For the last eight months or so, I’ve been hunkered down working on the huge A Distant Soil restoration project. When Colleen discovered that all the negatives to the old edition of the graphic novel had been lost, she feared that that was the end of the line. Knowing that I’d worked in the photographic industry for over twenty years and had extensive Photoshop knowledge she asked me if it would be possible to restore the pages directly from the graphic novel.

It was.

I prepared several pages as samples, which Colleen was happy with, and I got the gig. The most important qualification, I suspect, was that I knew A Distant Soil inside and out—having been a fan since Noah was a boy. With a list of pages for which Colleen no longer owned the original art, I was able to go in, scan the pages from the book and digitally clean them. As the book suffered from somewhat muddy reproduction thanks to the abundance of tone sheets on the art, I had to painstaking remove the tones and replace them with digital versions. The finished result should make the new edition look better than it ever has.

The project snowballed once Colleen decided to re-letter the whole book to make it match later volumes. To achieve this, a font was specially created from Colleen’s lettering samples and I erased all the original lettering and replaced it with the new. While doing that, I took the opportunity to give each and every page a quick digital spruce up.

Phew.

The book should be out in a few weeks. Go and buy a copy!

More on Colleen Doran and her work can be found at A DISTANT SOIL and HERE. She wrote a piece on the restoration HERE, where you can see some samples.

A Distant Soil is tm and © Colleen Doran