Friday, 30 January 2009

And now for something different...


This week I thought I'd try something a little different with the blog and instead of giving you an update on a figurine, I'd give you some insight into the work involved in the creation of the magazine.

As many comic fans will know, the quality of the printing, and paper that comics have been printed on, has greatly changed over the years. While Marvel does re-print a lot of comics in graphic novel form, there are hundreds of Marvel comics that only exist in their original printing. More often than not the years have not been kind to the original pages with whites turning cream, colours fading and word balloons smudging. To illustrate the magazine we spend hours looking through old comics and lovingly restoring some of the images so that they can be re-printed in the best quality possible.

Below I have an excellent example of the work our designer (Dan) has put into an image from Strange Tales #178, which at the time we couldn't find re-printed. You can see the first image is the actual scan of the comic page, from this Dan knocks the image back to black and then adds a new layer of colour to the image, to match the original as closely as possible.

Obviously not every image requires this amount of work, some Marvel supply to us directly and some are from newer or re-printed comics but each issue we try to make sure that the images we choose best sum-up the character and the article they're in.

There's a lot more to the magazine than just the images but hopefully that gives you a bit of an idea into the workings of the magazine and its design.

And don't worry; I'm not going to bore everyone with a weekly update into how the mag works, apart from anything else Dan's head will end up growing too big to fit into the office if I keep it up.

More figurine news next week.

Have a good weekend.



Bobbyvjay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobbyvjay said...

Thanks Rich loved reading this Blog today, as I always wanted to know more about the magazine process, hope we can learn more in the future.

The Grim Reaper said...

Cheers for that info Richard, interesting to see how the images are masked and overlaid to sharpen things up...

so, all this about colours fading and stuff...does that explain the presence of "blue"bolt in the collectiion ;-)

buffduffdan said...

Wow that's pretty cool, I always just assumed that the images were provided by Marvel or were from some big database so thats quite interesting.

Makes you appreciate the amount of work that goes into the mags too. I know most of us focus on the figures but for people like me that have never picked up a comic then the mags are the thing providing me with all the info on who these characters are :)

Thanks for that info Rich and keep up the good work!

zombula said...

Many thanks for the behind the scenes look at how the magazine is compiled from early stages thru to finsihed product - very interesting & informative & something id personally like to see more of.
Well done Dan & Rich & AL - keep it up guys !

Anonymous said...

Awsome, looking at that post made me feel really good lol. Its an interesting insight into the way you make the mags. And best of all I ACTUALY KNOW HOW TO DO THAT!! :D YAY now i feel like i may actualy have half a chance at a job when i get out of uni lol
Woo, cheers for the ego boost, and not to underplay the great work dan does but i'm glad it's simpler than i thought it would be lol

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Rich, was a really interesting insight. I never realised how much work must go on just for making the magazine look as good as it does, let alone before you start all the actual writing!

I'm looking forward to hearing more on the production processes of the magazine :)

Holy Wolf

MrKurdt said...

Really Interesting, Thanks Richard.

Travis said...

I agree that it's really interesting how much work that EM puts into the magazine. It's to bad they don't do anything to prevent the mag from becoming bent up and twisted out of shape during shipping.
When I got Ultron, the figurine box had scratched up the cover.
So if EM really wants to pat itselves on the back for a great magazine maybe they should find away to protect it alittle more during shipping.
A simple cardboard insert would at least prevent the magaine from becoming bent up.

Thor8 said...

I totally agree with Travis. Recently I purchased the latest four figurines available in USA and PR along with two back issues I needed, and the seller I purchased them from placed the a magazine size "comic bag" along with a backing board and these magazines are the best conditioned books in my entire MCFC
collection. I think some thought should be given to this matter.
Graet suggestion Travis!

asura said...

Would it possible to see some WIP (work in progress) of the sculpts ? Most of the brands do that in the figurine sector. I just noticed that the community of the marvel figurine collection keeps growing. Afterall, Eaglemoss is the only one to propose this kind of figurine (size, price, concept, large choice and the most important: a regular extension). I am really positive regarding the future of the collection and I really think that new extensions will be released.
Would it also be possible to set pools to choose the outfit of the characters (for example, I would like a X-23 in her black suit) ?
What's up with the specials (I want Omega Red and Onslaught) and mega-special ? Any news ?

Last question: Any chances to get a Vulcan/Deathbird double pack (Vulcan is becoming a really important character in the marvel universe)?

Thank you for updating the blog regularly (because there has been a gap recently)

Thor8 said...

Rich there's something I've been wanting to ask ever since I started to collect the MCFC,and that is why wasn't The Thing classified as a "special"? Was it after making him that it occured to you that massive characters such as he should be in a class of thier own or was it just an oversight? Just curious!

Jacadoo said...

I would like to see w.i.p. as asura asks - we know the running list (until next extension + 200 I hope) so it would be interesting to see the development of say the next mega special, from concept drawings offered to marvel through design and finished statue.

Perhaps this could be achieved via the web-site as part of the blog updates over a number of weeks.

Editor said...

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the images, hopefully I'll be able to alternate a little between bits like this and figurine updates.

I agree with you Travis on the delivery front. It pains me to hear that mag's get bent out of shape and figures get broken. The delivery/packaging side of things isn't entirely in my hands but I'll have a word with our production department and see if we can put the cardboard sleeve back in or perhaps change the delivery method. No promises though.

As for WIP of sculpts, I'll see what I can do, as long as the figure is approved by Marvel and the sculptor is happy it shouldn't be a problem.

chris said...

Very nice work! As a professional designer I've done some of this work myself, and have always maintained that the magazine has very high production values making it just as collectable as the figurines. I'd like to see more info on this, e.g. Dan's setup (wacom etc.) and the process in PhotoShop. I'm sure many others would be interested as we're all obviously comic geeks!

Jacadoo said...

When is the next update to the main site?

Come on its wets the appetite to see the next 5 / 10, also do we have a firm confirmation of next mega / standard special figurine?

I see the DC collection has a special figurine nearly at a pace of one per month – are we Marvelite’s the poor relatives (incidentally I collect both and I’m not a fan of DC – yes very sad).

Do I have to beg…….. Just confirm original version of Sasquatch and I will be happy for a week or two.

Feed me … Feed me….. Feed meeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!