Sean Michael Robinson:
No, this is not my (ahem) long-awaited process post on "how-to-prepress-lineart." This is my "oh man this is a crazy week" post.
I'm knee-deep in Going Home restoration, working on the layout while waiting for the last batch of scans, and simultaneously debriefing with the printer on Reads to make sure we're all on the same page for the next volume/printing. Squeezing in some time to send George updated files for Cerebusdownloads.com (sorry George!) and layout for Cerebus Volume One so that can go to him as well. It's, well, really busy over here.
While working on Going Home, however, I've been thinking a lot about reproduction, and how the reading experience is affected by the sharper visual. Although this isn't a narrative change per se, I thought the following was a pretty interesting little example. Did you ever notice the caricature of a certain cartoonist and company on page 169 of Going Home?
Working as I am from mostly original artwork for this book, it's also bracing how much visual and textural variety there is in the book as a whole. The variety of locations is part of it, but there seem to be thematic reasons underpinning those choices. The first book is represented by a tug between "designed" repeating patterns and visual motifs versus brief flirtations with wild organic textures. The second half of the book, "Fall and the River," is visually dominated by the sleek modern ship, cleanly rendered by mostly mechanical tones, sailing through and largely above the natural world around it. Meanwhile, the acting of the figures is a whole other level, attitude and thought communicated by the smallest figure or the most extreme close-up on the page.
Here are a few great single panels from early in the book. Pull out your Going Home (pg 87 and 88) for comparison.
More next week!