Editing Comics In The 21st Century, by Mike Gold

Mike Gold

ComicMix's award-winning and spectacularly shy editor-in-chief Mike Gold also performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com and on iNetRadio, www.iNetRadio.com (search: Hit Oldies) every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check www.getthepointradio.com above for times and on-demand streaming information.

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16 Responses

  1. MARK WHEATLEY says:

    The interesting thing is that I'm still approaching the EZ STREETstory as if there was a limit to the page count. This has not stopped us from expanding the story where we need to do so – but it has kept us "honest". No padding. What I think it is, is a natural sense that the story needs dramatic tension. We can't spin out from that center thrust too far or we risk slowing the pace.On the other hand – Bob and I have script though to the climax. But just this weekend we were tossing around a rewrite of the big moment that will add a few pages. The cool part is – it is so much more dramatic this way because it allowed us to get in an extra character moment while also dotting an "i" and crossing a "t" that we had earlier considered unreachable.Part of the reason we can do that – a big part – is the nature of the internet presentation. But an even bigger part of the reason is that we are working with an editor who understands story, as well as how creative people work, who has the confidence to let the story grow.Of course we are not even touching on the option to make changes before any of this gets into print. That would make this less about the internet and more about the dying days of vaudeville! There – that's my Marx Bros ref.Now I do get the Lord Cumulus ref – but not the Kidder connection. But I assume it has something to do with the stage production?

  2. Mike Gold says:

    For about a year Margot Kidder was married to John Heard, who created the role of Lord Cumulus in the original production of Warp.

  3. Rick Taylor says:

    Does this mean you'll never print the web comics?I understand web comics are not limited to a set format but if you plan on printing the material after the fact there will be some limitations as you lay the stuff out in flats.Not exactly the same but a physical consideration after the fact nonetheless.

    • Glenn Hauman says:

      Oh, we'll print them, worry not. But we don't have the same constraints as doing "compile the six 22-page issues into a book" . If the story ends at 120 pages, we end it at 120 pages. If it ends at 138, we end it there.You know, just like a prose novel.

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      Rick, about all I keep track of is maintaining spreads. I want my pages to fall on the right or left as planned. So if I add a page – there are times when that means I have to add another page somewhere in the sequence to maintain the pagination. Beyond that the sky is the limit.

  4. Rick Taylor says:

    Offset, not print on demand, right?

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      I think POD has just about come of age for black & white books. Because the price per copy is low enough to make it a competitive sale. And as long as you are selling direct to the customer over the internet or in a store that offers extended "stock" then it makes sense. But the moment you add in a distributor then longer print runs are about the only way to go. Actually last year I published my first POD book in full color. SIGHTCADELIC is a collection of my color paintings and illustrations. I limited it to 500 copies and signed and numbered the books. They were selling well at conventions and the print price was low enough to allow me to offer it to distributors. Bud Plant ordered a good number of copies and I solicited through Diamond. And that's when the so-called shipping department of the POD printer fell apart. They could not deliver books in quantity on time or intact! The fun part of all this is that my numbers came in so high through outside sales that I ended up taking the book to one of my usual offset printers and finished the run that way. So in that case, POD was a great way to get started and stimulate the market for a book that ended up as an offset book.I don't know how ComicMix will deal with the options – but we are at a point where the options are many.

      • Rick Taylor says:

        Mark – Thanks for 'getting' why I asked the questions I did.Even thought not having be constrained by the traditional writing/drawing of a printed comic there are concerns such as the spread pages Mark mentioned.The reason I asked about the offset vs. the POD stuff is there can be a case for both if it works and as Mark mentioned, the options are many.

  5. Marilee J. Layman says:

    So, who fixes the typos/writos?

    • MARK WHEATLEY says:

      Mike and Glenn have caught a few typos along the way so far – and I've made the fix. If you or anyone spots something like that you should post and bring it to our attention. The pages all have to go through a different production output for print rather than for web – so all the pages will be eligible for changes – if changes are needed.

      • Rick Taylor says:

        Thanks, Mark.Do you color to print standards and bring them down to web resolution?

        • MARK WHEATLEY says:

          WARNING if you are not fascinated by technical details – then read no more! Rick and I are about to descend into comic production technobabble!Yes – I'm working at 450dpi and the final page files are in CMYK. The lettering is vectored – so the 450dpi works fine for the color art. We would have to go up to 600dpi if the lettering was not vectored.I've been doing web comics since the mid-90s and we have always produced the material to print standards. I figure that even if we eventually get to the point where we are not going to hardcopy on this stuff, the web standards will just keep going up.Anyway – that's my take on it. Glenn knows far more about it all and has more experience with it than I do.

          • Rick Taylor says:

            Thanks Mark – That's generally what I figured you were doing. You're working a little higher res on the art files than I figured but having worked with you before I always figured you as a high-res kinda guy. Art integrity and all. The real interesting thing is the vector-based lettering. I mean, it makes sense given chewy lettering was the first bane of the digital comics coloring environment.Thanks for being so forthcoming about the production end and giving real answers. Most folks aren't as frank.

    • Mike Gold says: