Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Publish-Savvy Comics
SarahN at 1:53PM, Jan. 30, 2006
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Yup, I had a similar topic on this in the old forum.

Okay…so I hear that the standard sizes for…I guess graphic novel pages…are 5 x 7.5 and/or 4 x 6…and apparently most of my comic pages aren't “tall” enough. Trying to edit my comic pages so that they would be that size makes my comics look all spaced out and crappy:


See those thick panel lines? Ew. I've tried several other things as well…nothing wants to work. :cry:

So here are the questions I wanted to ask…

1: How the frick do I get it the right size in the first place without drawing each panel individually; seperate from each other? Should I just get farely larger paper?

2: I can't stretch/resize the panels without it looking funny or going through the sides. Is there another way I can fix this? Take note that I use Paint Shop Pro 9…but it's still very similar to Photoshop.

3: Can publishing sizes vary? Do I need to worry about this?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
Ian Jay at 5:17PM, Jan. 30, 2006
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I don't see why sizing the pages to fit the comic would be such a problem.

If that doesn't work, you can always keep the panels together and put all of the black spacing on the top and bottom. Who knows? It might give your stuff a sort of “letterbox” effect. (Or you could always put commentary or Sergio Aragones-style doodles in your new giant letterbox margins, if you really wanted to distract your readers.)

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Ronson at 6:38PM, Jan. 30, 2006
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SarahN
1: How the frick do I get it the right size in the first place without drawing each panel individually; seperate from each other? Should I just get farely larger paper?

That's the easiest fix. You may have to scan it in in pieces and then put it together, but that is going to get the best results.

2: I can't stretch/resize the panels without it looking funny or going through the sides. Is there another way I can fix this? Take note that I use Paint Shop Pro 9…but it's still very similar to Photoshop.

short of recropping your panels or adjusting you're gutters, you're out of luck on this one.

3: Can publishing sizes vary? Do I need to worry about this?

This is the good news. Publishing at comic size is no longer a big deal. There are several sizes that you can choose cheaply, but if you're willing to invest a bit, you can even customize a size.

6x9 is getting popular because of lulu.com … of course, that's about 5.25 x 8.5 for the art, centered within the 6x9 frame.

5.5x8.5 is also possible with Comixpress.com, and the amount of space you use is up to you, because I think they allow full bleeds.

I think Comixpress, Dimestore and definitely opm.com can use any size from 5.5x8.5 all the way up to 8.5x11 … and you can choose the size you prefer.

Hope this helps.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
warofwinds at 7:40PM, Jan. 30, 2006
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Work on your layout. Make it more professional. It's ok to overlap panels, to add it portaits not boxed in, that kind of thing. Have a few panels on a larger background image that is also a panel. Experiment a little.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:46PM
mykill at 8:12PM, Jan. 30, 2006
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At Joe School we learned to draw pages at 10“ x 15” - that's not necessary, but the ratio may be.

Panel borders should be the same size verticle and horizontal. Classically comics used a 1/4 inch gutter between panels. Lately for Marvel it's become fashionable to use 3/16 inch gutter between panels.

If you're going to defy these standards, you should have a good reason. For example, my next project is going to be and english/spanish comic and I'm going to need HUGE horizontal space beneath each panel to contain the translation of either spanish or english, depending on the speaker.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
ShadowsMyst at 12:28PM, Jan. 31, 2006
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Don't give up Sarah. :) Recomposition can work, you just have to be a little more daring with your panel arrangement. Observe:



I did that in about 15 mins using the version from your site, so i'd be working with the wrong aspect ratio one.

I did have to do a bit of image cropping and squishing/stretching just a tad to get it to work, but all and all, I think it looks much better than the above.

The trick is you will have to overlap panels, but fortunately you tend to draw in enough background space that its possible to overlap without too much difficulty or obliteration. Also, keep in mind you can use MUCH smaller type in a book on paper than you can on a computer screen. So you can bust those textbubbles right down. 9 point is quite readable on a printed page.

Also, don't be afraid to leave some ‘white space’ although in this case, its black. Like that block at the end of the last panel. Breathing room is good. You don't have to cram every last bit of space on the page full. white space, stratigically used, can make a page easier to read and have more impact.

_____________________________________________________
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last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
SarahN at 1:16PM, Jan. 31, 2006
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Thanks a lot everyone for your help. :wink:
…and to shadowmyst, I may go ahead and try that. It may take some time, but it'd be better than going through and basically remaking my comic again. (Unless I used lulu.com, ect. according to Ronson.)

Welp, I'll see what I can do…
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
ShadowsMyst at 1:36PM, Jan. 31, 2006
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Anytime. :) if you need any help or me to explain anything I did there, feel free to ask.

The zen of comic layout is something that is definately learned.

_____________________________________________________
I have a webcomic making blog! Check it out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
ccs1989 at 2:40PM, Feb. 4, 2006
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Ah yes, publishing. I've done 4 published works and I still get annoyed at resizing and getting things in the right DPI.

What I did for the first book was size every page at nearly exactly what was needed. I did need to size the pages a bit taller to make it come out as I wanted, but the small amount of distortion is hardly noticable.

For the new Assassin Assassin Book 1, I'm making a 6x9 book. So I sized everything at 5.6x7.8, and that's without any distortion. Because I want the pages to be a bit closer to 9 I made it 5.6x8.2 inches. Printed out it looks small, but inside the 6x9 book it will look fine, because of the book size. 5.6x7.8 is still larger than most ‘graphic novel’ sized books these days anyway.

It's always good to never go for a full bleed unless you have a big paneled fight scene which you want to jump out at the reader, or a cover page. Full bleeds usually end up making text hard to read, and that sucks (I learned that from my first book which I unpublished).

So anyway play around in photoshop and print things out in B&W , and maybe cut them out to get a feel of how they'll turn out in a book.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM

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