30 November 2008

screen printing (and miscellany)

screenprinting was once called silkscreening, but nowadays it is often a synthetic rather than silk used on the screens. the basic concept is that you create a stencil, but it should be more durable than if you made a stencil from paper or cardboard and is used for multiple copies or printing on fabrics. and with access to technology, it should be a simple process. i know i know--access sometimes is hand in hand with privilege, but please remember who i am.
screen printing can be used for all sorts of projects for which you may need to make multiple copies: fliers, cards, posters or anything your imagination lets you do. plus, it can be a relatively cheap way to have color printing and once you are a bit used to it, you will know how to produce dandy fx onto your project.
here, i will be doing the cover to a tiny book.

your screen...screen frames can be made from wood, picture frames, etc. i'm sure you are inventive enough if you are going to do it yourself. for the screen part silk will work; there is also mesh that gets sold. or aquired. the higher the mesh count, the finer the holes to pass the ink through. a standard mesh count is around 110-120 for screenprinting. or, you can buy a screen where the material is already attached to a frame.

i was a bad doobie and didn't clean my screen. ideally, i would have screens with images fixed upon them or i would clean them right away. i remembered i didn't even use this screen last time as it's in bad condition from early use. so i cleaned it and opted not to use it. i chose an extra screen that is currently available for my use.

i put masking tape on both sides of the screen. it makes for easier clean-up.
next, i put some photo emulsion into a scoop designed to spread it across a flat area and cover the screen with a thin smooth layer of emulsion.

the emulsion is light sensitive, so don't leave the bottle sitting around with the cap off and put the screen in a dark place to dry.
since this takes time, i use the time in between trying to accomplish other tasks for this book.
i will do the foolish task of printing on black. so i take my cardstock(i put a couple extra in to allow for mess-ups) to the industrial paper cutter and with one fell swoop my stack is done. this paper cutter has a blade that drops down when two buttons are simultaneously pressed (hey, just like working in a factory!) and the other scraps of paper buffer the bottom so all my sheets will have a clean cut(that's just how i have learned to work with this cutter). i would otherwise use a smaller paper cutter, scissors, or most likely, a knife & ruler.

now, back in the day, i did things to size for a photocopier. nowadays i can have multiple pages on a file on my little memory stick for the computer.

in this production lab, i happen to have access to a copier machine. otherwise, you can take your thumbdrive to a printer. i imagine this could be a headache as i thought my file was correct, but test prints showed something was off just a little with computer settings, and i'd have to find the discrepancies in some step of creating the file. so, i fix whatever settings i need to and start printing!

i then take that stack to the paper cutter of the future...

now my screen has had time to dry and i prepare my transparencies. if i was a little more anal about this, i'd have it on file so if i ever lost it, i could print out a new transparency. in defense, thumbdrives can go missing too. basically i took my bottle of black and inked right on the transparency. tracing vellum can also do the trick, but i like the clear sheet because if i don't like a line, i can wipe it away with a tissue and spit. since the images are small, they can all fit on this one screen. i also put some tape along the edges and in corners that is sticky-side up so the transparencies will stay in place. this would probably be more crucial with more complex images. it also lends to making sure the images are that much closer to the screen.

(the tracing paper, you can use this instead)

(tape in the corner)

think of this next step as a sort of picture developing. there is a layer of the photo emulsion on the screen. any areas that are "blacked out" will block light exposure in that area. a light table is great for this, but if you don't have one in your living room, you can build one. i think you'll need a non-standard lightbulb, which could ordered on this here interweb(and other materials, if you cannot find them locally).
exposure times can take some getting used to. over- or under-exposing your screen by just a couple minutes can make a difference. the time for the table i'd been using had been around 18 minutes, but now there's this sign:

so i set the screen on the table, cover the other side with black paper (so the light doesn't reflect around to where i do not want light exposure) and set weight upon it all. i also set a timer and then start the exposure.

in the meantime i run up to get some newsprint for my cheap liner paper(i do enjoy a bit of fanciness) and cut that to size while waiting.

when the exposure is over, wash out the unexposed places in the screen. it should come out clearly, only the mesh should be in those areas you wish to print through. if there are fine lines you can check it by holding your screen in front of a light to see if the light comes through clearly.
a basin sink or hose comes in handy. here there is one of the sprayers used by dishwashers in restaurants. i've covered up the other portion of the screen so i can just print some of the images.

next comes registration. it is good if you've got a beater table that you can affix hardware to, or a flat board. for years i'd keep random hinges i'd come across in order to build up a cache of supplies for attaching frames to boards.
anyway, here there are some nifty screw clamp hinges attached to the table top. put the screen in your hinges and see where the image falls and figure out where on the paper it will be printed.
some folks like to create tabs to slip their sheets into. i've never found it to be accurate enough. so i merely line tape where i want my edges and that is usually precise enough for me. do what works for you. the first round of registration has more wiggle room than subsequent rounds, which need a bit more tweaking around the alignment.

it's good to do a test copies. plain/scrap paper is cheaper than the cardstock. so put some ink on the screen

and spread a layer of it over the image area with a squeegee. be careful not to apply much pressure here. this is just to cover the area, not to push the ink through.

now pull the swkeejee over the area, with pressure, so the ink goes through the open areas. look at your print!

and honestly, the screen did not come out as good as i would like. so i take some photo emulsion remover and clean off the screen.

i will have to start over, but next time i will have the other parts of the book ready already and will get to do other things during the wait times.
hopefully this is helpful if you have some sort of interest in print process. if you have questions, ask! i may have missed the inclusion of something.
i am also not the #1 expert on all things screen printing, but i want the information to be accessible, especially the visual of it. i've seen silkscreening steps in zines, but mostly in print with a couple diagrams, which can be overwhelming, depending upon how one processes information.
if i am able to have this camera again, i will show some more when i really do my printing.
stay tuned!

27 November 2008

new button

well, this isn't the skillshare posting yet. i woke up to a message asking if i had a paypal(apart from others asking), so that is why that has been added...perhaps temporarily. it is at the bottom of the left column.
there will be a products/buy button added when i have comics again. thank you.

26 November 2008

thank you!

i'm in school at the moment. after the semester started, a distasteful situation came up that i needed funds, pronto. and the whole thing sucked up a very large portion of two months' time, which i could have otherwise spent on drawing for my thesis or being nicer.
i just wanted to thank everyone who helped me with my fundraising, and all those who contacted me wishing that everything works out and that they were not able to send anything. but words do count for something big in my book. thank you, loves.
speaking of school, i need to have some sort of semblance of a thesis synopsis on monday. i'm a little fretful over this and what i will be able to include as above i had mentioned much time and energy had been put elsewhere.
i have other plans for this turkey weekend than preparing my thesis presentation, though! hopefully my next post will be a skill share. i have borrowed a camera from the school and will go over steps for screenprinting. i don't really ever take digital pictures, so this whole thing will be another learning experience, like this blog. see? i learn and hopefully you might too. my aquarian self thinks knowledge should be free and flowing for all.
also, i've run out of my comics on top of losing my thumbdrive, so there has been a process to slowly getting to print. this one that i am looking to do will be the pocket porn issue one that has the story in which i collaborated with writer pilou, "i like feet." the cover design is very simple and i feel like it will be a decent example for the skill share.

21 November 2008

so there are crazy coincidences. i have been hesitant to post what i've recently been drawing as it is intended as a (hopefully surprise) gift to an estranged friend. but i've reached a certain spot again in my being. it's since hearing about kerry. that evening i spoke with this friend, who once was lovers with kerry. i wanted to make sure they knew. most of you know i don't like using the phone. and the conversation i had with my old friend was comforting in the timeless connection kind of way, and intense on a few levels--her reaction to it all and the fact we haven't had much communication. and i told them to call me whenever, hoping it would be understood that not only would i understand the feelings and reactions of people involved (some of you know i had a lover with cancer a couple years ago but also that's around the time when those two friends were together, so it has stirred a little extra up in me as well) but that yeah, i am their friend and am open to speaking again. i am sorry if it is confusing if i am being ambiguous abut the identity of my friend. that's just how it has to be for me.
anyway, i thought it was funny that i thought this comic i am drawing would be the reaching out, but the universe has it's own way of working things out. so, i will scan something current soon, now that i feel like i don't need to be completely secretive about it.
here is a scribble i did one day for a warm-up, which i eventually thought was the best comic i've done in months! it probably won't make much sense to most people and is called for a love like brothers. love ya, buddy.

oh yeah...i quit smoking since then too! i feel a ghost of a lost as i didn't realize at the time that my last cigarette would be my last, and it feel like i should have been more celebratory around it, but oh well. the recent news has shaken me around certain aspects of life and it was time i quit being so self-abusive with the smoking. it did serve it's purpose for a while though.

18 November 2008


okay, this will lend some insight into me. this page is an excerpt out of a comic i drew six or seven years ago, when i was still quite ignorant that there is a whole world of folks making comics out there. that is, comics that are are not readily accessible if you do not live in a big town or have access to a computer or know where to look. and looking back, it amazes me that even a year and a half ago when i would try to search for comics on a computer, i still wouldn't find much.
anyway, the insight. admittedly, the reference from this page is to a richard brautigan book. i read much of his writing when i was younger and it certainly had an effect on me. even the very words on that page point toward why i have not had much of an internet presence.
i am also seeing how the image turns out, resolution-wise, so i will have a better idea of what to do with future images.

please help!

originally came down to maybe post some comics samplings, but something more important has come up:
this message is from Rainbow of Pagoda. Kerry and her family are my friends. i am a bit crushed by the news. i will be sending something, and if you are at all able to do so as well, please do too. if you would like a mailing address for a donation, email me at kubbybear at gmail dot com.

a jacksonville lesbian family needs to be in our healing circle
linda their mom, and daughters kerry and stacy, were frequent
visitors at pagoda, and festivals,
and the girls grew up to become lesbians. now kerry has cancer and
is out of the hospital,
stacy has arrived to help, and linda is also caring for her
alzheimers mom. granny.
this family is broke.
in st augustine, a fund raiser at kozmic blues cafe, will be held nov
30 starting at 2pm. shefay will play at 4:30, and they are not sure
of the rest of the line up. maybe kareoke.
please show up OR SEND A CHECK, or item to be donated.

linda jackson was with pat cobb, who produced the festival for years.
a lot of you met these
sweet daughters at potlucks.
we will continue to think about how to fund raise, and i hope you
will send your ideas to me or mama raga. or dorothy campbell. or
cheryl at c o e. or me.
THANKS FOR ANY ENERGY, especially your mental focus. it will be felt.

17 November 2008

exciting non-comics news!

i forgot the most exciting news of all!
i've already been accepted for crew this summer!!!
Set-Up/Srike, Flex
love and see you in july,
Kubbz Strike

trying this thing out

hi, it's kubby. i've started a blog, against my better notions.
in fact, in the middle of my first post, i froze the computer for about ten minutes and just had to start over. see? this computer thing is bad news bears.
anyway, here at barekublishing i will try to update what i am working on comics-wise. of course, i cannot limit myself to the narrowness of only posting on comics (i know, i know--any topic can become comics-related), so there will probably be tidbits here that interest or amuse me.
first of all being this: http://www.oculture.com/
open culture, your guide to smart media. amongst other things, i listened to a few podcasts on virology while drawing this weekend. i think it's one of the only podcasts dealing specifically with viruses, and the site is This Week In Virology: http://www.twiv.tv/
one exciting thing i heard was there was a guy with lukemia who also had HIV. he got a bone marrow transplant (for the lukemia) from someone who had a naturally occurring mutation (CCR5) which somehow blocks viruses from entering cells. so after his transplant with the white blood cells with the mutation , he is now apparently HIV-free. ... ! ... as this is new stuff there isn't a solid confirmation about it nor has it been submitted for publication yet. but this is exciting! if that mutation can be harnessed...
but back to this blog: hopefully there will be a facelift of sorts once i dig around how to manage this blog thing. blogspot has you choose a template, which are fine but kinda boring, especially considering the numerous blogs that get made in the same color/pattern scheme.
images coming soon!

e-mail me:

kubbybear at gmail

check out:

kubb cadets!

where to find some of my minis:

Domy Books
913 E Cesar Chavez
Austin, TX 78702
(512) 476 3669