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photo 2013-10-24 02:29
working on Charm School Graphique Vol 2 cover art and back
Indesign; interior of Charm School Graphique Vol 1 being laid out

Managing: there's a great interview with Joss Whedon on how to get things done, and it merits repeat reading so I can remember what needs applying to Life. Project-wise, this includes setting up all of the Charm School material for publishing---digital and print, and actually making new Charm School stories. Fancy that. As the old material will make up five graphic albums, I can safely say (or dangerously, however one looks at it), that to bring the storyline to a satisfying end, the albums will go to seven volumes.


With that finally visualised, there's more to also maintain (and start): The Dark Victorian series, for which I've revamped covers planned. The Elle Black Penny Dreads, also getting new covers (ha! I haven't even finished writing book 2 yet, but yes, a new look for that line). And I certainly would like to get Wit's World: Never Was, my YA novel, off the back burner and nearer to reality.


Joss gives some keys to understanding, and so does a book I'm consulting at the moment for further guidance. But really, it's all sweat and tears. And luck.


Joss Whedon link:


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photo 2013-10-20 04:22
The new Charm School Graphique Vol 1 cover (front and back)
part of page 1 from Charm School #1 (first published by SLG Publishing)
WHEN we used to paste in dialogue by hand (must erase the shadows from pasting)
WHEN we used to apply screentone by hand :) cut with an X-acto.

What I'm working on: It took quite a while for me to figure out how to republish my (old) indie comic series, Charm School. First published by Slave Labor Graphics (SLG Publishing) in the form of 'floppy' comics, the first 3 issues were then gathered into a graphic novel.


But when I asked for the property back, I knew I was going to publish all 9 issues, plus the 10th, which I'd yet to finish. But how would I like it to manifest? What kind of Charm School book do I want on a shelf, to take down, hold, slowly page through, and enjoy?


Would my gorgeous book be in the traditional (American) graphic novel size, which is about 7x10? Or should I go for the 'dream' size, the European graphic album (8.5x11)?


I went for the 'dream' size. :)


Two issues per graphic album, plus extra matter, *front* matter (which I love), and I am contemplating tiny cartoons running along a margin (or 'gutter' as it's said in sequential art), with a very nice surprise in the lower right corner. It will become clearer when I get to those ideas and make them real.


I wish POD (print on demand) had the capability to print on the inside front and back, then I could do a really nice inside pattern (like endpapers---though not that, exactly). But offset printing is a dream for another day. 


The digital version of these comics is a different story. One where the boggling question of 'what do digital devises want from me?' needed answer. So I've a great formatter working with me on that. Thing is, just as I was prepping images for digital, HD devises came out. >_< So---yay! Glad I didn't have to dump too much work already done. ;)


More, later. ^v^

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photo 2013-08-18 00:36
Charm School #2 (re-lettering) 2013
Charm School #2 (re-lettering) 2013
Charm School #2 (re-lettering) 2013

SO I'm re-lettering all the balloons in Charm School (well, with the pages I've discovered having *really* jagged digital lettering for some reason), editing my writing for more concise dialogue, and re-touching some bits of art ( a hand I'd always disliked, a bit of eye direction touch-up, some subtle balloon re-direction). I am *not* going to re-draw. I have to tell myself not to do that. The art has a true charm all its own, as drawn by the more younger Me, and that's something that can't be duplicated or preserved once I start re-drawing.


But there is something I've realised as I do the labour I hadn't anticipated: I am a DIY, Indy creator Snob. And I'm not the only one (though that's not much of an excuse). There's a whole generation of comic book artists like me, who were independent, wrote everything, drew everything, coloured everything, lettered everything, maybe went so far as to publish and sell the darn things (I had a publisher for Charm School, but I still did most everything regarding the creation of the book except send final files to Quebecor, the printer in Canada). That also means the publicity hustle, which is the convention circuit, getting tables and booths to tout the books and meet one's growing (and often) loyal readers. When you make the leap to 'just Do It', there's no questioning that this is what you have to do if you want the Stories inside of you to come out and reach people.


Whether one actually makes a living doing this is another sober issue. Frankly, the public attitude towards this much hard work is to devalue it. Yet the new indy writer of today will still leap out of the comfort zone to shoot videos, to learn video editing software, how to obtain music for tracks, hire cover models, create book covers, hire editors, learn how to create e-books, launch Kickstarters, spend lots of money, effort, tears, and labour that may go no where, just because she really believes in her book(s). I may be olde school DIY and nearly comfortable with all that needs doing in this creator-business (though marketing is another issue entirely), but I totally salute all these indy book writers who take the Leap of Faith. You don't know what the heck you are doing or whether it will work, but you are trying. Learning to fly is worth it.

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