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Frank Santoro hasn't added a story.
thee Rowhouse Residency The Rowhouse Residency in Pittsburgh has been going on for a little over a year now. It's really mutated me. Having "my school" operating and having students come through my door and see me working on my book has changed me. What's the book I'm doing, you ask? I'm doing a comic book memoir about my parents for my French publisher. It will come out in France in a few months.
Since late last year I have been working on this memoir. Well, for years really in stops and starts. Then when the school, the residency, got going last year it really settled me down into a solid routine. My job, as I saw it, was to provide an example to the residents of how to use time and make comics over a longterm schedule. Deadlines and having a daily practice is the name of the game for me and the school. And that is precisely what I was able to communicate to my students in this first full year of the residency.
I made my soft deadline of July 4th 2017 and am now working on revisions as well as the French translation. See, it comes out in France first. In French. But I wrote it in English. So now it is translated and I am re-lettering it in French.
Meanwhile, my parents, want to read the book. They know I have been working on this book for a few years. They're ready. Did I mention that they are divorced and don't talk to each other? Yeah, so there's that.
So, I sat them down separately and read the book to them. They hated it! Well, not really, but if this is the movie of their life, both of them couldn't help talking back to the movie screen. And I had to be the annoyed usher who told them to keep it down while the movie was playing. Seriously.
OK, they didn't hate it. But how would you feel if your child drew a comic book about your life when you were 19 years old. Lots of embarassing stories get told. That's just the way it has to be.
Truth is, they loved the book. Well, they loved the unbound original art pages, which are what I carefully presented and read to them. And each asked when they could read it "as a book" and have a copy of the book.
I'd like them to read the book again - in private, in their own homes. I'd like them to be able to flip through the pages and reflect on the memories of our family. This is really made for them, and by presenting them with these printed versions I hope I can make that clear them.
I explained to them that it has to come out first in French and then it will be published in English "in a couple years".
My Dad asked, "I have to wait two years before I can read it as a book?" I replied yes, essentially, it will be roughly two years or so before it is published in English.
"Bummer", he said.
So, here we are. I have a good friend is an expert bookbinder. They said they could teach me how to make a handmade book that looks and lasts better than any book currently made by a machine. "Kettle stitch" they call it. Apparently this was how all lenghty books were made, by hand, by stacking the signatures and sewing them in a "kettle stitch" fashion. Now when you get a great big book bound at the overseas printer, it often falls apart after one reading. Most book bindings are done with glue. If it is small enough you can "saddle stitch", which is oftena fancy expression for stapling. So, if you can staple it because it is too thick, you usually settle for a glue binding. Well, I'm only going to settle for a kettle stitch, and that is going to take time and money.
Money to hire my friend to teach me how to do it and then of course my time to do it. However, it dawned on me that this is precisely the skill I should be offering my students and residents here at the school. There are many small press printers, but only a few small press binders. Maybe we could take a different approach simply in order to avoid glue bindings for larger works. It might work.
So, I'm passing the hat. I don't have any money to spare for such a personal project. The crowdfund money for the house from a few years ago is still propping up the house. This money will go into making two copies of the book, one for each of my parents. Any leftover money will go into bookbinding materials for the residency.
I'm asking for $2600. Here's the breakdown: Ink for my home printer is $600. Bookbinding materials are $100. Hiring my friend to teach me how to "kettle stitch", nine 3 hour sessions, is $900. My time for doing this project, which might take 6 months, is $1000.
RE perks: Each PDF is carefully curated with my favorite posts and includes a new intro by me. I've been writing about comics and posting comics online for many years, but sometimes I worry my online archive isn't accessible or well maintained. I don't want the Cold Heat blog, which I've maintained since 2008, to disappear if Blogspot is deleted tomorrow! So a secondary goal of this project is to produce a more polished, archival version of the online work I've made over the years. I think this is an important part of my artistic output and so I'm excited to reintroduce it to my fans.
If 200 people buy one $10 pdf, I'm set. Lots of good stuff to choose from. All available immediately. Thanks for looking. Over and out. Frank Santoro ----------
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All four pdf collections, you get Layout/Color Workbooks, Best of Frank's ComicsComics, Best of the Cold Heat Blog, and Best of Travelogues. Read the full description of each below. Not enough room to describe how good of a deal this is - you get thousands of pages of material that I've left scattered all over the digital landscape.
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