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Notes on Scanner Quality and Jpgs.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under production 2 Oct 2008 11:14 PM

KirkOriginal5.jpg

I should make time for posts like this more often but here's a little rundown on why people shouldn't use cheap scanners to archive material.

Take a look at this scan of an original old pin-up page that was sent to me this week, compressed as a jpg. At a glance it looks great with the watercolor paper really showing its tooth. (Technically the page has also not been laid down flat enough and we're getting an uneven light but let's overlook that.) Above shows the full art which was scanned large--about 11" tall at 300dpi.

KirkOriginal5b.jpg

Looking closer you can see that the mottling (modelling? now I'm not sure which.) is actually quite inconsistent, made up more of a kind of binary than a continuous tone. Her skin looks blemished. The wall just looks awful. Cheap scanners tend to blow out the highlights and sink the shadows. It's like getting the box of 8 crayons instead of 64, so the scanner relies more on contrast to form the image and you lose detail.

If you then compress that file as a jpg, it makes those tones crumple into jaggy pixelation. Everyone should know this by now but it's amazing how few people do: Jpg files are for the web. It makes your file size small so windows load more quickly. Most of the time there's no good reason for large files to be saved as jpgs. You want .tif (or .psd) for your precious artwork. If you save it as a .jpg you better have a reason. If you don't have a reason I hope you get stuck in an elevator with Jordan Crane, who will tear you apart without pity. (Go NOW to download his Reproguide at the bottom of this page .)

KirkOriginal5c.jpg

This last detail really showcases what makes cheap scanners the devil's work. The artwork is technically high resolution enough for print but if it were run at actual size you would see how awful the shading really looks. You would see how the highlight shading is a bunch of tiny gray boxes. The jpg compression is also making for all the little noise that's going on along the edges of lines. 

As it is I'm probably going to use this file for print but run about a third of the size of the original. For the purposes of a non-archival project such as the Pin-Up series I simply don't have the luxury of controlling the work as much I'd like, besides the fact that most of the material will be scanned from old pulp digests.

It helps to explore compensatory tricks-- I originally planned the pin-up series to be embellished with a second spot color not just because it looked cool and mirrored the coloring of the digest covers but specifically to draw the eye away from the generational loss of scanning continuous tone artwork off of crummy, 50 year old pulp. 

DeCarloBoss.jpg

Another DeCarlo post.
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Dan DeCarlo 2 Oct 2008 1:34 PM

Orig_DeCarlo3_bitmap.jpg

Throughout the late midcentury, Dan DeCarlo was simultaneously defining the look of tight-sweatered Riverdale girls in Archie comics for little Billy while drawing titillating Riverdale-esque women losing their sweaters in Humorama magazines for Bill senior. Like Playboy being produced by Disney, the utter American-ness of it resonates deeply and rather disturbingly. It's the ultimate subversion to see these Archie girls squeaky-clean and wide-eyed in a slick, crass, Man's World of viral virile impotence. And I can't stop admiring DeCarlo because of and in spite of it...

Orig_DeCarlo1.jpg

 

[Ha. I misspelled 'virile.' And, no, I'm not going to explain myself.]

Robert Goodin TONITE
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Robert Goodinevents 2 Oct 2008 1:29 PM

Robert Goodin signing flyer

Tonight at 7:00, see Mome contributor Robert Goodin at Meltdown in LA for the release of his new comic one-shot from our pals at Top Shelf, The Man Who Loved Breasts. Momes will, of course, also be available, as well as other Goodinalia.

(I dare you not to sing the title of this post to yourself to the tune of the theme from Entertainment Tonight now that I have put the suggestion in your head.)

Watch Kim Deitch at the Strand
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoKim Deitchevents 2 Oct 2008 11:54 AM

The Strand bookstore presents video footage of Kim Deitch's presentation there two weeks ago. (Note that there was a minor tech problem with the sound at the beginning, but the audio kicks in after a couple of minutes, when the on-screen clock hits 19:04.)

The Naked Campaign
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Steve Brodner 2 Oct 2008 10:53 AM

Holy moses, watching Steve Brodner draw McCain and Palin is pretty goddamn awesome.

Leah Hayes covers Ryan Adams
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Leah Hayes 2 Oct 2008 10:45 AM

Leah Hayes did the album art/packaging for the limited-edition vinyl release of Ryan Adams' new album, called "Cardinology."

They also made a T-shirt out of the cover of the album, and inside the LP is a 12-page comic, illustrating the lyrics for the album. A must-have for Hayes or Adams fans (Eric Buckler, this is for you).  

 

New Comics Day 10/1/08
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under new releasesNew Comics Day 2 Oct 2008 10:33 AM

Sorry we're a day late with this! Scheduled to arrive at your local comics shop yesterday from Fantagraphics:

The Complete Peanuts 1967-1970 Box Set by Charles M. Schulz
Meat Cake #17 by Dame Darcy

As usual you can view previews and get more info at the links above... you'll especially want to check out the preview for the Peanuts box set since that comes shrink-wrapped and your neighborhood comic shop clerk probably isn't going to want you peeling it open...

Abandoned Cars online
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under Tim Lane 2 Oct 2008 8:32 AM

  

Go read: NY Magazine previews ABANDONED CARS with an exclusive excerpt from the book

Mark Newgarden: Ultimate Yard Sale
Written by Jacob Covey | Filed under Mark Newgarden 1 Oct 2008 1:51 PM

idoodit.jpg

If you're anywhere near Brooklyn you would be crazy to miss a yard sale that includes Mark Newgarden (creator of the Garbage Pail Kids, etc.):

COLOSSAL Multi-Family GARAGE SALE! So big, it's practically an entire Flea Market! This weekend! Saturday, October 4 & Sunday, October 5, 10am - ?

A MOUNTAIN OF TREASURE INCLUDES: Collectibles, Antiques, Art Books, Kid’s Books, Vintage Paperbacks, All kinds of Books, Old Magazines, Advertising, Comics, Paper Ephemera, Posters, Maps, Records, Record Players, CDs, Vintage Toys, Old Squeak Toys, Vintage Games, Projectors, Vintage Film Boxes, Old Cameras, Electronics, Vintage Women's Clothes, 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's & 70's Kitchenware, Assorted Vintage Trays, Housewares, Antique Linens, Fabric, Tables, Chairs, Homemade Stools, Shelves, Lamps, Clocks, Mirrors, Waste Baskets, Old Office Supplies, Old School Chairs, School Coat Rack, Old Wooden Sled, Primitive Ladder, Old Watering Cans, Christmas Paraphernalia, Kitschy Paintings, rude Vintage Gags, Mesquite Mexican Shrine, Antique Brooklyn Soda Bottles, like-new 70's TWA Flight Bags, Religious Statuettes, Vintage Wooden Butler, Mannequins, and too many Oddities to list!

Cheap prices for excellent stuff. No earlybirds please!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn @ corner of North 8th & Havemeyer Streets

You can just hang out at his website until then.





Comics Folk for Obama
Written by Eric Reynolds | Filed under misc 1 Oct 2008 1:26 PM

  

JOIN HERE.