How to prepare your comic book for printing


In my I talked about using your Mac to create printed comic books by scanning, editing, and enhancing your original comic book art. This time the focus is on organizing that artwork in a page-layout document, adding word balloons or sound effects, and working with your copy shop to create the best-looking book for the money.

Before you import and arrange your scans, contact your copy shop to ask what order they'd like you to provide your pages. This will be either sequentially or in printer's spreads that appear out of order in your layout document, but fall into the proper sequence when printed and folded in a book.

Organizing pages sequentially is easy. Create a new page-layout document at the size of your individual pages (mine were 5.5 by 8.5 inches). Allowing for a .25-inch margin on all sides, center a picture box on the page. Artwork beyond this area may be cropped during printing. Duplicate the page until you have enough for every page of art in your comic, including covers. Then, starting with the front cover, insert each page of scanned artwork in order until the pages of your book are full.

Making printer's spreads is a little trickier. Create a horizontal document the size of the paper on which your book will be printed (in my case, this page was letter-size). Leaving a .25-inch margin around the page, center a 5 by 8-inch picture box in each half of the page, then duplicate the page until you have one page for every two pages of art in your comic (for example, a 24-page comic would consist of 12 pages). On the first page, insert the last cover of your comic in the left picture box and the first cover of your comic in the right picture box. Continue inserting artwork on each page in your document, counting up from the first page and down from the last, until you have two sequential pages in the center of the book. Note that all odd pages will fall on the right, and that all even pages will fall on the left.