I’ve been wanting to go back and clean up some of our pages for a while now. Originally, I was going to ignore them, but once we started looking towards seriously selling BlackGuard as a comic, I decided it would be a worthwhile investment of time. Some pages are going to require more changes than others, but there are a number of things that have been bothering me.
First of all, the lettering needs the most attention. I knew nothing about comic book lettering when we started out. Even now I consider myself to be far from an expert at it, but a few amateur mistakes I made stand out to me. One example would be improper use of the letter “I”. There are times when the crossbar form of the letter appears in the middle of or at the beginning of some words. The crossbar form should only be used for the word “I” and possibly the beginning of a sentence.
Also, I’m thinking of changing our primary font altogether. I’ve always been confused about what the exact rules are for using fonts found around the internet. The majority of the fonts I’ve used come from Blambot Fonts. I’ve been fairly comfortable using them up to this point because the most exposure we had was online, which doesn’t seem to be a problem. Even when we were selling printed issues to friends and at conventions, I didn’t worry much about it. Now that we are trying to distribute on a larger scale, I wonder whether I should look into paying to use fonts or just create a custom one. If we were to go the custom route, I wonder whether we should use Will’s handwriting or mine. My handwriting is neater, but Will’s is more artistic.
Another thing I want to change is the way the early pages were narrated. Starting with “Psycho Therapy”, we found ways of minimizing use of the generic anonymous narrator voice. At some points, it’s unavoidable, but we really over-used it in the first few pages. I even feel like it hurts the flow and pacing of the start of issue 1. I think we could replace some narration with internal monologue from Sequoia.
The last change I want to make addresses a problem that isn’t noticeable unless looking at the pages in printed form. In the past few months alone, I’ve learned more about using photo editing programs to bring the most out of colors in an image. I used to darken the blacks on our pages using a method that created tiny black specs on the pages. They look fine on a computer screen. It just gives the comic more of a gritty look, but in print, the pages look just a little too dark. Sometimes, I find myself looking through issue 1, having to try just a little too hard to distinguish where certain things begin, and others end.
Making all these changes will cause things to move slower, but in the long run, I think it’s worth the effort. Peace.
Read the BlackGuard comic here!