off the art of those present to better effect.

Just to get a little more clarity on the subject, will the book be printed in solely black and white, or are we going with black, white and greytones (one of the conversations had me confused)? And another question coming out of that, what resolution should we be working in? 300 dpi? 600?

Could I have used more question marks in that last paragraph?

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Sun Aug 24, 2003 1:04 am

Kean- Not completely sure yet, but I think you should be delivering the pages at 300 dpi. As for the black and white/grey tone issue, it's entirely your choice whether you want to use two tones or a mass of them, just as long as the file is saved in greyscale. In fact, I may even color my pages and then greyscale them in case I want to reprint in color at a later date. This is how the Copper comics were initially printed for publication- without color- even though I had colored them for boltcity.com.

I like the idea of having a lot of flight-based stories for this volume, but I would still like to keep the submissions open-ended, just in case someone had a burning desire to tell a story that didn't need anything flight-related to tell it. If some of you had ideas along those lines, don't feel pressured to alter your stories to fit any sort of rubric. Go ahead and tell it like you want to. Just know that most of the contributors will be using the anthology's title as a theme.

And size doesn't matter. I agree with Jake that it's how you use it that counts. :P (yuk yuk!) That said, I do like all sorts of formats, but I really like the idea of going with standard graphic novel dimensions. Added notes: I'll be drawing my originals at 10x15 and shrinking them down. I plan on doing a Copper story, and perhaps one more that isn't quite "flighty", but I'll let you guys know about all that in the Projects forum.

Why does Lemon Jelly sound so familiar? Hey Ben, lend me a CD. I'll give it a listen.

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Post by elilie » Sun Aug 24, 2003 4:46 pm

it's probably cause you saw a can of lemon jelly at the supermarket.
"But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk. Thank you." conan o'brien

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Phil
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Post by Phil » Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:27 pm

Let's do the book at 8'x15' so people can tear out the pages and wallpaper their homes with them. That way, too, people can read the book from far away, like a drive-in movie, slurping on malts with their friends, without worrying about sullying the crisp, printed matter.

Seriously, though (what--that wasn't serious?) The 'Flight' theme is cool by me. I'm just going to ignore it.
Hah hah, only kidding. I'll do something on that note, for sure.

Standard size is cool. More accessible to those unfamiliar with our plot to take over the publishing world. As Jake stressed: the stories are the thing. But what is standard size, you ask. I don't know. But personally, I'd lean toward a slightly wider format than that of American comic books, which are quite narrow. Many indy and "alternative" books come in at the European dimensions. We wouldn't have to be as big as a Tin-Tin book, but same dimensions. Thoughts?

About resolution: Kazu, you mentioned 300 dpi, but I'll mention that I had a story in a Fantagraphics anthology, and the designer was disappointed to find that my final art files were only 300 dpi, and thus a bit jaggy. I had done them without publishing in mind, so I ignored the popular wisdom at the time, that 600 dpi was the level to strive for. (Someone mentioned that DC comics are at 600 dpi.) It might serve us to investigate this more, and perhaps ask some professionals... I'm not sure if Enrico scanned his art himself for "Mia," but maybe he can shed some light... eh, E?

Um, that's all.
Not quite. Kazu-- you said you are doing more than one story? I'm all for more Kazu. Does that mean the rest of us could potentially do more than one? Just wondering. I'll probably want to focus on just one, but... you never know. (Don't worry--I never know, either.)

Later--
Phil

elilie
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Post by elilie » Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:56 pm

well the only reason I why I brought up the idea of fooling around with dimension sizes is simply because it's there with the possibility to play with. We're our own publishers, so what would stop us from doing something different? plus if the artwork insides stinks someone isn't going to egg our houses because we fooled them with our clever packaging of "different packaging" sure the stories always have to be great, but what the heck you know? why not? package is as equal as the content in these wild and crazy modern times.
"But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk. Thank you." conan o'brien

elilie
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Post by elilie » Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:59 pm

ohyeah I forgot, if a printing in different sizes does cost much greater, then screw it, regular format is.
"But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk. Thank you." conan o'brien

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neil
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regarding printing

Post by neil » Sun Aug 24, 2003 11:54 pm

Some printing advice from Jordan Crane:
LINEART
There are two ways to do this, both will yield good results, but the second one gives better results if you’re a fucking snob like me. Both these methods use PhotoShop for scanning and conversion.
The first way to scan in your drawings are as 800dpi ( dpi means Dots Per Inch) bitmaps. Most printers will tell you that 600dpi is okay, but they’re wrong. 800dpi is the minimum acceptable resolution. So scan it in, and save it out as at TIFF. When you’re naming your files, chose a convention that will be fairly obvious to the printer, such a s p01.tiff, p02.tiff and so on. And that’s it.
The second method is a bit more involved, but gives you better (let me assure you that nobody except other cartoonists will actually notice) image reproduction. Scan your art in as a 600dpi grayscale file. Convert it to a 1200dpi greyscale file. Now, you’re gonna use the Threshold commad. What this does is it turns all the pixels in your image either black or white (as a bitmap does) and it lets you play with the point at which the pixels go black.. so for example - normal 50% conversion to bitmap, any pixels that are 49% black will be white.. with the
Threshold you can adjust it so that they are black.. Play with it, you’ll understand, it’s pretty obvious. Simply go to Image>Adjust>Threshold and mess with that until you get the most exact reproduction of your lineart as possible. Then convert it to a 1200dpi bitmap file, and save it out as a TIFF.
This gives the best reproduction of your image that I’m aware of. It even does drybrush perfectly..
And, regarding greytones:
Now, if your image contains grey tones like thin washes of ink or watercolor – such as a Ben Katchor drawing might – then you’d scan it in at 300dpi greyscale, and save it out as a greyscale TIFF. Easy. The reason you only scan it at 300dpi is because when they print it, they’ll apply what’s called a halftone pattern to it, which essentially converts your smooth, continuous tone photo to a bunch of little dots. Take a magnifying glass to any printed greyscale art, and you’ll see the leeetle dots. To make that halftone pattern, 300dpi is the maximum resolution they need. If you want an idea of what 300dpi looks like, open any magazine and look at any photo therein. That photo is 300dpi. So there you go.
This is excerpted from the reproduction guide at Jordan's website, reddingk.com. And he's willing to take questions: [email protected]

elilie
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Post by elilie » Mon Aug 25, 2003 1:49 am

that was actually really helpful man.
"But let me leave you with one last thought. If you can laugh at yourself, loud and hard, every time you fall, people will think you’re drunk. Thank you." conan o'brien

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Kazu
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Post by Kazu » Mon Aug 25, 2003 10:24 am

Hey, what do you guys think about doing this in the shape of a donut? So if the books don't come out all that great, we can at least use them as wheels for go-carts. Or hats. :P

Phil- When we first started this (and this is speaking from past personal experience as the illustrations editor of a college paper) I was worried we wouldn't have enough material in the end, so I thought about doing two stories. The way it's shaping up, I don't think that'll be a problem any more. I'm still going to work on two stories, though, whether or not they both go in the book. I just want to do them (one of them may even be too long for the anthology). In fact, I have several more stories waiting in the corral that I wouldn't mind doing as well. Just need the right opportunity to tell them. :)

Neil, thanks for the info! It was very helpful.

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