Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Jaka's Story Restoration Begins...

Sean Michael Robinson:

Greetings friends and Cerebus Restoration patrons,

I've been quiet on the blog front because of amount of things I'm currently trying to juggle, namely, getting the last pieces of Reads in place so we can move forward printing it with Marquis, and using all other spare time to try to finish Cerebus Volume One, while planning the next step forward.

The next step forward? It just so happens that the next book chronologically also happens to be the book with the lowest inventory—Jaka's Story. (It also happens to be one of my three favorite individual Cerebus volumes, along with Church & State II and Going Home.)

For those reasons and a few others, it's the perfect subject for the series I discussed in the last restoration update—a series of how-to articles that detail the step-by-step process we're using to put together one of these books, from selecting a scanner to working with a printer. It'll include evaluations of a bunch of the most commonly available scanners, sample Photoshop scripts for different tasks, possibly even some video and sample files to work with. Although Jaka's Story will not be anywhere near as work-intensive for me given the condition of the materials, it should provide a good overview for people who have to do this kind of production work themselves, and a good repository for the information I've picked up over the past two years.

But hey, it's all promises until the first installment arrives, right? So I'll be on my way now and get on that!

Restoration Update:

Reads: The corrections for the edited text have arrived from Dave, and the completed text will be dropped into the template this morning/today, pending approval of the revisions I've made to the layout of the text pages. Other missing elements—my essay (half complete, accompanied by the before and after images for the back, which are all done), the thank-yous (waiting on JF to supply them).

Church & State II: All now complete save essay and back matter/thank-you's

Cerebus Volume One: Approximately 60 pages left, and then any revisions that will need to be made once I've made 11 x 17 "soft proofs" of the whole shebang.

Jaka's Story: A few hundred pages of scanning already completed. Once all of the original art has arrived, I'll figure out what we're missing and we'll make a list for what negatives we'll need to fill in the gaps, if there are any!

In the meanwhile...


Michael Grabowski said...

Perhaps I've missed it in a comment sometime in the last few weeks, but can someone (probably Jeff) explain what the edits and proofreading for the Reads text is about? Is it typos in the original edition? Is it a new digitally-typeset edition that introduced typos or omissions or affected layout & spacing? Is any text actually changing to suit Dave's modern theistic perspective that he didn't have at the time he first wrote it?

Curious minds want to know.

Sean R said...

Hey Michael!

#1 and #2. Once there were a certain amount of typos identified to correct (or "typos," in most cases), then you might as well make a new version of the text to have the possibility of, say, changing the formatting a bit to take better advantage of the size of the page in the collected volume, and having a generally cleaner look to the typography that digital layout (as opposed to pasteup from printouts or stats) allows you. I don't think there was a single change that affects the Big C Content, maybe a few very very minor changes other than the majority--placement of commas, colons, semicolons, em dashes, double quotes versus single quotes etc.

Jeff Seiler said...

Right, Sean. I did not make changes to any of the themes or content (I wouldn't dare!), but I did move words around in a few places to make the wording more clear. By far, the greatest number of any single type of correction was in changing single quotation marks to double quotation marks, of which Dave whole-heartedly approved.

There was a small number of instances wherein a single pertinent word had been left out of a sentence; thus, inserting the pertinent word was necessary. There was a middling number of outright misspellings, which I corrected. There were also two or three instances when a word was flat-out misused (as in, I do not think that word means what you think it means), so I used my dictionary and my lexicon to provide the word which best replaced the misused word, in context.

A fair number of colons were replaced by me with semi-colons, some semi-colons became commas and vice-versa. One example of a change to a mistake that stood out like a sore thumb: all of the "chapters" begin with italics except one, so I changed that one.

On one or two occasions a certain word had, in the ensuing years, been misappropriated culturally to imply something of a sexual nature; thus, I had to find a substitute word that fit the context. (In a letter, once, Dave told me he had spent a half-hour deciding whether or not to put a period at the end of a sentence in a word balloon--replacing one such misappropriated word took me a similar amount of time.)

To answer Michael, IF there are any changes of a thematic nature, they will have been done by Dave. I will find out when you do.

I am also told by Tim that my essay, "Reading Reads", will be run this coming Saturday in my usual spot. The essay details the hurdles and roadblocks that I ran into in the process of proofreading Reads.

Bill Ritter said...

In regards to the older printings...maybe a "firesale" to clear out that inventory to refresh? From accounting perspective, I'd think the costs are sunk and more than likely itemized (at this point) as "rag". So, if a revenue bump of, let's say, $2.00 per book to Aardvark-Vanaheim per book sale occurs, this is still (1) better than $0 and (2) makes way for the higher quality, reformatted printings (and likely some higher revenue, or at least some promotability).

I understand the above idea tees up the standard pariah, this has been discussed and already determined a non-starter, stores won't support because of the pariahness, arguments. I'd counter that same argument applies to retaining the old printings/formats for the next...however many (dozen or dozens of) years.

So, it might come down to whether the 700-1,000 folks who bought the High Society Anniversary edition (I think that was around where the numbering landed) is sufficient for a print run of Church & State II or Latter Days (and so on)? Obviously an A/V Business decision...but, I own all the prior collections. I'm wanting to upgrade to new prints (heck, I'd buy High Society again (for 5th time) if printed in same manner as C&S I)...I cannot be the only Cerebus freak out there (maybe there's 700ish more...?).

I really hate to think we have years of supply of the old editions in the way of new, really snazzy and highly appealing printings ...what can be done...???

Jeff Seiler said...

I think Bill might be on to something. I would just augment it by saying that any such firesale should be well-publicized and done volume-by-volume, as opposed to all of them at once. In other words, figure out the date for the remastering of the next volume (Jaka's Story[?]), and then do the firesale on those older volumes of Jaka's Story three to six months beforehand. And thusly with all the rest. You want to create interest (well-publicized), but you don't want it to wane. Sustained interest, I think, could be achieved as I outlined above. But, now that I think of it, weren't some of the volumes included in the great giveaway?

Travis Pelkie said...

I had mentioned before that perhaps Dave could take the old versions off of Diamond's hands and add them to the giveaway, to pave the way for the new versions, but I did mention that I wasn't sure how economically feasible it was to do so.

It's a tough choice: wait on the old copies to sell while looking at the sales on the remastered versions, whereas a lot of us are waiting on the remastered versions to come out to buy those copies. Can't start the new versions until the old versions are gone, but can't get rid of the old versions if people are waiting to get the new ones. Dave's got a tough choice there.

I will say, even if for some reason I wasn't getting the newly remastered Reads, this part of Jeff's comment above makes me want to get it and compare/contrast with the original comics:

"On one or two occasions a certain word had, in the ensuing years, been misappropriated culturally to imply something of a sexual nature; thus, I had to find a substitute word that fit the context."

Sean R said...

Short version--it's not economically feasible. Nothing's wrong with the earlier printings either, and they're not being replaced from a business standpoint--same ISBN, same price point, similar page counts, etc etc.

Top Shelf had a fire sale of their smaller Eddie Campbell volumes when they were preparing for the release of their omnibus--but in that case, many of them were already out of print, and they would soon be supplanted by the omnibus volumes. Very different story, economics-wise, than a company whose existence comes down solely to a single 16-volume book series.

Michael Grabowski said...

Thanks, Jeff and Sean, for answering my q about the Reads edits. Looking forward to Jeff's article on that.

As far as a fire sale goes, Diamond probably paid Dave for the books they still have in stock, so he probably can't unilaterally mark them down without somehow eating the difference.

Jeff Seiler said...

Okay, Travis, a special prize goes out to the first, person...who can identify the word that became sexually connotative. Dave (obviously not participating), Sandeep, and Sean are not eligible. Prize will be awarded, if won, and is TBD. Deadline is two weeks after publication of the newly remastered "Reads". NOTE: Dave Sim and Gerhard have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS CONTEST. NOTHING!!!

Kit said...

I think "pegging" still holds any of its older meanings ahead of its neologistic sexual one, including in the erection of tents.

Jeff Seiler said...

Did you mean "neolinguistic", Kit?

But, no, that's not the one. Much more vile.

I had dinner with Ger, here in Minneapolis, two nights ago, and when he wanted to know what the word was, I told him the word. And then, he wanted to know the connotation. I strongly warned him off of knowing.

He took my advice.

And, I waited until Shel went out for a smoke to tell Ger the word. He agreed that we should keep it between us, so to speak.


GO!, you scholar squirrels!