Welcome to the forums for Public Domain Super Heroes Wiki and The Free Universe! Discuss public domain and open license properties.
 
HomeCalendarGalleryFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in
Share | 
 

 Self-publishing comic book tips?

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
Go to page : 1, 2  Next
AuthorMessage
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:06 pm

OK, I am earnestly seeking any info and tips pertaining to self-publishing comic books. What I've read on the 'net thus far has been relatively skimpy in details in such an endeavor. study

I DON'T need tips nor advice on creating a character, story, background, etc., etc., I am however seeking advice and tips on the actual physical creation of the comic.

Specifically, what type of blasted paper to use? Do I have to take my large comic pro sheets to a copier place like "Kinko's" (if any are still around) and have them copied there? I am very reluctant to do it given the type of people I've dealt with in the past plus the fear of someone stealing my art or conveniently damaging it. No

Yes I know about Lulu.Com, but if there are any other resources or tips how I can do the copies, paper, etc. myself. that would be ideal. I also know that Indy Planet takes copies of comics and then downloads and makes comics you submit if an agreement is made to do that.

Just any input in this area is appreciated. Maybe Dann has some info? PLEASE??? Razz

Didn't know where else to post this thread, so hope it's OK.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bchat



Posts: 72
Join date: 2010-05-15
Age: 43

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:20 pm

Here are three online printers I've looked into:
www.endeavorprinting.com
ka-blam.com (associated with IndyPlanet)
www.comixpress.com

I've seen people suggest going to a local newspaper printer & dealing with them, and I would imagine going to any local print shop (not a "copier place" but an actual printer) is an option, too. It all depends on how much up-front money you're willing to spend and how many copies you think you need to have in-hand. If you only need a handful of copies for friends, then you probably could get away with printing them up yourself depending on what kind of printer you have.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:47 pm

@bchat: I appreciate these links, I believe I had previously seen these but it's been awhile since I've done any searching in this area. Thanks.

Hope you don't think I am unintelligent because I used the term copier place. Several people call businesses like Kinko's by this term. Yes I know of newspaper print shops but really haven't looked into them, so I will keep it in mind.

That's the thing, though, I have a generic printer, nothing fancy. My problem is what type of paper I could use! I've read some suggest using photo repro paper (like the Kodak brand) which I do have, but the expenditure going this route is high. Heck, I don't know, at a loss on this one.

Maybe doing it on my own isn't really a possibility and will have to go to a print shop or forbidding all other avenues, Kinko's. Thanks, bchat, for your help and the links.

IF Dann reads this maybe he can offer some input from his experiences?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bchat



Posts: 72
Join date: 2010-05-15
Age: 43

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:43 am

I did a search ("guide to self-publishing comic books") and this was the first decent site I came across:
http://www.hoboes.com/Comics/Creators/Legacy/

It's probably not comprehensive but it's a give good overall idea of what someone might be walking into.

I didn't even think about one particular thing before, but if you're going to sell these books directly to stores, through a distributor or even online, you need to set-up a "business". The laws differ from state to state and I'm not going to try to fool anyone in pretending I know the laws for each & every state in the USA. I live in Pennsylvania, so it's relatively simple to set-up a business in this state as the "business license" is the same thing as a "Sales Tax License". If a person living in PA is looking to avoid paying a fee for registering a business name, the name only has to accurately reflect what type of business is being done (ex: "Bchat's Comic Book Publishing Company"). Again, the laws in other states may be different than what they are where I live.

If you're looking to print a lot of copies (say anything more than 10), I wouldn't use your own printer as the ink alone would make it a losing effort, plus you'ld be putting a lot of wear & tear on your printer. I print-out stuff for my kids & myself, and the quality is "good enough" on regular copy paper in B&W, but that's only one or two copies at a time. I wouldn't waste the money it would take to print in color, though, even for just one copy, as the cost for color ink cartidges needed to do anything decent on my printer would be too high.

I don't know much about the photo repro paper, but isn't that only designed to be printed on one side anyway? Seems a better route to go would something closer to the paper used in magazines and such. OR you could always go "old school" and use newsprint for the interiors.

Quote :
Hope you don't think I am unintelligent because I used the term copier place.

I knew what you meant. I'm not that nit-picky, I just thought that going to a copier place might cost more than a honest-to-goodness print shop. I never looked into either one, though, so I don't really know what the difference in price would be or what level of quality a person gets out of using a copier place as opposed to a print shop.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:43 am

@bchat: Again, thanks for the understanding and mor importantly, for the additional link and business info. These are all very very much appreciated. There are times I hate doing research, right now being one of them as I'm working on a commission and "goofing off" here. Granted I SHOULD do the research myself but having additional help is greatly welcome.

I honestly don't know how far I may even go with my efforts. I may "cave in" and just send my works to Indy Planet and go that route, save a lot of hassle.

Magazine paper seems to be very similar to a lot of new comic book paper these days, being slick and the like.

If I go the self-publishing route, I'd want my comic(s) to look professional and don't think standard multi-purpose copy paper will fit the bill. Its OK for small press and amateur zines but not for my endeavors. It will suit the purpose for one or two projects I have planned which oddly enough involve some PD hero characters but these aren't comic books.

Gotta get off my duff and see what I can find. Thanks for all the input!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
MadMikeyD



Posts: 43
Join date: 2010-04-07
Age: 41
Location: Alaska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:54 am

I've been looking into Ka-Blam, Comixpress, and Lulu also. My biggest issue is, I have no Photoshop skills whatsoever (I can barely open the program), so I would have no idea how to get my pages formatted correctly. If I could just draw them on 8.5x11 paper and scan them, that would be no problem. Anything requiring more than that and I'll be hosed.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://pdsh.wikia.com
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:50 am

@MadMikeyD: For me Photoshop never enters into the equation in any way shape or form. What I want to do is black and white and intend to keep it that way. I wouldn't know where to begin with Photoshop, can't afford it as it is nor do I care about it. Sure it can be advantageous for a lot of things but I can't justify using it.

What I do is I am going to use the "professional" comic paper which Canson and Blue Line Pro put out. Currently I have the Canson brand. It is large, a bit larger than 11" x 14" and higher quality paper suited for both pencil and pen and ink given the "tooth" of the paper.

The thing is I have to scan it and make it SMALLER. I also need to find the right type of paper when I do, but given the size of the pro paper, which is too large for my scanner/printer, I can't go this route, but I am thinking about trimming the paper down specifically so I can use the scanner in this manner. Still, like I am saying, I am perplexed as to the type of paper to use IF I can find it for the comic book itself.

Just to add I think I am way behind the curve because it is my understanding a lot of pros are using "Wacom" tablets, which honestly, sounds a bit suspect to me. It appears to make inking easier but I think you lose a lot of the details, too, but then again I've never used one. I don't know.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bchat



Posts: 72
Join date: 2010-05-15
Age: 43

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:36 am

I believe most pros use Bristol Board, which comes in a smaller size (9x12 or something like that). Less trimming & (more importantly) less waste than buying the larger professional size if you're going to be trimming the pages for a scanner anyway.

Formatting pages: I never looked into because I haven't had a reason to yet, but I'ld imagine that there would be some sort of freeware out there that could accomplish the same thing you'ld need Photoshop for. From what I've seen checking-out the online printers, the biggest hurdle to jump through regarding them is the color format of the image, which isn't as simple as "blue-red-yellow" for at least one of them.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:49 am

@bchat: I have and use Smooth Bristol Board. However, in comparison to the larger Canson Comic Art Boards, they don't have the same tooth. Pencil and ink shading, and ink dip pens and direct brushing shows up a lot better on the Comic Art Boards in my experience. I want the work to look as professional as possible.

Smooth Bristol does work, and it is what I use when I sell my art, whether it is penciled or inked, but again, it is limiting. Heavy brushing with ink isn't a good avenue on Smooth. I MAY go that route, don't know. It isn't so much the original artwork paper I am concerned with, though, its when it is copied/scanned, what type of paper to use for the comic book itself that has me perplexed.

I suspect the printing, copying and comic companies have that info but won't divulge it for obvious reasons.

I don't have any intentions of doing anything in color. I did think about the covers but that would still be cost prohibitive. I realize I may not make any profit nor break even, and even lose out, but I want to try SOMETHING before I get too old or incapacitated!


Thanks for the input again.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
dann



Posts: 40
Join date: 2010-07-20
Location: eau claire, wi

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:50 am

Hey Phantom..

Sorry I haven't seen this sooner.
Have to say tho...I've never self published. I wouldn't know where to begin on that front. Shop your stuff around....try out a few different comic companies and see if they'll publish you.
I know that when you're doing your art, it truly doesn't matter what type of paper you use. Use what's best for you of course, but when the art is published, the printer uses whatever paper they would normally go with. Joe Kubert, to make his art look aged, would sometimes draw on cardboard...gave it a really cool effect when published.
Another thing I normally do is draw on 14 x 17 bristol, then take the pages to a copier like Kinko's or whatnot, and have them copy it down to letter size. Two reasons for that...1) when you shrink your work down, you're able to see many of the minor mistakes you've made while drawing on the larger size. And 2) it fits the scanner easier and you can load your images.

There's a great site out there called Penciljack that I frequent that has about a zillion artists that give critiques, advise, anything really. Check it out...I think you'll like it. Look me up....I go by "dann" there....not hard to remember.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dannphillips.com
dann



Posts: 40
Join date: 2010-07-20
Location: eau claire, wi

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:54 am

Oh yeah....one more thing.

There's a FREE program out there called "gimp". It's like a free "not-as-powerful" version of Photoshop. I use it every now and then, it's great.
Google it....
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dannphillips.com
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:48 am

@Dann: Thanks for the input. Yes, I draw my original art on larger size Bristol then have it reduced. Maybe your experience is different than mine and find that.....interesting you would say the type of paper you use to do your art doesn't matter. Not in my experiences, it has mattered. Good for Kubert in his efforts to make his art look aged but that isn't my goal. Interesting to know. I wonder...

My issue, though is the paper for the actual comic, and no disrespect but the type of paper in the comic book itself DOES matter. Can't have paper that will bleed, be too transparent, paper that isn't too fragile, etc. That is what I am trying to find out, what type of paper does the print shop itself use for this endeavor?

I thought you'd mentioned you had or were going to self-publish a comic? Looks like I'm mistaken. No, I know all of these comic book companies receive hundreds if not thousands of submissions. I want to do this on my own first and see if I have any interest from anyone. Also, so many companies won't accept submissions via mail or email, and MAY look at submissions when they are at conventions. Attending a convention is prohibitive to me due to finances and my health. I've done some research online seeing what Indie companies may take submissions and will continue to look, but nothing looks promising.

Also even if I do submit, there is still the strong likelihood what I submit will be rejected.

The sites you mentioned, thanks for those, will definitely look at them when I can. Thanks for your help.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
MadMikeyD



Posts: 43
Join date: 2010-04-07
Age: 41
Location: Alaska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:05 am

I thought of submitting stuff to publishers back when I was a teenager, but I lost interest in doing that more and more as life went on. My stuff was never really good enough anyway. I do want to do at least one POD comic in the near future. Not for me, but my 7 year old keeps telling me "Daddy, you're a good artist. You should make real comic books." So I want to complete at least one project and have it printed, so he can have a copy of my "real comic book." That is my goal.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://pdsh.wikia.com
dann



Posts: 40
Join date: 2010-07-20
Location: eau claire, wi

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:01 am

On the paper issue...here's what I meant....

when the publisher gets the artwork they don't care what kind of paper it's drawn on. You can draw on bristol, cardboard, whatever...if it's printable...they can do it.
For myself..I use bristol board. I've seen some use plain typing paper. It all depends on what you're comfortable with. Nowadays....alot of guys use a wacom tablet....which is neat at first...but when you then realize you can't sell any original artwork, you wind up screwing yourself. Brian Bolland form DC Comics uses a tablet, but even he has said that now he can't sell originals.
Phantom.... are there any small conventions ever in your area? I've found that the small ones are more fun overall and you can actually sit and talk to the guests. At big shows like Wizard World and Comic Con, it's waaayyy too hectic for any one on one time.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.dannphillips.com
PhantomofDoom



Posts: 147
Join date: 2010-06-17
Age: 46
Location: Nebraska

PostSubject: Re: Self-publishing comic book tips?   Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:22 am

@Dann: I understand about the paper. For my own use, when I draw I find Bristol and the heavy Pro Canson board to be very useful. Funny thing is, I also get results from plain white cardstock, whether its the regular side or the smooth side!

I am just very curious what type of paper the end product of the comic book is.

THANK YOU for that info about the Wacom tablet. I didn't realize that option wasn't available.

Actually, I have been to smaller conventions. One was held here in Lincoln, Nebraska a few years ago but that was primarily a RPG/Gaming thing with just vendors, no comic book companies. The other one was in St. Louis, Missouri which they do virtually every month in the summer, but again, its primarily a vendor thing.

Any info I can get is appreciated. Thanks again.

Back to top Go down
View user profile
 

Self-publishing comic book tips?

View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 2Go to page : 1, 2  Next

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
The Free Universe ::  :: -