How to Print Comic Books
With the technology available, anyone can create a comic book. While just a few years ago, making your own comic required a lot of work, anyone with an idea and a computer can now produce his own comic in a snap.
Publish your own comic book
Come up with your idea. Whether you draw the comic by hand and scan it, or create it from scratch on your computer using Photoshop, Pagemaker or another visual creation tool, you need to know what you comic is about before you can publish it. As you create the comic, keep in mind that you will be printing it on sideways sheet of 11"x14" paper. Either make the images on each page large enough that you can shrink them to a 5-1/2"x7" layout (half of an 11"x14" piece of paper), or create specifically with this size in mind. Please note that this method will become less effective as your comic grows beyond 20 sheets of paper (or 40 pages of comic).
Print your cover. The cover will be a sheet that wraps around your comic. The front should make a potential customer want to read the comic; the back should contain biographical information on you or be reserved for ad space. The interior covers can be used for more ad space (including house ads to refer readers to other comics or your website or be left blank. Once you have determined what will be on the cover, print it on both sides, formatted in the "Landscape" configuration and holding the paper sideways. The cover, like the comic itself, can be in black-and-white or color, depending on your needs, your budget and the tools available to you. Using the ruler, locate the 5-1/2" mark in the center of the cover, on the top and bottom. mark the spot with something subtle like a pencil, not something heavy like a Sharpie. Line up the ruler on both marks and fold the page perfectly in half.
Print your pages. This is a bit more complicated than the cover, because you must maintain the order of your comic. Once you have created the comic, it is easier to save each page of it as a separate file, such as a .jpg, because you will have to move them around now. Each page of the comic is two-sided, the right-hand side containing two pages in sequence and the left-hand side containing two pages in sequence. You MUST have an even number of pages, so feel free to add a title page at the beginning or a commentary page at the end to make the pages balance out. Build the middle page first. If you have a total of 32 .jpeg images, you will be making a 16-page comic. Build the center page first. It will have pages 15 and 16 on the right side and 17 and 18 on the left side. The second page you build will have pages 13 and 14 on the right side and pages 19 and 20 on the left .. and so on, until you get to the first page, which will have pages 1 and 2 on the right and pages 31 and 32 on the right. Generally, it will be simplest at this stage to print multiple copies of each page at a time, because you will have to collate them after they are printed.
Put the comic together. Using the same ruler technique you used for the cover, fold the pages of your comic into an even sheaf. This will be inserted into the cover. Using your stapler, you can then secure the pages and the cover together. If you do not have a stapler with a long enough base to reach the center of the comic, you can find one at most copy or print shops.
Now that your comics are together, you have to flatten them, or else they will not sit flat on the shelf or in your hand. A comic, like any book, should sit closed, not spring open when left alone. Place your comics in short stacks of no more than five. Place a flat piece of wood, like a cutting board, over the comic, and then place a weight on top of the board. Heavy books will do, or a couple of hand weights. A laundry detergent bucket filled with water and then sealed is perfect (and easily found). Leave the comics for several hours, or until they stay closed on their own. Then repeat the process with the rest of them. Enjoy your comics!
- The steps listed above can easily be adapted to a small comic made on an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper, but the images will be smaller. Such dimensions are better suited to humor or dialogue, rather than action.
- You can also use these methods (with some desktop publishing skills) to produce a zine or a chapbook.
- Print rough copies of your pages to check placement of images and words, and to make sure they fit with each other before you print the entire comic multiple times. You can do this on cheaper paper and on "draft" print settings to save yourself money.