Din Krakatau: Work in Progress update 9

18 09 2008

Whoah, what a mad dash to completion this was. I discovered that I can listen to podcasts while drawing, so doing two separate things at the same time I don’t feel the need to drop the coloring, nor do I lose track of the podcast. Well, this resulted in the last few nights. Every night I was coloring FOUR PAGES!

Today I ended up lettering it all…. which means.

Chapter three is FINALLY completed! This should give me enough buffer to work on chapter four, and hopefully finish it before I run out of pages. Don’t want to make another delay.

So what’s the overall state? 96 pages done, 32 pages to do.

And now excuse me, while I go entertain myself to save my sanity from Photoshop induced nightmares.


Formats formats formats

14 09 2008

After the template fiasco (look previous post), I ended up thinking and rethinking the format I want to use for my books in the future. Clicking through options at Lulu and looking at all the possible shapes and sizes, I have decided that 6×9 could be a good choice.

First: no problems with calculating a new Photoshop template. I checked already and it was pretty simple to set up (although I almost messed up that too by shrinking the live area to 4×7 rather than 5×8 as I wanted). No weird numbers like 6.625 or whatever happens in comics.

Second: the page size is not that much smaller than American comics. Sure, I’m loosing a bit in the height department, but the change is not that drastic.

Third: kinda nostalgic. The Live Area I came up with (set up somewhat arbitrary by myself to avoid anything important disappearing in the spine of thicker books) reminds me a bit of the old days when I was working on A5 sized paper.

Fourth: It comes both in soft and hardcover.

I discarded the idea of hardcovers earlier as they make the price rise for about 10$, which considering a color book would be a total overkill. But wait, I want to switch to b&w due to being able to work faster, color doesn’t enter into the  equation, seeing as in this format there’s no color hardcover.

If I understood their site correctly, I can even convert my project into a hardcover then, meaning I could probably use both. I love hardcovers myself and would love to have everything come to me in that format. Well, anything that features any type of art that is, text books can be in softcover, whatever.

So, before I loose track of where I am heading. This option finally won me over. I can have my books in hardcover (for about 10$ more), but I can also offer them in softcover for those who want to pay 9.99$ instead of 19.99$ or 14.99$ instead of 24.99$. I think it’s a good choice, but I’ll see what kind of complications arise as I go on with the future projects.

Din Krakatau: Work in Progress update 8

14 09 2008

Haven’t done one of these in a while… Again.

Well, the previous coloring sessions burned me out a bit and I had to slow down. So, I’m only six pages further than the last time, which is not that bad considering that in this time only three pages went live. Although if I’d manage to keep the tempo, I’d be done with it by now. Oh well.

Overall current state: all 128 pages scripted and thumbnailed, 96 pages pencilled, 80 pages finished (48 to finish), 80 pages uploaded, 67 pages “live”.

As you can see, I am 5/8 done with the storyline and I’m very happy to have done so many pages. After I color and letter 8th more, I’ll have the equivalent of 8 issue miniseries, and the next 8 will get me to the end of chapter 3.

I have discovered one problem though. The template that I used for my pages is wrong. Not much wrong, just a little bit off here and there. After cramming the pages into the Ka-blam template, it appears a lot of word balloons end up in the “yellow” area (meaning outside of what they consider to be the live area) and also there’s a small gap on left/right sides, meaning in case of some misprinting I might get white stripes on the edges. Well, that’s just great.

I moped around for a day or two and decided to go on, as messing around with the templates at this point would be stupid. Just finish it and then worry. The difference is not that bad, I can modify the edges of pages easily.  But I’ve been thinking of doing it as an oversized book. Use the current page area and treat it as the book’s live area, trim off the trim, this way I get a nice, large page. Seeing that Ka-blam allows custom sized books at no extra charge, I can simply do that. Well, not that simply, I need to figure out the new page size and the trim… argh. But, the situation can be salvaged.

This also made me think a bit about further projects, but that’s best left for another blog post.

First page live!

8 09 2008

Today is the day. First page of chapter three has finally hit online. I was getting worried as drunkduck was down yesterday and I wasn’t sure if it’ll be up in time. Luckily, it did go up hours before the new page, so no worries 😀

(link’s in the menu on the right of course)

Busy drawing random shit on paper rather than coloring the next few pages.

Testing another style…

7 09 2008

I got stuck while coloring Din Krakatau. Ten first pages of chapter three have all been done and then suddenly a block came and I couldn’t stand looking at photoshop anymore. Or at lest not at the “polygonal lasso tool” which I use quite a lot during the process. Tried to return to that today (so that I can have more pages done before the first one appears live on Monday), but I just couldn’t force myself to do so. All I did was color all the red on the page and that was it.

So, instead of forcing myself to work on that, I switched and started to do random practice art. Just some loose pieces with no relation to anything.

The three pieces  I came up with come after the jump 😀

Read the rest of this entry »

Options chosen…

5 09 2008

It appears my great POD search is over for now. After asking here and there and reading through several websites, faqs, blog posts and comments, forum posts etc. I have decided that right now (and hopefully in half year when I’ll be assembling Din Krakatau into a book form) there will be two choices to go with.

Ka-blam and Lulu.

Now, why these two? Well how about why not any others?

I’ve looked quite extensively into Blurb as a potential place to produce an artbook for myself, perhaps offer it for sale too. Their wonderful 13×11 landscape hardcover format looks… well, wonderful. I’ve heard their quality is pretty high and that now they ship worldwide and all. Except there’s one catch. No paypal.While getting a card that’s accepted for online shopping is not impossible, I am certainly not going to publish books through them as they currently pay only through checks. Well thank you very much, but if I sell two books in a month and make let’s say 20$ on them, 15$ will be eaten by whatever local bank agrees to accept the foreign check. Fuck that, I’ll wait.

That leaves me with Lulu for all my artbook/hard cover graphic novel options. While they don’t have 13×11, they do have 8.25×10.75 casewrap hardcover which comes out roughly 3-5$ cheaper than the quite similarly sized “Blurb Portrait 8×10 hardcover. I’m also missing out on the 7×7 square format, but Lulu has two similar square formats except in softcover. Well, whatever, got to make some losses.

Meanwhile, I have also crossed ComiXpress off the list of potential comic book publishers. Apparently their expertise shines in single issue format, while their trades come with various issues, often are being shipped late and they’re also very very slow at adding the book to their online store (and that very slow can turn into never) and with filling the orders from that store. While these might be complaints from a loud group of unlucky customers, I don’t want to risk my nerves to make sure whether it is so or not.

That leaves me with much pricier Ka-blam (which is still waaay cheaper for color printing than Lulu). While they don’t offer hardcovers, they do offer custom sizes, so the format stops being a problem there.

Other places I visited over the last few days either had no online store (and basically offered to me only the possibility of ordering some amount of books for sale myself, not wise if I want to operate on a foreign market… foreign for me anyway) or had other limitations. Createspace search for example generated a large amount of “promo press releases” etc. all over the web… and also a couple blogs, mostly filled with quality/payment complaints from customers. Not to mention that I’d have to register with IRS (which supposedly means complicated paperwork for a foreigner, especially me who’s always lost in these things). Other places were for photo prints only, and one of these had so outrageous prices that I could do nothing but laugh at that and close the browser.

Or just the tab.

So, Din Krakatau shall be printed through Ka-blam. Further color projects… we’ll see, depending on their nature. If they’re more traditionally comicbooky, sure. If a bit more experimental or single, very labour intensive volumes that NEED to be in hardcover, then perhaps Lulu?

I know that my b&w volumes shall be collected through Lulu (once I draw any that is, haha). As for artbooks, I guess the 8.25×10.75 hardcover is the only choice here. Switching to the 6×9 format just to save 3$ doesn’t appeal to me, especially since most of my Digital artwork is created in a large enough format for the big hardcover.

Ok, I am starting to ramble randomly, time to switch this off.

Going daily?

3 09 2008

Ok, this is an attempt to return to posting daily. Otherwise, delays will get longer and longer and pretty soon I shall start writing monthly posts. So here’s a bunch of random thoughts.

Things to do for the blog:

– Update links (so far I only did personal and comics related links, need to do more categories).

– Start posting interesting stuff I come up with on the net.

– Try not to turn this into a “dear diary” thing (I know I gravitate sometimes towards that).

Things to do creatively:

– Finish coloring and lettering chapter three of Din Krakatau.

– Pencil, color and letter chapter four.

– Assemble it in a book form through whichever POD publisher.

– Kickstart Pink Noise Inferno project by making a “preview promo” video for a selection of tracks.

– Edit/master/remaster/mix all 400+ tracks that will go onto the box.

– Work on a second comic.

– Improve art skills.

– Start selling things online (after getting Paypal): books, prints, tshirts, mugs, mousepads, whatever.

– Start posting art regularly on the blog (rather than just write about it).

– Expand from comics to artbooks/sketchbooks.

There we go. Oh, and also add “figure out a way of making income before I’m famous/skilled enough to make money on my art” line somewhere in there.