< Piro >
Monday - March 20, 2006
[UPDATE: added Sakuracon Megatokyo Panel time and info at the end of this rant :)]
In brief: For reasons explained below, I am going to have to put Megatokyo on hold for two weeks on account of an unexpected situation which has resulted in me having to do all of the processing of the files for Megatokyo volume 4 myself (about 4 days of work). In the next two weeks I will post four DPD drawings (random, complex and curious ones like the one i posted today) and Dom will grace us with 2 IED (Improvised Explosive Doms). The story will return on April 3rd. Please read on for more information.
As i believe i've explained in the past, the process of taking the Illustrator files for Megatokyo and converting them to print format is no small amount of work. For starters, the aspect ratio of the web version of the comic is different than the trim size for the print versions (the web versions are narrower) and there are a number of steps that are required to get things to that final, 1200 DPI TIFF file. Complicating things further is that starting with Chapter 6 i moved to a new format that makes it easier to convert to print format. While this does reduce the work for Volume 4 somewhat, each file does still need to be processed. All told, this is quite literally 4 days worth of work (i've determined this is based on experience, an average of the actual time it takes to process each file, the number of files to process (179 story comics plus 12 or so OSE and SGD, 13 DPDs and none of this includes any of of the Circuity material).
Anyways, in an effort to try to keep the comic going more or less normally and to make sure i hit my print deadlines, i usually try to get some help for this part of the process. It's a lot of repetitive work, with a lot of spot decisions that need to be made about adjusting clipping areas, moving word bubbles around, editing and checking dialogue, and the worst - extending artwork into the bleed area (unfortunately this is something i often do not allow enough of, and have to extend it as part of the process). A good friend of mine was going to help me do this, someone who's artistic judgement i trusted and knew would do a good job taking the majority of these files and providing me with PSD files that i would need to hit only once and check and tweak before i sent them onto DC/CMX.
Due to situations beyond his control, my friend suddenly is not able to help me with the processing. This left me with a little bit of a "uh oh, what do i do now?" feeling thing on saturday. My deadline for the book content is April 11. My schedule was already dicy - doing 3 MT comics per week, the extra pages and rehash of Circuity (i have 7 pages to draw yet, and these damn things take longer than MT pages), initial prep of all the files and indexing of the book, etc (nevermind the MegaGear store stuff :P) so the reality of having to suddenly squeeze in 5 days worth of work into this already iffy schedule forced me to face the reality that something would have to give.
Since i was already looking at missing 2 comics for Sakuracon, i decided to simply balance things out and take both this week and next to devote my time to getting through this pile of work. If i don't, i fear that it will adversely effect the comic (at a time when i don't want it to - the end of the chapter is fun:) or worse yet - have to break later when we are in the middle of things, miss by deadline (which would delay the book's release) and... you get the idea.
It's not all bad (well, except for the SGD stuff). The one positive thing about me doing the processing myself is that i'm the one making all those tiny little decisions that add up to having an overall effect on the look and the feel of the book. It *is* more satisfying to do it myself, I just wish it didn't take so long.
Today i posted the first of four DPDs that i will post in the next two weeks - it's an odd refraction of some of the ideas that have gone into the rehash of the 'circuity' story, placing Miho in the midst of it... no, she does not appear in the revised version of Circuity, but that doesn't mean there couldn't be a place the broader story for a refraction of her...
I usually miss a comic or two for conventions, and a comic or two when i'm processing files for a book - and so maybe this double whammy shouldn't suprise me. ^^;; the good news is that it's only two weeks, and hopefully by the end of it i'll be in good shape so that the book wont effect the MT schedule any further.
Thank you for your patience and support, and i hope you enjoy the DPDs - i'm going to try to do the nicest ones i can. In fact, i might be auctioning off one or two of them after i get back. :) More on that idea later.
In regards to the MegaGear store ... please note that Orders placed Wednesday the 22nd through Monday the 27th will not start shipping until Tuesday the 28th. We won't BE here to ship anything ^^;; We're happy to take your orders, and Sarah will dive into shipping things out as soon as we get back from Seattle.
For all of you who will be going to Sakuracon in Seattle this weekend, i'll post information about panel appearances and other stuff here as soon as i get it. Please drop by the MegaGear booth in the dealers room and say hi. Looking forward to seeing you folks :)
panel time and info for Sakurcon is as follows:
Room: Level 6 - 611-614 (Aux. Events)
Start Time: 08:30:00 - Saturday 25 March 2006
Duration: 1.5 hours
End Time: 10:00:00 - Saturday 25 March 2006
Flying out in the morning. If you are gonna be at Sakuracon this weekend, i'll see you there :)