What Kind Of Paper Are Comic Books Printed On?

Over the years, several superheroes like Ironman, Superman, Spiderman, Black Widow, etc., have been birthed by comic book artists. Countless stories have been published that managed to captivate millions of readers’ hearts. Some even went on to be adapted as famous movie franchises or drama series.

When it comes to impressing comic book fans, you need to bring in quality besides a thrilling storyline. Hence, choosing the right type of papers is number one in publishing.

Now you must be wondering, what kind of paper are comic books printed on?

Let us introduce you to some ideal papers that you can utilize for comic book printing.

What Kind Of Paper Are Comic Books Printed On?

Certain works look good on certain types of paper. Besides that, your printer will also manage to give different output qualities depending on how the ink reacts with the paper surface. Hence, the answer to this question will vary from project to project.

For Full-Color Printing

As you probably would have noticed, colored prints always look better on heavier papers. Every shade is perfectly emphasized to bring out your artwork’s quality. Bleedings are also successfully eliminated from the printing equation, making double-sided printing easier.

Your paper’s finish should be based on the theme of your artwork. If dark or pastel shades dominate your art, matte papers will positively hold them out. Artworks that mainly consist of colors like yellow, orange, light green, etc., pair best with glossy papers. They reflect light and make the colors look more flamboyant and brighter.

We suggest using the #60 or #70 matte paper if you require a smooth and matte finish. It is thick without being too heavy for most printers. #60 is the standard option and is comparatively cheaper than #70 matte paper.

For Black And White Printing

A comic that has black and white works requires standard comic book paper. The #60 matte paper is the most suitable option and will perfectly put your work on display. Printing is easy as the paper is not too thick, and paper jams can be easily avoided. Glossy papers are not a good idea, and the reflections will make it harder for the audience to see your black and white prints.

Some writers have a very wide fan base and wish to gift them with amazing quality products. The fans can then store these for years as collectibles. If you wish to do the same for your audience, then you should consider using the #70 matte paper. These are a little thicker than the #60 kind, making them the more durable option. Keep in mind that this means you will be spending more per page.

For Front Covers

You will commonly notice that the covers of comic books are harder than the pages inside. However, this is not the case for all. Some comic books have covers that use the same paper as the rest of the book. These books are known to have self covers and do not do much to attract the audience. Usually, small comic book publishers go for this option.

Most comics will use a sturdier piece of paper to make their covers. This helps the audience preserve the book for a long time without having it torn. A glossy finish is also the more desirable option rather than a matte finish as covers are meant to be bright and appealing. 80# or 100# glossy papers are the perfect options to make such covers.

Nevertheless, if you want something matte for your sketches or dark-themed covers, you can go for cardstock. Several types of matte cardstocks are available in a huge range of sizes, so pick whichever seems to suit your work the best.

Comic book paper stock also includes papers that have UV protection. These manage to last longer as they are more resistant to fading.

How To Use Comic Book Paper

Comic book papers are commonly known as comic artboards. Several brands make these, but Bristol, Strathmore, Canson, and Blue Line Art are the most common options. This is because they have the perfect texture, allowing artists to pencil the perfect sketches. They also react well with ink, color pencils, markers, etc., giving your comics the desired look.

To use your comic book papers, here’s what you can do:

  • Using rulers, start creating panels on your blank comic artboards. Do this with a pencil and make sure the number of boxes will fit your story.
  • Slowly, start sketching your artworks one by one. Do not rush and make sure everything is up to the mark.
  • Add in dialogue boxes or bubbles and insert texts within them. If you wish to do this digitally, then leave it for later.
  • Once you have filled in all the panels with your comic sketches and texts, observe to find any mistakes. When nothing needs to be corrected anymore, start inking in your work using your pens. You can use micron pens that have thin nibs to add details. Fountain pens are also used to highlight bigger sections.
  • If you want to add colors, now would be the time. Use color pencils and markers to fill in every detail. You can also scan it into your computer and add colors using photo editing software. Texts can also be digitally added at this point.
  • Once done, save your comic page as a soft copy. Then, use a high-resolution scanner to receive stunning results.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Comic Books Printed In Dots?

Comic books used to be printed with dots in the older days to allow shading. This was known as the “Ben-Day dots” method and gravely assisted artists in improving their work’s quality. People could place the dots close to each other and make secondary colors which gave the work more detail. The usual black, cyan, magenta, and yellow inks could be combined to produce several other shades like pink, purple, green, blue, etc.

Can You Print Your Own Comic Books?

As printers these days have advanced printing features, one can easily utilize them to self-publish comic books. First, however, you need to make sure your printer offers high printing resolution, a decent printing speed, and good color quality. You also need to spend a lot of time experimenting with different types of paper to discover which pairs best with your printer.

How Much Does It Cost To Print A Comic Book?

A comic book’s price will differ based on the type of paper used, its content, and the paper dimension. Besides that, you will have to pay for cover art, lettering, and dialogue editions. Depending on the popularity of the artist you hire (i.e., if you are not the artist), you will also have to invest a sum. This will also contribute to the cost per page. Altogether, it will cost somewhere between $2 to $5. 

Papers To Avoid To Print Comic Books

When printing comic books, you should avoid too light or too heavy pages. A too light page is more likely to bleed and prevent you from printing on both sides. It is also much more likely to tear and cause inconvenience for your readers.

Heavy papers do offer durability and better quality. However, such pages are hard to turn over, and thus, some say that it will ruin the thrill of reading. Cardstock papers are hence, considered to be unsuitable for printing comic books. Comic book cardstocks should instead be reserved for covers only.

Other than these facts, you also have to consider the printer. Papers that are too light or too heavy can cause printer jams, making the entire printing process seem hellish.

Conclusion

What kind of paper are comic books printed on?

You are now fully aware of the answer! So, take some time to experiment with all the papers mentioned in our article and configure the settings accordingly. Once you are sure you have explored all possible options, identify which is the best comic strip paper for you. That is all for now! Check the other articles on our site to learn more!

2 thoughts on “What Kind Of Paper Are Comic Books Printed On?”

  1. Hi there! Thank you very much for talking about how better it is to only use cardstock papers as our comic sheets cover. I’ve been assigned to print out some promotional materials for our company’s open day next week. I’ll keep this tip in mind so the end result will be satisfactory later.

  2. Your article has provided a lot of information on how one can select the right kind of paper for comic books. To make the comic book a great success it is very important to choose the right kind of paper and in this article, you have explained in detail about each kind of paper. I really had a very good time reading this article. Thank you.

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