The Nina’s Adventures Copyleft Project

Update: Free Nina’s Adventures bulk archives at


It’s time to copyleft ALL of my old Nina’s Adventures comics! But the thought of digging through all those old drawings, re-scanning them, cleaning them up in Photoshop and uploading them to, is more than I can bear. That’s why I’m looking for (a) smart, trustworthy, dedicated volunteer(s) in New York to do it for me. You will need:

  1. a high-resolution tabloid-sized flatbed scanner or a quality book scanner
  2. time
  3. Photoshop (or similar graphics editor) skillz
  4. a decent web connection
  5. an excellent reputation and/or references

You will get:

  1. my gratitude
  2. other peoples’ gratitude
  3. a good story to impress your friends
  4. college credit if you can arrange it

You’ll be handling 14″ x 11″ rare, original, one-of-a-kind Nina’s Adventures drawings, in various stages of decay. Some are turning yellow; some have faded ink; some have corrections and edits pasted on, the glue of which has ceased to adhere so now bits are falling off; some were drawn on “fade-out blue” graph paper which must be edited out of scans.

Once these puppies are scanned and uploaded, they’ll be free for anyone to copy and use. Publish them anywhere! Make buttons and t-shirts! Make that coffee-table book I’ve always wanted! Make derivative works! As long as you attribute the source to me, and license the derivative works under the same share-alike license, you can do whatever you want. But we have to get these scanned and uploaded first, or the revolution will never come.

“But Nina, how will you make money?” Hopefully by selling originals. The more freely the images circulate, the more valuable the originals will become. To this end, I could use another volunteer to help build a web site cataloging all the original strips, both available and sold. It would be nice to allow owners to add their contact information, and otherwise track the locations of all the originals as they go out into the world. Maybe you could manage online auctions or something. And shipping…boy do I need help with shipping.

Potential volunteers please comment below or send an email to nina underscore paley at yahoo dot com. Thank you!


7 thoughts on “The Nina’s Adventures Copyleft Project”

  1. Unfortunately I can’t help with the web site, but I would be interested in purchasing some more artwork once the site is up.

    Oh, and of course you can put me down for a Nina action figure when they hit the market. “She grimaces!” “She sweats!” “She kicks yoga instructors to the ground!”

  2. Personally I’d love to help Nina, but being here in the ass end of the world somewhat limits my ability. If you’re able to scan and email them I can do the PS work.

  3. I’ve always loved that image of your cartoon avatar kicking the yoga “instructor”!

  4. Hi Nina:

    I’m long-time fan of yours from Chicago, and I love that you’re planning on sharing the digital versions your work! (I’m also a big fan of the CCA!) I do the graphic/web design thing for a living, but I’m always glad to contribute pro-bono to projects that support arts/artists and also provide a (non-commercial) public benefit.

    Since I’m in Chicago — probably too distant to help scan, but if I can be of use in other ways (cleaning/formatting scans and/or helping you plan/build a site for this project), I’d be glad to help out where I can.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  5. I don’t have time for anything like that, but I can point you toward a cheap scanning service I’ve heard of. It’s $50 for up to 1,000 “photos” of up to 11×14. I thought that was ridiculously too good to be true, so I looked it up, and it turned out that thtte service had been favorably reviewed by the New York Times.Only problem is, I guess, your drawings are not photos, and from your description it sounds like at least some of them are a quite delicate and it sounds scary to try to run them through a machine that “processes hundreds of photos a minute.” Still, if I were you I’d call the scanning company and determine the viability of using that service. If it could work, in toto for $50, that would be problem solved.Once digitized, you could put the files on a website for people to collaboratively brush them up, similar to a wiki project. In fact, Wikipedia has a good system to manage projects like this, such as its illustration project. The edits and corrections that are falling off would be difficult for anyone who isn’t onsite with you to deal with. The best thing to do would be to have someone to make a note of where the fallen-off ones go, and they can be appended digitally in the brushing up stage.Just some ideas. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *