As I stated in the previous blog my first sketchbook was published in 2000 and distributed at the San Diego Comic Con. The quality of that book troubled me so I invested in the new (at the time) Epson 2000P archival quality ink jet printer. Although the price per page to print was relatively high, it allowed me to print to order as opposed to spending a lot of money up front and having a large quantity printed at once.
Strangely in 2001, I decided to print a limited edition art portfolio instead of a sketchbook (another failed attempt to bring back the 70’s). But that’s a story for another blog.
In 2002 I published what I considered my first successful book. I was determined to have a higher quality product than even William Stout’s sketchbooks, so I printed the interior pages and cover on my Epson and then found a printer who could do perfect bound book binding. So I may not have been the first artist to have a sketchbook but I am pretty sure I was the first to have a perfect bound sketchbook. I named the book “Rough Stuff” (doesn’t seem all that original now) and sold it for $20. It was signed and numbered and limited to 150 copies. I actually only published about 65 copies.
This is the first book I took with me to multiple cons which accounted for the “better” sales. However, my whole print to order idea was becoming a hassle in more ways the one. I came out with my next sketchbook in 2003 entitled “Unfinished Business” after I had moved to Florida to work for CrossGen Comics. I had an incredibly tough time finding someone who would do the square perfect bound binding and the result was a measly 25 copies printed (talk about rare). This was the end of my Epson printed sketchbooks.