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Graphic Novel-In-Progress #8: Fear

I’ve finished two-thirds of "Forget Sorrow: A China Elegy" and mailed the Xeroxed pages to WW Norton.  I’ve never worked on a graphic novel before and neither has Alane, my editor.  I was worried about her notes, wondering if the fixes will be easy without having to draw a quarter of the book.  Gaaaack!

Typed words are obviously easier to correct, but hand-drawn art?  When I received Alane’s comments, I breathed an enormous sigh of relief, her suggestions were strong and fairly easy to handle; I know it would be a joy to correct and improve.  I will need to redraw a dozen or so pages, but it won’t be hard.

(Just a few pages on the floor with Dad looking on.  I feel rich, rich, rich when I review my art on the floor)

Alane said my printing was uneven and suggested that when we come the production aspect that I work a typographer who will be able create a Belle Yang typeface.  I was thrilled with the idea.  I used to be a great printer in 4th grade, but now I can't write neatly to save my life.  Here is an email from Alane.

It’s gorgeous!!   I’m sending pages back to you now with my specific editorial queries.
My one general concern is with the calligraphy of the text, which is a bit uneven.  I think with the invention of computer fonts that look like calligraphy our eye – especially for graphic novels – has gotten accustomed to more regularity, and I wonder if you’ve considered doing what Larry Gonick and so many other graphic novelists do – that is, making a font from your own calligraphy that allows you to digitize the handwritten parts of the work (and even to introduce a controlled amount of variation – ie, I think Larry told me he had included five different variations on a small e into his font).
Needless to say, that would make the copyediting vastly easier.  I didn’t correct the various typos I saw – there are quite a lot – since it will be so much easier to fix them if you end up digitizing the text.  Let me know!
Warm best wishes,



Belle Yang Redroom Retrospective: Words and Images

My Name is Belle, a PBS documentary clip on Youtube (new 6 minute version)




13 Comment count
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What a great idea--and how

What a great idea--and how relieving to have your own script but have it in font form.  And I didn't know that was done, either.

I think we saw you before the comments came in, so it's nice to see they were mild and not overwhelming--and really, very positive.


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com

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and I can create several different vowels so that it looks less mechanical.  I so wish I could spell more neatly.

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Well done, Belle! Very cool

Well done, Belle!

Very cool to have your own font. . .what will you name it? M.S.G.? :-)

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Hey, great idea, Ellen

The M.S.G. font.


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This is magnificent,

This is magnificent, Belle.  A labor of love in the midst of travail.  :)



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What's nice

about art is you can sell it as an artist, but it's still entirely yours.  And as writers, we sell our books, but the book belongs to us.

The more I paint and write, the wealthier I feel when surrounded by the works.

Good to hear from your Eric.

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i am supremely jealous (in a good way)

of you having your very own font, Belle!  Wow!  If I ever wanted an incentive to write/draw a graphic novel, that would be it.  : )

Congrats on moving to the next stage of progress on your book.  Keep up the good work!

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I am always fighting against the clock

and this year has gone incredibly fast because I have a deadline.  There are days when I am just uninspired and I know I'll turn out junk.  I let myself laze about for a couple of days, but I feel, oh, so guilty.  There really isn't time to just be sick with the flu and enjoy being in bed.  The loss of time is always looming.

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Your work is gorgeous, and it is amazing to see it laid out all at once. You've drawn a beautiful tapestry. 

- Max Sindell, Red Room

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Thanks, Max

It's great to be able to have an early audience in Redroom.  It's amazing to see how many hits I get when I put a post up.  I think my 10 months posting in RR has been entirely productive time.  I've been debating whether to make better use of other social sites, but I think RR is the most satisfying, less cluttered with chaotic bells and whistles.  I am putting most of my publicity eggs here ;)

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Hi, Belle,

Can't wait to see & read your graphic novel. I've always enjoyed your drawings and paintings as well as your writing.

As for a name for your personal font, MSG is funny, but I think you deserve something prettier, more reflective of you & your writing. Something like... Belle Lettres ...

avec affection,


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I hadn't checked

this post, so it was a lovely surprise to hear from you Ben.  Belle Lettres it is ;)  Love to Dianne.

ROFl, Fontastic, indeed.


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I was so tired when I decided to check if there

were new comments.  What a lift for a solitary mole!