online comic printing services?

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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby eishiya » August 7th, 2012, 2:49 pm

AndToBeLoved wrote:@apocalypse1415: Great suggestion that most people don't look into very deeply. Spend the money and buy your own ISBNs. When I did a book with Createspace, I saw that if you use THEIR isbn, they will somehow own rights to that edition of your book. Not sure of all the details, but it was something I wanted to avoid. One isbn costs a lot, but you can buy them in batches of 10+ and save money. That way you own all the rights thru and thru.

Here is a question: are there any good BULK printers anyone would like to suggest? I am working on a graphic novel (around 100-120 pages, full color) that I am THINKING of self publishing. I have done plenty of research with the above mentioned PODs and, am wondering if instead there is a good bulk printer that would be worth looking into. I'm not sure what kind of print run I want to do just yet.

If by "bulk" you mean 1000+ copies, then look into offset printers. Some will accept orders as low as 500 or even 250, but such orders will cost almost the same as an order of 1000 will xP

Transcontinental is a Canadian offset printer that's used by everyone from Marvel to the author of Toilet Genie. Great quality in the books I've seen, haven't dealt with them myself yet.
If you're printing B&W books, look at Patterson Printing. They don't do colour (except for covers), but their prices for B&W are very nice.

I don't know of any printers that offer good prices on the 100-500 book range ):
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby AndToBeLoved » August 7th, 2012, 3:21 pm

@eishiya: Cool, thanks. Yeah, I know of Transcontinental but haven't really looked into their pricing yet. I guess I'll need to send them an email. I don't think I'll be doing 1000 copies yet, that'd be a bit pricey, I don't care who the printer it, lol. Probably in the 500 range so I may end up with a POD after all. If I go this route at all, that is.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby AndToBeLoved » August 23rd, 2012, 2:09 pm

I contacted Transcontinental Printing to get a quote and their prices are pretty darn good. Here are estimate for a full color 96 page graphic novel with glossy finish in case anyone may ever need this info. The book size is 6 7/8" x 10 1/5" which I think is a TAD wider than a standard graphic novel, but by less than a quarter of an inch so it's not an issue. These prices do not include shipping, which I can only imagine is pretty high, especially since they are in Canada.

500 copies = $1,028
1,000 copies = $1,040
1,500 copies = $1,051

So it seems that after the start up costs are covered, printing extra copies costs practically nothing! It's only a $23 difference to print and extra 1,000 copies after doing the initial 500. Worth the $23 if you asked me! Even if you end up having to GIVE copies away, lol.

So yeah, I'd recommend Trans Printing for sure, but I do plan on doing more research at some piont. They were also really friendly in their emails and kept me posted regularly. I will be using them when the time comes for me to self publish anything of this nature.
Last edited by AndToBeLoved on November 18th, 2012, 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby grisnuage » August 26th, 2012, 9:51 pm

Was poking around and realized no one had mentioned Ingram/Lightning Source. (edit: oops, someone had. I only searched for 'Ingram' before posting. Either way, here's an update for that.) (Also: http://www1.lightningsource.com/ ) It's a Print-On-Demand service.

PaperWingsPodcast.com did a post about their new Standard Color printing option, which is how I found out about it. Glancing at the prices, it seems pretty good! But I don't know what the quality of the books are-- so waiting to see what other people get from it might be a wise choice.

Ah, whatever. I don't know nothin' about this stuff. I'll just leave it here for you guys to consider/investigate for your own purposes.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby Frank@Comedy Reflux » October 9th, 2012, 6:31 am

I read in "How to Make Webcomics" (From Scott Kurtz and the gang) that if you want to offer your strip to local shops, you often have to give a discount of 70% on the cover price, certainly if it's your first comic. It seems that no POD service can offer a per book price where you can then take 70% off the cover price and not suffer heavy losses.

I was thinking, for the very far future, to perhaps print an overview of one or two years of webcomics, in order to reach about 150 pages. With a cover price of 15$, and a discount of 70%, your per book price (including shipping costs and whatnot) should be 4.5$, in order to break even. I don't see any POD's that can handle books that size for that cost.

So I guess that means when, in the far future, I want to sell a comic I made with the specifications in mind, I need to go for bulk printing, right?
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby eishiya » October 9th, 2012, 9:15 am

Frank@Comedy Reflux wrote:So I guess that means when, in the far future, I want to sell a comic I made with the specifications in mind, I need to go for bulk printing, right?

Assuming you're talking about a full-colour comic, then yes, no POD can offer that sort of price, and you have to go for offset. Offset can be surprisingly cheap though, and you can probably fund a run of 1000+ from Kickstarter. It's much easier to advertise and find buyers for a webcomic and its Kickstarter than to advertise the comic at one specific shop, so it might be good to think of the comic shop as a place to unload your unsold copies after the Kickstarter and any cons you do, which are generally the two best venues.

Also, if the comic shop's owner knows you well, they may be able to give you more of the money if you let them stock the comic for free, and they only pay you for sold copies. That way, they don't have to account for unsold copies since they're not paying for them, so they can afford to give you a better rate.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby Mundius » October 21st, 2012, 10:23 pm

Why did I not notice this thread before...

Anyone have any major issues with Ka-Blam! before?
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby AndToBeLoved » November 18th, 2012, 8:55 pm

Mundius wrote:Why did I not notice this thread before...

Anyone have any major issues with Ka-Blam! before?


I've never used Ka-Blam, myself, but I have heard mixed reviews by others. Some people say that their quality isn't great. I know Comixpress does some nice work and they are a tad cheaper and come highly recommended by industry professionals. But Ka-Blam is about to improve their distribution site at some point here. So that's good.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby Krazehhcakes » November 18th, 2012, 9:43 pm

Mundius wrote:Why did I not notice this thread before...

Anyone have any major issues with Ka-Blam! before?


Kablam is VERY inconsistent, The few projects i was involved with and used Kablam: Their stuff was not good. Colors came out too dark, paper quality was strange and some of the books were even damaged.

They also mess up your orders alot or dont even get it done.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby AndToBeLoved » November 18th, 2012, 11:30 pm

Krazehhcakes wrote:
Mundius wrote:Why did I not notice this thread before...

Anyone have any major issues with Ka-Blam! before?


Kablam is VERY inconsistent, The few projects i was involved with and used Kablam: Their stuff was not good. Colors came out too dark, paper quality was strange and some of the books were even damaged.

They also mess up your orders alot or dont even get it done.


Very good to know. I had been considering using KaBlam for an upcoming project, since they are about to improve their distribution method, but it's not worth the risk if the printing could potentially be that bad. I also feel like some things on their site are not as clear as they should be...
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby Beni » December 10th, 2012, 10:35 pm

Krazehhcakes wrote:
Mundius wrote:Why did I not notice this thread before...

Anyone have any major issues with Ka-Blam! before?


Kablam is VERY inconsistent, The few projects i was involved with and used Kablam: Their stuff was not good. Colors came out too dark, paper quality was strange and some of the books were even damaged.

They also mess up your orders alot or dont even get it done.


Geh, I was drawing my stuff according to KaBlams templates to be printed there. I hope I can use them with another printer >_> Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby eishiya » December 11th, 2012, 2:07 am

Beni wrote:Geh, I was drawing my stuff according to KaBlams templates to be printed there. I hope I can use them with another printer >_> Thanks for the heads up.

Ka-blam's templates are all common industry sizes, so you don't have to worry. Some printers prefer larger bleed areas than those on their templates, but I've never heard of a printer that can't work with .25" bleed margins.

Also, any printing company worth their salt will print any size (within reason). I draw most of my comics in a non-standard size, but I have never had trouble getting them printed correctly.
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby Beni » December 11th, 2012, 6:20 pm

eishiya wrote:
Beni wrote:Geh, I was drawing my stuff according to KaBlams templates to be printed there. I hope I can use them with another printer >_> Thanks for the heads up.

Ka-blam's templates are all common industry sizes, so you don't have to worry. Some printers prefer larger bleed areas than those on their templates, but I've never heard of a printer that can't work with .25" bleed margins.

Also, any printing company worth their salt will print any size (within reason). I draw most of my comics in a non-standard size, but I have never had trouble getting them printed correctly.


Thats true XD I might search around locally here since we have a decent art scene but I doubt they are gonna be cheaper than any of the sites that have been listed here ...
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby MadTarnsman » December 19th, 2012, 1:17 pm

I STRONGLY urge you to go with Ka-Blam! A hard copy print of my comic runs $1.69 and I'm only charged for what I order to be printed.....no more closets, attics and garages full of minimum runs that you can't move.

Ka-Blam also helps with marketing and will try to get your book into comic stores that like to help the independent artist/writer/comic creator. They're also very friendly, helpful and don't treat you like some kind of interwebz vermin.

I'm working with them now to give people the option to order hard copies of my comics.....autographed is a bit extra....but you can't go wrong and I researched well before I dove into this!!

Good luck and I hope this was helpful!!
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Re: online comic printing services?

Postby AndToBeLoved » December 20th, 2012, 1:14 am

MadTarnsman wrote:I STRONGLY urge you to go with Ka-Blam! A hard copy print of my comic runs $1.69 and I'm only charged for what I order to be printed.....no more closets, attics and garages full of minimum runs that you can't move.

Ka-Blam also helps with marketing and will try to get your book into comic stores that like to help the independent artist/writer/comic creator. They're also very friendly, helpful and don't treat you like some kind of interwebz vermin.

I'm working with them now to give people the option to order hard copies of my comics.....autographed is a bit extra....but you can't go wrong and I researched well before I dove into this!!

Good luck and I hope this was helpful!!


See, these are the kinds of reviews I was coming across for a while about Ka-Blam, but then I started finding reviews stating the exact opposite. I've heard a lot of good things about ComixPress, but they don't offer the same distribution methods as does Ka-Blam. Their prices are pretty comparable though, only slight differences in most cases. Frankly I have a hard time understanding Ka-Blams distribution methods.
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