This Isn’t Working: A Closer Look

This Isn’t Working had a wonderful debut at MoCCA Fest.  On the first day I sold all the copies I had printed, so I rushed to the studio and screenprinted some more covers.  I sold out again on Sunday, so it was back to the studio (where I had 40 online orders to fill!)  This reception really surprised me (pleasantly, of course).

I thought I’d give you a closer look at This Isn’t Working (like I did with Make when it was published).  The design of This Isn’t Working isn’t as complicated as Make, but there are a few new tricks I tried out.

Unlike some of my other books, I planned for This Isn’t Working to have a simple design, so I could produce it quickly and cheaply.  Who says a handsome minicomic has to cost an arm and a leg?  This book is 28 pages, and retails for $3 (the same price as King Cat!)

This Isn’t Working has a basic letter digest with a 2-color screenprint cover.  Here’s the front cover…

And here is the cover spread.  Doesn’t that boyfriend look like a cad?

Cara Bean drew this wonderful cover, but she left the coloring to me.  You might have noticed the pink and red only register in two places: on the girl, and on the setting sun.  This makes it a pretty easy to register.

I wanted to work the image of a broken heart into the book design, and play around with using a stencil.  Here’s what I came up with.  Using a piece of thick tracing paper, I cut out the broken heart shape.  Then I took a brayer and a rolled it on a red stamp pad.  I rolled the brayer over the stencil to create the broken heart print.

It’s an imprecise form of printmaking, but it has a fun DIY look.  And, rather than printing the first page on white paper, I chose a shade of pink that matches the light pink of the cover.  A small touch, but I think it fancies up the book.

Here is the first page of comics.  Notice the Paper Rocket logo on the right, designed by Cara Bean.  Each Paper Rocket minicomic is going to have a custom logo designed by the featured artist.  I must admit I stole this idea from Dark Horse’s Maverick line.

There you have it!  Paper Rocket’s debut minicomic.  Many more to come!

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