Just got done doing the layout and lettering for Alf 3 “The Elf – Sized Comic” started by Steve Garris and Richard Alf in 1975. As I mentioned last week, this edition was done to honor Richard (as well as co-founder Shel Dorf), and will be given away at the Richard Alf panel, (chaired by my brother William) at this years San Diego Comic Con in about 2 weeks. Today I am sharing with you the rest of the “Naked” artwork, as well as some screenshots of the process of actually putting together the comic itself.
First I had to fold a piece of 8 1/2 by 11 into fourths to determine how the mini book should be laid out to print properly.
Next begins the process of combining pictures and text, made harder by the fact that William had to send me several of the pages in pieces that had to be reconstructed in Photoshop before being inserted in illustrator for lettering. Why Illustrator and not InDesign? Since i had to create the word balloons from scratch, I decided just to lay the whole thing out in the vector program.
You can see some of the pieces on the art-board in the pic above. The thought balloon was one I scavenged from X*K*L*B*R. This was done in Photoshop and consists of somewhere between 50 and 75 individual circles! I decided to import it with the art, rather than create a new one from scratch. It was tough trying to decide where to put all the text. The inner cover I reduced in size, rather than obscure the art. In other places I used 2 text boxes stacked on top of each other, one with 75% opacity to let the underlying drawing show through as if it were a pencil sketch, the second one on top with a clear background to give the surrounding stroke it’s full black appearance.
And WaLah! we are done (once we go back and make sure all files are in the correct CMYK, 300 PPI format, it’s off to Dropbox. If you don’t know about Dropbox, it’s a great free service that allows you to transfer files that are too big for standard e-mail programs. (This PDF was a whopping 75 MB!)
Later, I’ll post the completed comic with lettering in it’s entirety. (This will require more screenshots, as the lettering is on a separate layer from the artwork). If you are going to the San Diego Comic Convention this summer, stop by the Alf Panel, pay your respects to Richard and get a free memento of the occasion on us!