Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
I swear I'm trying to get Wayward #2 in your Cheeto-smudged, clammy hands. If the world wasn't fucking stupid, you'd have it by now. And I'd be a robot, but that's another rant.
For those of you playing along at home, here's the story so far:
-I storyboarded and scripted Wayward #2.
-I drew it.
-I sent it off to the printer, ordering a small initial run and a proof. For those of you not in the miserable world of independent publishing, a proof is something of an insurance policy. Say I order a run of 50 books. If they print 50 copies, send them to me, and it turns out something is wrong - a typo or an issue with the illustrations or whatever - then I'm stuck with 50 defective books that I can't do anything with (see also: fucked). That's what the proof is for. Instead of printing out 50 books, they just print one and send it to me. That way I can review it and make any necessary edits before they go and print 50 fucked up books.
-They print the proof and send it to me.
-I received the proof, saw that the artwork was way too dark.
-I corrected the art, sent the revisions to the printer, and requested an updated proof. In fact, when I submitted the revisions, I emailed 3 separate divisions within the printing company informing them that I want an updated proof, NOT the final run. This is common sense, you want a finalized, perfect proof before you make the final purchase. Please note that I'm paying for each proof, so it's not like I'm screwing them or anything.
-They receive the revisions and apply them.
-They send me an invoice for the final run, NOT the updated proof. This, of course, would be the exact polar opposite of what I requested.
-I email them explaining again that I wanted a proof, NOT the final run as ordering a crate of books without knowing what they will look like is very stupid and I'd like to think of myself as not stupid.
This is where the process currently stands. I sent the email out today and - at the time of this posting - awaiting a response. This usually takes a day or so. I'm shitting myself in anticipation as to what wonderful thing can go wrong next.
I understand there's ups and downs and mix-ups in communication and whatnot, but the exact same thing happened when I was printing Wayward #1. I was under the impression that the logical printing process was proof, "review, revise, reproof, repeat as necessary". But the printer seems to forget that "repeat as necessary" bit.
If this is the signs of a pattern forming, then I can expect the same mix-up to occur when I submit Wayward #3. To avoid this, I guess I'm going to have to get everything perfect the first time so no revisions will have to be made. Go ahead and take a minute to laugh hysterically; I'll wait.
You done? Okay. I want to take a moment to stress that I am in no way trying to slag on the printer, you may have noticed that I've avoided referring to the printer by name; this is why. I don't want to give the impression that they suck because that couldn't be further from the truth. These cats are great and provide an amazing service. I've been working with them for a while now, and they've always been kind and understanding. When we're emailing back and forth, which is pretty much all the time, they talk to me like I'm a person instead of CUSTOMER ID #CX-W22700008. I would recommend them to anyone foolish enough to come to me for guidance. What I guess I'm slagging on is the situation; the communication mix-up that adds another unnecessary step in the process and keeps the comic out of the hands of the three or four people kind enough to buy it.
Enough whining, the good news is Wayward #3 is coming along smoothly. It's a bit longer than the previous installments, so it's still gonna be awhile getting all the artwork done. But I'm currently in "progress mode" so that helps. I guess.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.