Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chomping at the bit of CP Vol 2

Today is a proofing day, and I thought I'd share the bones of the process. Some of you may not realize how far ahead a quarterly publication has to be thinking. At Carrier Pigeon we add additional challenges to an already daunting task by featuring fully illustrated short works of fiction, which means giving the illustrators time to do their jobs. While the illustrators are toiling away at their drawing boards to come up with five to 10 complementary images for each assigned work, we're busily formatting and copy-editing, going back and forth with the authors to reach approved versions that are clean while maintaining the authors' voices.

Once the designer has laid out the magazine with the approved text and we're able to see a hard copy it's time to address issues of consistency across the magazine. This really can't happen on a screen. In addition to being lucky enough to have had illustrations commissioned for several issues, I act as the gatekeeper where these things are concerned. I hold the proof copy in my hands, scribble notes, twist my fists, go through rounds of changes with the issue designer, and then sleep in the knowledge that everyone's hard work will pay off and no one will have to bear the public embarrassment of having written "waist" instead of "waste." Even the tiniest issues with consistency among the punctuation of six pieces of fiction per issue by six writers—plus six artist statements and artwork descriptions—can have an effect on the reading experience, which is as important as the viewing experience. In order for the magazine's audience to be immersed, or even, hopefully, once in a while, transported, the whole thing has to be seamless, and the collaborators have to trust that each will do their parts.

Enjoy this tiny sneak peek of our Spring 2012 issue—in process but with no mistakes highlighted, obviously—and don't forget to join us on February 23 for our Vol. 2 issue 1 release exhibition party at Grit N Glory boutique.

Reference notes to back up marks generously applied to the magazine body

Sloth by Matthew Blair, illustrated by Kristy Caldwell (me)

No proofing required. Thanks to the awesome guys at Cannonball Press.