Laying Out My Graphic Novel

Laying out a book is kinda a rare event.  Laying out zines?  Happens at least once a year, more if I'm teaching a zine class and need to layout my students zines.  But a BOOK?  That's cause for celebration- a book is the culmination of years of painting.

Although planning, writing, drawing, and painting 7" Kara is almost all me, I'm really fortunate to have a partner and fiance who's been very involved with the layout and publishing aspect of Volume 1 and Volume 2.   In this post, I'm going to say 'we' a lot-referencing work Joseph and I have both done to prepare Volume 2 for Kickstarter.

I've talked about Affinity Publisher before, and I still believe it's a viable option for smaller publications.  But since we want to find an offset printer to print Volume 2 (and reprint Volume 1) we need to be able to submit an INDD, a Postscript, or a PDF file, depending on what the printer requests.  I haven't figured out how to get a Postscript or PDF out of Affinity Publisher yet, but it's pretty easy with InDesign.  So although I was initially uncomfortable and struggled to use InDesign, I'm glad I spent the time to acclimate myself with the program.

If you'd like to follow my progress on 7" Kara, I have a mailing list that delivers updates right to your inbox!  And if you enjoy 7" Kara, I would love it if you'd join me on Kickstarter for Volume 2!

Volume 1 was originally laid out in Adobe InDesign (we paid another artist to lay it out, and received the full file in return) so we used Volume 1 as a base.  Since all assets save for fonts were created by me, and we'd purchased licenses for the fonts, we could reuse assets as needed.  Of course, that didn't stop me from wanting to freshen things up with a few new touches here and there.

Brand New to Volume 2: 

I decided the section headers needed a new, handlettered font, so I went with watercolor brushlettering.

Whole new Cast of Characters page with thematically relevant character borders.

New page borders.

And of course, a whole new bonus chapter! 

It was really important to me that Volume 2 continue the work of Volume 1 beyond just continuing the story.  In Volume 1, I had an in depth concept section that was well received by parents- many raved about how it inspired their kids.  I wanted Volume 2 to continue to inspire, so I dedicated space to Making 7" Kara.  Since I've spent years writing and recording tutorials that are free to access, I didn't want this to be a full tutorial section, but a walk-through that might inspire someone to learn more.

I also wanted this how to section to be visually engaging, so I'm hard at work creating even more custom illustrations for Volume 2.

Compared to Volume 1, Volume 2 is going to be a big book!  Every chapter is almost double that in Volume 1, and I'm working on a lot of great bonus content to make it fun and interactive.

To make Volume 2 a reality, I need your help!  The pages are drawn, the book's almost entirely laid out- but we still need to print it!   I want to raise funds AND offer pre-orders at the same time, and I think Kickstarter's the way to go!  A lot of comic artists use Kickstarter to fund their comic projects, and while I've participated in many anthologies, this will be my first solo Kickstarter adventure.  

Volume 2 hasn't launched YET, but we're launching in early July!  If you follow the project on Kickstarter, Kickstarter will let you know when 7" Kara Volume 2 has gone live.  And of course, if you follow this blog, I'll be sure to announce it here as well.  Not only will you be the first to receive a physical copy of 7" Kara Volume 2, with three never before shared chapters, but we have other great incentives including original art and even classroom materials!  


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