“…Grabs you from the first and keeps going…(Colleen Doran) does it with aplomb, with soul and with a sense of joy…”
“The New York Times” best selling author of Sandman, Neverwhere, American Gods, MirrorMask
LADIES MAKING COMICS.
A Distant Soil has all the right elements to be a YA SF/F phenomenon (with an enormous adult crossover audience) if comics were read as widely as prose— an unsuspecting teenage girl with a destiny and the fate of multiple worlds on her shoulders, beautiful people with superhuman abilities, a strong supporting cast of people you can root for (and—let’s be honest—ship), gorgeous costumes that beg to be cosplayed— but unlike the books that glut the YA market today, Colleen Doran did it 25 years ago and broke rules that hadn’t even been set down yet.
“An elegantly drawn, complex cast of characters crowd through her pages and fill her multidimensional story with a complex weave of emotion and wonder.”
The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Edition
St. Martin’s Press
World Fantasy award-winning author/artist of Sandman and Stardust
The digitally restored editions of the classic space opera series are now available! The story of a young girl born the heir to an alien religious dynasty was put on hold after a printer error resulted in a complete loss of our archives. After years of diligent work by restoration specialist Allan Harvey, the series is now available again in a superior format, with greatly improved printing quality, super-clean tones and line work. The technology to reproduce the work at this level did not exist when this series first appeared, and now you can get it at a lower price than our original editions which premiered in 1997.
Volume I and II are now available. Order direct from me and get it signed with a signed mini-print and FREE US SHIPPING!
In addition to superior printing, we’ve paid special attention to placing the art so the entire image area is easy to see. We know you’re all tired of comic art that gets lost in the gutters of your trade paperbacks!
In the first image, the book is laid flat on the scanner. Note how you can see all of the image area of the art. This is the new edition.
In the second image (old edition,) I have had to crush the book to get it to lie flat, and you can barely see the art in the gutter. Also, you can see the difference in the quality of the tones. The printing is not as crisp, and some line work, particularly on faces, disappears completely. This has been corrected in our new edition, as you can see!
Special thanks to our publisher and designer Jim Valentino, editor Laura Tavishati and Val Trullinger for creating our digital templates. And very special thanks to all our readers who have been so supportive and have spent years tracking down and loaning me original art for the restoration task.
Our lengthy journey is almost over: Volume III is the final work which requires restoration, and we have most of the original art. Volume IV is not missing any original art. I am also in the process of completing the entire series which ends with issue #50, which will be collected in Volume V. I am doing this between my publishing assignments for Image, DC Comics and Dark Horse, so thanks again for your great patience, understanding, and gracious support.
(IF you are reading this on a feed and you cannot see our purchase links, GO HERE to place your order.)
Look at what I have in my HOT LITTLE HANDS! The new, digitally restored A DISTANT SOIL VOLUME II, looking just as perfect as Volume I! The printer came through with another outstanding job and the care and attention Jim Valentino and Laura Tavishati gave us on design and edits is exceeded only by the outstanding restoration job by Allan Harvey!
Once again, the pages are so perfectly restored it is impossible to tell which pages were shot from originals and which were restored. I sat down with the previous edition of this book, printed back in 1998, and the difference is amazing. WOW! So happy! I will be shipping ALL preorders on MONDAY or you can get it from your local comic book shop! Thank you and very sorry for the wait. I assure you it’s been worth it!
Order direct from me and get it signed with a signed mini-print and FREE US SHIPPING!
And get Volume I now with free US shipping!
Here is one of the many reasons the new, digitally restored edition of A DISTANT SOIL is better than the old one. Take a close look at this comparison.
In the first image, the book is laid flat on the scanner. Note how you can see all of the image area of the art. This is the new edition.
In the second image, I have had to crush the book to get it to lie flat, and you can barely see the art in the gutter. The whole book is like this. The art is crammed into the gutter, and unless you break the spine, you cannot see the entire image area of every page.
So, yes, we do have some copies of the first edition of A DISTANT SOIL VOLUME II available. You can even get them cheaply from secondary sellers on Amazon. If you are a collector, you may want to grab one.
But in every way, and in every detail, our new, digitally restored editions are an improvement, from paper quality, to design, to little things, like, you know, being able to see all of the art.
Also, please be aware that there are people selling old editions via the secondary seller program, but listing them as new editions. It’s a dead giveaway when people sell the new editions as “library book”. The new edition of Volume I has only been out a few months and there is no way it has been through the library system process in that time. So, beware of Amazon secondary seller bargains.
(Also, a quick note to thank Val Trullinger for creating our digital templates for us. They really helped!)
Some snaps of colleagues.
Barry Lyga and Carla Speed McNeil
Author Laurie Penny
Colleen Doran. Don’t know who took this one, actually.
Jim Valentino, Jeff Smith, Neil Gaiman
Dave Sim, Jeff Smith, James Owen, Neil Gaiman, me.
At the printer. Right now. This is the final printed cover.
Alternate cover. Slightly different dimensions. The cover has to be positioned to fit our die cut window, so much of the figure work gets pushed out of the pic. Also, I did a repaint on D’mer’s face for the final. I thought D’mer looked harsh here.
The book with the die cut cover. The color image is printed on the first page, and the cover itself has a window so the pic can peep out.
We got some lovely reviews on Volume I, but there is a lot of misinformation in some of them. One person reviewed an out of print version of Volume II instead. I’m still laughing. Also, someone wrote a review claiming the book was “digitally inked”. No. It wasn’t. There are no digital inks in this book. All of my inks are by hand.
He also wrote that he felt the best pages were the pages printed “from the original pencils”. There are no pages printed from the original pencils. One assumes that he is praising our lovely chapter headings and full page illustrations. Those aren’t printed from pencils, those are cover paintings printed in interior black and white. I guess people can’t tell ink from pencil, or a watercolor painting printed in black and white, but there you go.
There was an early, discarded edition of this book from a small press in the 1980′s. It is very amusing reading reviews by people who have never read it, or think they can recall it, and then claim that the current edition is a restored version of that edition.
It isn’t. I completely discarded some 300 pages of work and rewrote and redrew it from scratch. I haven’t used a single page of that work since 1985. Not five lines of dialogue in total, and did not even lightbox or trace a single solitary panel. About three pages or close or similar, but I redrew them entirely. I did reprint a couple of my covers. That’s it. I own all rights to that work, but I won’t reprint it. I even destroyed most of the art.
People also have a hard time understanding what digital restoration is. There are a lot blogs writing reviews that really don’t know anything about comics production. They don’t even understand what I mean when I say the printer lost the negatives. One guy asked the same question three times about why I draw the art a certain size (it has to do with the use of tone sheets) and he got angry that he couldn’t understand things like moire, and aspect ratio, became frustrated, and flounced off. It was really funny.
Anyway, these graphic novels have been published by Image Comics since 1996. In 2006, our printer lost the negatives, and we’ve had to track down art or do digital restoration from printed copies of the book to get the book back in print. It looks much better than it did before because the technology did not exist then to produce the quality we get now, so in the end, it’s all good. But it’s been a long, expensive process and we still have about a third of the series to restore. My digital restoration guru Allan Harvey has done all the heavy lifting on the book, and it is the best black and white reproduction I’ve ever seen.
We will have copies of Volume II in about two weeks, and of course, have copies of Volume I. Here they are available at my bookshop. Of course I love it when you order from your comic shop, but I realize some people don’t have access to one. And I will happily sign anything you order direct from me.
Last night I was talking with my good friend Julie Ditrich, a writer from Australia. A long time ago Julie and other people in our professional circles had disturbing experiences with a client which tried to do things they did not have the legal right to do. They were personally and professionally abusive. Despite their attempts to repackage themselves as gay friendly and female positive, they were none of these things when we worked at that company. They were openly anti-feminist and frequently spouted gay slurs.
When we objected to their behavior, they trashed us to anyone who would listen and went after our creations and ability to work. While they’ve gotten along with a few other people they work with, they were alternatively weirdly possessive and jealously nasty with us, even long after we left the company. I don’t know a single quality creator who worked there who was well treated.
Even as recently as the past year, several of us had to deal with their public libel and slander campaign.
Julie and I both realized that unless we are approached by some of their fans, or unless they try to come to our websites and cause trouble, we really don’t have a clue what these people do these days, and are always surprised when some fan pops up to try to stir the pot. For example, neither of us had any idea what their website looks like. We just don’t go there.
I remove comments from people who play troublemaker. I had to part ways with one fan whom I’ve known for years who seemed to spend a lot of their free time going to message boards trying to find nasty things they or their fans said about me. I have a file full of letters from fans and former employees all complaining about their treatment, or repeating things they said about me and other creators. It’s tedious. I just file them away and try to forget the latest dose of creepy. And it’s sad, because they just can’t move on. They just gotta keep trying to drag down, almost always when I have a new book that gets a lot of press.
It’s nice to just not care, and to be secure enough that you don’t have to worry about people who never grew up and away from fannish power politics, even though they were older than all of us when we dealt with them and should have been more mature.
I know the truth of what they did must be incredibly embarrassing and no one wants to have their worst moments made a public issue. But you don’t get to claim to “live in truth” and then lie to try to protect a history of abuse.
It’s tough to reconcile the public image of people who created characters you enjoy with the way they treat the real people around them. Every time Stan Lee does another interview, people rush forward to speak out about how Jack Kirby was treated. And other people rush forward to complain about the buzzkill.
Julie and I, and the many other creators who know what really happened refuse to live a lie.
We don’t have to “live in our truth” like it’s some sort of personal reality bubble. We have facts and objective reality- contracts and letters that prove everything.
Their baggage is spending a lifetime trying to cover up.
We don’t have that baggage to carry. Which may be why I have so many accomplishments, such a large body of work, and so many clients which hire me again and again.
I had several conversations with some women creators who have had to deal with similar experiences with this and other clients. And I keep telling them the same thing: they have no power over you. There is no blacklist. They cannot keep you from working. There are sour, jealous, backstabbing people all over the art and entertainment industry. EVERYBODY has to deal with it.
There is no way to stop a liar from lying. Keep going forward, keep on working, keep telling the truth. You will win in the end.
My body of work is proof. YOU CANNOT BE BLACKLISTED. If anyone could have been blacklisted, that would have been me, then a teenaged girl who had the misfortune to get involved with some odd people.
Lies can slow you down, they can trip you. But they can’t stop you unless you want to stop.
And that is entirely up to you. You have the right to stop on your terms. You have the right to keep on running. Your choice. They don’t win when you stop. You just go do something else. YOUR CHOICE.
Lies are heavy, they’re a handicap, even more for the liar than for you. There is no real power in a lie. When they stoop to lie, they admit they have no power.
I have ALL THE THINGS when it comes to a career in comics. And I got it despite the best efforts of some very nasty people.
I won that race.
I travel light, so I travel fast. I don’t have the baggage of lies to keep straight.
Light and fleet.