Monday, February 27, 2017

Mini Comics: Innovative Format

This is a long post, because this was a long intensive process.

At the beginning of the quarter we made mock ups for all different types of books, one of which was an accordion fold. aptly named because it unfolds like an accordion. I thought this was funny and so I drew an accordion on the cover of my mock up just for funzies.

Now we are working on a project called the innovative format mini. For this book the shape, or way that it is read has to reflect what is going on in the story. So I got this crazy idea, hey! what if I made an actual accordion?!

Oh! and I need a story... So I am a casual cellist and have some rudimentary musical knowledge. I wanted to write a script that had musical puns, but not in a comedic way, but rather a serious tone with strong wordplay.

I knew the story would be about an accordion, duh, and I knew that I would not have much time to work on the art as I would have to allocate a large chunk of my time to crafting. Therefore, I kept it simple.

I worked at a small scale because I could fit all interior pages on one sheet of white paper, and the paper craft cover on one piece of red paper. Saving on costs.

Interior pages

Here are the initial thumbnails

I printed these out in blue line and went straight to inking.

Here are the final Inks

Because I was already going to have a red cover I wanted to have red on the inside also so I colored the interior pages.

Then I went and got my pages printed

I cut them apart and scored them

Then I glued them together.

"Whats an INSRUMENT?"

gasp* I misspelled "Instrument!" I had to run to the printer before they closed and get the middle pages printed with the correct spelling. Luckily I caught it early enough that I could fix it, and the problem was on the middle of the three pieces so it was 'eaiser' to extract and replace.

Finally I attached it to the cover.


I started sketching out how I would build it. I love paper craft but sadly haven't done any in quite some time so I was happy to get back to it.

I made several mock ups working out the kinks.

Then I started playing with designs on the red paper. I liked how when I printed grey on the red it made it a deeper maroon, and decided to let the detailing be made by showing the red paper.

Then came the issue of the piano keys. I made a rubber stamp of a keyboard to stamp on the box. My favorite part of this is that it makes each on unique because the stamp responds differently each time.

Then I start to build the boxes. I found a way in my layout to tuck the interior pages up into the cover boxes for a clean "seamless" look.


To bring everything together I bought some 3"x3"x3" boxes to put the minis into, for safe transport and presentation.

I wanted to have something on the box so that the owner would know that the box went with the book and so I decided to make a musical score to glue to the inside of the box. Initially I was just going to make up some whatever notes, but I found this sheet music generator and it had a virtual accordion so I wrote an actual accompaniament.

Here is the score.

Each measure of the sheet music corresponds with a page from the book.

Here is rough video I made with the music playing along with the pages.

To cap it all off I made a little tag and tied the boxes with waxed thread to give it an antique look.

I am very happy with this Project and if you would like to purchase a copy I am going to start selling them at $10

If you want a copy, email me at

Side note, I went to NYC last weekend and ran into an actual accordionist in Little Italy and gave him a copy that I had planned to leave in NYC as an impromptu art drop. He loved it and played me a short song.

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