Friday, November 28, 2008

THE OLD BECOMES NEW: Comics Obscura Issue 3

AH HA!!! I have returned...

Of course that's after recovering from my tryptophan induced sleep. And now back to the third installment of "THE OLD BECOMES NEW"

For this installment I'll be talking about Comics Obscura issue number three.

All in all this issue was probably the greatest learning experience.

First off the printing.

While the traditional offset press was producing fantastic work the cost became an issue.

For those of you who are not aware about traditional offset printing the majority of your cost comes from setup. The setup usually consists of checking the files for consistency, developing the plates, mounting the plates on the press, aligning the plates (in multiple color printing), and checking ink levels as the pages go through the press. All of these things have to be done for each side of the paper being printed on. Of course this is all based off of a "camera ready copy".

A camera ready copy is the final piece ready to go to print and shot onto a negative to be "burned" onto a plate for the press. In the modern age Camera Ready is actually just a digital file in a specified format (by the printer) that requires no to minimal work (usually transferring the files to the plate making software) on the printers end to go to press.

Before I talked about cost mainly being in the setup that's because the  actual printing is fast and not that labor intense (depending on the machine). You'll notice when getting quotes from printer that you'll begin to see what's called volume discount. This is essentially how you would lower the cost per unit of your print run this is because to have the machine print 3000 pages takes a little more time than it would take to print 1000. Most of the work is already done in the setup hence the cost is reduced the larger the print run.

For comics Obscura Issue 3 I decided to switch to digital print-on-demand through This kept my cost per unit comparable to the traditional offset prices of a lower print run. Overall the product was great we switched from a glossy paper to a standard bond paper (kinda like normal printer paper but a little heavier weight). If you're looking on printing 1 or 500+ issues for your own production you might wanna give them a shot. You can find Ka-Blam by clicking here.

Also issue# 3 brought up another interesting subject... Deadlines and dedication.

Previously all of the creators were really gung-ho about producing their work. Something interesting happened after issue 2... Everyone got lazy.

Now when I say that, I blame myself for part of it.

I had a lot of personal life events happening preventing me from staying focused on my work as well as dealing with new production issues.

However a lot of the artists involved lost focused and found other events in life to occupy their time. This took place because of that artistic hurdle of a continuing project. The simple thought of "I just wanna get this done and move on to the next part" took over and when they saw the next hurdle coming they would look elsewhere to bide their time. When this shift in attention took place it wasn't a conscious choice. The mind found something it was more interested in and the body soon followed. In a was it was a sort of escapism from what they had set out to do for themselves. Speaking of which it started to turn more to the artists no wanting to let me down, but this is a whole other subject for another time.

Comics Obscura was founded as a driven group of artists who came together to publish their works. I became involved taking the helm (due to my experience) and Comics Obscura bloomed into a professional quality production.

Taking the lead had its positives and negatives.

It was good to the fact that I started streamlining a lot of the digital process and post production work as well as expanding my studies on graphic narrative and visual storytelling.

However the downfall comes when trying to apply discipline. Communication broke down when deadlines weren't met and by that I mean personal deadlines.

Lesson: If you're going to tell someone that you are going to be done, be reasonable. If you're prone to screwing around and have other interests in life take that into consideration when setting a personal deadline. Delivering a product earlier that your deadline is better than stressing yourself out over missing the deadline.

Now that I've completely bored you until this point onto The Tao of Snarky installment three.

Issue three of Snarky is actually the first six pages of the first full issue titled The Tao of Snarky: The Cutting Edge.

For this issue I wanted to showcase my inks and not put in any tone work. I'm adding grays for the full issue but really wanted to give the pure white and black starkness of the panels a chance to shine.

The story takes off with after installment two so if you hadn't read that before scroll down and check it out.

I have a few favorite things about this issue and one right off the bat is the first page. The emotion that plays out on Snarky's face is one dread and complacency and when combined the words you get a sense of how he feels.

I'd love to here what everyone thinks is there favorite panels, phrases, or events from the sequential work posted and why. Not to geek it out (maybe just a little) but just to pick your collective brains and take a peak inside (without becoming a serial killer or spending the time in school to become a neurosurgeon) see how some of the work is coming across.

Well that's all for now one more main installment of THE OLD BECOMES NEW: After issue# 3. I'll delve into where Comics Obscura stands right now and some major changes that have taken place since then.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's very good news hear from you. I looking forward to see new #3 issue Comics Obscura!! Wish you good gets done before meet your deadline.