Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cerebus in Hell-- the Torment Never Stops, the Last Wednesday of Every Month!

Order at your Local Comics Shop now! Diamond Order Code: JUN171076

Sean Michael Robinson:

Hello everyone!

Paper to Pixel to Paper Again is off for the week, as I try to scrape a bunch of persistent Cerebus-related tasks off the ol' work plate...

...the biggest and most burdensome of which was accomplished last week! On Friday, I finished the prepress work on the first nine Cerebus In Hell? one-shots, and approved printer proofs of the first four. The last five I'm letting marinate for a few weeks in the hopes I can look at them fresh again and catch any additional errors or other issues before they actually go off to the printer.

And if nine months of lead time isn't enough, cartoonist, art instructor and all-around awesome guy Benjamin Hobbs has been laboring away lettering and digitally compositing Dave's new strips, which Dave continues to produce at an astounding rate. 

So, if sales continue at their present rate, and barring any major disasters, we can look forward to at least a year of more Cerebus in Hell?

But, hey, order those books, kids. Have you talked to your retailer yet?

More Stuff

Most of the other things have been catching up on are a bit mundane to write about here, but there is one thing I just started into that I thought might be interesting to some folks out there. After finishing most of the restoration work on Jaka's Story, I've finally gotten around to making more jokey sequel title cards working on the OCR for the text pages of the book, to be passed on to proofreader Jeff Seiler for editing.

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition, and if you're working from typeset source material, it's usually your best chance at (relatively) painlessly transfering printed text to digital text that can be edited, re-typeset and laid out in a standard layout program. Depending on the book, and the sources of materials and amount of text, we've tried differing approaches in this restoration. For instance, I've let the High Society text mostly stay as it was when it was printed, without retypesetting, as the initial typesetting looked pretty good and there were only a few errors to correct. Going Home was left as-is, as it looked fantastic and needed very minor corrections. But Reads was OCRed and the layout completed from scratch, owing to some of the oddities in the original layout and typsetting. Jaka's Story has similar issues, in that the original text doesn't look particularly good, even when sourced from the original artwork, owing to it being reduced on a photocopier and pasted on to the art board. 

So I'm going through the entire book and scanning the printed edition using Vuescan, my trust scanner software, to make a mult-page PDF, each scan adding another page to the file. I have Vuescan also set to simultaneously be performing OCR on each scan and dumping the result into a text file. When I'm done with the scanning I'll compare Adobe Acrobat's OCR results to the Vuescan results and see which will yield the best results, and then send them both along to Jeff Seiler, along with instructions on how to proceed.

And here's what the Vuescan OCR has made of the above text block:

‘=~r,;~i;;%‘   ND THEN, QITE
f.__*‘;-i’ f‘*_<‘:.\.‘ suddenly (and very
"" U“  *" calm1y),shehaddrawn
"7 _  herself up to her full
 If} “Fl threefooteightandone
  -‘ff quarter inches of
  “ *“ ' height!-lerhands,flny
and delicate like the wings of a small bird,
rose from her sides; and. inrlslng, seemed
to call forth the clamorous throng of her
mind's eye; all silent wlth anticipation;
some few smiling and nodding their
She began to tum in place.
As you can probably tell, it's not too keen on the majuscules. We'll see if the Acrobat OCR does any better!

Questions? Comments? Suggestions for future posts after I'm finally done with PTPTPA? Let me know in the comments!


Jeff Seiler said...

What have I gotten myself into?!?

Masjuscules, dipthongs, and bears! Oh, my!

Well, send them along, Sean, and I'll see what I can do...


Travis Pelkie said...

You're our favorite dipthong, Jeff!