Sunday, July 16, 2006

San Diego Booth #5433

San Diego Comicon





Gone to California!
By the time you read this I'll be sitting in a plane heading west. The mother of all 'comics' conventions is here, following the family tradition (anything done more than once becomes a tradition around here, just in case you haven't noticed), Megan 'The Pagan' and yours truly will be attending the 2006 version of the greatest Geek Festival known to mankind. We'll take this unique opportunity to premiere our new book called: "(Veinte Mujeres Con) PISTOLAS".

"PISTOLAS' is a gorgeous, limited edition (500 copies only) volume, made with love by an independent publisher and printed by a caring and quality obsessed woman. The book features some of the sketches seen on this blog (entirely re-drawn just for the book) and new drawings you haven't seen before.

I'm very proud of this collection of drawings because the production values are out of this world, beautiful, thick and luscious paper throughtout, no filler, no bullshit, no Kinko's special, just pure unadulterated line drawing madness, exploring and celebrating the female form of course, as we should, because let's face it already: women are the only reason why this bitter life is still worth living; just take a good look around you, aren't you disgusted with politicians?, the fucked-up environment, gas prices, the Middle East about to explode, North Korea's version of Don King aiming to nuke you just for fun, idiot Bush and his merry band of retrograde neocon assholes raping and maming Iraq and its people, turning that country into a parking lot, imposing their brand of corporate democracy on the rest of the world, can't even watch one second of decent TV, all you see now is recycled garbage, blind celebrity worship and ill-conceived reality programs which showcase humans at their worst, basking in all their humiliating and shameless 'glory'. However shitty life really is, all of this is forgotten when you stand on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 34th Street in Manhattan (right across the street from Macy's) for 2 hours.


Recently I was asked by a snot-nosed punkass-comic book fanboy: "Women? is that all you draw?" I had to restrain myself and show composure beyond what I'm capable of, I wanted to head-bunt him ala Zidane, just lift him off his feet a few and smash the bastard's head against the bumpy concrete, time and time again, just enough to render him into an unidentifiable and bloody lump of human flesh, instead I just replied " What else is there to draw?, cartoon fuckin' animals", I tell you, the nerve of the kid.

Anyway, as I was saying before I interrupted myself, we'll be at booth # 5433, my name is not in the directory so don't look for it there, the booth is under my pals Kandrix & Laurie, if you're in doubt of where I'll be exhibiting my wares, check the program under KONSEQUENTIAL STUDIOS . There will be prints and books and live drawing and fun, fun, fun!!


"Pistolas": From Idea To Reality
Before I even thought of the book I have had this image dancing in my head for years, finally I fleshed it out last year at the Long Beach Wizard Convention, I am very fond of this particular drawing for reasons unknown to me, I knew I would eventually find a place for it.

Now, as some of you may already know, my "books" are simply collections of selected drawings following a common thread, putting these collections together is not rocket science for sure but it does require a considerable amount of work, mostly planning.

I have drawn hundreds of women with guns but not all of the images can fit in the particular chosen format or co-exist in harmony with other drawings; when designing an artbook you must take into consideration many factors for the book to "read" well and achieve a kind of visual flow or like they say in comics and animation "continuity".

I think the hardest part of putting together a collection of drawings or songs or anything for that matter is...well, the 'putting together' part and I believe it's even more difficult when you're bringing together images that were created separately and for the most part have very little connection with one another, stylistically speaking or otherwise, unless you're compiling a retrospective volume on somebody's work over a period of time, themed 'artbooks' such as 'Pistolas' can benefit from a common style of drawing and sense of unity.

After agonizing over things like which images will make the 'cut', the format, the title, the page count, the materials, printing methods and effects, etc., etc. I then reconciled all of my choices with the economic factors such as cost of printing, retail price, wholesale price (if applicable)



Potential page breakdowns and possible formats & layouts.

I've decided (after much debate with myself and looking realistically at my possibilities -read time/money limitations-) to go ahead and make this a limited edition artbook. The economics of supply-and-demand rule the printing industry, the more books you print, the less expensive they become, so I was well-aware that this would basically cost me an arm and a leg for 500 units, using the best materials and labor possible.

With most of my preliminary work done I was ready to strike a deal with an overseas printer for 10 different titles, but that was before we got hit with family emergencies which threw things for a spin to say the least, in fact I wasn't too sure that I would be able to have another book ready for the San Diego show, but at this point is where I met Nicole Hankel from ABLE PRINTING in Calgary, Canada.

Nicole is an amazing printer, extremely knowledgeable and detail-oriented (as you will see later on) and an even more amazing person, we haven't actually met but I feel as if I've known her all my life, she knew about my struggles with family issues and my extremely short deadline to get this project done in time for the Sand Diego show (a mere week away) she volunteered and came through with flying colors. Many thanks to Nicole, her crew and my boy Kandrix who introduced me to this incredible woman.


The Making of "Pistolas"

The following is a kind of chronological overview of the genesis of this book, I'm planning on doing an expanded article on this subject (including digital coloring of the cover) for an upcoming issue of DRAW! Magazine:

Drawing

San Diego Comicon
The cover art, as well as the drawings that make up this collection were drawn with Col-Erase 20045 (Carmine red) on 70 gsm 'Pearl' Natural Vellum. The original cover art measures 19" x 24"

San Diego Comicon



Building a 'Dummy"

San Diego Comicon


The (pencil) cover art was scanned in and colored in Adobe Photoshop, after several color proofs and much trial and error, test prints were generated (on an Epson StylusPro 4000 printer) to create a 'comp' or 'dummy'. This comprehensive prototype built to the actual specifications of the final product aids a great deal in planning the book to avoid technical pitfalls such as bleed (overprint) areas, placement of graphic elements and such.

San Diego Comicon


The pencil drawing serves as a "peek-a-boo flap" engineered to be placed right over the actual cover.

San Diego Comicon


Measuring and cutting the 'flap' to perfectly match the cover.

San Diego Comicon


Measuring and cutting the cover lining to be wrapped around a 30mm. card board. Both, a hard cover and soft cover versions were designed and mocked-up.

San Diego Comicon


Applying spray mount (glue) to the board to simulate the actual laminating process used by the printer.

San Diego Comicon


Inside pages ( Epson test prints) to complete the 'dummy' book.

San Diego Comicon


The 'dummy" also helped me in determining the order of the inside pages. Here's one of the 2 working prototypes built to spec after the holes were drilled and the spiral coil was inserted.

San Diego Comicon

San Diego Comicon

A view of the working 'flap' and bound prototype with a different color coil. Next stop: The Printer.



The Real Thing by Nicole Hankel

It all starts with a few sheets of paper....


The Skid on the left will be transformed into A Monk's Tale (Kandrix & Laurie's comics), the stock on the right is destined to become a gorgeous art book

Then we add a little bit of ink...

Process Black in Foreground, Process Yellow in the Background. (Missing from photo are Process Magenta and Process Cyan) We buy Ink by the Kilogram. The larger cans weigh 2.5kg, and we can easily go through 2.5kg of ink in a single shift on a newsletter with average coverage - text and photos.
Heavy Ink Coverage, such as the front of your
artbook, will go through it much faster.


(Hey! This is boring... Get to the REAL artwork!!! You know what we came here to see!)

Here's one of the girls hanging out as a negative on the light table.

On the assumption that you are not that familiar with the printing process, I'll give a bit of a short tutorial of the process.

It's summed up in five easy steps
1. Pull out remaining hair waiting for Artist.
2. Output digital files to negative
3. Burn negatives to metal plates
4. Hang the plates on the press, print the artwork, let dry
5. Trim finished printed product, collate, bind, ship.

Ok, seriously... the artwork is output on a device called an Imagesetter. (Think a bloody big printer that prints on raw negatives using a finely calibrated laser). Once the image is imaged on film, the film is developed (We use a film developer that makes the ones that you used to find in the 1hour photo shops look like a miniature. Ours will process film up to 18 inches thick). The negative is seen on a light table - everywhere that light shows through the negative will appear on the final printed image.

The stripper who works with the negatives (whose mind went RIGHT to the gutter now? that's what the job is called...stripping.) will mask them using masking sheets which allow only the portions of the negative that are to be printed to be burned onto the plate. We use a punch register system that allows for exact alignment every time (note the holes in both the negative (above) and the plate (below).



I believe this is the yellow plate. (For the cover there were five plates - one for each of Yellow, Cyan, Magenta, Black and the Spot Varnish).

We burn the negative onto a metal printing plate using UV light. Everywhere that light passes through the negative image is left on the plate (it shows up as a greenish/blue/teal colour). When printing, the ink only sticks to the plate where image shows, and the remaining ink is washed off using a water/chemistry bath (fountain solution).



Here's a shot of the front of the press open - you can see the plate for the spot varnish mountedon the cylinder - in front you can see ink rollers - Heidelberg has quite an involved roller train that allows the pressman a great deal of control over the ink.



After the plate is mounted on the press, ink and fountain solution are added and.... Kazam! the real magic happens here... then we wait patiently for the ink to dry.



What you've all been waiting for... The Cover Story!

San Diego Comicon


Printed and ready to cut. The colourful squares on the far edge of the sheet are a colour bar which allows the the pressman/woman to measure the strength of each of the process colours (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black) to ensure that inks are even across the page, and they are running at an appropriate strength - different sections of the page require more ink, and the pressman needs to ensure that the ink flow is neither too heavy or too light.


More Covers!

San Diego Comicon


Sheets are removed from the press in small "lifts" to allow the ink to dry without offsetting on the back of the next sheet. These sheets are finished and ready to be cut after they finish drying. (Doesn't that varnish look hot!?)



Here some of the girls are hanging out after being cut down, ready for collating.
Our shop have the girls lounging on every flat surface... they seem to like it back there! (They want to know when more of their friends are going to come for a party.)

We've checked with them, and they are all quite comfortable, and are looking forward to their holiday with you in San Diego.


San Diego Comicon


As we cut everything down, we believe in the old adage "cut once, measure twice". Here's the cover with the overlap sheet.


San Diego Comicon
The fun part is always putting it all together! Let's see... I'm gonna need hammer, nails....

San Diego Comicon


Thick paper really stacks up - Covers are cut and ready to be collated. You can really see
the varnish reflecting the light if you look at the circle/number.

San Diego Comicon

San Diego Comicon


The girls are ready to go for a ride... here we're loading the collator.

San Diego Comicon


And another shot of the collator tower. Lots of paper!


Quality Control Process

And of course, we have to ensure that we pass through rigid quality controls, so our Quality Control Supervisor "Tycho" is seen here personally testing out the thickness of that cover stock.

San Diego Comicon


While Tycho heartily approved of the stock, she began to have a few second thoughts on the wisdom of destructive testing. Is that thing loaded?

Hope you enjoyed - and this is what you were looking for.

I think you will be very happy with the finished printed product!

Nicole

Able Printing
#3 700 58th Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta
(403) 271-4101
nicole@ableprint.ca

Note: (Nicole and Alberto will expand on these topics in an upcoming article for Draw! Magazine)


I'll see you in San Diego!
-Alberto

32 comments:

REE said...

wow.

great insight to the process. I can't wait til my book is done.

haven't been here since your absence but, what a suprise. See you in Dego.

Process Junkie said...

Can't wait to meet you 'Ree, thanks for stopping by.

Howard Shum said...

Looks cool! See you soon!

JoePekar said...

Very insightful! great to see the process (and the payoff). Looks like another amazing book man!
one of these days I'll make it out there :)

Have fun!

Mario said...

Awsome work, i can't wait to pick up a copy. I'll see you and my friend Patrick at your booth at the con on Saturday.

ONESICKINDIVIDUAL said...

your new book looks awesome bro! i must have one. see ya at the con.

COMIKXGUY said...

THAT WAS INTERESTING.

A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO I WORKED WITH A FRIEND I MET AT THE JOB I HAD PRIOR AND HE OFFERED ME TO WORK WITH HIM.

HE'S A GRAPHIC ARTIST WHO MAKES CUSTOM BUSSINESS CARDS, BILLBOARDS/SIGNS, AND ADVERTISEMENTS. WE WENT THROUGH SOMETHING SIMILAR. MY JOB WAS LOADING ARTWORK INTO THE PRINTER/LOADER IN THIS CASE A BILLBOARD/SIGN THAT PRINTS LETTERS/ART ON VINYL STICKERS AND PLACING THEM CAREFULLY TO FORM THE IMAGE. SOME WOULD TAKE MINUTES AND OTHERS WOULD TAKE A WEEK OR MORE DEPENDING ON THE SIZE OF LETTERS, THE SMALL ONES ARE A BITCH,THE TEMPERMENT OF JUST TAKING OFF THE STICKER FROM THE BACKING SUCKED, I SCREWED UP PLENTY OF TIMES TOO, HAD A GOOD TIME HOPEFULLY I CAN WORK WITH HIM AGAIN WHEN HE'S READY TO HAVE AN APPRENTICE AGAIN

AND NO I WASN'T "FIRED"

I WAS GOING TO REMIND YOU OF THE MARCH DRAWING, YOU KNOW THE SAME DRAWING ON SCRIBBLETTES THAT'S BEEN THERE SINCE I SAW YOU AT THE LA WIZWORLD AND WANTED U TO BRING IT WITH U TO SDCC SINCE I WILL BE THERE IN 3 DAYS, BUT LIKE YOU SAID YOUR HEADING OVER HERE NOW AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE THIS UNTIL AFTER THE SDCC, OH WELL, IT WILL BE JUST A THRILL TO SEE YOU IN PERSON AGAIN, LOOK FORWARD TO THAT NEW ARTBOOK

YES! IT'S HERE, THE SDCC !


THIS IS TO SHUM:

THANKS FOR THE DRAWING OF ME, AND YES THE GIRLS DIG THE GUN FU

(BTW IF ANYONE OUT THERE IS READING THIS GO TO YOUTUBE.COM AND SEARCH 4 GUN FU, WATCH IT, IT'S COOL AND THE GIRLS WILL LIKE IT TOO)

AND HI TO JOE PEKAR

LOVE YOUR GUYZ STUFF

Robert Ullman said...

Alberto, you are my hero...what else is there to live for, indeed! I can't wait to pick up a copy at Chicago Con!

K McLeod said...

Nicole and Alberto

Thank you for giving us a behind the scenes look at printing, For myself I was really into learning about the process as my goal for the up coming year is to have my own book ready for conventions

Thanks again Kevin

Jesse said...

Wow Alberto, you keep amazing me more every day, dude. Your insight and off the cuff commentary on our fucked-up society is invaluable and refreshing and I love reading your dribble. Your drawings just keep getting more beautiful and lifelike and your draftsmanship is precise and incredible. Keep up the good work, my friend, and hopefully someday we'll cross paths again. Good luck in all your endeavors and have fun at the SDCC. Maybe someday I can join you and the pagan in your very own booth.
I'm glad Soraya's doing much better...she's a great lady to have to put up with your schizophrenic ass! lol
Take care man, and talk to you soon!

Jess

John Beatty said...

WOW...nice job, Alberto...LMK if I can purchase one from you, bro...

Have fun in SD...toast a Corona with Johnny "Star Warz" Higashi and keep me in the loop! ;-)

-John

cdeboda said...

I'm sold. I'll see you at the Con.

The Hen said...

ALBERTO!!! They haven't created a word to desribe how beautiful these books look. I loved seeing your process for making the book, can't wait for the next DRAW! to see more. And your comment to the punk ass kid had my rolling man. I'm sure your have a great time and the Big geek fest.

All the Best,
Henry

Chrissie A said...

That was a treat! Took me back to my days working at a printing company...I could just about smell the ink... :)

You gotta know I want one of those fabulous books--please don't sell them all before I get my chance to grab one!

Have fun at Comiccon, Alberto!

Gnarfdeath said...

looks sweet, I can't wait to get my paws on one in SD. See ya there.

A. Riabovitchev said...

Alberto,Fantastic post!Really is!:O)

Kevin said...

Man I knew that missing San Diego this year I would be missing out on a lot of great items. Looks good Alberto, guess next time I see you will be when you are closer to Vancouver. Have a good time.

william wray said...

I can't come to San Diego, I hope you can save a copy for my African Grey Mooky.

belinha said...

Ena!So much work!Your blog is full with pretty dangerous women and funny landscape photos!Ah!And very good posters.Strong colours, clean.I liked it!I'll be back!:-)

UrbanBarbarian said...

Save me one! see you Friday!

FrogDaddy said...

what really impresses me is the thickness of it...
This aint your run of the mill Junkie Book-
this looks like a fully formed retrospective!
you're like the modern day Cyber-Schiele!
Can't wait to check it out Alberto!
Congratulations!
F-diddy

EKG! said...

Hey Alberto, it was great meeting you at the con today. Your book is very well put together, lots of cool drawings in there. And thanks again for the free print! I will definately hang that up framed and I owe you a beer dude!

kiko said...

WOW, decime como hago para conseguirlo desde acá, Argentina, vendo algo pero lo quiero,te mando un abrazo y sabes que tenés en mí,un fanático de los sanos, por favor que descubrimiento.

Mad Guru said...

Love the graphic style of your work. Makes me think of Egon Schiele, Kyle Baker and something very much your own. The way you play with bones and muscle etc is amazing!

wcr1 said...

Wish I could be there, but I can't. Hope there's some books left.

Tell Comixguy if it's the March 10 Scribblette, I've got it, and it's NFS!

Have fun.

-bill

virginiajoe said...

Eres todo un orgullo :) fantastico ,pero fantastico post.

COMIKXGUY said...

HI AGAIN ALBERTO,

MAN, THIS YEAR'S COMIC-CON WAS EVEN MORE CROWDED THAN LAST YEAR, IT SURE WAS TOUGH TO GET AROUND, IT LITERALLY TOOK ME THREE DAYS TO SEE EVERY BOOTH THERE WHEN IT NORMALLY TAKES TWO DAYS, AND EVEN THEN I STILL FOUND ONES I MISSED, I WAS ALSO SURPRISED ABOUT "PREVIEW NIGHT" IT WAS NO PREVIEW IT WAS LIKE SATURDAY NIGHT AND IT CONTINUED LIKE THAT FOR THE WHOLE WEEK THANX TO THE RADIO/T.V./NEWSPAPER ADVERTISEMENTS EVERYWHERE, I HOPE IT DOESN'T HAPPEN LIKE THIS AGAIN

ITS A REAL BUMMER WHEN IT GETS SO CROWDED THAT WE CANNOT GET TO EVERY PANEL/SIGNING/ WE WANT TO GET TO AND HAVE TO LET MOST OF THEM GO

THANX FOR THE PRINT AND BEING SUCH A GREAT GUY ALBERTO, YOUR DAUGHTER DID AN AWESOME JOB ON PROMOTING YOUR WORK GIVE HER A RAISE,EVERYTHING IS COOL AND DAMN IT I MISSED OUT ON THAT ARTBOOK BUT LIKE YOU SAID ITS AVAILABLE ON HERE

ARE ALL THE PICS FROM THE OTHER EARLIER ARTBOOKS #'S 1-3 AVAILABLE HERE,WERE THEY ON THE FILMLOOP ?

BTW IF ANYONE ELSE IS READING THIS IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE FILMLOOP GET IT, ITS COOL

YOUR FAN/FRIEND,

SCOTT "COMIKXGUY"

P.S. I'M STAYING TOUGH AND TRUSTING #1, ME

P.P.S HI TO wcr1 (DON'T U FEEL SPECIAL, I REFERED TO YOU) NO NEED FOR ALBERTO TO TELL ME,BTW IT'S COMIKXGUY WITH A "KX" BUT IT'S COOL,

I VISIT HERE EVERY WEEK AND LIKE I SAID ABOVE I GOT THE PRINT OF THE SAMURAI CHICK WITH HER BACK TOWARDS US WITH THE BIG EFFIN' SWORD AND TWO ARMS ON HER RIGHT SIDE INSTEAD, ENJOY "MY" DRAWING
JUST KIDDING

SEE COMIC-CON DID CHEER ME UP A BIT

HAPPY,HAPPY,JOY,JOY,HAPPY, HAPPY,JOY :]


for all those who don't say it but think it and say that this guy has a CAPSLOCK problem i just want you all to know that i do this on purpose, i guess i'm just loud :D

AGAIN HI TO SHUM

Ryan Kramer said...

damnit! yours was like the one booth in SD i didn't getta chance to visit. How can i get me one of these bad boys?

one said...

wow...this IS the diary of a process junkie. what a great post. i'm really impressed by the cover design and overlay idea...awesome.

hope you had fun in san diego.

C.Bryant said...

Alberto
Excelente trabajo,he puesto link en perejilpuntocom junto a tus 20 mujeres

Saludos :)

Great work! Congratulations I have put Link next to your 20 women in Perejilpuntocom.

Greetings:)

Process Junkie said...

n the mad rush of the San Diego Comic Con I failed to reply to these fine peeps, sorry for the oversight.
many thanks for all the comments.

Mario: Thanks for stopping by, hopefully I'l see you more often next year.

ONESICKINDIVIDUAL: I didn't get to see you this time around, maybe Chicago next week?

Robert Ullman: I'll see you there!

K McLeod: Maybe Nicole can help you, good luck with the new book and I'll see you in Seattle I guess.

Jesse: Thank you, Mono Salvaje!

Chrissie A: I have one reserved for ya.

COMIKXGUY:No, not all the pictures are available here, or in the filmloop , otherwise what would the point of making these books be? I don't post a lot of the drawings found inside the pages of the sketchbooks, and even when I do, I usually re-draw a lot of stuff.

Nice seeing you at SD.

C.Bryant: Thanks for the link!

One: Your comments mean a lot to me, you are the goddess of everything that's good in this world.

BigGuy: I have one for you as well.

william wray: it was great running into you at Nickelodeon, had i known you were going to be there, I would have brought a copy, I have your address, I'll ship you one.

FrogDaddy: It's thick, but not that thick :)
Thanks for the nice comments, my best to the family.

Ryan Kramer: I'm working on revamping the book ordering page, it should be up soon. Thanks for the support!

thesmokeking said...

wow man, your too serious. it was really inspirational talkin to you in chicago, man. Your just a normal guy...I always thought you'd be some italian pimp prodigy or sumthin. lol anyway man, I'm really excited about this bobby chui collab you got goin on...my bones are shaking. Keep being a beast master man.