The Graphic Novel In Reverse – Tales From A Soaring Penguin

peterpan-coverJohn Anderson of Soaring Penguin writes;

“It’s the waiting I hate the most.

About eight months ago, I signed an agreement to secure the UK & European English Language Print Rights for Régis Loisel’s Peter Pan.  Some of you may have heard of it. (No, not Peter Pan – that’s a given.)  Loisel’s Peter Pan.

Over a fourteen year period, from 1990 to 2004, Régis Loisel single-handedly wrote, scripted, pencilled, inked, hand-coloured and lettered a 6-volume series for the French publisher Glénat, some 330-odd pages of the story of the origin of Peter Pan.

The series has been translated into Italian, Spanish and German, and has sold over 1,000,000 copies worldwide.  But it’s never been completely translated into English.

Until now.

It’s never been collected into one single edition in English.  Until now.

It’s never been seen in the UK.

Until… the end of May.

Nick, Paul, Nora, Cheryl, Tony, Etienne –  even Loisel himself – have spent the past four to five months working on the translation.  Paul Rafferty has spent a good two months lettering the entire book.  Everyone has had a chance to read it and make corrections.  The book has been pasted up, printed out, turned into PDFs and finally, finally sent to the printers.

And now I wait.

Everything prior to this, I’ve been able to control.  I’ve been able to look at files or read scripts.  I’ve been able to do something. Now, all I can do is wait for the books to turn up.

Now, I have confidence in the printers I’ve used.  I’ve used them before and been satisfied with the results.  My head says this.  But my heart?  It says, “We’ll see.”

I’ve had confidence in printers before, and have been disappointed.

Recently, I’ve had a book come back with no front cover image.  It was there on the proof.  But the book that turned up had no cover image – only the title text.  The printer was at a loss to explain what happened, and reprinted the book for me.

I’ve had a print run turn up where the book was run in reverse order.  The last page of the story was the first page of the book.  I called the printer to complain.  Their response?  A looong pause, followed by, “That’s… not possible.”  But it was, and they reprinted the book for me.

I’ve had a run of a magazine come back with the cover the wrong way around. To be fair, the magazine had been designed with a flip cover, so that either side looked like the front.  However, one side needed to really be the front cover.  And it wasn’t.  The printer reprinted, getting it right the second time.  Unfortunately, they hadn’t put the pallet together properly.  When it arrived, the second print run was scattered across the bed of the truck that brought it in.

By this time, the friend I was printing the magazine for had pretty much had enough and told me to forget the entire thing.  Haven’t heard from him since.  Hope he’s well.

I could tell other tales of woe: hardcovers that are printed as perfect bound books. perfect bound that come back saddle-stitched.  But you get the idea.

It’s not like I haven’t got other things to do.  But in the back of my mind, I can’t help but wonder. And worry.

But all I can do is wait.

Had a printing disaster?  Let me know about it, so we can all laugh with you: info@soaringpenguinpress.com

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