I was catching up with an old friend over dinner when he admitted something: he really didn’t know what I did for a living. (No bad blood; I admitted I didn’t really know what he did for a living, either.) This led me to a long-winded explanation about what I mean when I talk about being a “production manager,” since the job description varies wildly between industries.
Basically, I make books. However, I’m not the author, editor, translator, or even the person who physically assembles the covers to the printed pages. I’m a designer, comic book letterer, sometimes illustrator, sometimes art director, and sometimes print production manager. See how confusing that can be?
That’s what prompted me to create WTF is Manga Production?!, a four-page comic about the basics of translating foreign comic books for the North American market. It covers three big facets of book production — art, design, and printing — and explains why sometimes a vague description like “production manager” is about the most accurate summation one can make.