Even though I’ve been making comics for many years, I’m happy to report that I’m always learning new things about the process. This is a good thing, because otherwise I probably would have left the medium a long time ago. Creative growth is only one aspect of that process, the rest is organization and figuring out the most efficient way of putting the pieces together.
This brings up the subject of my blog post: Saga Of A Doomed Universe. Although I’m very happy with how this book turned out, I didn’t do such a great job organizing my digital art files. I’ll be honest; they were a mess. The project extended over an 8-year period. I think I went through 3 different computers during that time, and the work was spread across different folders, computers, dvd’s, external hard drives and offsite backup services. I also never arrived at a definitive way of structuring the various file formats, or even a consistent file naming structure, mostly because it was such a long project. I never established those ground rules at the beginning of it. I didn’t establish them, because I didn’t know for sure what Saga Of A Doomed Universe was, or what it might turn into.
Only now, two years after the book has been published, have I made the plunge into organizing the digital art into a manageable file structure. The only reason I had to do this is because of Comixology. So I’m blaming and thanking them here in one fell swoop.
Although I originally had a digital version of the book on iTunes (no longer, due to Graphicly closing up shop), Comixology now requires the files in an even higher than normal resolution, in order to be compatible with the iPad’s new retina display. When I dug into my archives and realized that I would need to re-assemble the artwork and lettering from their raw files, re-layer them in photoshop and then create a new indesign document containing those higher res files, I knew that it was going to be a large-scale effort. And I hate having to revisit old material—My eyes glaze over if I have to look at anything I’ve drawn that’s over a year old. I was eager to devote my time with a new project instead, and I absolutely hated the prospect of opening this particular Pandora’s Box.
I’m glad I soldiered though it, though, even though it meant a 2-month period of painstaking sifting and editing of the files. During the re-formatting, I was able to fix a few minor things along the way, as well as repackage the print editions. Now, I have a satisfying sense of closure to all of it.
There’s the old saying, ‘Art is never finished, it’s only abandoned’, which means I can consider Saga Of A Doomed Universe officially abandoned. The first issue is now available at Comixology, with issues 2 & 3 following behind shortly. A new edition of the trade paperback is also available here.
And that’s that. Finally, I can get back to work on my next graphic novel. And yes, this time it’s going to be a very orderly and organized process.