Blind leading the blind

What's up? How you doin'? How about those things that happened? That was some crazy shit yo. Straight up cra-zy.

I'm currently neck-deep in IT LOOKS BACK #2. It's coming along nicely. Here's the cover:

I'm just now prepping IT LOOKS BACK #1 for the printer. Even though it's been done for a while, I wanted to make one last sweep of edits before I sent it off. Which brings me to the point of this post.

I've been toying with the idea of writing a series of advice posts here, regarding things I've learned, mistakes I've made, and mistakes I've seen other people make in this crazy world of making indie comics. I will always stand of the proud mantle of "I have no idea what the hell I'm doing" so don't expect greatness. These would be more minor things that may or may not help you if you're considering going down the same terrible path as I have. Today's topic is:

Get yo ass a damn proofreader.

This might sound fancier than it actually is; it's actually quite simple. What I mean by "proofreader" is just someone who fits the following criteria. They have to be someone who:

1: Is literate.
2: Isn't you.

That first point is probably self-explanatory, but why can't you be your own proofreader? Well, if you're anything like me, after you've spent weeks or months working on a book you're probably going to become typo blind. You spend so much time laying out the pages, drawing the art, then laying out and typing up the dialogue and narration that typos become invisible. I have - on several occasions - been zoomed way in on a word balloon, trying to make sure the line breaks were balanced and fit right in the balloon, all the while completely oblivious to the big fat TAHT or TEH staring me right in the face.

My personal theory for why typo blindness happens is; as a creator viewing your final product, you still have that filter of intent lodged in your brain. You've seen behind the curtain, you know how it's supposed to go down. So your brain sorta fills in the gaps. Even without reading it, you already know the word balloon is supposed to say, so that's what you read. The audience - or basically everyone except you - doesn't have that intent filter, so when they look at your final product, they only see the execution. And that includes every typo you missed because your brain will no longer let you see them.

Does that theory make sense, or did I just write a bunch of nonsense? I guess my basic point is the creator can't see their creation the same way their audience does. That's why it helps to have someone with a fresh set of eyes look over your type before you send it off to print. So grab a friend and have them read your shit. Ask them to look for:

1: Misspellings. This one's pretty obvious.
2: Incorrect usages: Your/You're, There/Their/They're, Its/It's, etc. I learned these when I was six years old. We should all know these by now, but this is the most common typo type in the indie books I've read. Before your proofreader checks out your book, have them read this and this.
3: Redundancies: I do this one a lot. "I'm LOOKING for someone to LOOK into the death of an associate of mine." was my most recent error.

After I finished IT LOOKS BACK #1, I went back over it. Twice. Nicole went over it and found 13 errors - a new record for me. Oddly enough, most of them were words missing letters; JUMPNG instead of JUMPING for example. They're simple stupid typing errors, but they happen. We all make them and we'll continue to make them. So get yo ass a damn proofreader.