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,
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