A Distant Soil Restoration
Our printer went bankrupt and accidentally discarded our complete inventory of negatives of the art for my entire graphic novel series, nearly 1000 pages of material. While we do have a good deal of the art, restoring the lost pages is taking five months, and the loss of the negatives has cost me over $20,000 in production work. We cannot bring my series back into print without this restoration, and I have twelve issues of new art and story to complete to bring the series to its finale at Image Comics beginning next year.
For a detailed explanation of the loss and restoration efforts, scroll down. Also, check out our sales, all of which go to finance restoration of this project.
SEE THE UNRESTORED PROJECT FOR FREE ONLINE and read the series!
Everyone who contributes to this restoration via purchases from my website, donations, or loans of original, will be permanently listed here.
SANDMAN BOOK SET SOLD OUT.
I am on the hunt for original art from A Distant Soil. Please click the link to see the article about this restoration, and view the progress.
Our printer went bankrupt a few years back, but we were told the company would stay in business. It did. But it separated, and its old printing division went independent.
Unfortunately, even though it’s customary to hold negatives and digital files in archives for reprint, in the confusion of the reorganization, many of our files appear to have been discarded. The company contacted me on July 4 to tell me they had found the archives.
I got the negatives back today, but none of the graphic novels have been preserved. I have a handful of individual issues.
While we will be able to use some of the negatives to restore art from Volumes II-III, nothing remains from volume I.
I held off selling most of the art for many years, and still have a good deal of it here. I’ve been able to restore 18 of the 25 pages from issue 1 of the comic, for example.
But there are major gaps in later issues, and almost nothing from issue 5.
I will post a complete list of what I need in the coming days.
If you have ANYTHING from Volume IV of the graphic novels, this is the LOWEST priority. Most of the art was digitally preserved already, in good condition. We also have a random selection of earlier pages in good condition. NO MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE, CONTACT ME! Some of your earlier scans are poor quality and need to be redone.
If you purchased A Distant Soil original art, I would be very grateful if you would get in touch with me. I would be especially grateful if you would either scan the art to my specs, or loan me the originals for scanning. I will reimburse you all your expenses, as well as send you a little something nice extra. (At first I thought I only needed pages sold prior to 2008, but some of my early scans are quite poor. So, no matter what you have bought, please let me know.)
I need 1200 dpi greyscale, or 600 dpi greyscale. I prefer the former.
If you have color originals, I prefer 600 dpi CMYK. RGB will do.
Please do not email me with any large files until I have determined I actually need the pages you have. The most critical pages required at this time are from issues 1-15.
I am so grateful for your kindness in helping restore this book. I am deeply sorry this happened, and I am doing everything I can to bring you a new edition in good condition.
GET A PAGE OF ORIGINAL ART FOR A $100 DONATION! Published in the series, we will send you a SIGNED page of the series from Image Comics!
UPDATE: A clarification. Some pages have been scanned by me already and are OK. The pages I am most concerned about are pages with tone sheets on them, as in pages with hand applied mechanical grey areas made of plastic sheets. The original scans on many of these pages are quite poor. It is easy to clean up and restore a page without tone sheets, because line work often scans very cleanly. The pages that concern me most use tones. Here is an example.
This page shows the clean, clear grey areas we want to see in the final edition. It has been fully restored from a scan of the original art.
This is a page that has not been restored:
As you can see, the tones are muddy, and linework has been lost. In some cases, tones on character’s faces are so dark and muddy, their expressions can’t be seen. The more original art I have access to, or the more art that can be properly scanned and sent to me, the more beautiful we can make the new editions of the series. I sincerely appreciate your help!
IMPORTANT: The search for A Distant Soil original art continues, but PLEASE don’t send me any of the work from the magazine sized edition published back in the 1980′s. None of that work is of any use. It is not the original A Distant Soil. I am only looking for the black and white line art I drew for graphic novels and comics published by me and Image Comics. That is the true, definitive A Distant Soil edition. PLEASE don’t send me the pencil art from the 1980′s small press. I have had to return a number of pieces which increases my costs, but doesn’t progress work on this restoration. Thank you for trying to help, but please contact me to clarify before sending art.
The Hierarchy! Beyond the call of duty support and donations
J Michael Straczynksi
Thank you for scans and loans of original art!
A Castle of Books
Niels van Eikelen
DONATIONS and SUPPORT
J. Michael Straczynski
PATRONS: much appreciated customers who have contributed to the restoration effort with purchases from the A Distant Soil shop
Five Star Comics
Theo von Shlien
Emil Anders Fritiof Djupfeldt
Angel Gallo Fernandez
Tyler Chin Tanner
Melissa Vogt Patterson
Wilson Ramos Jr