Saturday, May 22, 2010

Post-Grad Update

I graduated!

There I am, with my roommate and fellow Honors student Meg, celebrating after the Honors Convocation.

Since then, I've been at home in PA, job hunting and catching up on bad television.

This morning, I mailed one copy of my book to Scott McCloud, and another to Top Shelf Productions co-founder Brett Warnock. Both should get to their respective locations (Scott's in California, and Brett's in Oregon) a week from now. So we'll see what, if anything, happens with that. Who knows? Maybe a week from now I will be updating with very exciting news!

Until then, I'll be watching bad television.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Present(ation) and the Future

I gave my Capstone presentation today! I don't have any pictures from it to put up, but I can say that it did go very well. I prepared some slides of my process for a few spreads, and used those to talk about the project as a whole, as well as my London experience. I was nervous at first, so I cracked a lot of jokes. Bill came (I was happily surprised-- I thought he'd be grading sophomore work today), as well as Kate, Allie, Chris, Meg and Kelsey, even Meg's parents. (After the presentations, Meg's parents took me and her out to dinner-- delicious!) It was such a supportive group of people. After I got into it, I felt really at ease, especially with such a great group there with me. I got a lot of compliments. Afterwards, the Honors representative who was monitoring my room and had sat through my presentation asked if I was selling the books, and when I said I wasn't (I don't feel right selling them when I got them all for free) she said she would have liked to buy one for her granddaughter. I told her I'd just give her one. I think at this point, it's time for me to share all the positivity I got through completing this project.

Which brings me to the future, or my ideal future for my book. In my most wild pipe dreams (I don't actually smoke a pipe of any kind-- it's just a figure of speech, hehe) I would love to submit this book to Top Shelf Productions to at least get an opinion from those in the comics profession. Top Shelf has published some of my favorite independent comics, including Blankets (and a whole bunch of Craig Thompson's other work) and the work of Jeffrey Brown, who writes autobiographical comics about relationships. I have his first book, Clumsy, and it is really incredibly honest and touching. Though he doesn't draw as gorgeously as Craig Thompson, it doesn't matter because you get attached to the stories and the characters-- it's so easy to see yourself and your own relationships in his work. (I was given Clumsy by my ex-boyfriend, and I found tinges of our relationship in the book.)

Actually, reading Brown's book Clumsy has helped me rethink the extent of my own project. While I find myself drawn to autobiographical comics, I didn't see my own project as anything more than something self-indulgent until recently. Rereading books like Clumsy helped me realize that maybe there is more to my own project than just a stack of books to sit in my living room. So next week, as I'm distributing many of my sixty copies to family and friends (and that Honors advisor's granddaughter), I will also be sending a copy to Top Shelf. If I do and nothing ever comes of it, fine. But if I don't, I'll never know.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


My books are here!!

I have a whole box of them! Check it out!

I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but the print quality on these pages is drool-worthy.

The title page! It's real!

Flipping through...

One of my favorite spreads.

I'm absolutely ecstatic with the way this came out. I've been getting a lot of compliments, and I'm really proud. We'll see where this project goes after this, but even right now I am so happy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Proof I'm Awesome

This morning, the SU Publications Office let me see a proof of my final book so I could approve it for final printing. It's even better than I anticipated! And, I have pictures:

The front cover!

Look how thin this is compared to my dummy or the binders with the original artwork.

The first spread! It's not perfect bound yet, so each of the pages was loose in the binding. You can't really see it in this shot, but the print quality is amazing. I'm so excited to have sixty(!) of these in less than a week.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I'm No Dummy

Big news! I handed in my final document to SU Publications (thank you Clare Merrick!) They required files from me today, but also a dummy so they know what the final book should look like. So I printed out every page individually, cut them out and taped the corresponding pages into spreads (ick), and then proceeded to place them in an order that I liked. This was a fun process in a way, because I got to spread them all out on the studio floor and see them all together:

And then Allie took some pictures of me doing my best impression of Harper's Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch:

And then I decided on the final layout:

After I decided on the layout, I spent forever taping the spreads together in the right order. The result is a hoopty but serviceable dummy for the printer so they have a reference:
I decided I wanted the cover to look like the cover of the sketchbook I've been working in to emphasize the impromptu and personal nature of a lot of these stories. So the cover and back cover is literally just my actual sketchbook, which I wrote on in white-out and then scanned in using my roommate's scanner.

A couple of my favorite spreads in dummy form:

You can see how the pages don't quite line up, thanks to my shoddy hand skills. But I handed it into the Publications office so I will be receiving the final copy in about two weeks, with a color proof sometime next week. I am so very very excited!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Going Digital

Yesterday, I scanned every page and then imported the scanned files into InDesign. Here is a screencap of what just a portion of my project looks like, at about 12% zoom.

This makes me feel pretty awesome.

Tonight, I will be messing around with the layout of the informational pages. I scanned in a bunch of my sketches from my original notebooks as well as the writing I needed for them, and I'm going to play around with that in Photoshop before importing them into InDesign. (I'll post those too, or snippets of those, as I finish them.) This will be the only digital manipulation this project has in it. I'm pretty proud of that.

Bill came into the studio while I was scanning this all, sat down, and said, "I can't believe you did this." I kind of can't believe it either.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

No More Painting!

I'm finished painting!!

My overstuffed portfolios of work for this project. The bottom one is entirely filled (that's 48 pages) and the top one is a quarter filled (12 pages).

Splaying the pages open to see all the pages in the first portfolio (which is balanced on my lap on a couch at studio.)

There's Allie in the background working diligently on a project for our major. I thought I'd be cute and photograph the painting she's in with me.

Now the trick will be finishing everything up in time for getting this to the printer on Tuesday. Wish me luck!