Monday, August 12, 2013

Crucial Sentences Cut Sh

In the 4th volume of BellyButtons, which is a cruel highschool single panel comic, the tale of intimidation and bullying of Butt Monkey beanpole Karine, there's a brief uplifting moment when she comes upon an albino musician who composes a song based on his first impressions.  However, this poignant scene is put off by some weird editing choices.

In addition to the musical font being larger than usual, some of the text seems to be missing, including the name of Karine's other "friend", Vicky in the musical interlude.  Mostly what makes this stand out is that his song doesn't seem to rhyme properly.  Otherwise, his synchronicity with the passing car would be far more impressive.

Something I've found while doing various Garfield edits on paintshop is that when I deal with large batches of varying fonts, the text can have varying accounts of spacing between words.  However, if the text size is increased too much, the extended sentence is left hiding inside the margins, away from prying eyes until either a smaller font is chosen or the margins are increased.  I suspect that's what's happened in this case.
A little tip for those of you wanting to match the font size for the dailies
so they won't look bigger or 
smaller than the archived strips -
change your font size to 7.5.
If this was the only time it showed up, I wouldn't pay much heed.  But it shows up again later, and is most noticeable when at her lowest emotional ebb in the series so far, having been framed for a crime she didn't commit, Karine notes her thoughts and feelings in her diary, all of which are painfully left incomplete.
How could the Cinebook editors possibly miss this oversight?

For most of these, I'm left wracking my brain trying to figure out how these sentences could've ended.  Without the French album in hand, I can only guess at the following:

Panel 1. bad day today.
Panel 2. near Melanie again.
Panel 3. what happened.
Panel 4. I'm grumbling to myself.
Panel 5. made me feel even worse.
Panel 6. understands me.

The perplexing thing is that the lyrics for the song in the first page above is reproduced in full in a later scene when she meets Albin the Albino again.  And then it reverts back to its bad habit of ramping up the volume to levels where it's impossible to make out the words.  Usually when I'm missing the odd word here and there, I can fill in the blanks with some helpful hints or consonants, but there's none of that here.  Fortunately, a scanlation of the 5th album helps complete a lyric that I would've figured out anyways:


  1. Hi there,

    Jerome here from Cinebook. We caught wind of your post and wanted to let you know.
    We had a look at the result of the lettering on our end, and everything is normal and fits within the bubbles. We're currently contacting our digital distributor to see how it is on their end. May I ask where you got your copy?

    We do apologise for the inconvenience, although it's really beyond our control - literally in this case. We'll keep you posted on what we find.

    All the best,

  2. Hi, Jerome, will be Cinebook be doing tomes 5 and 6?

  3. Hello,

    For information, the problem was indeed a font management problem when the digital file was generated from our pdf. It is now repaired and the files are available with proper lettering. Thanks for catching it, DeBT!

    And to answer Anonymous: no, Cinebook will not be doing the rest of the series. Since that is due in good part to the authors' desire to try a different tack to reach the English-speaking world, though, it bodes well for the possibility to find those next volumes eventually! :)

  4. The thing that I can't help but notice about this particular BD is that the more English a character knows, the less humane his or her behaviour is. I'm sure that it's not quite Delaf and Dubuc's intention to make English into the Black Speech of Mordor but it sure looks that way by times.