Greetings from the desk of Studio Rivkah, where I've been busy putting together sample pages for "Jane's S.O.S." (the graphic novel part) and scanning them in with my brand new shiny A3 size Mustek 1200 scanner. It's big, it's pretty, it's awesome. It takes up a whole desk:
It doesn't seem to scan color very well, but it does a great job for black and white artwork, and it's actually more sensitive to variations in tone than my Epson. And considering it was only $175, that's a steal! The software is a little clunky, but nothing I can't work around; just have to make sure to turn off the color correcting option when I scan. I have yet to run into any problems with it, *knock on wood* but not only does it actually scan BETTER (I ran a couple test images) than the Epson I've been using, it also doesn't uninstall its own driver every four out of five times either like I've had with scanners in the past. I wouldn't scan color images with it, but for large format comic pages, it's a match made in heaven.
*hugs scanner with happy dances*
On that note, I've several pages scanned in from both "Steady Beat 3" and "Jane's S.O.S." (the graphic novel) and started clean up and will be moving into toning. It's been almost a year since I did these "Steady Beat" pages and only now am I getting them scanned in? ;_; But money's been scarce and nobody at Tokyopop seemed willing to scan my pages in for me *tries not to say anything else*.
So anyway, my TP gripes have nothing to do with this post. The concern I have is over the freaking LENGTH OF TIME it takes to ink these pages. You see, "Steady Beat" volumes 1 and 2 were digitally inked, and somewhere around the last chapter of book 2, a friend convinced me to try inking a couple of backgrounds by hand, and I loved it. So much so, that I decided to ink all of book 3 by hand.
So, you see, what I've been doing is drawing my outlines (with a blue lead pencil) at 5"x7.5", and penciling over them (with mechanical pencil) like I usually do, then scanning them into the computer (editing out the bluelines), blowing them up to double size, 10"x15", printing the pencils out on 12"x18" bristol board, and inking them like so:
Now, that may be great and all, but this process takes time. OY. LOTS of time. Too much time for a process that should be much quicker.
So, I was throwing together a mock chapter for the graphic novel portion of "Jane's S.O.S." to get ready to pitch to agents (after about fifty people telling me to get one, and after the pain of this whole Tokyopop straight-to-web fiasco), and asked a) Why am I even bothering with pencils when they're almost tight enough now to be inks anyway? and b) Why don't I ink directly over my bluelines (instead of pencils) and do it at 5"x7.5" size?
OHHHH MY GOSH. Instead of taking a week to ink a page, I took a week to ink five pages. So the question is that may help prevent me from cutting off my foot for not trying this earlier, is to ask you guys, is there a difference?
The following are five pages from "Jane's S.O.S." and two pages from "Steady Beat" volume 3. That have been scanned in on the same scanner and edited and cleaned up in the same programs. The only difference between the two is that the "Jane's S.O.S." pages were inked at 5"x7.5" (sans pencils) and the "Steady Beat" pages were inked at 10"x15". The former took a week. The later took forever. I've provided links to each image with a slightly larger version for people with larger monitors.
Jane's S.O.S. volume 1
Steady Beat volume 3
Personally, I can see a difference between the two, but oddly, I like the smaller, faster pages from "Jane's S.O.S." better. There's a certain raw quality that stands out to me. But maybe that's just me after staring at the old ones far too long?
What I would love is an honest opinion from the people who've seen my work before, as to whether you see a true difference between the two sets of pages and if there is a preference in style, and if there's a preference for the larger "Steady Beat" pages, how much greater of a preference is it? If it's only slight, then I'd be willing to sacrifice that slight bit of quality in return for producing my stories faster, but if it's a pretty distinct difference, that I'd like to give it more thought and possibly seek a happy medium drawing and inking my pages at one and half size..
There's also the posibility that "Jane's S.O.S." could be in color as well, with which the thicker inks may actually be more appropriate.
What do you think?