m...@marccarson.com (2010-07-14 at 1409.01 -0700):
> > Is there somewhere we can see one of the scans you're working with?
> Sure. Here's an original panel straight from the scanner:
> http://friendlyskies.net/projects/comics/originalpanel.png
> I tried unsharp mask and selective gaussian blur, but no luck either way
> (converted to RGB).

Pretty old tech and that works in greyscale: gaussian blur (different
scans, different values, try 5-15 for your png) followed by curves
with a sigmoid shape (make flat zones both at start and end with a
sharp / in the middle, for your png start with with 3 squares flat at
min, then 2 for the climb, and 3 at max).

At worst case, mask the plants and apply different settings: big blur
in the plants destroys them, and small blur keeps lots of noise in
the car lines.

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