I just finished a new one, CRIME WORLD #3, it turned out all right I guess. It’s the first one I’ve done in a while, and as I was finishing it up the memories came flooding back to me. Making mini-comics is a drag!
Here’s some tips from me, to you new pople who are thinking about making mini-comic books:
1. Do a good job. At least the best job you can. Consider that it’s a junky, throw-away product, sure, but if it looks lousy you will just have to throw them away yourself in a couple years instead of letting paying customers throw them away. Good job tips for mini-comics: draw the artwork at final printed size; don’t do fine-line drawings that won’t show up; don’t be ambitious, be economical; practice your lettering.
2. Don’t print very many. That’s because there are only 250 mini-comics buying consumers in the U.S.A. and only five of them have ever heard of you. If you spend your life savings doing a big print run of mini-comics you will regret it. Only print 40 at a time and see how you feel. Even if you’re stealing your copies from Kinko’s don’t do a ton of them.
3. Don’t do color xerox. It’s unbelievably expensive. And that color toner? It’s microscopic plastic particles practically guaranteed to turn to poison gas in a few years and help destroy humanity.
4. Make your mini-comic 5.5×8.5. I can’t help but stand by this advice even though everyone really gushes over the screwball weirdly trimmed mini-comics. A piece of paper folded in half, that’s perfect. A lot of xerox machines can automatically saddle stitch the books, so you don’t have to waste your life manually assembling mini comics that you will eventually just have to throw in the trash (see rule #1).
5. If you’re unsure of your abilities, put it online. Aren’t you glad all those crummy looking comics you see online didn’t waste the paper it would take to print 300 landfill-bound copies? That could be you.
6. Staple then fold. If you are unlucky and have to assemble your mini-comics by hand, staple them and then use a ruler to help you fold them, they will come out much better than the folded-first / off-center-staples pieces of junk that everybody else does. I lay my ruler in the middle of the comic, butted up against the staples, hold it down on the table and fold over the other half of the comic. I don’t know if that makes sense, maybe I’ll make a diagram. Since you’re only doing 40 copies this will take like 15 minutes.
7. Make a PDF. Don’t print from hardcopy master artwork, it will look like garbage. And you will also lose it. Put your comic together with a computer or scan that “master” art to a file and hold onto it. You can take that thing anywhere and get more copies printed.
8. Sell a digital version. Everybody should start doing this and stop acting like the world’s going to end. I have a lot to say about making and selling ebooks but probably nobody is listening. Maybe another blogpost about it later?
9. Be nice, be a good friend. Be humble because you’re not famous and you never will be.
That’s all I can think of right now. Feel free to try to post a comment and tell me I’m full of it.
I don’t know when you’ll be able to buy Crime World #3. I printed some and will have them at the L.A. Zinefest on February 19th. They’ll probably show up on the Sparkplug website. I’ve got an ebook store in the works as well, it might be operational next week even, we’ll see what I get done.