Friday, 16 September 2016


Might as well get a "hey, folks! Can you believe what a hassle it is to REMASTER a five hundred page graphic novel with big honking blocks of text" post out of this, I reckon.

On the proofreading for JAKA'S STORY, I think the thing that makes the most sense, now that you have all of your handwritten corrections (and thank you for getting through it, that's a lot of work) is to wait until Sean can send you a printout and then take a yellow highlighter pen and mark where the corrections go.  Doesn't have to be exact, just instead of me having to count down the number of lines in which paragraph to find what you're talking about (kind of thing) I can just flip over the page and look for yellow and look at your next suggestion/correction/series of options.

From the vantage point of Proofreading Posterity, it would be nice for everyone to see -- preserved in the CORRESPONDENCE FILES 2016 -- your reasoning behind some of the multiple suggestions, in particular.  That way everyone can "Monday morning quarterback" it:  MM. I would have gone with Jeff's SECOND choice.  Or, I think Dave should have gone with his original choice on that one.  Since the book will be in the public domain after I'm dead, any publisher can make their own choices, as well.

Lesson learned (I hope) is: next time let's wait until Sean sends you a print-out of the entire book you can use a yellow highlighter pen on, instead of you hand-writing everything first (although I understand that that's the way you prefer proof-reading).  I learned from your corrections on "Chasing Scott" that counting down the lines in search of what you're correcting is what was eating up most of my time.  So, whatever we do, it seems to me the solution has to eliminate that part of the process.  Any suggestions that do that, hey, I'm wide open!  But I think dabs of sequential yellow (good name for a band!) will do the trick.

And now!  The WEEKLY UPDATE and CEREBUS IN HELL?  Week 75 (but who's counting?)

Take it away, ME!  (and Sandeep!)


Sean R said...

Hows about something along the lines of—

1. Either Sandeep or I do OCR (optical character recognition) scans for the book
2. I do the "finished" text layout based on that compiled OCR text, and send printouts of those pages to Jeff for proofreading.
3. Jeff makes his notes, physically, on his printouts and mails the pages to Dave for Dave's eyeballs
4. Dave faxes the pages to me, with Jeff's corrections that he is overriding crossed out or otherwise commented upon
5. I make the corrections myself and we proof the book as normal

The back and forth, locating lines etc on GOING HOME was the majority of the time for me, too. Not a very efficient way to do it. Same with the formatting problems with READS. If it's been scanned, OCRed and I've done the placing/formatting myself, then I know how to deal with it from a technical standpoint. But chasing down all the "ghosts in the machine" on the Reads files was not a fun way to spend an afternoon or two!

Jeff Seiler said...

Hi, Sean! I like your suggestion and think it will work best. Be sure, when you send me the pages, to include the introduction by Dave. There are several corrections to be made therein, as well. I am eagerly awaiting receipt of what you will send me.

Also, as to the comics pages, I need a definitive answer from you and/or Dave as to whether they can be corrected in the remastering. Maybe we could at least correct the outright typos, such as houseguest instead of house guest (several times fom pages 163 to 182) and, of course, changing single quote marks to double quote marks.

So, let me know.

Kit said...

Are you saying houseguest is used and is incorrect, or is absent in those instances?

Jeff Seiler said...

Hi, Kit. My American Heritage dictionary indicates that houseguest is one word, not two. In several instances, Dave wrote house guest--two words. So I corrected each instance. Having said that, though, I will note that I have no idea how many of my word balloon corrections will make it into the remastered editions, as correcting things on the comics pages is much more difficult than simply making corrections in the prose on the text pages. We'll just have to wait and see. But, I figured it was my duty to correct *every* mistake I found, whether in word balloons or in the printed prose.

Sean R said...

Hey Jeff,

It's no problem to make any corrections to word balloons that Dave wants to make. I did so in High Society and C + S I (which you helped with- thanks again!) Unless the text is italic, it's not really much of a time issue to substitute or move around as needed. Just s matter of what's needed, what's an error, and what's just idiosyncratic usage :)

Michael Grabowski said...

Looking forward to a similar post about Rick's Story someday. But shouldn't Jeff be consulting a Canadian Heritage dictionary instead?

Paul Slade said...

It may be worth considering the use of standard proofreader's marks here, Jeff. Lists of these marks are easily found online, and there's no more than about 10 or 12 standard marks for everyone involved to learn. Of those, the handful of core marks - delete, insert, italics, transpose - will be all you need 80% of the time.

I use these all the time when proofing and editing my own prose. Each mark comprises a simple symbol marked on the offending word itself, plus a clarifying one in the margin. If you use a red pen, they jump right out at you when you're inputting the corrections. I think this practice could be adapted for use on a comics page fairly easily.

I'm only familiar with the British standard marks, and I don't know how much the American or Canadian ones vary. Here's a UK guide to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:

Tony Dunlop said...

Hey, that's right - otherwise Jeff will be culturally-inappropriately changing "process" and "about."

Jeff Seiler said...

Actually, Michael, I have considered getting a Canadian dictionary and went looking for one at the bookstore a while back. Incredibly hard to find. Plus, since the majority of the Cerebus readership is American, I figure that Americanizing some things works better. I don't suggest changing some idiosyncratic spellings (i.e., the ou spelling instead of our o spelling, as in colour vs. color, or flavour vs. flavor), but I suggest deleting hyphens (which Dave tended and tends to overuse anyway) after prefixes (i.e., pre, post, etc.). I will be getting into describing my process soon, when I my write up a whole post about it, per Dave's request, with many examples, especially from Jaka's Story.

Travis Pelkie said...

Canadian dictionaries are printed on back bacon with maple syrup for ink. They're incredibly delicious, that's why they're hard to find. Also, you have to order one directly from a Tim Horton's, and have it delivered by a Mountie. Makes it extremely pricey!

al roney said...

Not sure that "proofreading" or edits are all.

Now that I'm smack dab In the middle of Latter Days during my current read through, It's apparent that any "errors" perceived, or otherwise, are miniscule and do not take anything at all away from the original text.

I'm all for the restoration of the art and reprinting it to make it look as close to the original as possible, but changing the text, even to make it "correct"?

Not sure on that one.

No offense Jeff...or Dave.

Jeff Seiler said...

I'll be interested to see what Dave says in response to you, Al, but if you're like me and every typographical error and misplaced or misused punctuation mark jumps off the page, then proofreading (or, copy-editing) for remastered editions seems entirely appropriate. And, not to forget, it was Dave who asked me to do this. I was and am happy to do it, as it (if for no other reasons) feeds my inner obsessive-compulsive demon and keeps me off the streets.

Now that I have done a small bit of proofing on the remastered C&S I, as well as all of Reads, I would be interested in knowing if anyone can tell the differences. Note that I did not proof the comics pages in Reads, but have done so for Jaka's Story. Oh, and the 11 corrections that Dave approved for Going Home. The latter two, of course, still are forthcoming.

Jeff Seiler said...

Clever, Travis! Too clever by half, as Canucks like to say.