If you know me primarily as “that guy who once saved my village with only his sweet dance moves”, you might not know that I once created a decently well-known comic series by the name of ‘Johnny the Homicidal Maniac’. The comics featured a character that I had created not too long before in my high school years and were damn fine excuse to experiment with figuring out various ways to render blood spraying over the course of several issues.
That was over a hundred years ago, and though extremely rough and haphazard in its execution, the series has stuck around and garnered steady attention since its release all those years ago, proof of the lasting power of the classical themes of stabbing, shrieking, and laughing.
And now I’m looking at the eventual release of these comics on digital formats.
Before that can happen, however, there’s a bit of editing that needs to be done to the original pages before the digital versions can ever see the backlit light of day, and that means lots and lots of scanning.
Normally, the idea of scanning so much old work would make me a little sick, prompting me to hire someone to do all the scanning for me while I laugh at them, but I’ve gotta admit, there’s something fascinating about touching the old originals for the first time in ages. I’ve always been really bad about caring for my originals, those pages that I did on bristol paper before I moved to doing penciling and inking on the computer. Each page is a kind of record of various days and nights of my life while working on those books, and just staring at the pen strokes on the smooth paper or seeing ghosts of pencil work is like running a needle on a record in my brain, replaying moods and even specific moments in my timeline. Pretty neat, really.
The books, despite SLG reprinting them countless times, are riddled with typos, and that’s one of the things I’d like to take care of, as well as maybe cleaning up some of the artwork that didn’t quite make the jump from paper to comic very successfully.
Also, I am going to make Darth Vader say “No. NooOOOOOoooo!” at the end to keep a certain continuity with the prequels.
I thought it’d be fun, or just annoying, to do these occasional posts about some of the stuff that pops into my head while scanning and preparing JTHM for digital distribution, and so the benefits will get passed on to you, the loyal reader.
I haven’t really begun the process in earnest just yet, looking at getting into it later tonight, but I can already tell you one thing about the original pages at least: I take horrible care of my originals, always have.
Things are a little different and a bit more computer-based now, but back when I first started doing comics professionally (ehhehhehh) I’d spend about two days on a page, pencilling one day and inking the next, including the lettering and all. I’d finish up long after everyone was already asleep, and I’d repeat the process until the book was done. I’d then drop the pages off at SLG’s headquarters, wait for a book to magically come out of the process, and I would receive my original pages back.
Those original pages would then be wrapped in paper, the way you see fishes wrapped up at a butcher’s shop, and thrown into a closet.
Often times, they wouldn’t even get that sort of loving treatment and just be strewn about the floor for me to wander around in my usual, naked, absent-minded stupor. I found some pages from ‘I Feel Sick’ a few years back that way, filthy with shoe prints and nudity residue.
If you’re more the type who gains satisfaction from toiling for others and you know of some big, ugly typos or grammatical screw-ups, send an email with these observations to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “FIX JTHM”. Now, I know, based on most of the actual mail I receive at that address, that grammar is the least important thing to a lot of my readers, but it doesn’t hurt to ask, ya know?