Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lipstick Negotiation

A collaboration between Kendall and myself

This is a caption made from my partial cap "Sing Sing Sing".  I'm putting this version up like  my previous collaborative works, but unlike those where I simply offered up a picture, Kendall took a story that was half written and finished off wonderfully.

Kendall's take on the story is really quite different than what I had in mind.  Where I tend to go for forced/unwilling caps Kendall prefers willing methods.  I think her version actually flows better as I had 'Caitlyn' willing to dress up and perform enfemme... so why force her to take this last step.  

Now, my original design for "Sing Sing Sing" was basic at best.  I didn't even bother with any coloring as I just wanted to present what i had in mind.  That layout only had room for a single additional paragraph, whereas Kendall's addition was six paragraphs long.  Obviously I needed to change how the text was presented.  My first thought was just to extend the text box to fill up the bottom, all the way from the left to the right.  But even with that additional space, I'd have to make the text very small.  So instead I used this method of adding additional background space, and then took advantage of the extra room that both images had on their left side. I do regret that the text box covers 'Micky's" hands on her head, but that actually makes the final 'blowjob' image work a little better with Kendall's version of the story.  

Once I split the story more or less in half, it fit fairly well in the first panel.  I then had to work on the finishing design touches.  As this isn't as dark of a story that I had in mind, I wanted the design to be a little more fun. So I went with a nice bright saturated red for the background.  I liked it enough to mimic the color in the text of the story and even the title.  I even upped the saturation of the photos so that they didn't seem washed out in comparison.  But the title of "Sing Sing Sing" didn't really work with the story.  Hell, it barely matched MY version and was just there as more or less a placeholder.  So I re-read the story and realized that Kendall had emphasized the lipstick several times, as well as focused on her negotiation with Micky.  Lipstick Negotiation just jumped out and worked.   As a last tip of my hat to Kendall I used the font that reminds me of hers (although she pointed out that it is in fact a different font).  

So with the first panel done, I moved on to the second panel.  Sadly it wasn't just a matter of dropping in the picture and text, as there was a lot of the story that didn't fit.  Cutting other people's work is something that I hate doing... as it wasn't my writing I'm not quite sure how the original author was working with rhythm and tone.  And cutting random parts out may change the overall feeling that they were driving toward.  But... it was either cut some portions out, redesign the text box (making the panels unequal... eww), or use a smaller font (again, making it unequal... eww).  I tried to use a scalpel, and hope that Kendall doesn't mind some of her fine prose that ended up on the editing room floor.  

Just like my previous collaboration projects, I await Kendall's opinion on the project before I'll call it finished.  Only when she is happy with it, will it be well and truly done.

UPDATE 03/11/2013 7:00PM

When I first posted this cap, I sent Kendall a PM on the Haven to make sure she saw what I had done with her story.  As I said here, I believe a collaboration cap should satisfy all parties involved, so I asked if she was happy with what was done.  She did have some suggestions:

As for the cutting and editing of my text, I really don't mind. I have a tendency to be rather verbose, hence the six paragraphs, and you summed up some bits quite nicely. I remember reading the phrase "...a new string of angry frustrated curses..." and going, wow, that's pretty good, I don't remember writing that! Then I realized I hadn't  

As far as the design goes, I realize that much text is very difficult to fit into a cap, so nice job on getting that done. My only two inputs on the cap would first be the text color. My screen tends to be a little more glossy, so if there isn't a lot of contrast, it can be difficult to read. The dark red on black was not the easiest color combination to read for me, though definitely still doable. The other thing I thought of was how squished the pictures were with the text box and how much of the picture was covered (something that you mentioned in your post). I noticed there was still some significant amount of space on the left and right edges, perhaps spreading them out a little more and decreasing the borders would look better?

I was glad to hear that she didn't mind the edits I applied to her text, and was happy to see that she didn't simply say that she liked the design.  Both of her design suggestions were valid and show a good eye.  Here is what I wrote in return:

I think your part of the story worked wonderfully and if it had fit I wouldn't have changed a think.  But when I dropped the 'second half' into the design I was about five lines short of it fitting.  That's the only reason I started cutting.  Once it was the right number of lines, I then had to add a little bit to a few paragraphs so that the last line would be more than just a few words.  

On the design, you're right about the color.  I try to avoid using a saturated red and black combination as it can be hard to read.  I just let my excitement get in the way and looked past it.  Sadly there isn't really a 'light red'.  Any significant change in the saturation would send it immediately to being 'pink' which won't match the remaining tone in the cap.  So as I see it the only choice is to go white.  It will give us the contrast to make it easier to read and won't clash with the rest of the design.  Since white text on a black textbox is kind of dull, I went ahead and changed the text box to a dark red.  And to acknowledge the color change I edited the title, giving it a gradient from white to red. 

The spacing is easy enough to change.  I pushed the photos to the right and the text to the left giving it a 25 pixel border as opposed to the 60 pixel border.  I then cropped a bit off the top and bottom to keep the 25 pixel border even.  

Between changing the text box (making it less opaque), and spreading out the layout I think that the photos should shine through a little more. 

Kendall agreed that this version looked better.  So that is now THE version (at the top of the post).  Below is the original:

No comments:

Post a Comment