The Production Evolution of a Humbug Page
Written by Paul Baresh   
Monday, 07 April 2008
Humbug
Humbug
Price: $60.00

Fantagraphics' Humbug collection is due in early 2009. This two-volume slipcased hardcover set assembles the never-before-collected, complete, original 11-issue run (1957-58) of the satirical magazine conceived and edited by Harvey Kurtzman and created by Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Al Jaffee (Kurtzman's MAD magazine cohorts one and all) and Arnold Roth. This feature, conceived by Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth and written by our production ace Paul Baresh, will give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the restoration of a Humbug page. – Ed.


This is the original artwork. You can see all the items are pasted on and there are three text blocks and one image missing.

Humbug original art

This is what the printed comic book looks like. There is a second color (yellow) added to the black and white line art.

Humbug - printed comic page

Here's my black and white line art scan. You can see there are paste-up lines and some dirty areas that need to be cleaned. Pretty typical of all the Humbug original pieces I've scanned.

Humbug - black and white line art scan

A close-up of the paste-up lines in the scan.

Humbug line art scan close-up

Here's my scan after cleaning it. I scanned the printed comic book for the missing image and re-typset the missing text blocks.

Humbug - cleaned-up scan

This is my Photoshop file for adding the second color. I've got two layers going, one with the black & white line art as a guide and the second layer is where I'm adding adding the tint. This is actually one of the easier Humbug pages to color.

Humbug - color layers

Here's the final "color" file, which is actually a black and white line art file. This will be placed underneath the line art in my Indesign layout and have a yellow spot color assigned to it.

Humbug color line art file

The finished page...

Humbug finished page

Click here to order Humbug

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