Sarah McIntyre (jabberworks) wrote,
Sarah McIntyre

getting ready for leeds thought bubble + mini comic bookbinding

So much to do before Thought Bubble comics festival this weekend! The writer of two of my picture books, Gillian Rogerson, lives in Leeds, and we're going to run an all-ages activity table, where you can design wacky pirates, invent new worlds by designing treasure maps or just generally hang out with us and draw comics. I'm trying to make our tables a bit more pirate-themed, so yesterday I printed out this big pirate ship in the studio, from the cover I painted for You Can't Scare a Princess!.

Here's a poster I knocked together earlier this evening:

And some cut-out lettering so people will know where they are.

Now for mini comics! Handmade books take so long to put together, and this one is 70 pages long, but I really wanted to show something new that I'd made entirely myself. After I'd drawn and scanned the comics, I put together a cover out of stiff card.

I thought it would be a nice handmade touch to put a Chinese seal at the end of each book, so here they are, spread out on Gary's scanner to dry. (Sorry, Gary.)

I brought the print-outs home a couple evenings ago and laid out all the stacks of pages. I think I could have had my studio printer collate the pages and save me this step, but I had a whole bunch of printer glitches, so I won't go into that.

Here are the stacks of book pages, ready to be folded.

This thing's called a bone folder. Sometimes they're made of bone, sometimes Teflon and sometimes plastic. They're great for sliding down paper to get a really hard fold, and to save your fingertips.

Hurrah! Thirty comics folded, cup of tea mostly drunk. (Why am I sitting on the floor? I'd recommend doing this on a table.)

I didn't have to trim the pages, but the paper stack in each book was so thick that the pages were sticking pretty far outside the edges of the covers. So I cut off the edges to tidy them into one straight line.

And anyone would just have to take a little break to turn the trimmings into a fine moustache.

I used an awl to poke three holes through the 17 sheets of thick paper and cover. My awl didn't like that at all and the end is getting a bit blunt, which is a real pain. (Makes it such a pointless exercise... arf.)

If the paper had been cheaper and thinner, I probably could have got away with stapling the pages, but it's just too thick. So I sewed the pages by hand, starting through the middle hole, going around to the two other holes, then coming back to the middle hole and tying it off.

And there you have it, the comic I'm going to be selling at Leeds, along with my comic Vern and Lettuce, my two picture books with Gillian, You Can't Scare a Princess! and You Can't Eat a Princess! and possibly a few copies of Morris the Mankiest Monster and When Titus Took the Train. Gillian will also be selling her new book The Children's History of Leeds and some of her own picture books. Do stop by if you'd like to get your copies signed, they make great Christmas prezzies.

And, of course, don't forget the newly launched Nelson anthology, which I'll also be signing! And I'm speaking on a panel about it at 11am on Saturday at the festival, hope to see you there.

Tags: bookbinding

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