An Ongoing Journey In Digitizing Komiks

I was supposed to upload the first volume of this Filipino comic magazine called “Dragon Boy Z” the week after ToyCon 2022 as I didn’t plan to attend ACX or Tugatog Festival but I cannot do so because of two things:

  • I got struck by a fever this past Friday so I was bedridden for two whole days.
  • I had to clean up those scans and this I will discuss in detail.

For those of you who are asking what is Dragon Boy Z, I am not talking about Akira Toriyama’s 1983 manga which would then become Dragon Ball a year later.

I am talking about a 19-volume comic magazine that was published by Infinity Publishing Inc. back in 1995 and I was able to get the first four issues back at last week’s Toycon being the Dragon Ball nut that I am.

It turns out that Dragon Boy Z does not only contain the titular Dragon Ball knock-off (and we will get more into that in a future blog post or a video) but other stories that were inspired by other titles such as Marvel’s X-Men, SNK’s Samurai Spirits, and even Mortal Kombat. I’ll cover those later but for now, let me detail the process of making this comic fit for digital archiving.

Unlike what I do with my magazine scans wherein I do little to no editing whatsoever, scanning comics is a bit more daunting because not only do you have to scan the pages but at the same time do some clean-up on those plus some other adjustments.

Here is a video of my process:

This is not the whole process though because in some rare cases, I have to rotate a scanned image to straighten a crooked scan and in the case of two-page spreads, I have to create a new file on Photoshop to merge the two pages together. This page in the X-Gen is an example of such:

In some pages that aren’t necessarily comic pages, like this one, not many adjustments are needed to be done here because it’s mostly just walls of text and nothing else aside from some pieces of art here and there.

The most difficult ones to fix are those that really come out crooked when scanned plus ones where it’s nothing but black and white.

Filipino komiks back in the day aren’t printed on high-quality paper and depending on the age of the komik that you bought (or kept), it shows on the brown spots, and when you scan them, it’s hard to detect the white portions of the image when you try to fix the black and white levels in it. Don’t even get me started on searching for gray areas (and I mean gray-colored portions of the page).

I guess this would be all for now. I will still continue to work on the first volume of Dragon Boy Z this week, then release the final chapter of the Jun Togawa retrospective, and decide if I would go to Otacute’s July Cosplay Festival. See you when I see you, I guess.

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