Sunday, October 7, 2012

DIY COMIC - The Standard Comic Issue

Supplies - For this project I used Staples Legal Size (8.5x 14) - 20lb White a 500 sheet ream ran about $10 (that means each page cost $0.02) The color pages were printed through Moxi Copy - the cover was printed on 100lb - 96 Bright White Opaque Cover Stock and the interior pages on 20lb Bright White Paper. The print job was about $140 for 100 copies of a 16 page book.

You have a stack of freshly photocopy pages and your print order from Moxi Copy. How do you assemble them so that they look like a book you had professionally printed? (Some of this is done in the copying/design phase making sure the pages are straight and the layouts are neat.)

Step 1 - Disassembling the Color Copies, to keep the cost of the book down I design the stories half in color and half in black & white. This issue also required that I sereate the interior color pages because of the story format.

Step 2 -  Date Stamping is not necessary but I always get compliments on it. I use this as a way for me to tell when the book was made and can be used to tell the difference between first and later printings.

Step 3 - Folding the Copies can be done a number of ways. I prefer to fold each piece one at a time. This strategy gives the book a flatter look at the end. Make sure you are folding the right way, I have found it a good idea to fold one of each page and assemble a book to make sure I'm doing everything right.

Step 4 - Assembling the Sections, for this book I have two interior sections that have to be assembled and trimmed separately. Make sure you assemble the pages in the right order (and do not forget any.)

Step 5 - Trimming the Books is essential since I want my work to look like a book. Because of the quality of my trimmer the book has to be trimmed in 3 separate pieces, Cover and 2 Interior Sections. Each section trim is slightly different so that the book looks nice and even. You might need to do some sample cuts to figure out what will work for your book. Usually I trim the top, bottom and the leaf side. However for this project I did not trim the leaf side since it was a lower page count and the pages appeared to have already lined up nicely. A tip, trim from the leaf side to the spine, this tends to give a better cut. I plan on investing in a new trimmer soon.

Step 6 - Assembling the Books, the Cover and 2 interior sections can be assembled once they are all trimmed. Make sure once again they are in the right order, check one book in ever few copies.

Step 7 - Stapling the Books can be done with a number of different staples. If your books are a few pages, you can use a long reach stapler (I originally used a Bostitch 12" Long Reach Stapler) or if you are stapling more pages, a booklet stapler (in the video I'm using a Bostitch 2 Booklet Stapler.) I have found that books longer than 16 pages are a little harder to line up with the long reach staplers so I changed to the book stapler and now use it for everything.

Step 8 - The Finished Book is a thing of beauty. If done right your product will be able to stand toe to toe with professionally printed material and no one will be able to tell that you made it at home on your kitchen table.

Happy Comic Book Making,


1 comment:

krash_pow said...

This is a fascinating video, Denny! That book looks spectacular even before you put the pages together! Thanks for making this!