As if being the Editor of a small, independent press wasn't enough, this Editor has been able to put work forward for the Pushcart Prize for the first time this year. Just writing "being the Editor of a small, independent press" is actually excitement enough, so nominating to the Pushcart has elevated my sensibilities to fever pitch.
I asked readers to select five of the six nominations from Issues 2 and 3, with the sixth being an Editor's choice from Issue 4, as this is still currently being produced. It's great that the work that has been put forward is a mix of poetry and prose, and represents the publication at it's broadest and best.
Hearty congratulations to those who have been nominated and a big thank you to the readers who took the trouble to take part in the nomination process!
In an effort to upskill myself, I’m currently learning how to use Clip Studio Paint. I will pause here a while to laugh at my technical incompetence in matters of this nature.
To be honest, not being able to handle the preparation of artwork for publishing has been holding me back. If it wasn’t for the kindness of both Rich at Comic Printing UK and abstract artist Gareth A Hopkins, the lovely art content included in the issues of the zine so far wouldn’t have been possible.
I met Gareth on Twitter by accident several moons ago. He kindly prepared the art pages in the previous issues of the zines and ensured they had the appropriate bleeds for printing (see below). When I asked about the software I needed to investigate, he suggested I give Clip Studio a go. You should check out his fantastic work here.
If it weren’t for the unfaltering messages coming out of the CPUK Twitter feed, I wouldn’t even have known about the existence of bleeds. This is how Rich describes them:
"A bleed is a small extension of the working canvas used by printers to allow for minor inconsistencies when trimming pages to size. Typically 3mm on each side, the bleed should be an extension of whatever is at the trimline."
Basically, a person should never think that they can just wang a page of art towards a printer and hope it’s going to look exactly the same on paper as it did on your computer screen. Oh no. It’s actually commonsense when you think about it, because the printed page has to be trimmed before it’s stapled or bound. If you don’t allow for a bleed, your art is going to be cropped and you don’t want that. You can read more about bleeds and take a look at the lovely CPUK website here.
I have recently had a series of emails with Rich entitled “Bleeding Help”. It is no wonder that the sign-off on Rich’s e-communication is a statement which represents he has to have constitution of the saints: “I've been patient, I've been gracious, and this mountain is covered in wolves.”
Those aren’t wolves on that mountain. They are clients who have submitted files that don’t take any notice of the need for bleeds.
In Clip Studio’s own words the software “is a versatile digital painting program that is ideal for rendering and inking with its many useful and unique features.” I need to know only the very basics to create my bleeding pages, so most of these features will remain in mysterious bliss.
It is always good to learn, even if it takes a while to get the gist of new things. I am also learning Italian, which is actually more enjoyable, but generally not as useful as the ins and outs of Clip Studio. I’m learning so I will not be one of the wolves on that mountain. Non sarò uno dei lupi su quella montagna.
Be yourself, believe in your vision, regardless of criticism.