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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Reverbstorm in print

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A couple of months ago I was starting to wonder whether I’d ever see this book printed, the production process became so tortuously drawn out. But Reverbstorm is finally in print and looking exactly the way I intended with black boards, black endpapers and black ink on the page edges. The latter proved to be a costly extra which explains why it’s an uncommon effect.

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More important than the book design is that the printing of the artwork is excellent, with rich blacks and pin-sharp detail throughout. You’d think that printing black-and-white pages was a fairly straightforward business but the first set of proofs were pretty disastrous, the ink bleeding over the edges of many panels and detail elsewhere being blacked in. A combination of copious cross-hatching, spattered ink and—on later pages—brush shading and monochrome painting proved to be too much when the A3 artwork was reduced to half its size. This was particularly galling since these pages had never been properly printed since they were drawn: the original comics looked glossy enough but were all produced by back-street printers who didn’t bother too much about quality, and even made mistakes. They were a necessary evil at a time when other Savoy books had been refused by printers who objected to the material they contained. The relief at finally seeing the series completed and printed to this standard is considerable.

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However, I’m afraid would-be purchasers still have a slight wait before they can buy a copy. The official publication date will now be early February but copies will be available to buy from the first week in January after distribution details have been finalised. I tried to persuade Savoy to relent on this and let a few copies go out prematurely but that won’t be happening. Sorry to anyone who’s been waiting since April (!) for the book but the decision is out of my hands. I believe it’ll be worth the wait. This is a better book than The Haunter of the Dark, and the best (and last) thing I’ll do in the comics medium. Next up is Axiom, a different world entirely. More about that later.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Reverbstorm update
James Joyce in Reverbstorm
A Reverbstorm jukebox
Reverbstorm: Bauhaus Horror
Reverbstorm: an introduction and preview

 


 

Posted in {black and white}, {books}, {comics}, {design}, {work}.

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7 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

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    This has clearly been a gruelling process, but it sounds as though you’re at last satisfied with the results. I know how disappointing printing can be, how many the failings that can compromise the outcomes, and the sinking feeling that things will never come right.

    But in this case it HAS finally come right, and many congratulations to you on the splendid result. That black edging to the paper rocks!

  2. #2 posted by Gabriel McCann

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    Finally at last. Maybe now they can advertise it as being by the Fantasy Artist of the Year.
    :-)

  3. #3 posted by philiph35

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    Not just since April. Some of us have been waiting for Reverbstorm 8 for how many years has it been? It will be interesting to compare the book with the comics.

  4. #4 posted by John

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    Thanks, Clive. I’m unfortunately used to the way printers can mishandle your work, the best of the Hawkwind covers I did was printed on the front with too little yellow ink giving the whole thing a horrible blueish cast. This gets repeated to this day every time the album is reissued. The surprise with the book was that it was being done by Savoy’s regular printers who never had a problem like this before.

    The black edging has worked better than I expected. It’s a simple effect which gives each volume a very special feel. We’d done this with gold before but I’ve never seen it done with black ink.

    Gabriel: Maybe. Those awards tend to mean most within their specific areas unless they have wider recognition like the Hugo Award.

    philiph35: Issue 7 was published in 2000. Some differences will remain between comics and book. The comics have more supplementary material such as Dave’s text pieces and all the interior photos. The book runs the whole narrative without any breaks. I also reworked some panels I wasn’t happy with. This sounds like George Lucas messing with his films but Reverbstorm was always an improvised work so some of the earlier pages were rather uneven in their presentation. The book not only completes the series but is very much the definitive version.

  5. #5 posted by Red Scharlach

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    Exciting!

  6. #6 posted by evan j peterson

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    Such exciting times for you, John! Very happy for you.

  7. #7 posted by Jeff VanderMeer

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    That looks amazing!

 


 

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