Saturday, November 12, 2011

Removing Smudges isn't like Adding Dinosaurs

I started working on some revisions to my book.

When I began my comics long ago, I didn't think very hard about publishing. I just did them. That is what you are supposed to do when you begin a project. I always tell my kids to just do it, don't worry about making mistakes. It's the doing that encourages learning and growing. I'm still learning, but I've also come a long way from where I began.

For one thing, when I first uploaded my comics to my very first blog, it didn't occur to me that I might publish them someday. I didn't think about things like resolution and dpi. And it is a good thing I didn't, or I might not be here today with as many comics as I've done. It's intimidating to consider every technical detail. You learn that as you go along. I found out about resolution when I first published comics in a homeschooling magazine, Secular Homeschooling. When I wrote comics for that publication, I learned how to up the dpi. Of course, I didn't go back to fix the old comics. I liked moving forward. Those comics had been written, and new ones beckoned.

When I submitted my manuscript for review at CreateSpace, I discovered that those older strips were a low resolution. This meant that when published, they might appear blurry or pixelated. I realized that part of my problem may have been copy and pasting as I gradually increased the size of my template to accommodate our PDF program. This all makes me sound very tech savvy. Think of it like trying to stretch pantyhose over a piece of cardboard. The more you try to stretch it, the more sheer the fabric becomes. The publisher could print it, since I am within their guidelines, but that would mean the comics might be hard to read. And since the comics are the whole point of this experiment, I think it would be unfair of me to publish comics that no one can read.

So I'm fixing the problem. And rescanning the earliest strips. And doing my best to stay faithful to the originals, even though my inner George Lucas would like to improve them. Marina kidded that if I were allowed to do what I want, I might start redoing frames and adding dinosaurs. I promised her I won't. But I might remove some smudges that I didn't get the first time. Those are mistakes I would have fixed if I had known how to use my paint program. That doesn't count, does it?


Melissa R said...

Can't wait for the finished product. I voted for you today for multiple categories on the Homeschool Blog Awards:

seekingmyLord said...

I am fascinated. I can image it seems like mundane work to you, but I appreciate it very much. I am also an artist, but comic strips are not my thing, although I have been considering stretching myself and giving them a try since I have been enjoying your blog. Actually, creating comic strips seem to be one of daughter's talents, so the more details you give on the prep work for publishing the better. I think it is wonderful what you are doing!

Inner Elder said...

Wow! I am impressed. You have come a long way and you have learned from your mistakes. Go for it! I don't have the patience for dpi's and I gave up resolutions of all kinds a long time ago! LOve, Mom

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