assembling

 

Judenhass was created as a final project in a way that has more similarities to magazine layout than traditional comics production, even though the final pages may belie that. This section uses page 26 from the book as a sample page of how it was constructed. The pages generally increase in complexity as the comic rises to a climax. This page, falling somewhere towards the middle, is probably an average one.

Most of the project was scanned by Sandeep Atwal who sent me a disc of high resolution grayscale documents. Given that Dave's linework was much finer than most comic art, they required me to work them up by isolating different areas and adjusting the contrast values so that the really fine lines wouldn't lose any detail, while keeping the areas of heavy crosshatching from plugging up.

layout thumb
Dave, being an experienced and confident creator, had a clear idea of what he wanted to see in a finished page. He created his own rough layout guides by making paste-ups using scaled photocopies of his art. He would mail or fax them to me and I'd scan these layouts and conform to them as much as possible. My first step would be to get the basic "background" elements in shape. I would scan in Dave's layout and start compositing the elements overtop it. During this process I would sometimes make subtle alterations to the scaling and positioning of the images in each panel in order to get the picture elements to flow as cleanly as possible from one panel to the next. A calculator as well as a ruler were often used tools in order to maintain geometric proportions and an even size "gutter" area throughout the pages.

Once the background layer was done, I would stack any objects on top in a logical order. Any drawings or elements such as caption boxes that would get stacked on top of the background layer would require an additional white "knockout" object behind it to prevent the bottom layer from showing through. Given that some pages had backgrounds consisting of a dozen or more elements, then had overlaying illustrations such as the Voltaire piece in the sample here, as well as several captions and their requisite knockouts and text objects that often had to appear in different layers, many of the pages became fairly complex. Each page had it's own unique challenges. If you look at Dave's layout for this page you'll see he asked for segmented panel borders, so these had to be manually created as separate objects.

layers

After the project was finished each page was flattened into a single object for final output as it was delivered to the printer. This was done in order to keep the file size manageable as well as to reduce the possibility of any errors by the printer.

Due to the 1,100 mile distance between us, the fact that we had to deal with border customs, as well as Dave's unfamiliarity with computers the process was a little slower than one might expect. From my end I couldn't be prouder of the final product, and looking at the finished work I don't think I could find a more satisfying or rewarding expenditure of my time.

final

 

 

Some technical details for those who are interested: Judenhass was assembled on a Macbook Pro using Adobe's Creative Suite. The linework was at 1,200dpi "bitmap" TIFFs. The book's interior was delivered as a PDF (at the printer's request) with no compression to the file other than LZW compression as the TIFFs were saved out of Photoshop.