Thursday, 10 July 2014

Restoration Update: The Day Arrives As A Surprise, or, Too Much Cerebus

Sean Michael Robinson:

Too. Much. Cerebus.

So, would I call it a good, adult idea to, I dunno, prep almost a hundred and twenty pages of a visually complex graphic novel sourced from literally dozens of disparate sources, all while developing and perfecting your methodology for doing so, all in, jeez, less than a week?

No. I would say that's not a very good idea, certainly not a very adult one.

Well, that's what we did.

Finally back to two working computers, Dr. Mara and I pounded through the rest of the pages last night. We were joined by Mara's husband Bebo and my wife Rachel, who manned our "catch it before it's too late" station well into the night.

This. This is what too much Cerebus looks like.



Bebo's proofreading station, with scattered printings and correction notes.
Missing--elaborate color-coded marker system.

My workstation-- a $2000 computer with a $12 monitor. Notice my loupe, my tablet, and the raft of paper that threatens to overturn the file copies I have out for reference. Hey, Sean, is that some newsprint schmutz on that panel, or some exploding rock? Dunno, better check in the TOTALLY RAD STACK OF DAVE SIM FILE COPIES! O man.

 Mara's work station, complete with her loupe, the missing markers, and half a dozen jump drives. Oh, and a snazzy Exclusive Diamond Distribution Lectern.

Staying up all night, at 34? Makes you a little bit like this guy. No, no, the purple one.



There'll be more to follow when I've, you know, slept and bathed. But here's a last parting image that demonstrates what my major takeaway has been from this experience so far. Want a quality image? Don't spend your time trying to polish what you have. Spend your time looking for a better source.

More on this next week. But in the meanwhile, every Cerebus fan reading this right now, I would love (love love love) it if you would take out your copy of Cerebus #13, pictured above, and examine the printing. If anyone out there has a copy with relatively black blacks, that still has fine detail in the lines, please let me know in the comments. I would love to get a test scan from you, and possibly a scan of the entire book, for possible inclusion into future Cerebus editions.

Until next time!

The second image here was sourced directly from Heritage's auction website.
This was the brilliant idea of George Peter Gatsis, who accumulated dozens of images from their website.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've got a copy of number 13. There are a few pages where the blacks are a bit faded (due to printing?), but most of them look good (at least to my untrained eyes). At least the fine lines look better than in my trade.

/Daniel

Paul Slade said...

The solid blacks in my Cerebus 13 look pretty good to me, and as far as I can tell the fine lines aren't bad either. If you'd like to nominate a page and tell me what dpi you want, I'll gladly send over a test scan.

Sean Michael Robinson said...

Daniel and Paul,

Thanks so much for the quick replies! Perhaps you could both scan the "NOW YOU SHALL TASTE MY-- UNH" page, towards the end, with Necross struck by an arrow. If you could each scan at 1200 ppi grayscale, that would be perfect. Saving as a JPEG at higher compression settings is fine, and could put it at an email-able size.

Please mail me at seanmichaelrobinson at gmail. Excited to see the samples. Thanks so much to you both!

Will have a more systematic way of doing this, very soon....


Sean

Damin J. Toell, Esq. said...

Dave's lettering early on made Ps look like Ds (see the apparent "ten times a thousand douches of gold" in the scan sample, which is amusing). I think there was even a letter in Aardvark Company early on complaining about this.

David Birdsong said...

So with this level of restoration and the final version now in sight will these pages replace the ones on Cerebus Downloads? I ask because at one point in the fantasy future the entire series could be reprinted and look better than it ever did the first time.

Amazing work.

Anonymous said...

David B., you raise a good point. I'd like to see the restored pages replace the less-perfect ones for the downloadable version as well as the printed version -- perhaps with an updated version number so we can tell them apart. I don't think there's any fear that doing so would reduce sales of the print version; they're different beasts. Indeed, someone who downloads a crappier e-version is less likely to pick up a print version.

-- Damian T. Lloyd, azt

Geoffrey D. Wessel said...

" So with this level of restoration and the final version now in sight will these pages replace the ones on Cerebus Downloads? "

" I'd like to see the restored pages replace the less-perfect ones for the downloadable version as well as the printed version -- perhaps with an updated version number so we can tell them apart. "

Wasn't that supposed to be the plan all along? Coulda sworn I'd heard that...

--- Geoffrey D. Wessel

George Peter Gatsis said...

Yep...

all the latest BEST pages as they come into existence and as we move forward... WILL be swapped out and incorporated into the original download linked file.

notices will be sent out to everyone.

and life is good.

George Peter Gatsis

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean,

I've sent you a mail with a sample-page. (Just a notification in case the mail gets redirected to a spamfolder).

/Daniel