This fall semester I’ve been busy interning at Vertical. Everyday I take a train from where I live upstate to NYC. From Grand Central I walk about 12 blocks to the building Vertical’s office is located in. After a quick stop for breakfast I start to work at my given assignments.
At the beginning I was busy proofing manga pages. This consisted of me looking over a series of PDFs to see if there was any mistakes on the pages. After I checked each page I would re-convert them back into a PDF file. The plan is to have each file eventually converted into an e-book friendly file.
Around the same time as I was doing work on this I was also given the assignment of cleaning manga pages. Cleaning pages consisted of removing Japanese text from each page in Photoshop. Some of the text is placed over parts of image, so removing it means messing up part of the image underneath. This results in having to go back in and touch up some areas by either redrawing some parts, or using the clone tool to fix up the zip-a-tone. For the cloning tool, I had to learn how to correctly use and apply it when working with zip-a-tone layers. One of the main things I learned and worked with were the overlay and clipping options that are available for the clone tool.
At first I was having difficulties getting the zip-a-tone to line up correctly. To fix this, I erased all the zip-a-tone then created a new layer underneath the one I was working on. Here, I went about recreating the zip-a-tone as a mask. By recreating the zip-a-tone from scratch, and working with it one area at a time, I had more control over it.
At one point I was given the task of designing a logo and cover design for a new manga title Vertical is going to be putting out in the future. This task was meant as a test to see how I would go about creating a cover and logo if given the actual assignment. To start, I creating a bunch of thumbnail designs of both the logo and the cover with variations on how the logo would be placed on it.
Next, using InDesign I went about creating the cover design. I was given a few assets to work with including the image of the cover’s art work. After creating the logo, I placed it on the cover in a visually appealing way. Then I repeated this for two over cover variations. Just to verify, I didn’t draw out the cover’s image, I was merely creating the logo and how it was placed on the cover.
I also helped create part of another cover design. The design called for random black spots so I was given ink and a tooth brush and went about splattering the ink on a blank page. Someone then took the ink splatter and scanned it into PS. There, she transformed and scaled it to make it usable for the cover design.
I was also able to try my hand at lettering. Lettering is a bit different than western comics as you fit the letters to already drawn bubbles. Also, the font is set vertically as to take up as much space within the bubble as possible. Also, when lettering SFX the original Japanese SFX is still present, you’re just placing the translation for the SFX on the page. To do this, you need to make the new translated SFX text small enough to fit next to the Japanese text, but also large enough to see.
Come Comic Con I volunteered to help out at Vertical’s booth. After helping bring over boxes of books to the convention center I helped setup the table and worked the booth during the convention, but during my downtime I visited other company booths to show off my portfolio. My best reception was at the Archie booth who really liked what I had. They even said for me to email them a PDF with my portfolio later on. I also met with a small group who’d say they be in contact. As for panels, I had time to attend one I was looking forward to.
The panel was set up for indie comic artists to network. A good way to describe it was speed-dating. We would spend some time introducing ourselves and exchanging info with people, then after a certain time period move on to someone else. It was a quick and nice way to make contacts. I even met an alumni from SCAD.
While most of my time was probably spent cleaning manga pages, I really had fun at this internship. Not only did I learn a lot but the people I worked with were very friendly. One of the best things to come out of this is I’m getting production credit in at least two titles that are going to be releasing soon. Also, I was told that the cover design I did was really well received and might even be used for the actual release. They just need to get permission from the artist in Japan.
Overall, this internship was very productive and of course fun.
Lastly, I just want to thank everyone at Vertical for allowing me to partake in an internship with them and for all they provided me.