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Thread: Publishing my first graphic novel - need info about Working Designs packaging

  1. #1
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    Publishing my first graphic novel - need info about Working Designs packaging

    Dear Victor (and anyone who may have an answer):

    I did try a direct message on this subject a while back, but didn't hear, so I apologize for posting this publicly. I have been a looooong time fan of Working Designs--dating back to the days in the mid-90's when I'd stare longingly at the gorgeous WD game boxes in my local game store. I'm an artist working in the games industry who's branched out to produce his own graphic novels. I've got two projects headed toward publication next year (finally) and I've been moving toward a distribution exclusive deal that allows me the chance to produce the books myself, likely through Kickstarter.

    I've been using the beautiful Working Designs manuals as a reference point for some of the premium features I'd like to have on my books, including the detailed illustration embossing, spectrum foil stamping, thick papers, etc...

    But, all the printers with whom I've spoken have either gotten confused about what specifically I'm trying to achieve and, even when sending them reference shots of WD manuals, they continue to misunderstand. Would it be possible to get some specific info about the packaging materials and process--and maybe even the specific printers you worked with? I'm sure many other Working Designs fans who have admired and collected these great games over the years would find this interesting as well (provided this hasn't been covered here yet. If it has... my apologies!).

    Finally, thank you so much for giving so much effort to producing these games. I can't tell you how much games like MKR on Saturn has influenced my own work. They've brought a tremendous amount of joy to myself and plenty of others... thank you!

    Quick plug--some art from my book, Dreamside, here: https://www.instagram.com/dmcumbo and here: https://www.youtube.com/c/dmcumbo

    Regards,
    ~David

  2. #2
    Senior Member xelement5x's Avatar
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    The term you are probably looking for is "foil embossed". The shiny silver/gold stuff you see on WD manuals from back in the day is foil.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrBonkers View Post
    Actually this makes the localization good, but because it doesn't match the Japanese Script 1:1 people throw a fit. And if that's a problem for you, GTFO, go improve your Japanese and play the Japanese version to be as pure and kawaii as you want.

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    Senior Member KrownKlown's Avatar
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    Kind of interesting art styled quasi anime quasi us comics. I feel like it would actually work really with the human versions of the mlp characters.

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    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.M. Cumbo View Post
    Dear Victor (and anyone who may have an answer):

    I did try a direct message on this subject a while back, but didn't hear, so I apologize for posting this publicly. I have been a looooong time fan of Working Designs--dating back to the days in the mid-90's when I'd stare longingly at the gorgeous WD game boxes in my local game store. I'm an artist working in the games industry who's branched out to produce his own graphic novels. I've got two projects headed toward publication next year (finally) and I've been moving toward a distribution exclusive deal that allows me the chance to produce the books myself, likely through Kickstarter.

    I've been using the beautiful Working Designs manuals as a reference point for some of the premium features I'd like to have on my books, including the detailed illustration embossing, spectrum foil stamping, thick papers, etc...

    But, all the printers with whom I've spoken have either gotten confused about what specifically I'm trying to achieve and, even when sending them reference shots of WD manuals, they continue to misunderstand. Would it be possible to get some specific info about the packaging materials and process--and maybe even the specific printers you worked with? I'm sure many other Working Designs fans who have admired and collected these great games over the years would find this interesting as well (provided this hasn't been covered here yet. If it has... my apologies!).

    Finally, thank you so much for giving so much effort to producing these games. I can't tell you how much games like MKR on Saturn has influenced my own work. They've brought a tremendous amount of joy to myself and plenty of others... thank you!

    Quick plug--some art from my book, Dreamside, here: https://www.instagram.com/dmcumbo and here: https://www.youtube.com/c/dmcumbo

    Regards,
    ~David
    My DM is a disaster area, and I've been too busy to even attempt to get in there and do something about it right now.

    Basically most of our printing was 4 color, with 10% Cyan under the blacks to make them pop. Foil stamping and embossing/de-embossing, depending on the manual. Most of them were also hit with a gloss or a powdered UV coating at the end so they'd be more fade-resistant over time. Paper stock was usually 80lb gloss book, unless we were space-constrained, when I dumped down to 70# to get a thinner end result.

    How many are you planning to print? If it's in the thousands and you're going hardbound, you'll save a lot by doing it overseas. We should be able to share the prototype for the Summon Night 6 Artbook that comes with the Wonderful Edition, and it's a thing of beauty. It's being printed overseas.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KrownKlown View Post
    Kind of interesting art styled quasi anime quasi us comics. I feel like it would actually work really with the human versions of the mlp characters.
    Kind of you to say, thanks! I've definitely been inspired by anime since I was a young kid. I actually haven't watched the newer MLP show, but I never stop hearing good things from its extremely dedicated fanbase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    Basically most of our printing was 4 color, with 10% Cyan under the blacks to make them pop. Foil stamping and embossing/de-embossing, depending on the manual. Most of them were also hit with a gloss or a powdered UV coating at the end so they'd be more fade-resistant over time. Paper stock was usually 80lb gloss book, unless we were space-constrained, when I dumped down to 70# to get a thinner end result.
    Wow, thanks for this quick and detailed response! Interesting about the Cyan - I wouldn't have thought of that. The tricky thing about the embossing is the printers keep using language like "1-step," "2-step," etc. which makes me think they're doing a flat plateau that's just elevated. What I'm looking for is the sort of organic emboss you had on the Alundra manual where it looked more like a sculptural relief for the character and logo. The gloss on the manual covers was so gorgeous and a great call - interesting to note it also served to add to resistance, collectors take note!

    Also, can you do that sort of relief embossing on a hardcover without dust jacket? Can't stand dust jackets--they maybe collecting so tricky with all the inevitable wear and tear. Here's a shot of my WIP cover image: https://www.instagram.com/p/3hR8TUi2...ken-by=dmcumbo --- what I want to do is emboss around the center character (Alundra style) and stamp holographic foil around her as well as the logo (rainbows play a key role in the story).


    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    How many are you planning to print? If it's in the thousands and you're going hardbound, you'll save a lot by doing it overseas.
    So, I have two books, one of which is a yet-unannounced graphic novel adaptation of an upcoming video game. That one will be printed in significant quantity, likely as many at 20,000 according to the license person involved. For my main personal book, Dreamside, I'd like to think I could realistically sell 500-2000 first printing, especially if the other book gathers me some attention from its extensive fanbase... we'll see. Definitely looking like we'll be printing overseas and the publisher has offered vender discounts to cut costs. I really want to go all out and add things like the aforementioned details, sticker sheets, posters, etc... I know you of all people will understand

    Quote Originally Posted by vicireland View Post
    We should be able to share the prototype for the Summon Night 6 Artbook that comes with the Wonderful Edition, and it's a thing of beauty. It's being printed overseas.
    SERIOUSLY?!?! Oh man! That would be incredible to get a look at it... Dreamside is headed toward a Kickstarter early next year. Would it be possible to connect and check out the prototype? Maybe it could assist with communicating with printers for the desired concept for Dreamside. I'll owe you big time! Now, I've got to order the Wonderful Edition!

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    Quote Originally Posted by xelement5x View Post
    The term you are probably looking for is "foil embossed". The shiny silver/gold stuff you see on WD manuals from back in the day is foil.
    Thank you, yes, I think you're right.

  8. #8
    TempestOne
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    The hair on your designs look really nice.

    The first videogame I thought of when I read your original post, or, Thread was LUNAR: Silver Star Story Complete. I think what fans really liked was the thick paper, you're right. I then think of the two red ribbons, or bookmarks, or whatever you call them. The stamped sides are really nice. I think the stucco on the outside of the instruction manual is really nice, it reminds me of those medium-sized brown cups it basically feels like alligator skin but plastic on the tips of your fore-fingers, or index-fingers and it's a really nice, comfortable design or comfortable texture to touch-on, or feel-on all-the-time. Great for videogame stuff,!.....

    The blue on the LUNAR: Eternal Blue Complete instruction manual Front-Cover too, is really, nice-!!!!!

    If you're looking for, "What Kids In America Like When It Comes To Stationary?" Here:

    1. Book Report covers that have the red, spiral spine on the side.
    2. Thin, Book Report Cover Sheets that are plastic and sheets and you can see through. The thinner and flimsier and more delicatest the better.
    3. Those thin-Scrabble letters-holder side-spines are really hella-Tight!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TempestOne View Post
    The hair on your designs look really nice.

    The first videogame I thought of when I read your original post, or, Thread was LUNAR: Silver Star Story Complete. I think what fans really liked was the thick paper, you're right. I then think of the two red ribbons, or bookmarks, or whatever you call them. The stamped sides are really nice. I think the stucco on the outside of the instruction manual is really nice, it reminds me of those medium-sized brown cups it basically feels like alligator skin but plastic on the tips of your fore-fingers, or index-fingers and it's a really nice, comfortable design or comfortable texture to touch-on, or feel-on all-the-time. Great for videogame stuff,!.....

    The blue on the LUNAR: Eternal Blue Complete instruction manual Front-Cover too, is really, nice-!!!!!

    If you're looking for, "What Kids In America Like When It Comes To Stationary?" Here:

    1. Book Report covers that have the red, spiral spine on the side.
    2. Thin, Book Report Cover Sheets that are plastic and sheets and you can see through. The thinner and flimsier and more delicatest the better.
    3. Those thin-Scrabble letters-holder side-spines are really hella-Tight!
    Thanks for the kind words and tips! The characters' hair, particularly the rainbow colored style, takes such a long time to draw.

    Totally agree about Lunar. As Victor said recently in the Summon Night thread about wanting to remind people what a collector's edition can be, those editions really felt special. I think if you put a lot of effort into the work inside, the exterior package should match. Show people that it's not some quick cash grab and that you appreciate them. I want to do that for these books. It drives me nuts seeing these "premium" hardcovers all over the place that are nothing more than cheap glued bindings that won't open flat and crack in a couple years time.

  10. #10
    Administrator vicireland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.M. Cumbo View Post
    I want to do that for these books. It drives me nuts seeing these "premium" hardcovers all over the place that are nothing more than cheap glued bindings that won't open flat and crack in a couple years time.
    You want your books to be smyth sewn with headbands, then. That way it will open flat and not crack into pieces over time. Learned that the hard way on the perfectbound LUNAR1 and Alundra strategy guides that ended up anything but perfect.

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