This week has been spent, very productively, I might add, on some of the project backlog. The most egregiously-behind item on the list being the print issue of Volume 1. I’m happy to say that Volume 1, Weak Interaction, has been sent to the printer. The image files have been examined and found within spec, and I have paid the invoice, so work should begin on getting it ready. Now, this does NOT mean that I’m going to have a skid of books delivered to my house, or picked up by Diamond, or something like that. I wish. Someday, I’ll be that much in demand that I can order 1,000 copies of a book printed and feel secure of having someplace for them to go in real time.
No, I’m using one of the Print-On-Demand houses, Ka-Blam Digital Printing. YES, I know, some of you have worked with ComiXpress and think they’re better, but frankly, I can’t find enough information either way to make me choose at this point, so I decided to try Ka-Blam and see how it goes. (I think the most deciding factor is that ComiXpress hasn’t updated the blog on their front page since January. That worried me.)
So far, the only issues have been pretty much endemic of the entire industry, and not their fault. No one anywhere can get the whole ISBN/UPC barcode thing right unless you scream a bit first, and no one seems to have a ready answer for “where do I get JUST ONE UPC barcode, if I don’t want to use one of yours?” I ended up getting a UPC code with the correct extension for a comic book issue number from a third party supplier, and if it’s not right at this point, it isn’t my fault, no one else knew the right answer, either. No, you don’t go to Bowker for it. That’s an ISBN, you only put those on trade paper graphic novels, not floppy comics. Nor do you go to GS1 unless you want to pay through the nose for a prefix for a block of 100 UPC codes and a yearly service fee. *Sigh*
The only other issue was that, when I printed a test galley of my pages at home, everything looked really dark. I showed them around, and what I heard from pros was that it’s a common problem — what looks right on the screen prints too dark, so you have to bump up the brightness without oversaturating. So I had to adjust the colors, do a test print, then adjust everything so it looked right on paper. The files I saved look a little garish and “hot” on the screen, but print nice and clear and sharp, without being oversaturated. The printer accepted them, so I guess they didn’t look too bad to them. I took the opportunity to clean up some of my earlier art and dialogue balloons that didn’t look as good as I liked. You can still see how my skill improves over time (wince) but at least it’s easier to read.
As soon as the printer gets done, it should be available for purchase in paper form at Indyplanet. I’ll let you know when it finally goes live.
I’m also working on the next arc, and studying Photoshop. I also need to do some work on rearranging the studio to make work a little easier. Things are getting a bit cluttered and cramped around here, and it’s causing some problems. There will be a Short this week, and perhaps next, if I don’t have the arc ready to go yet, but at least you know it’s for a good cause.