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Old 08-05-2009, 03:19 PM   #3
Cary Kelley
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woo boy! i love this thread already!

you say you'd think they would know...but i've yet to have one single artist or colorist send me files sized correctly. ONE inker actually gets it right every time and with a smile on his face, beyond that...nada.

my horror story is funny, and pretty sad. i was lettering a book for some other small pressers, doing it pretty much for free. i think i got $50 a book for 24 pages, so that's like $2 a page. not completely free but close enough, and for the hassle...i did it for free trust me.

anyway, i'm getting pages and i'm having to re-size them of course, because the artist hadn't a clue about output file sizes or anything. he just "scanned it real big" and sent it off. he also had no concept of safe, trim, or bleed, and typically would work in, around, and beyond all those lines on the SAME PAGE making it a nightmare to re-size and keep everything correct. one panel in one corner is to the trim, another one right under that goes out to the bleed, etc and it just made my life hell when it came time to re-size letter and export.

but i did it. in the spirit of helping out some good people, i did it.

but then i start getting emails saying "Hey you're screwing up the pages. You cut off part of the panel!" i replied that yes, i did cut off a portion of the panel that had no meaningful art in it because there was no other way to bring it into my template and have it work right! (I also took the time to redraw the panel border in so you couldn't tell it was cut off, and it looked very natural. he also overlooked the fact that i fixed all the screwed up gutters they'd typically send me as well, making them all uniform and far more professional in appearance.)

they come back and say "Well the guy that's publishing the book says they don't want you using the template, just letter it exactly as we send it to you."

*sigh* so i replied that if they wanted the files the correct size, ie height and width, i needed to re-size it to the template for export. plus it makes my job a lot faster and all the pages come out the same size and are print ready. i also explained that if i lettered it at the size they sent it, they'd never re-size it down to print size and still have the letters look even remotely right.

then they got nasty. i got this scathing letter back saying so and so publisher has been doing comics for ages and they aren't some fly by night organization! they know what they're talking about just do it! now keep in mind that to this point i've been nothing but cordial, and i've done my very best to educate them as tot he process so they can at least understand where i'm coming from. couple that with the fact that this "publisher" hadn't so much as put out a single book. ever. so yeah, when i got the nasty letter it took me about an hour to come down out of orbit.

so i lettered the two remaining pages, my way, and resigned. i'm not about to get into an email flame war over something i'm not even really getting paid enough to warrant the hassle. i told them thanks, but i'm done, find another whipping boy.

about two months later i get an email out of the blue, and it's the writer creator of the book in question. he sent a very sincere apology, saying that the next letterer had the same issues i did, and only then did they realize i wasn't full of shit. in fact, the artist had to start paying attention to what he was drawing, and holy smokes the new letterer was using a template just like mine because in fact those pesky outsized pages don't reproduce worth a damn in print and they're an absolute pain in the ass to re-size after the fact.

so yeah, it ended up being pretty funny really. but it still raises my blood pressure just talking about it. it's bad enough dealing with stupid issues they create for you and fixing them basically for free, but then to have to hear that after trying to thanks. i doubt anyone could pay me enough to deal with that crap.
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