I mentioned in Part 1 there were problems with reproducing biro, well, that's half right. You can reproduce biro if you know what you are doing, and the reproduction in the final book turned out okay, but the journey there was a bumpy one!...
The author left me in charge of overseeing the printing side things, so I organised a meeting with the printer once they'd scanned everything. I was shown one or two of the uncut printed sheets that they'd done... what I saw was appalling.
All I could see was what looked liked mere photocopies of my illustrations. They weren't photocopies, but that's what it looked like. What's more, it was on a cheaper, thinner stock of paper, not the thicker coated paper the author had paid for. Furthermore, we had agreed to see proofs before they went and printed off the entire print run! But they had done the whole lot, and they all looked like crap!
I am fairly timid by nature, more so back then, and I do not like confrontation. What happened next surprised me... I had expressed my disappointment at what I was seeing in front of me I told the lackey at the printers to get his boss. All smiles, his boss (the salesman we dealt with at the beginning) came in and 'explained' to me what they had done, that my artwork was a bit tricky to deal with, that they had to tweak a few things, that it was all rosey in the end, blah blah blah. To which I told them it was all wrong, it was rubbish, and that I'm not happy with it, and they have to do it all again. Before long his smile had turned to a scowl, and I was subjected to a tirade by this dishonest bully. At one point he told me it was all my fault because my work is "unreproducible"! I could see the workers there stopping what they were doing to see what was happening. In between rants you could hear a pin drop.
Ordinarily I would cower when confronted with such a display, and I think he expected this intimidation to work, but with the 6 months worth of painstaking work on my mind I remained calm and assertive, determined not to have the book look like garbage! I dare say I got a small thrill from this encounter, and by the end I left there on a high, because I knew my protests were valid ones, and he didn't have a leg to stand on. I knew he was angry because of the money he'd already wasted getting everything printed, but it was his corner-cutting that cost him way more in the long run. Diddums.
But the saga doesn't end there folks!... I thought these posts were going to cleared up in two parts, but there might be a third... Meanwhile, the following pics are unused and redone, unpublished pictures from the book:
This book was a dismal failure financially (not for me necessarily), but I was thrilled to have something published in book form, and it was nice to have this under my belt when seeking work.
Of the eventual 500 salable copies, there is still a limited number left. If you would like to order one (signed of course), email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange something.