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View Full Version : David, a question regarding pre-press



PhilipClark
03-04-2006, 07:48 AM
Something I'm very curious about. I don't know if you've ever discussed it.

In looking at your current work on Alchemy, one can tell that these aren't just regular comic book pages you'd scan on a flat bed. I'm wondering if you could give us a little insight into how you assemble each page, particularly the ones with mixed media on them (lace, graph paper, sparkplugs, envelopes, etc.) I'm sure a lot of aspiring folks would like to know how a final Kabuki page gets captured digitally and then set up at Marvel for press.

Please touch on lettering as well. Do you type up each caption or letter in post-production?

Also, how DID you make that sparkplug train that's in Kabuki Alchemy #6? I thought that was brilliant.

PC

MACK!
03-04-2006, 06:44 PM
Something I'm very curious about. I don't know if you've ever discussed it.

In looking at your current work on Alchemy, one can tell that these aren't just regular comic book pages you'd scan on a flat bed. I'm wondering if you could give us a little insight into how you assemble each page, particularly the ones with mixed media on them (lace, graph paper, sparkplugs, envelopes, etc.) I'm sure a lot of aspiring folks would like to know how a final Kabuki page gets captured digitally and then set up at Marvel for press.

Please touch on lettering as well. Do you type up each caption or letter in post-production?

Also, how DID you make that sparkplug train that's in Kabuki Alchemy #6? I thought that was brilliant.

PC




Hey Philip!

Truth is, they are all scanned on a page on a flatbed. The majority of the 3D objects are just taped to the actual page that I'm working on.
Coins, buttons, envelopes, clock parts, bug wings, wood pieces, money, etc. Most of this is just put right on the board.

No photo shop at all.
And the whole mess is laid on the scanner and put on disk and sent to the printer. And some nice shadows fall on it from the space of the 3D items on the scanner.

Something 3D that is much bigger, like that spark plug train engine, I put in on a color copier first. Just right on the copy top and copied it.
Then I cut the copy and put that on the page.

I did this with the bug page in #1 too. I just went to Kinkos and arranged all my bugs and bug parts on the color copier and made a copy. And then I put a frame on the copy of bug parts and that was the page.
Then I just put my lettering on it.

I just put all the lettering right on the actual pages.
Hand written or printed out. I just write on it, or tape the words right onto the page.

I really don't have any fixed method. I just make it up as I go. Each page is a unique problem solving challenge.

Hope that helps!

M. Sean McManus
03-04-2006, 07:05 PM
I just went to Kinkos and arranged all my bugs and bug parts on the color copier and made a copy. And then I put a frame on the copy of bug parts and that was the page.
I bet Kinkos just loves you. :roll:

MACK!
03-04-2006, 07:19 PM
I bet Kinkos just loves you. :roll:


I try to do it pretty quickly. And then I wash it off afterwards.
But I do get some strange stares sometimes.
:)

I did bring in a lot of bugs that day.

Jacob Lyon Goddard
03-04-2006, 07:47 PM
I try to do it pretty quickly. And then I wash it off afterwards.
But I do get some strange stares sometimes.
:)

I did bring in a lot of bugs that day.
i can see all the fangirls setting up shop at the starbucks across the street from the Kinko with binoculars and large nets now

dimeshop
03-04-2006, 08:59 PM
Is any of it photos first? For example: how did you do that skeleton of the dragon in the dreams collection?

(thanks for answering this stuff; it's incredibly fascinating)

MACK!
03-04-2006, 09:14 PM
Is any of it photos first? For example: how did you do that skeleton of the dragon in the dreams collection?

(thanks for answering this stuff; it's incredibly fascinating)


Yes. For that I took photos of bones and skeletons. And then fit them together to make the skeleton of the dragon. Gluing the photo pieces to the page in that form. And then painted around it so it looks like the dragon skeleton is hovering in the air.

jccheung
03-04-2006, 09:31 PM
Hi David and friends,

This is a great thread. I've always wondered about this process but never got around to asking about it. :P Thanks!

Darediva
03-05-2006, 01:42 AM
One of the fun things I remember about your NKU gallery show was getting introduced to the Kinko's people. I bet they really have some good stories to tell about stuff you bring in.

PhilipClark
03-05-2006, 06:43 AM
I did this with the bug page in #1 too. I just went to Kinkos and arranged all my bugs and bug parts on the color copier and made a copy. And then I put a frame on the copy of bug parts and that was the page.
Then I just put my lettering on it.
I would have loved to have been there that day.

This is awesome stuff, David. Thanks for the replies.

ElectricMuse
03-05-2006, 08:34 AM
Interesting stuff! Do you find that doing scans or copies affects the colours or quality in any way? It doesn't seem that way when I look at it, but I wonder how it is compared to the original work.

Do you get to see proofs before the final printing, and ever need to ask them to adjust colour or brightness?

Thanks
-Talya

mlpeters
03-05-2006, 02:20 PM
Do you send raw scans -- with no PhotoShop work? I know my painted pages, with my scanner, needs quite a bit of tweaking to get the colors accurate -- especially where the paint is a light, but thick, which sometimes regiters darker. My scans often look very grey. Admittedly, my scanner is a cheap Mustek -- I wouldn't be surprised if a high-end Epson or something needed far less adjusting.

MACK!
03-05-2006, 05:22 PM
Do you send raw scans -- with no PhotoShop work? I know my painted pages, with my scanner, needs quite a bit of tweaking to get the colors accurate -- especially where the paint is a light, but thick, which sometimes regiters darker. My scans often look very grey. Admittedly, my scanner is a cheap Mustek -- I wouldn't be surprised if a high-end Epson or something needed far less adjusting.


There is always a certain change from the original in any kind of reproduction. But generally it is pretty accurate. But it gets adjusted a little bit if it scans too light or something.

And I get proofs first from Marvel. And then again from the printer.
They are both great to work with.

Usually everything is fine on the proofs. Sometimes the cutting cuts in a little too close. That is usually the only thing that needs tweeking from the proofs. I might ask for it to be reduced a couple more percentage points so something is not cut out.

There is always some amount of the page that is cut from the edges frome the original to the printing. I try to consider that when doing it.
And the printing at Marvel has been great.

But it is always very different fromt he originals. Like the difference between a map and the real geography. Or a photo of something and the actual thing.

The originals are very 3D and have a lot of texture and subtle changes in colors, etc.

I sometimes wish every issue came out as a gallery show where people would look at them in full size up close form the original.

dimeshop
03-05-2006, 06:11 PM
I sometimes wish every issue came out as a gallery show where people would look at them in full size up close form the original.

That would be great.

mlpeters
03-05-2006, 07:22 PM
There is always a certain change from the original in any kind of reproduction. But generally it is pretty accurate. But it gets adjusted a little bit if it scans too light or something.

And I get proofs first from Marvel. And then again from the printer.
They are both great to work with.

.
What scanner do you use? Mine's just one of those cheap Musteks, which aren't the best for color, unless you don't mind fiddling with it quite a bit in Photoshop.

Marvel and the printer send you proofs? That's pretty good. With my painted work, I just cross my fingers until it's on the stands.

copypastepuke
03-05-2006, 10:16 PM
i am so glad someone asked this because i have been wondering for a while now and never remembered to ask

DeadMike
03-06-2006, 06:34 AM
I sometimes wish every issue came out as a gallery show where people would look at them in full size up close form the original.

Me too! This is also why seeing your original pages is easily worth the price of admission to any con you're appearing at.

jccheung
03-06-2006, 06:19 PM
Hi David & friends,



But it is always very different fromt he originals. Like the difference between a map and the real geography. Or a photo of something and the actual thing.

The originals are very 3D and have a lot of texture and subtle changes in colors, etc.

I sometimes wish every issue came out as a gallery show where people would look at them in full size up close form the original.

Yes, this is so true. I've purchased some original art from David and one of the pages has pieces of yellow, transparent plastic on it that adds a layering effect that is much more noticeable in person. On the same page, Kabuki was painted in watercolour and you can see so much more detail in person versus the reduced size on the printed page.

Another page that I purchased was partially done with acrylic and the paint was pretty thick and created this wonderful texture.

I always love looking at David's original pages at conventions and I can only wish that I could purchase even more, it's just that the people at the bank always give me these scared looks whenever I ask them to fill my bag. ;)

MACK!
03-07-2006, 12:06 AM
Hi David & friends,



Yes, this is so true. I've purchased some original art from David and one of the pages has pieces of yellow, transparent plastic on it that adds a layering effect that is much more noticeable in person. On the same page, Kabuki was painted in watercolour and you can see so much more detail in person versus the reduced size on the printed page.

Another page that I purchased was partially done with acrylic and the paint was pretty thick and created this wonderful texture.

I always love looking at David's original pages at conventions and I can only wish that I could purchase even more, it's just that the people at the bank always give me these scared looks whenever I ask them to fill my bag. ;)


Well, when you are ready for more original art just let me know:)

I have noticed that I seem to be selling quite a lot more original art these days.
Between conventions, exhibitions, and people e-mailing inquiries. I'm glad there seems to be so much interest in the original pages as works themselves and as artifacts from the story.

Just a reminder to the European readers here, I'm sending 40 originals tomorrow for an exhibition in Belgium. There is a thread about it on this page with more details.

And a reminder to those interested in my art process, that davidmackguide.com just ran a week or so worth of images of the pages of Alchemy #6 in various stages of process from script to layout to paint to collage. With various attempts at differernt solutions on some pages so you can sort of see how I figure it out page by page and try several different attempts.

Here is a link to one of the days:
http://davidmackguide.com/news/2006/02/28.shtml

Check the other dates around that one for the other #6 sneak peaks.

Darediva
03-08-2006, 01:00 PM
The originals are very 3D and have a lot of texture and subtle changes in colors, etc.

I sometimes wish every issue came out as a gallery show where people would look at them in full size up close form the original.

Nothing could be more true than this. The very first time I met David was at the opening of his gallery show at NKU. I drove 8+ hours across 3 states to see the show, and it was an experience of a lifetime to see the work up close and personal. Some of it, I even had to borrow a chair to see up close, (being rather short, and wearing bifocals as I do) because it was hung above my head. :lol: The gallery folks were kind enough to let me do that, and after I got over being that self-conscious about asking, it was something I will never forget. The pages to the Echo story in Daredevil were on the wall, and it had not even hit the stands yet.

If you ever get the opportunity to see David at a con, be certain to look at his original pages. What a treat!

Welt
03-13-2006, 04:04 AM
Oh, how my admiration to David tripled with the fact that he's not using Photoshop at all, but really being able to compose the stuff wholly on the paper!

Not much wrong with Photoshop, but recently I have noticed how I use it much too much, to make things faster or easier, or worrying some image I've done will be spoiled if I do other stuff on top of it. It sort of cripples you with the security of doing and undoing. i'm really gonna try and do stuff on the paper or board as fully as possible - but aven a week ago, when I planned on doing a few illustrations with ink, and just adding a little something with Photoshop, I found myself doing some petty stuff and finishing and editing with Photoshop for two days!

I'm sure that the smaller scale of the mags takes away a lot of detail, I hope that the Alchemy trade would be a bit bigger, but with an affordable price!