Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Crowd-sourcing Church & State I Revisions!

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings everyone!

Some notable activity in the past week, mainly, getting scans of much of the amazing art collection of the generous Jim Guarnotta, which netted us another 30 (!) interior page scans, and some lovely one-off art as well. More information on that next week, when I'm back in town with access to the files again.. Thanks so much to Jim, and all of our Art Dragnet contributors so far!

So, now that High Society has been released, I've been thinking about the "revision" process we went through with that book, and how we can best tweak it for future volumes.

Dave and Mara and I proof-read High Society in a pretty comprehensive way, for the first time since it left Dave's art board. As I've mentioned before, Dave rarely made any changes to the books after the artwork was shot for monthly publication. I can only recall a few changes so far-- eliminating "cut lines" at the edge of a PMT in some Cerebus interior narration, adding/extending the art in the "BOOM!" double-page spread in Church & State I to maintain the bleed that was present in the monthly book. Re-shuffling the "Goat" pages to fit the format/page order of the first HS collection.

So, as we embark on a similar analysis of the Church & State I material, I thought, what better way to go about the process than asking you, as the patrons of this work-- what changes would you make to Church & State I to make it a more cohesive reading experience? After all, it's a process that served us extremely well when revising the "Goat" pages in High Society. (thanks again, Scott and Tom!)

Things we'd be looking for--

1. any spelling errors or punctuation oddities that might be lurking somewhere (only a handful in High Society by the way) (I'm looking at you, Jeff S!)

2. Any instances of MISSING TONE from Cerebus, or the dreaded "TONED TEETH." (i.e. instances where Dave or Gerhard missed cutting out the teeth from the letratone)

3. Any other visual abnormalities along these lines

4. Any suggestions you, the fans and patrons of this book, might have regarding artwork print size and margins/gutters. We didn't end up making any changes to HS, but it's very doable this time. Any designers in the audience want to take a crack at this puzzle? I'm personally working on the problem of re-instating the full bleeds on the "Mind Game III/IV" that were present in the monthly book, and in a few other issues as well. How best to do that? How much can the artwork be expanded, and in what way, and at what cost, without changing the actual physical makeup of the book?

5. Are there any elements remaining from the monthly publication that distract from the reading experience of the whole? Banners, "...continued"s, footnotes, etc...

6. What would you like to see in the back matter of the book, besides CANO names and art dragnet contributors? Production artwork? Enlargements? Another essay?

This is your time for feedback, and any and all suggestions, so pull out those Church & State I volumes, and let's hear what you have to say! I'll talk to Dave and see if we can scrounge up some prizes for all involved. Please leave a comment with your feedback.


Dean Reeves said...

Hey Sean,
If there is a way to include the dream sequence from the AV 3D, that could be kind of cool (not in 3D of course). I believe Cerebus even references it within the pages of the monthly publication at some point (for that I will have to re-read it) so it would be cool to include it here.

iestyn said...

sorry - this is strictly off topic - what I'd most like to see is a facsimile collection of all of the monthly comics, with the notes from the president, letters pages and everything included. Just on good old newsprint with floppy covers and all, but in a slip case. Although, considering the size of the collection, it would probably have to come with it's own personalised Cerebus long-box.

on topic - A gallery of the covers from the original comics would be good.

commentary from Dave and Gerhard on the contents of the collection would be amazing. Was Gerhard building mock sets at this point? if so - photos of those sets would be cool as well.

I think - as a rule - all 'to be continued' should be removed. Title pages serve as chapter headings - so they should be included.

one last off topic subject - the mind games poster that was shown a short while ago - that should SO be released as a fold out comic that opens out to be the poster.

Will Collier said...

Something to pass along to Dave... is Diamond requiring a minimum per-store order for the new High Society trades? The store I pre-ordered from told me today the copy I'd reserved had been canceled by Diamond for "not enough orders."

No skin off my nose (other than being irritating), I ordered a copy from Atomic Empire, but still pretty lame on Diamond's part.

futurepastimes said...

Will - I don't think you can blame Diamond here. There is no minimum per-store order on HS (or almost anything really.) They will happily fill an order for 1 copy of the book if they have any left.

Michael Grabowski said...

Cerebus Bi-Weekly ran up through the end of C & S Vol. 1. Those were facsmile editions. No slipcase, though.
Original first editions of the rest of the series should be plentiful for the small audience that would want them instead of the trades.

It would be great to get appendices for the older Cerebus volumes. The first book should at least include the introductions written for the Swords volumes. Maybe a choice interviewer could talk with Dave and Gerhard and produce commentary for the intervening works, or compile their comments from past interviews and statements about each work.

Will Collier said...

Yeah, it didn't make any sense to me, either. I don't know why Diamond wouldn't fill that order, but that's what the store owner told me. No reason to think he made it up.

Travis Pelkie said...

Will, Diamond is being a real pain in the ass lately. It's quite possible that if your store tries putting in the order again, they'll get the book.

Or it'll just show up months later for absolutely no fathomable reason.

I've had a number of "back of the book" stuff from Diamond lately do weird stuff according to my shop guy. I wanted the 2nd issue of the Soaring Penguin Meanwhile book (with the new Strangehaven et al), but something about the listing came in late, and because they got the orders late, they weren't able to fill it or some such. Very annoying.

I prefer to patronize my local shop owner, not to have to wander online to order something that is clearly offered for sale in a catalog set up explicitly for that purpose.

baalta said...

My local store (in NL, Mexico) only ordered one copy, it got here on april 20th (numbered 94/850). There is no minimum per store at Diamond.

Sean R said...

Hey Dean--

Great idea. I'll talk to Dave, but I think his general stand on these things is "don't add". But you're right-- the in-text reference to the dream does seem to differentiate it from the other "miscellaneous" stories, putting it more in the "GOAT" and "Silverspoon" category than some of the others.

Michael-- excellent idea re: compiling quotes from previous interviews. I don't know how likely totally new material or commentary would be at this point...
Thanks for all the excellent suggestions everyone. please keep them coming!

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Hi, Sean---I will certainly go over C&SI and look for any "spelling errors or punctuation oddities". One question, though: Did you want that done for the phonebook only, because I don't own a copy of that, or if I do, can't find it.

I can certainly do it by looking through the monthlies issue by issue, though.

Jeff Seiler said...

Okay, Sean, all proofreading of issues 51-76 is done and ready to pass on. Approximately 40 corrections, mostly punctuatio, including about 15 important ones and 5 or 6 crucial, including about 3 words used completely incorrectly (non-words).

Jeff Seiler said...

Punctuation, that is.

Travis Pelkie said...

How much can we trust Seiler's proofreading if he can't spell punctuation properly?! ;)

Kidding, Jeff. Don't take out the "orifi" when we get to Jaka's Story, though!

Jeff Seiler seilerjeff said...

Hey, Travis, good joke.

Actually, proofreading Cerebus is hard because of all the ethnic voices and because missing periods (especially) and missing commas (sometimes) were more of a stylistic choice by Dave than a mistake (or, "mistake").

I remember in some letter he wrote me that he had just spent about half an hour deciding whether to put a period at the end of a word balloon, or not. I think that was in glamourpuss, though.

But I got it all done in one sitting, mainly because after issue 64, I found zero things that needed to be corrected. It was fund doing the re-read, too.

Travis Pelkie said...

"fun" doing the re-read, not "fund"! Man... ;)

Kidding again, Jeff. I know sometimes we hit publish a bit too quickly, and internet comments don't seem as "real" as print stuff.

Actually, I remember being surprised for the later stuff when Diana Schutz was proofreading, and then finding out that Dave wasn't showing her the comics pages, only the back page text pieces. I don't remember seeing much in the way of obvious typos, so I'm rather impressed that on the undoubtedly tight schedule the monthly was on, Dave was able to not make mistakes very often.

Jeff Seiler said...

Yeah, there was a rough patch in the 50s issues, but from 64 to 76 with no obvious mistakes was a good run.