I was finished reading Warren Ellis's blog post about format and the transfer to print: http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=14126 when I got on twitter and brought a subject up with him again. We chatted a bit and he brought something into focus for me that I didn't originally consider. I thought it would probably be better to share this here where we are all "process junkies".
The thought I had was that if you are going to structure the digital webcomic page as a two-tier construct then you had best think of it NOT as a comic book page, but more like a Sunday comic strip page. Certainly one of the aspects to Thrillbent and Infinite is the use of the whole widescreen view. That pushed my thinking a bit further -
What if instead of stacking the "pages" of the digital comics 2 to a page when you go to print, you formatted them to work as two page spreads?
In this way you preserve much of the widescreen view, yet are still able to format that to the standard comic book print format. In addition, you would no doubt be adding more pages to the mix so hypothetically, your comics would look thicker, meatier than the competition's.
But of course, being me – I'm not thinking of the downside here. What would the downside be? Would the market have to be re-educated to read the comic ala' the newspaper strip? Could this be done utilizing standard comic sizing or would you require a "Wednesday Comics" format?
April 7, 2012
I also enjoyed Warren's notes on format. A few thoughts, though.
Double-stacking two episodes into a double page spread rather than a single page seems cool at first, but your printing and shipping costs go up. Printing comics isn't cheap, and doubling their page counts for the same amount of content makes it more expensive to create.
Does making a book thicker make it more desirable? Of course. However, the scale is variable, with cost per page being higher for single issues than the better bargain trade paperback. Well, it's a better bargain for the buyer, but not the publisher.
Would I tell someone to not try the double-page spread with two episodes when printing–No! I'd like to think that if its really creative and looks good there will still be an audience for it.
Well, it wouldn't be two digital "pages" stacked into a double page spread – it would be one digital page spread out on a two print-page spread to mimic the sunday comic strip view.
I see where you're coming from when you do a direct cost comparison with how print comics are published today. However, no one is making the point there is paper that is of supposed lesser quality that still looks great when it comes to print quality. Case in point: Wednesday Comics. I think a comic printed on that sort of bleached newsprint would look twice as bulky for the same price, would still look great, and attract attention from the buying public.
But you again raise the valid point that the shipping would probably kill the idea. Especially if it were under-ordered which seems to be a norm today…
June 28, 2013
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