Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Recommended page size and layout?
Kitbash Comics at 8:07PM, March 22, 2010
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joined: 3-22-2010
O.k. I've been debating with myself over the final size of my webcomic and layout for a while now and could benefit from other's opinions.

I've seen a lot of comics online that stick close to traditional comic specs however I found myself scrolling down and then back up quite a bit just to read a single page.

Since this is a webcomic I thought it would make sense to use a landscape layout rather than a portrait layout for better viewing on a computer monitor.

However I have not seen a single comic on this site using a landscape layout.

Is there a recommended page size and layout that everyone adheres to or is it just a matter or preference?

Thanks for your time.

Val


last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
Kitbash Comics at 10:40PM, March 22, 2010
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joined: 3-22-2010
I stand corrected, There are actually quite a few landscape layouts and many varying page sizes too. Hhmmm…? More decisions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:16PM
skoolmunkee at 1:30AM, March 23, 2010
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It's just a matter of preference. I've experimented with a number of page styles and probably the easiest to work with layout-wise is the traditional comic page. There's more potential for varying panels etc while maintaining readability flow. My horizontally-oriented comic was more restrictive in that respect, it's much harder to do non-standard panels. It may be because people are more used to reading portrait comic page layouts, but when people read horizontal ones they expect newspaper-style two horizontal rows and when you mix it up you risk people getting confused.

Other people do vertical stacks of same-size panels, one panel comics, or whatever size/shape the current comic needs. (Although maintaining a standard size does make a lot of things easier.)
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:43PM
Aurora Borealis at 9:38AM, March 23, 2010
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The only restriction I can see in using a vertical layout online is this:

be careful with long vertical panels. In other words, do not make them too long, and if you do use them, make sure to avoid putting word balloons on top and on the bottom. Nothing's worse than having to scroll up and down (which you pointed out yourself).

If you use a 6, 9 or 12 panel grid (either sticking to it closely or as a basis for 3-4 tiers), you'll be able to make sure that scrolling happens only when the entire row of panels is read. Or you could go with “widescreen” panels, meaning a vertical layout with a set of horizontal panels.

And a horizontal layout, while fine, it means you can't put too many panels on a page anyway cause then you'd have to scroll sideways. And considering that 1024x768 resolution is still common + all the crap (and the banner) on top of the drunkduck page,you still might have to scroll down to see the lower panels entirely. Horizontal works best for strips that have 3-4 panels.

(and while my most recent page breaks the rule about long vertical panels a bit, my excuse is that I drew the thing few years ago, before getting into webcomics).

Generally this is what I stick to: if the print edition is meant to be “manga” sized, then I go with 600px wide pages. If it is meant for traditional comics format, then I do 800px. While the latter might be slightly wide on some devices, it still offers large enough font to be readable, whereas the former fits on pretty much everything I think.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:08AM
El Cid at 9:49AM, March 29, 2010
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You should always keep in mind whether or not your layout will present an issue when and if you decide to go to print. I personally prefer a landscape layout and since most of my stuff isn't “serious” art anyway, I don't bother with printable specs. But whenever I do something that plausibly could go to print, I stick rigidly to the guidelines I get from whoever's going to print it for me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
Janen at 7:12PM, April 5, 2010
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What is the printing size btw? Readers used to mention the panels were too small in my comic so now the comic pages are sometimes around 1000 pixels in height(around 6-8 panels). I think it's ok to have a large page, if you're going to have at least 8 panels the readers are going to have to scroll anyway, what's important is that the reader doesn't have to scroll up and down to be able to read/appreciate a single panel.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
El Cid at 6:04AM, April 7, 2010
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posts: 971
joined: 5-4-2009
The print specs will vary depending on where you go. I've used Ka-blam in the past and been very happy with them. They have the specifics on their site, along with a downloadable template.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM

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