Sunday, 10 February 2013

More Buz!

Thanks to a reader of this blog here are scans from the new Buz book, so you can judge for yourselves. I don't have the book myself, but I'm more than happy to see how good these samples actually look. Especially after reading the Amazon review!
And the strips doesn't look "squeezed" as they did in the first volume. Great!

I have scanned the same strips from my old DLP editions for comparisation. The DLP strip is always the first and the FB the second. Enjoy!


Smurfswacker said...

Setting aside the reproduction question, seeing these strips reminds me what a MASTER of composition and atmosphere Roy Crane was. No one ever matched his command of black-white-and-two-greys. Look at the middle panel of the 3-1 strip. So simple, yet bursting with a sense of place and time. Sheer genius!

Yves Ker Ambrun said...

Yeah, no question. The Fantagraphics versions all look much better.
Thanks a lot for the scans, anonymous!
That's a big help for everybody! Great!

Diego Cordoba said...

Dear friends, the problem here is that you are comparing a really bad version with a mediocre one. I'm sorry, but Fantagraphics' version isn't very good. Just as a comparison check out Roy Crane's original art here:

Reproducing Craftint Duotone with a computer is really hard (as I explained in my review on Amazon). As you can see from looking at the original artwork, Craftint fades with the years, and turns into a brownish-muddy mess.

The Italian books I have, though not excellent, managed to reproduce the artwork more faithfully (unfortunately I don't have the work for the first years), since it was shot with a reproducing camera.

Diego Cordoba said...

I also forgot to metion that FB's books of Buz Sawyer are really small. The comparisons scanned for this blog look much better than the actual books...

Again, some people are satisfied with them as they are, and again, because they have seen no better.

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

Diego: Are you sure the proofs for these early years really exists somewhere? For the later years: I have access to a ton of proofs that can be used for excellent reproduction. But for these early years?

Could it be possible that the material used in this book is taken from the best source material there is?
If anyone can tell me (and Fantagraphics) where better proofs can be found: Please do! :)

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

PS. Using a repro camera doesn't mean the end result will be perfect. The art can be over exposed or under exposed.
(I wonder if any publisher use a repro camera these days?)

Scanning will give you just as good results as the best old fashioned stat. It "just" takes some knowledge on how to scan. Especially when it comes to art with screen tones.
No less than 1200 dpi to avoid unpleasant effects. Takes someone skilled to make it perfect.
But it's possible. :)

Diego Cordoba said...

Joakim, there is a much better material available (as soon as you confirm an email I sent you, I'll send you some files for comparison).

The difference is that these much better files are "cropped" at the bottom, something that was unavoidable due to paper shortage during the war. Norwood and FB argue that it's better to publish the "uncropped" version even if it isn't very good, as opposed to the "cropped", much better version. Again, as soon as you confirm my email, I'll send you the files and you can put them up in your blog and let the people judge.

And yes, there exists much better files, though they are "cropped".

Yves Ker Ambrun said...

First, Diego: Thanks for participating, man! Your knowledge and your Amazon-review on Buz Sawyer are awsome! (And the work and care you put into it)

Secondly, there's no question that the FB-books are absurdly small. Even if they were using original artworks as a source, their format would destroy everything. That's plain ridiculous.

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

Yves: In this case using original artwork is not an option.
1. Most of the original Buz Sawyer art has been destroyed. The remaining pieces are scattered all over the world.
2. Even if the original artwork was available, after so many years the craftint is mostly brown and spotty. That means if you try scan them today the result wouldn't be the same as back when they were made.

Yves Ker Ambrun said...

Thanks, Joakim.
I got it the first time around, though. I wanted to mean that with such a stupidly geometrically small format even strips from the best sources would also turn out indecipherable, blurred, messy and just not readable.
My main point is still: It's just plain ridiculous from Fantagraphics.