Thursday, 1 May 2014

Kickstarter: Cerebus Prints In "Black & White"

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(by email, 1 May 2014)
Dave Sim called me today to wish me a happy birthday.  In the course of our 25 minute conversation (an eternity of a call for him!), we got around to the subject of the upcoming portfolios.

I mentioned to him that I had been at my comic book store today and that I had talked with one of the employees about the portfolios and that I had seen online (on the AMOC Kickstarter FAQs) that they were going to be colourized. The employee said he was surprised by that and I agreed.

Dave corrected me and explained that they were going to be printed in "black and white" from color photos of the original art (ie the "Artist's Edition" format) not that they were going to be colourized.  He explained that his printer, John Funk, had tried photographing the original art pages in black and white and also in color.  Dave said that the color photos showed the original art as true to what the pages look like in reality.

Thus, the white-out is one color in the black and white spectrum, while the tone is another, and the ink is another (or more).  He also said that the prints will show the yellowing of the art board or (I presume) other paper applied to the art board.

He said "let me think of the closest comparison I can" and said (IIRC) "it's like what Chip Kidd did with his portfolios".  I think he said "portfolios" in talking about Kidd (if that was the name he used; I'm not familiar with that name).

I told him that I thought that there was some speculation online that the portfolios would be colourized.  He said that he wondered if he had been unclear on that and then asked me to get online and try to clear that up, based on what he had just told me.

So there it is.  I hope, Tim, that you can use this email to put up a post asap at AMOC so that people will know for sure just what it is they are ordering.


Damin J. Toell, Esq. said...

It doesn't seem particularly confusing to me: color photos of the artwork as it exists. Sure, the original artwork was black and white, but of course the reality is the original art contains all sorts of shades and coloration - white is never truly white, and paste-ups are a different white from the original boards, etc.

M Kitchen said...

It's what IDW has been doing with all of their ARTIST EDITIONS.

It's the "next best thing" to owning an original page of art.

Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...


Great post! You've hit the nail on the head. I scanned them in at the highest resolution setting on my plate scanner (600 dpi) so that the yellowing is captured. We are NOT colourizing them (think of old movies shot in b&w), rather, we're simply trying our best to reproduce the yellowing from fading as best as we can. (Note: accurate scanning of the colour (yes, I do spell in 'Canadian/UK', eh?) yellow is difficult for the scanner to capture for (most likely) technical reasons that I haven't yet fully investigated. But what you will receive is a clear resolution image (which has always passed the inspection of Dave's critical eye)of black artwork with the yellow tinge showing the fading. In the print business, that's called a colour print and that's simply what Dave was referring to, as opposed to a B&W print which uses only black ink or toner.

Hope that helps.

John Funk (aka Funkmaster J)