The comic book printing process is a lengthy and involved procedure. It can take weeks for artists to create comic books, months for the comic books to be printed, and years before they are finally available in stores.
Comic books are created from a sequential series of images that make a story. The printing process typically starts with writers and artists creating the comic pages using drawing paper or illustration boards. Once these panels have been drawn out, they will be scanned into the computer for digital distribution to publishers and readers alike.
When comic book printing began, comic books were printed on newspaper presses. Times have changed, and comic books are now printed digitally on large printers. But the process is still quite complex!
Printing Different Categories Of Comic Books
It’s fascinating to explore the different printing processes that create these various comic book categories. Comic books are printed in several types. These include comic strips, comic magazines, comic supplements to newspapers, comic books, comic books for children, comic book series, and graphic novels for young adults.
No matter what comic book category you’re interested in, it’s mesmerizing to see the printing process that brings these stories to life. In addition, it’s incredible to think about all of the work that goes into creating each comic book and how long the entire process can take from start to finish!
Comic strips are short humorous stories that were popularized by newspapers. These comic strips are typically printed in black and white on newsprint using a web offset press to save costs. They are often just a few panels long but can be longer depending on the story being told.
A comic magazine is similar to comic books, except they have more pages than comic books do – anywhere from 32-100+! These can also be periodicals of comic book content with no set publication date or frequency of release. They can be either anthologies or comic titles with the same theme.
Comic magazines require a higher quality paper stock and are usually printed using lithography or gravure.
Comic Supplements To Newspapers
When comic magazines are just too much, sometimes it’s more manageable to read a supplement that is half the size of your average newspaper. These supplements allow readers easy access to their favorite comics without purchasing an entire magazine or book.
Comic supplements to newspapers may consist of comic ads appearing in one newspaper during a particular time frame. Newspaper comic supplements generally use the same printing process as comic strips. They’re usually printed on newsprint and can be full-color or black and white.
Comic Books & Series
The most popular format of comics, the comic book, is a standalone story that is usually 24-32 pages long. A Comic book series is a list of comic titles whereby there is little difference between edition numbers, and each edition is distinctly different from the previous revision.
Comic books are typically printed using lithography, but some use a web offset press. The print process happens in an offset press with a higher quality paper stock of between 60 to 100-pound cover or heavier grades.
Comic book series are also printed using the same process as comic books. But they’re often smaller in size and more affordable for readers.
Young Adult Graphic Novels
Young Adult comics offer an alternative to traditional comics that cater to the specific interests of pre-teen and teenage readers. They are longer than comic books, often around 80 pages long.
Graphic novels for young adults are usually printed using lithography but can also be printed with a web offset press. They use the same high-quality paper stock as comic books and series, but they’re generally more expensive because of their length.
While graphic novels are usually targeted at a more mature audience, children’s comics are published with the intent of entertaining kids. In fact, many present-day comic book collectors began their hobby by collecting comic books for children before eventually moving on to comic books for young adults and beyond.
Children’s comic books are a lot like regular ones, except they’re much shorter and meant for younger readers. These typically consist of six to eight panels per page with very few words because children can be overwhelmed by too many details in the text. These comic books’ storylines, illustrations, and overall tone also vary significantly.
Comic books for children are generally printed using gravure. These comics use the same printing process as comic books, but the paper is usually of higher quality.
The Process Of Printing A Comic Book – Step By Step
It’s impressive to see the behind-the-scenes process of comic book printing no matter what your age. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or just getting into comics, exploring the different printing processes that create these various comic book categories is fascinating.
Comic books are printed in several categories, and each one has its unique printing process. It’s incredible to think about the number of people involved in creating comic books.
From writers and artists to letterers, colorists, printers, graphic designers, distributors/wholesalers, retailers – all play a role in getting your favorite comics into your hands!
Step 01: The comic artist creates the story
The first step is for an artist or writer to create their story based on whatever idea or concept they may have. This can be anything from superheroes to science fiction to slice of life.
Step 02: The story is pitched to a comic book publisher
Once the story is complete, it’s pitched to a comic book publisher who will either accept it or reject it. If accepted, the publisher will then assign an editor who will help the artist with the next steps.
Step 03: The story is scripted and drawn
The editor will work with the artist to script the story and then begin drawing it. This can often take many months or even years to complete, depending on how long the story is.
Step 04: Lettering, coloring, and inking is added
Once the story is drawn, it’s sent to a letterer who will add in all of the letterings. Then, a colorist will add color to the pages, and finally, an inker will go over everything to give it that finished look.
Step 05: The comic book is printed
Now it’s time for the comic book to be printed. This can be done in a number of ways, but the most common is lithography.
The varying quality levels depending on how much they cost. Higher-priced ones use high-quality paper stock that’s thick and durable while also allowing for vibrant colors when using ink or paint.
Step 06: Assembling The Pages
The next step is to assemble the comic book pages together after they are printed. Again, this can be done in different ways depending on if it’s a single issue or graphic novel.
But either way, this process is quite laborious and time-consuming as each page has to be cut out and then taped onto boards before being covered with plastic for protection.
Step 07: Distribution and Wholesale
After the comic book is assembled, it’s packaged up and sent to distributors. They will then sell them to retailers or directly to customers through mail-order catalogs.
Step 08: Retailers stock their shelves with new comics
The last step in the process of printing a comic book is for retailers to stock their shelves with new comics. This can be difficult because comic books are published on an ongoing basis, but retailers have limited space for storage and shelf displays.
Each step of the comic book printing process is fascinating, and it’s incredible to see how everything comes together to create your favorite comics. Whether you’re into superheroes, science fiction, or slice of life – there’s a comic book for everyone, and each one is unique in its own way.
Keep on loving the world of comics and learn more about the different printing processes used for each type of comic book!