I have been a hermit for the past few weeks and I'm just now coming up for air. The reason for the lack of posts here on the blog, not to mention my lack of human interaction out there in the real world, has been that I have been hammering away making a new SEPHILINA book for COMIC CON. And I am pleased to say that I am finally DONE. Not a moment too soon. Whew!
It is a 40 page FULL COLOUR mini-digest sized at 5×7.25 inches, laid out in the LANDSCAPE format. About the size of one of those paperback MANGAS, but turned on its side (and nowhere near as THICK!) 28 of the pages are for a comic story and the balance are a Guest gallery in the back plus sketches of my own. I am pretty proud of this little book. I've seen the proof and it has come out very well; KENESS has done a wonderful job on the printing.
I've wanted to do a full colour comic book for ages but could never make the numbers work; my sales are low and the minimum print order (to get a low cover price) is usually very high. So my conundrum was to either A) go for a high volume/low unit price but be saddled with both a large investment and unsold stock (which I've done many times before) or B) spend less money for less volume but have an alienating cover price. Doing this book at the digest size made the full colour option affordable (both for me and my customers).
Part of the breakthrough for me has been finding a wonderful printer, who is both local and patient in answering my many questions as I formulate a plan for a new book. A few months ago, I began talking to KENESS printing, about pricing for a colour book. Based on those discussions I planned a reformatted, expanded and coloured version of an old 10-page SEPHILINA story (originally done for the BABES in SPACE anthology). Though I had a plan and a great quote, I wasn't sure if I could actually get it all done in time. However, I recently had a HIATUS in my paying work, which gave me some spare time, and a chance to go for it..
My only regret is not making the book a little bigger. I was maxed out in the vertical (for a digest) at 5 inches but I actually could have made the horizontal about an inch wider, and I am not sure now why I did not. If it goes into a reprint I may expand it to 5×8. However, my REAL hope in a reprint would be to do a much bigger, re-formatted PORTRAIT style book. Both pages in any given two-page spread can be stacked two atop one another (ie; to become ONE page) if I ever get enough pages done to justify a big, album style book.
At the beginning of this project, I had roughly half the drawing already done, but even so, the remaining work was quite a bit to do; the half that was already drawn had to be reformatted to the LANDSCAPE format and then coloured, and the OTHER half had to be both drawn and coloured (not to mention written!) and all those fiddly dialog-balloons had to be dealt with… Even with the freedom to work on it full time for a few weeks, I was beginning to feel that I had bitten off more than I could chew, and worried that it would not get done in time for this year's COMIC CON. But, happily, I made it. It is always fun to do Comic Con but it is an EXTRA satisfaction to do the show with a new book in hand.
So if any of you will be at COMIC CON next week please stop by BOOTH #1329 to visit myself and my old booth-mate RHODE MONTIJO. I will have this NEW BOOK, plus some buttons and prints that I have never sold at Comic Con before. Rhode will ALSO have new product; his charming new children's book, THE HALLOWEEN KID. Awesome!!
Oh, and a heads-up; one consequence of my recent grind-stone, not to mention the fact that Rhode and I now both live on separate coasts, is that we haven't been able to wrangle any crazy BOOTH THEME this year. Hopefully the joy in seeing our new product will offset the disappointment in not seeing us dressed as robots this time around? I hope so.
See you there!