Drawing Boards

I'm not sure if I mentioned very well, but when we got the first batch of Calamity comics in, there was a sizing error. Or at least that's what I thought was the problem. Of the initial ten we ordered (basically proofs before we made a big order), there was shifting in about six of them when they stapled and cut. Which is normal- well... normal for a printing company we can afford.

Essentially, the last six of the ten comics we ordered as proofs were printed very off center. The comic's 24 pages, and of those pages, maybe 10 pages or so were very, very off center. To the point of the panels being against the cut on the side of the page. 

I checked the setup file that the printing company sent me, and it seemed correct. So for the first few days I thought the problem was on my end. I couldn't shrink the image on the page, because I can't resize the tones without starting from scratch (something I learned pretty early by resizing a few toned illustrations that were printed). The only thing I could come up with was to enlarge the size of the actual comic and keep the images the same size. So it's basically a magazine sized comic. And hopefully, that's the end of the CCatTwNN saga.

But, I had to continue to ponder the sizing problem. I thought that I'd scaled the pages too big and that was why the shifting looked so dramatic. I mean, the panels were all but cut off in places. After a few days, I'd pieced together that it wasn't my fault, it was more like the printing company over embellishing their printing capabilities. When I actually pulled out real comics to see how much I'd over sized the images, I found out I hadn't. They were normal sized panels. It was just the first time that I'd ever had anything printed that shifting was a real problem, and that shifting a quarter of an inch was not only a possibility, but inevitable. When I compared to other real books, the panels were just as big, but they were perfect center. All of them. I haven't seem a comic since the 70's that was printed off center a quarter of an inch. 

It's just that we had to go with an affordable printer. Basically, any where we could afford would give us the same problem. Hopefully, just making the thing bigger should solve the problem.

One problem that I had was the pre-printed boards I was using. I used a really bad kind on the first half and switched halfway through. Even though both are the same physical size, the dimensions printed on the page are different. The first crappier boards were something like 10% percent larger with different dimensions than the second better boards I used after that. Also, there's a LOT of redundant and unnecessary information on a lot of pre-printed boards you buy. 

After that printing problem, I tried to determine a universal size. I cross referenced comic companies and printing companies and came up with dimensions that should be applicable anywhere. There's about a 0.1 inch width differential in the most common printed size, but that's negligible. 

I spent a few hours determining exactly only what needed to be on a board and trying to nail a universal size that could be printed anywhere without any fuss. 

I made this. 

It has everything that's needed and nothing that isn't. I print these myself now. Onto only paper I approve of. This should be the last I ever need. 

So much thought went into this design that nothing can ever convince me something about this isn't right. 

/sizing problems. It can only ever be the printer's fault now.

Mustache Edition

We got in the first small batch of these, but due to a sizing error, these ones are useless. So I have a stack sitting around that I'll never do anything with. The error was fixed and a new order was put in for another small batch.

Small Fix

Here was a quick fix I did this morning before breakfast. For some reason the other dirty clothes bugged me. Where the bottoms of the torsos don't blend well with the background- that's something else I'd like to fix, but that's just the program. There are just some things it can't do. I'm sure there are ways to get around it's inefficiencies and ways to trick it into doing what you want, but you just have to do it and learn along the way. Especially with a kind of crappy, obscure program that there aren't ten thousand tutorials for, like photoshop. (it's easy to be good at photoshop because anything you could possibly do with it, there are at least five tutorials for doing it, you just have to google for them)

Alright, that was the last time I'm gonna mess with that image. It's dead to me now. I'll be reviewing the script, editing and rewriting. And maybe editing again. Hopefully won't take more than a day or two.

I started cobbling the plot for the story, I don't know, five or six years ago. But it was for a different format at first. For some reason, my thought was for an ongoing story, told a chapter at a time, with 5 page long chapters. You can probably tell by looking at the script that something's kind of wonky. Basically, the first half was thought of like that when I was making it up. I think the first chapter is still 5 pages.

Something else that isn't helping me is that it's evolved over the five or six years. I've added things or taken things out, but basically kept the story the same. I tried to keep the story the same, but the problem is that if I take something out, the setup for what I took out needs to go too, but because it's been in there so long, I forget it's setup for something that doesn't happen, and it's like I just think of it as story that needs to be in there.

I asked a couple people if they'd look at it for me. A few have gotten back to me, and they've been good. Good meaning revealing. Today, and for maybe a few days, I'll be looking at, rewriting, or taking out a few parts in the script that have "WTF is this? Why is this here? This can't possibly be a good idea." by them.


I did this to be sure that everyone would work the way they were designed. And, to try out a larger sized pen. I learned from the last comic that the pen size I was using was too small. Specifically, too small to be reduced and printed. It was fine for detail work to be printed, but not reduced and printed- the lines are too small, or, they're so small that when they're reduced & printed the lines break up altogether.

So, I had to bump up a pen size and I was worried about it. It doesn't sound like much, but I've been using the same pen size for maybe 4 or 5 years.

Also, I was running through/ruining pens way too fast. I guess I have a tendency to press too hard, and it drastically shortens the life of the pens (a few days to about a week was what I was getting out of them).

I think everybody on this turned out okay- this being a dry run and all. And for basically testing out a new pen size.


 I thought this was misleading about the story.
So I did this one. This probably captures the spirit of the book more accurately.

When I layer the tones in photoshop, before I bring the lines, sometimes there will be interesting abstractions in the tones.


Boy, that shirt's gonna be a pain to have to draw. I'm on the fence; photoshoping like that is easier, but it's totally cheating. I'll try it once both ways and see how it goes.