Friday, 18 October 2013

Borderline Press Blog #6 - The Making of Zombre

The last few weeks have been tough on Team Borderline Press.

It's the first time Will Vigar's ever done anything like this and it's been 10 years for me and technology has rather overtaken my memory of it. Some people might question the sanity of this exercise; I mean the world has obviously moved on and left us old dinosaurs (combined age 100) with their Letraset, sticky tape and scissors. Yet, despite the teething troubles and near catastrophes, we do appear to be zeroing in on the 2nd completed Borderline Press book.

I forgot how stressful doing this kind of thing is and while he had many of his own moments, Will had to put up with me in a way that is difficult at best - through the medium of SMS. We gave up Skyping, it was probably for the best and the safety of the laptops.

I just refuse to even discuss this insult to my genius...
Will sent me this and never has a present been so apt as it was when it turned up today. It made me laugh and when you are doing something that you want to be brilliant, then you need moments that remind you to laugh.

To be fair, we've had moments where being a drama queen was probably an allowable reaction, especially when some of our contributors clearly forgot how rulers work. It is amazing that you can give people the exact measurements in millimetres, no less, and things turn up either too wide or not long enough. They did all manage 600dpi though, so it wasn't a numbers thing.

It was funny how it all came together so fast. One minute I was bemoaning about having to do it and it seemed like the next moment we were sending out 'test screen' versions. The reality is it's taken 16 days to this point and on Monday, but probably Tuesday it will get sent to Berforts' for proofing. It's turned itself around in doubt quick time and on the whole I think it's a stonking good package with so much diversity.

Everyone has seen the covers at some point, but how about like this?

That's probably the finished front and back covers (unless someone spots a massive mistake). Funky, huh? The general feedback on Tom Box's covers are that they will stand out on any comic shop rack and people will be drawn to that haunting image. I can't disagree, it's why I wanted them to be the book's front and back covers.

There are some real treats in store for you in Zombre. I have my own personal favourites and there are a couple of stories that just don't do it for me, but do it for others and as I've said all along if this was solely about what I like then I dread to think what I'd be eating in a few months... It is tough to get the right blend with an anthology and I'd like to think we've given it as good as it can get!

What about building the interior? Well, dropping 21 strips into a template isn't that difficult even if Adobe InDesign is just Pagemaker with bells and whistles and a completely arse about face way of doing things. I spend more time looking for things than I do actually working; 'Hmm, where have they hidden master pages?', 'I wonder where the short cut to embolden text is?', 'The re-designer of this application should be castrated with a very blunt spoon'...

The thing is, I started to get the hang of it and once I got the hang of it muscle memory came in and I started remembering stuff and most of the old shortcuts still work, some of them though go somewhere else entirely. That said, Zombre is just about close to being finished and both Will and I still can't quite believe that we've done it and I know that it's going to be at least a month before any of you see it and this could be construed as teasing.

I don't think that's teasing. This is teasing:
Tomas Kucerovsky and Tomáš Prokůpek
This is from an old friend of mine, Tomáš Prokůpek, from the Czech Republic, submitted for the next Borderline Press Anthology, Beasts. Apart from the utter sumptuousness of the art, you might notice something else about it.

It's going to be in colour!

If you could see the rest of this strip and I will tell you more about it next time, you would realise why Beasts has to be in colour. That might not be the only thing different about it, but enough for now.

The Hunger House gets closer. The contracts have been signed and the translation is under way; I hope to get this turned around very quickly; it's a book that many of you will love and, with a bit of luck, it's the kind of thing that might scare the life out of you - I could suggest it would make a perfect gift for a teenager or lover of a good spooky tale!

My main job over the next couple of days is to make some contact with a number of creators; some have offered us work, others have shown an interest in letting us work with them - there isn't anything that isn't of a seriously high quality and I have to shake myself because I just can't believe how some of this stuff has never been seen... Until now.

There's a graphic novel with no words that I described to Martin Shipp as 'Beryl Cook on acid' (Shipp is working with a renowned UK writer and a Hungarian artist on something for us next year); there was something that took my breath away with some peculiar looking creatures in it and ... but, I'd just be teasing you all again.

Friday the 19th might possibly end up being an unexpected day off!

1 comment:

  1. I think the next Friday 19th is in February 2016 . . . why do I fear this?