I am still trying to finish up my Great Gatsby illustration project. I’ve been working on making my own illustrated version of the book for over two and a half years. It’s almost done.

Last week I printed out a second proof of the book. Unlike the first proof (Printing Out Proofs) it went smoothly. I made a PDF of the whole book, broke that pdf into sixteen page chunks, printed out those chunks, folded the pages in half, and stapled the pages with my old mini-comics long reach stapler. It all went as expected and I had no problems.

One thing I did differently than the first proof was the binding. For the first proof I clamped the pages in place (about twelve sixteen page sections), drilled four holes near the spine, and put short lengths of cord through the holes. After I tied off the cords they became loops that were the binding. It was nothing fancy. A couple of the knots came untied over time too. It was tough tying them again.

This time, after it was all printed out, I tried to think of a new way to bind them. The “Tied with cord” method didn’t work out as well as I would have liked. The cord coming untied was not a help. Then I remembered rings. In my brain was some foggy memory of people binding stuff with big rings. It was something I had never done but I looked up binding rings on the internet and found them.

The rings were about an inch and a half across and through they look big and clunky they do the job. I drilled holes through the paper and put the rings through. The rings open up and then close again so it was easy to get them through. They make it easier to look through the proof too compared to the cord. The cord tended to want to keep the pages in place while with the rings the pages slide around the ring easily. At least so far. I haven’t put the proof in my bag and traveled with it. I did that with the corded one and that is when the cords started to untie and it got tricky.

This second proof also got the cover and end papers printed out with it. The first proof only had the interior pages since I hadn’t finished setting up the cover and end pages just yet. The end pages consisted of the 120 faces that I wrote about last year. 120 Faces

One thing that wasn’t in this proof was the second cover that I did. I somehow misplaced the files for it. There was an illustration that I did for the interior that I used for a class demonstration and made a cover out of the illustration. I ended up liking that cover so I worked on the design some more and finished it up as a cover. I wanted to use that as the back cover in this proof but couldn’t find the finished design. I thought I had put it in my “Gatsby” folder but it wasn’t there. It has disappeared on me. I may have to remake it.

I still haven’t proofed the actual text of the book. It’s now a public domain book and I downloaded the text of the book and typeset it in inDesign but I had to clean up a lot of the formatting. I found some very obvious mistakes in the text as I looked through the first proof but I didn’t actually read it. I plan to eventually sit down with the book, play the audio book, and read along with the audiobook to see if there are any mistakes. That’s the best plan for proofreading it that I came up with but it’ll take five or six hours so I haven’t done it yet.

The main thing I did with this second proof was to get all the illustrations in place. I have the book set up so that, except for the chapter illustrations which are on the left, all the illustrations are on the right hand side. Things didn’t go quite as planned in the first proof so I had to work that all out.

What I found out looking at the second proof was that I’m not sure if I like all the illustrations on the right hand page. I don’t know why. I like the idea in general and I have no problem with it in the digital file but in looking at the proof it didn’t work for me as well. I’m going to have to think about it some more.

One thing that I really liked in this proof was the double page spreads. There are only two of them in the book and one of them was messed up in the first proof but in flipping through the second proof they really looked good. Being twice the size of all the other illustrations they stood out. It gave me the idea to make a couple of more double page illustrations but I haven’t gotten any ideas for them and that pushes off the finishing of the book too.

In the end it really doesn’t matter if I push off finishing the book though. It’s not like anyone is waiting for it and I have no real plans for publishing it myself so me finishing it up is in no hurry.

To finish up this blog I have to tell you that I searched some more for that second cover that I had made and I found it. As I said it was a demo that I had done for a class I was teaching and so it was in a folder with a weird name. The folder was named “Cover Gatsby Spine Folder.” I think that’s because I made a cover template for them and the book cover had a spine in it. I did a search for “Gatsby” on the Google Drive of my classes and a whole bunch of stuff came up. I looked through a lot of them and then the cover finally appeared. Yee-haw!