Break It Down!

Like Lehi of old, I stepped from the front door of my house and found something beautiful sparkling in the sunlight. It was not a Liahona; it was the final proof of iPlates Volume 1, a graphic novel based the Book of Mormon that Jett Atwood and I produced. (Note: this book keeps kids quiet during sacrament meeting).

I say I found the final proof there because I had gone through two unfinal proofs previously, their beauty having been marred by the difference between the black produced by Photoshop and the black produced by QuarkXpress. But I had fixed the problem, and now we had a perfect proof. (Note: you can buy this book with its pure tones of black on Amazon or from our shop page.)

But I could not rest. Like Lehi, I needed to venture into the wilderness—in this case, the wilderness of Kindle. How does one prepare a comic book for Kindle? It was a question that caused me much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. But I finally figured it out. First, you turn the panels 90 degrees counter-clockwise so they can have more room to stretch out. Yes, the reader needs to turn the Kindle on its side in order to read it, but from such a small effort comes great rewards.)

I spent many hours going through our comic book, cutting the pages in half, turning them on their sides, figuring out how many pixels are optimal for the Kindle screen (700. You’re welcome.), and saving everything “for web and devices.”

In great triumph, I sent the resulting file to my Kindle and . . . realized that much of the text was just too small to be legible. I needed to break the pages down to individual panels if I wanted anyone to be able to read the book without a microscope. But, being the dedicated man I am, I decided that I would only break down the panels with egregiously small text.

Again, I sent the file to my Kindle and . . . something beautiful happened: in these new single-panel screens, I could really see the art. I was suddenly immersed in the story. I felt like I could really focus.

Take a look. This is from Zeniff’s story as he spies on the Lamanites. This first panel is how I started.

And this is what it looked like when I broke it down.

Getting this enhanced view of the content was wonderful . . . and horrible, because I realized that the reading experience would be a hundred times better if I went through and broke down the whole bleeping book.

And that’s what I’m doing this week—when I’m not working at my job or doing the dishes or playing Skylanders with my three-year-old. I’m extracting panels from the iPlates and turning them on their sides. And strangely enough, I’m really enjoying it. I like seeing the characters’ expressions and watching the action up close. I’m remembering again why this is such a great book. (Note: your kids will LOVE learning Book of Mormon stories and sound moral principles through iPlates Volume 1, available now in hard copy, and soon on Kindle.)

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8 Responses to Break It Down!

  1. Th. says:

    .

    And, um, the epub version?

  2. Mark S. Brown says:

    I will be buying a hard copy of this very soon. I’m excited to read it.

  3. I saw the final proof and it is really, really pretty. For real.

  4. Mahonri Stewart says:

    Very excited!
    Was it purposeful that you picked up the story where Mike Allred’s Book of Mormon graphic novels left off?

  5. Mahonri Stewart says:

    Although I must say I wish it could have been in color! :(

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