Second Guessing

It’s not a secret that ‘A Long Forgotten Fairytale’ is probably the most frustrating creative project I’ve ever tackled.  Between starting over twice and sloooooow progress and endless second guessing the artwork, needless to say I’ll be glad when this book is finally complete.  More than once I’ve contemplated chucking it and starting a new book.  But I soldier on.

I am about 130 pages into the book.  I imagine I am about to the halfway point.  But that is just the writing and artwork.  I still have the scanning and Photoshopping and lettering to do which will add more time onto the book itself.  It’s the part I enjoy the least.  I rely on the computer more and more these days so it’s difficult to gauge exactly when the book will be done.  I think I can be done with the artwork by…oh, let’s say the end of summer.  Maybe a little into the fall, but by the end of the year for sure.  At any rate, it’ll be done when it’s done.  I will do what I have to in order to get this book out in May of 2014.

Anyway.  I started to scan in the artwork yesterday so I can fiddle with it.  I scanned in about 100 pages this weekend and I modified about 30 of them in terms of cleaning up the artwork and stuff like that.  When it comes to the computer part of the book, I do things in stages.  I hate the lettering part of the process, so I’ll save that until the very end.  But I thought I would show a little bit about what I do with a typical page.

Here’s the line art for page 17.

17 roughThe first thing I do is adjust the contrast and brightness.  Then convert it from grayscale to bitmap and then back to bitmap again.  This is what I get:

2

Then I redo the panel borders.  The original artwork above has inked panel borders, but I don’t even ink the panel borders anymore when I draw as I redo them with Photoshop.

3To save time when I draw, I just ‘X’ everything that needs to be blacked in.  It saves time, but I do miss the brush.

4Finally I erase the roughed-in lettering and redo it.  I will letter the whole thing over the course of a week or so when the entire book is done, so that step isn’t finished it.  Here’s what the page looks like when I am done with fiddling with it:

17So, yeah.  It looks pretty okay.  The Photoshop part of this whole thing is making me feel better about the book.  I feel calmer and more confident of the project.  So that’s good.

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