45 - PrePress Insecurity
And I'm still struggling with putting the Era of Great Wonders book together.

On Thursday,  after rounds of emails and a phone interview (!!!) our comics were verbally accepted into C2E2, a large comic convention in Chicago. They've not formally sent us the application to fill out, and no money has exchanged hands yet, but there's a very good chance that we really ARE going to C2E2. I mean, there was a phone interview where the guy said we were in.

I've never applied to one of those conventions you have to get vetted before you can sell at them, but this is a good opportunity for  us if we do get in.

That said, our plans to bring out the first Era of Great Wonders book has been pushed to the front of everything I've been working on.

I received the edits back from our editor and started the revisions late last week. Most of the typos and text have been cleaned up (and some of it has been reformatted even, so that it looks nice and justified, even though Manga Studio does NOT seem to have a "justified text" option that I'm aware of.)

Below: what the book looked like at the end of last week:

I circled the missing page and put a carrot where all the front matter needs to go, and put a long line where all the back matter needs to go.

Besides the title page, I wanted to add a fun quote from my friend's son. He's a great kid (kind of scary brilliant if non sequitur), and he's been really obsessed with Era of Great Wonders, which has been really great for John's ego: artists tend to get all the accolades, whereas writers are sometimes forgotten.

In addition to the Gentry quote (and I'll probably put our dedications on the facing Gentry page) I also needed art to go on the inside of the cover. Below is the front inside cover:

I took the image of the kids from the cover and then super imposed them over the monster cover from issue one.

For the inside back cover, I made another ad for our comics. Usually our ads have ALL our comics listed, but I decided to be greedy and feature only All the Growing Things! IT'S MAUDE'S TIME TO SHINE!

And then there's the missing page. Ugh.

I know so much about prepress and setting books up and things like that, and I still just... forget sometimes. I do NOT know what I was thinking when I originally did the above layouts, but I was super wrong. Not only did that missing page mess up the page flow of this book, it also messed up the page flow of the issue it was originally printed in.

John said he really liked the bottom left panel, where they're doing open-monster-surgery, so I decided that would be easy enough to do on the facing page, to make it look like the monster was still growing in the cadaver. 

Sure, looks "easy enough," doesn't it?

And then I spent 12+ hours (I think? I lost track of time) drawing spiky monster bits and squiggles. It's hard to see here, but the spikes are "stuck" into the flesh. I drew them unstuck first, and then went in and erased areas to make them look like they go in and out of the guy's skin.

And then of course, self doubt hit me super hard, and I started to wonder: is this too gruesome for our comic? Because I can't have that thought BEFORE I spend a day working on it, no, I have to have that thought at the end of a long drawing  session.

(Also, I'm aware that rib saws provide a smoother cut, but I was going for clarity-of-object, rather than accuracy.)

I guess I also got lost in my head far enough that I started questioning if I was... hm. I don't even know what I was questioning, other than I sort of felt that I was stuck in a rut, and that all I do is create comics, and that I'm not doing anything with my life, and blah blah blah.

I think it's partially because after 12+ hours drawing the SAME page, you start to have these thoughts, and also, I think I forgot to eat yesterday. I know I had breakfast, but I can't remember anything after that.

Diet Pepsi is no substitute for food!

I'm feeling pretty optimistic today though, and am hoping to finish this project tonight or tomorrow and send it off to the printers. I still have some back matter to do, sketches and things like that.

I'm off to a lunch meeting now, and I'm going to ask if the lady would mind if I blog the process of her project. (I know I said I'm not going to take any more commissions, but I've had this one on my books since last year, and we're now getting to where we can do it!)

Later gators!


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