Production Blog #2 The Pains and Joys of Being Stupid.
When I was making the first issue of Jackie Rose I was working at one of the default Manga Studio sizes, assuming that would be correct proportions. Of course, I later learned that that was wrong, and moving forward I created issue #2 at the correct, standard comic book size. I assumed I would be able to very simply adjust issue #1 to the correct size. I was wrong.
This was mistake #1.
The way I draw Jackie Rose gives me some very smooth and solid line work. This makes it very easy to use the paint bucket in photoshop set to “all layers” to flat my pages. Of course by doing this, it creates an empty space where your inks should be when you remove them. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how big of a problem this could actually be. You see, comic book companies use a 4 color process printer to print their books. Essentially that means that all the colors are printed on 4 different plates. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black(K). Those plates are prone to small errors and shifts. So when that Black plate hits, and it’s just a little bit off target, you will get a little blurry hallo around your inks, because (if you were dumb like me), you didn’t flat your colors all the way behind your inks. (If anybody is interested in pre process, and getting your files ready for print, I can go into much greater detail.)(If you are using a printer like KaBlam who uses inkjet, this is a complete non issue.)
That was mistake #2.
So after taking all this into consideration, I made some decisions. First off, I was able to still use all my original inks to transfer to the new page size, so thank God I didn’t really have to redraw anything.
Unfortunately though, it seemed like there was no getting around the other problem. I had to re-flat, Every. Single. Page.
At this point, I was about ready to curl up on my bed and cry, but then I realized something. I could make it better.
You see originally I was going to make this book in black and white, it was only a last minute decision that I decided to add really simple colors to add to the appeal. I was holding back on what I could really do for the sake of just getting it done.
Truth be told, I’ve gotten pretty fast at coloring. So I decided that if I was going to have to recolor every flippin’ page of my book anyways, I was going to do a better job.
So, while I’ve been writing the remaining chapters of the book, I’ve also been recoloring the old pages. At the time of this blog, I’m half way through the first issue. Below are some samples of what the new colors look like. I’m very happy with the improvement and it’s making what would normally be a painful process quite fun.
I will say this though, I am NOT an advocate of reworking old pages. I don’t believe in going back and redrawing everything constantly to make it look better. This stunts progression and for young cartoonists it is a death trap. The ONLY reason I am doing this is to avoid major printing catastrophes in the future. Otherwise I would have just kept pushing forward. It just so happens that I get to kill two birds with one stone.