The conclusion of all our screentone printing tests and consultations was, if you’ve been following this, that we couldn’t do screentones or use halftones without a nasty plaid pattern appearing, because of the way the printing company used by the publisher processes the files. The Bad Thing that happened to it (a second halftoning is my guess) happened once it left our control, and was unavoidable, unless the publisher switched to another printing system, and being a small press, they don’t really have that option. We decided, therefore, that we would work around it. The good thing about a small press is that they’re willing to let us play. This is an experiment for them, outside the scope of their usual list, and what we collectively learn will benefit them for future projects. They’ve done one other comic, Steven Appleby’s The Captain Star Omnibus, but it was simpler (on the technical side), pure black and white, no shading or gradients. Connie first tried plain grey fills to add a bit of shading to her inked and scanned drawings, but those looked a bit dull and lifeless, so she tried using fills with some subtle texture. These not only look really good, but they should print pretty much the same as what we’re seeing on our monitors or printing out at home.
So here, for your viewing pleasure, is a low-res version of our latest test piece, a movie-poster-style ad for the manga.