My morning was used up making a cover for The Baby Werewolf out of old works of art and art-editing programs. I will soon start the final edit and formatting of the book, and I hope to publish it in December. It is a related story to the one I just published, Recipes for Gingerbread Children. The two books share some of the same characters, events, and even dialogue. The two stories, however, have a very different focus and thematic approach to what happened. It is a gothic novel with humorous overtones. The Baby Werewolf himself is not really a werewolf. He is a boy with hypertrichosis, the werewolf-hair genetic disorder that gave Jo-Jo the Dog-faced Boy his carnival freak all-over fur. The story is a first-person narrative told by three different characters who all were in Recipes. Torrie Brownfield, the Baby Werewolf himself, is one of the three narrators. I can’t wait to see how this two-novel story arc comes together, and if anybody at all will actually read it.
Category Archives: art editing
Poor Aquaman. Breathing water and talking to fish is a lame superpower. He cannot save the world without help. Unless, of course, it is a fish-based evil spawned by an underwater supervillain.
That’s what it feels like to work for an hour on making a scan of my colored pencil tribute to the Aquaman art of Murphy Anderson. You don’t see the problem? My flatbed on my scanner is too small for this work of art. So, I must scan in it in pieces, then puzzle it back together with an art-editing program. Look carefully for the seams. You can’t miss them.
But when it all goes wrong, what do I do about it? Well, I pretend it makes a good post and that I wasn’t planning anything better, post it, and move on. So stop laughing at me for screwing it up. Aquaman can’t do any better. But, wait, this is a humor blog. Go ahead and laugh. I will take what I can get.
My goal, as I learn how to be a better self-published author, is to do all my own artwork. This is one of the advantages I have over working with the other publishers I have published books with. Page Publishing, to be fair, did use my artwork. But they also controlled the cover design (since that was what I was paying for).
Planning to publish two more novels this winter, I am working ahead to create effective covers. So let me show you how I fumbled together a cover today.
Here are the artwork elements that I started with;
I then put the elements together with a photo-editing program.
I then added the finishing touches with the paint program.
I can probably be satisfied with this result. But I am a fickle artsy-fartsy type who will probably fuss it all up well before I actually use it.
I have finally found a way to create clean, bright copies of my pages of the graphic novel Hidden Kingdom. I managed to scan it in portions and then piece it together with a photoshopping program.
Now I will post my re-scanned and puzzled-together masterwork. It will become my regular Saturday feature.
Here now is my first installment;
And so I will continue to work on and add pages of artwork each week.
After four days of working on getting my car fixed, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel. I have not gotten it into the shop yet. I still have to climb over the middle divider from the passenger door because neither door on the left side of my car can be opened. Both are bent and jammed.
But the gaggle of insurance agents squabbling over who pays for it all is beginning to sound like I might not have to shoulder the entire burden myself. There is a consensus that the accident was not my fault. (Probably due to the fact that the police officer making the accident report clearly stated it was the other goofball’s fault in his written report.) So, Geico, the perpetrator’s insurance, has generously agreed to pay 85 percent of the cost of repair and rental car. (85 percent??? Why not a hundred??? Apparently, because I couldn’t testify with 100 percent certainty with my hand on a Bible that I had my lights on at a quarter to noon in the rain, even though I am in the habit of having my lights turned on even if it is just cloudy and would’ve automatically turned them off when I got out of the car to prevent the warning dinger from dinging. That should cost me $300, right?) My insurance agent from Progressive is willing to argue all the way to arbitration that I deserve 100% coverage, especially since Geico is paying for it, and Uber also stands ready to be coerced to pay if need be because I was on my way to pick up a meal delivery at the time of the accident.
So, I am hopeful in a pessimistic sort of way that I am not going to be socked with another bill that is higher than my emergency fund (which I maintain on the orders of my bankruptcy lawyer).
But it is not only good news about car repair that I am finding questionable today. I have also made progress on a stubborn printer/scanner that has been failing to work properly since I bought it new. I discovered I needed to go online to download an HP printer driver, not once, but twice. Apparently, it had been rendered useless because just after I downloaded and made it work the day I bought the thing, HP decided to update that software with critical patches that I did not have. So, the second download allowed me to discover…
…That the scanner bed was still too small to scan the size of art needed to scan my graphic novel and get that usefully re-created through scans on the internet. You can see the cover is too large to scan the whole thing in one go. I am, however, tricksy enough to scan it in parts and paste the whole together with the paint and art editing tools I already have on the computer. I intend to start doing that to get Hidden Kingdom up and running on my Dungeons and Dragons Saturday posts.
Here’s an adjusted scan to increase my ability to copy and paste a whole together from parts…
It should be easy to quilt together the artwork over time and provide a view not grayed out by having to reproduce the black and white pen and ink art in shades of gray, the way I must if I try to do the thing photographically.
And I can definitely say that scanned art is better than photographed art.
I have included a couple more scans to prove the point.
I am the first to admit, I don’t know diddly-sqwoot about effective cover design. But now, with self-publishing as the only option left to me, I am learning things about publishing that I only ever scratched the surface of in my few college forays into publication design and layouts. I had some experience publishing junior high yearbooks, (and losing money on something that most teachers lose money on). And I have gotten a lot of serious criticism from sources that matter to me, like my daughter, the Princess.
With the novel I have been working on with Kindle Publishing on Amazon in view, I came up with this. I like it. But it will not cut the mustard with the Princess. (She uses a knife on mustard, but lately has given up on eating mustard all together). So I had to work the idea out further.
I tried this;
The design is a little better. But Rowan has become so ratty and run down that I hesitate to use the background which is not much like the Rowan of 1974 when the novel was set. So I decided to focus on character instead.
Still needs work, right? You can no longer see the post office sign in the background. Sherry is still a small head growing out of Superchicken’s neck. And Milt Morgan is a good addition, but the purple paisley shirt looks terrible. And besides, this will not fit the whole cover of the Kindle paperback.
It will end up looking something like this;
Or not. Because I am still learning how to do it right, and I still have many more mistakes to make. But as I finish editing and formatting, the time will come soon to see the proof in the pudding. (And you better hope I don’t put uncut mustard in the pudding. That would taste terrible.)