Thoughts on Test Scans (With Pictures)–Creating Manga and Comics on Createspace

I can memorize something better if I tell someone about it. I also see it as a sign that I’m meant to teach if I need to share knowledge in order to have it for myself. It’s a strange step up from writing it down, but since I’m also working with others (when they can) on drawn projects, there are a select few that I absolutely need to report my findings to if we are working on a team project. Even if it’s for fun, I still take it seriously; if saying I self-published before landed me the best jobs with Progenitor, then this is a project I can brag about too.

A few people and I are forming into what’s called a Doujinshi Circle and creating “Doujinshi”. It isn’t always porn and it isn’t always romance(if you’ve heard of it and don’t know this already)–it is the Japanese translation for something that is self-published or published through a private company while a manga is different in length, printing size, and is done so through a mainstream company.

As for doing a Japanese styled comic book in America, the word choice of doujinshi over comic book is mostly for the phrase and style. It’s cheaper and easier to do this style and to print at a smaller size. The contents of the pieces will have a lot more of American touches and styles in comedy or horror too. I can’t advertise projects we’ve hardly started, so there’s not much I can say at this time, but I will when more progress is made (a website is also in production, but we need a lot more content to attract viewers and show what we’re about first haha).

To save money, we are using regular printing paper, pilot gelpens and sharpies. It’s easier on us to do the lineart traditionally and then do all the tones and textures in photoshop/manga studio. With that in mind, we need to make sure we know how to be resourceful and functional.

I did the math and measured the dimensions to equal out to 5.2inX8.5in drawing space for the most accurate resize into an 5inX8in print. As you can see from the bottom left corner, 6mm were still cut off. It was measured with anticipation of losing those 6mm on the length and a little more on the width for the sake of clean cropping and the least distorted resize. A good 2 or so millimeters may be lost in the clean-cropping. Even so, this is not a major loss from the piece–knowing how much will be lost will allow me and the fellow artists to know where to put the contents to make sure nothing is accidentally cut out.
I’ve seen a few manga prints with the font falling off the page. I don’t know if it’s intentional or if it’s a printing error, but I personally find it distracting and it comes across as a poor or lazy print job. Knowing what will be trimmed off allows us to better visualize and respect the bleeding, trim and safe zones.

WP 001 BW

The Black and white feature isn’t perfect, but it’s easy to fix. I didn’t clean out the onyx pixels out of the pitch black ones this time (the black is just barely light or blue or purple enough to become an isolated pixel, hence the onyx versus pitch black sarcasm), mostly because this was supposed to be a quick test for the pens and sharipes to see how well they scan, register between the black&white and color scan settings and how their weight changes when printed in actual size. The quality is acceptable and it’s easy enough to clean up without being too time consuming. Doing this test first also demonstrates whether that detailed cleanup will be necessary or not.

HELPFUL TIP: Print something through a regular printer is extremely accurate to the createspace final product. The color is 99% accurate to the gloss feature, the 1% of it is not having the exact level of shine from ink versus a gross coating. Matte finish will make it about 35% lighter than what will come out of a printer, so be sure to darken the colors accordingly.

From what I saw, not only is the non-photo blue accurate to not showing when scanning black and white, but apparently a lot of my colored pencils are non-photo…

WP 001 Color

The test page itself is completely covered in the different colors, yet when I scanned it in the color setting very few showed and they appeared noisy. I was hoping to use these colors for the cover or color pages, but they didn’t show as well as I had hoped.
These are the cheapo hobby lobby brand, which may or may not explain it. I can’t afford Prismacolor and I also tend to have trouble sharpening pencils of any kind as it is, no matter how careful and gentle I am. This is also an older printer/scanner, which may also explain a little bit of it to.
However, my main concern was the pens and sharpies being scanned in the black and white setting. It’s possible that I would just need to use watercolor pencils instead.
I don’t have the money for my own scanner or to go somewhere to pay for use of a scanner, so I’m checking out what I have available around me.
This also tells me what I may or may not be able to do for submitting art to Progenitor, but I may just pay for a better scan job for a literary magazine entry or two or three.

Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to see.
I may take all my notes from doing this and format it into a guide from createspace. If I do, I’ll post about it. Let me know what questions you may have regarding this particular subject and it may end up in a printed book.


Consigning with Kilgore’s?

I went to speak with them today to see if it was an option. My co-worker said they did consignment for indie authors, so I checked it out.

Luckily, they wouldn’t need much, just a few copies to sell and things of that nature. I would get 60% of the money earned from them selling my indie-published work, which is more than nothing.
(Don’t keep copies of your book around when you don’t damn well plan on selling them–people will try and snag them if they’re free, mostly because they’re free.)

Kilgore’s does it for scifi-fantasy and genres similar, but they were still interested in Waiting on a Bail, which is pretty cool. I can understand why they’d prefer a book a bit bigger/thicker than Waiting on a Bail though, you’d want to make enough financial profit to cover the expenses of running a business.

Anyway, it’s something to look into. They do consignment mostly for comics and graphic novels, which is very awesome for some of my art major friends, but knowing that they do novels is helpful too.

Take every opportunity you can. I don’t think I’d make every penny back from buying what I’d give them for consignment, but getting my stuff out there is progress if paperback books are easier to pass around.
(Yes, ebooks can do that too, but paperbacks and hardcovers advertise themselves at first glance a little better than an ebook on a nook or kindle.)

It’s something worth looking into for your books. Ask around your local used book stores and find out if they consign indie authors. Anything helps.

Books came in!

The shipment came in!

I don’t have anywhere with a nice enough lighting to take decent pictures for it. I also won’t have the time to take them in decent lighting until Tuesday. I’ll try and get it done before then, but Tuesday will be the latest. I want there to be as much sunlight as possible because any other light might not give the best results.

See, this lighting and using a laptop’s webcam don’t give the best results (looks like I may need to doll myself up a little for the pictures too, just in case)…
Photo 58

Just saying, the review is definitely going to be a positive one. there are only one or two complaints as you can see form how dark the gray is on the smaller one, but I’ll go more into depth on those.

I’ll share the review as a post and as a page in the review section when they’re ready. Until then, I’m going to be busy signing and delivering some of them.

My Top 5 Favorite Comments From People Who Hate Reading

A lot of people from high school hated reading. Some carried that hatred for a while after and some never did and never will like it. It’s one thing to not like it yourself, but it’s another to take offense to someone else for enjoying it. Here’s a list of some of the things I’ve heard or have been told personally in regards to reading. They are in order of how often I hear them/how silly I think they are.

1.) “I’m better than that.”

Seriously, how are you better than reading? What does that even mean? And does that mena you think I’m below you for reading or something? Someone please explain this logic to me!

2.) “Reading will taint and poison my talent!”

There is some truth behind the theory that if you read trash you will produce trash. However, a writer must know how to pull useful techniques from what they read to alter how they write: if anything, you understand what not to do.

3.) “Why read the book when you can just watch the movie? It’s easier to [understand] that way.”

Movie adaptations rarely follow the book originals word-for-word and down to every single detail. In some cases, it’s not always possible to do. In other cases, it’s just amazing to think of how they got a huge factor or tiny detail completely wrong. The movie version isn’t the same as the book: end of story.

“4.) Reading is only for losers who don’t know how to socialise.”

Maybe I have better luck han many, but I have made a lot of friends on the connection of sharing favorite books and genres. Sure, reading is more of a solitary activity, but that doesn’t mean bookworms don’t know how to connect to other members of the same species.

Okay, number 5 is actually two, but have a similar theme.

5.) “You’re just a sheep for reading something in the mainstream and that’s why you’ll never get anywhere.” and “You’re just a government’s sheep for following society’s brainwashing to do what you’re told by reading what they’re trying to brainwash you with.”

I’m just not sure where to begin on these… Not everything mainstream is bad and not every book in summer reading is government brainwashing. Then again, when people say things like this, there’s no way of getting through their walls. They’re thicker than two copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

What are some things you’ve heard or have been told personally? What were your thoughts on them or reactions? I just know there are some pretty funny comments non-readers have made towards reading that are too good to be kept to yourself.