Turning a paper page into a virtual one
After I place the comics page onto the scanner platen and take a
picture of it, I call up the picture with GIMP (Graphic Image
Here's the image of a page from Marvel Premiere 27. It needs to be rotated and cropped. GIMP allows rotation of as little as 0.1o and I could usually scan the page so that it was within three degrees of being straight up and down.
A 1.3o rotation was enough to get this straight up and down.
Notice there's a fair amount of white space on the page. This was
because comics used cheap printing in those days. This particular
issue, printed in 1975, cost only $0.25, so the printed narative/picture section
might wander a bit.
As comics cost $2.00 to $3.00 these days, they use
much better printing so it isn't necessary to leave so much white
space on the page. These two screenshots are from AvsX 12 in 2012 (AvsX = Avengers vs X-Men).
These days, the pictures don't always, but often go all the way
out to the edge.
Also, the initial scan frequently picks up a section of the next page
over, so that gets cropped out as well. Everything that's darkened in
this screenshot got left out.
I took the initial picture in the TIFF format as that format picks up lots of
detail. After the picture is straightened and cropped, I saved it as a
JPG. One of the advantages of doing that is that I can immediately tell
exactly where I've left off and can pick up the project again without
skipping a beat.
then select all of the JPGs for that particular issue and name the
compression file after the series title, the volume number and the
issue number. The program then
collects all of those pages into the CBZ format. You can still remove
add pages, but you can't do anything to a removed page. Once a page is
removed from a CBZ file, it's simply gone. Note that the very last JPG in this list
is of a distinct size and name from the rest. This is my signature file
that containes a lot of information on the issue, writer, artist, year,
plus any miscellaneous notes and my name.
Often, I'd come up with a note I'd want to add after I'd already
created the signature file, so I left plenty of room to put the note in.
And here's how the finished page looks via the Comix program! And yes, as you're reading the virtual page, you can
change the size and magnify any portion of the page you want to get a
closer look at any section.