Saturday, August 3, 2013

Catalog: Process + Poll

Round #1: “Floss” versus “Restless Leg Syndrome”

After weeks of wading through the archives and weeding out thousands of cartoons I completely lost any sense of objectivity (and humor for that matter) and turned instead to an ad hoc editorial review committee comprised of Facebook friends. Each of the the three pairs of panels shared similar sentiments and couldn't make the call, so:
Poll: Please take a quick second and pick one panel each between these three pairs… whichever ones get the most “likes” will make the cut into the catalog for the upcoming anniversary show…
The results piled in and the people have spoken:

Restless Leg (2) vs Floss (106)
Layers (35) vs Plugging In (70)
Pluto (47) vs Single Digit (56)

No accounting for taste - and so much "Restless Leg Syndrome," my personal favorite of the year, which virtually nobody got (joke's on me I guess). The comparatively close call between Round #3 was resolved when I wound up adding another middle finger gag to the collection, and two is just one too many. I mean, one must maintain one's standards. If one has any at all. Still, in the end, there's just too damn much material to choose from, and looking back is daunting enough when struggling with the future it is.

Such feedback can be a useful gauge of a panel's popularity - in fact a couple cartoons were added to this particular collection purely based on not just "Likes" but also how it went viral with shares. But experiments aside, this business isn't a democracy, it's a ruthless and benign cartoon dictatorship, so in the end the final cull and final cuts fell upon my judicious opinion. Another example was the bumping of the infamous "Hoary Marmot" panel in lieu of another equally irascible rodent, which opened up the opportunity to include a fish into the mix. Gotta represent...

Round #2: “Layers” versus “Plugging In”

The seemingly endless shuffling, ordering and pacing of panels eventually washes out a handful of Nuggets, then it's basically to hell with it, let it go and call it good 'cause it's good enough and you're never gonna please everybody least of all yourself. Come to think of it this is the exact same mental and emotional process one goes through while creating said cartoons - or any work of art for that matter.

Selected were just ones that had run in the paper, with a quarter of them as-yet unpublished panels. Looking back over the sheer volume of output produced over the many years I could do an entire volume of just editorial cartoons, and another one of R/X-rated material, and another volume of selected freelance works - to say nothing about other comic and cartoon works. Also included a few pages of process samples, interviews w/press (majority of which in the News-Miner + random other sources over the years.

Approximately a few hours to format the book using a template: making PDFs of all the pages was a tedious process: rasterize text, flatten image, check the canvas size (7.5" square), check the image size (300dpi resolution), check the mode (grayscale - excepting covers which were full-color jpgs) and finally save as a PDF, then combine them all into one big, fat digital document. Then spent over three hours on-line uploading the page files (love that dial-up at the cabin), during which I designed the commemorative poster. As alluded to in an earlier post, some last-minute revisions after getting the hard-copy proof led to tweaking another dozen pages and several panels. I think the finished product is a sound publication that ought to deliver some laughs, aside from the solipsist history lesson.

Here's the direct link to the page for "Overflow" - take a peek at the preview!

Round #3: “Pluto” versus “Single Digit”

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