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How Are Comic Books Printed

The evolution of comic book printing has reached a lot of milestones since its beginning, from being limited to ineffective printing to using advanced technologies for realistic prints. Are you here to learn about the printing process? More specifically, how are comic books printed? Then you are in the right place.

We at CityPress are the people who bring your favorite superheroes to life. Besides explaining how are comic books printed on paper, we will reveal the variety of materials you can choose from for your book.

How Are Comic Books Printed
Source: / Photo Contributor: nikkimeel

How Are Comic Books Printed?

The sales revenue of comics and graphic novels has almost doubled between 2020 and 2021. In 2022, it showed a steady increase, making it the perfect time to publish a comic book. But to do that, you must know the entire printing process.

To get you a little bit of perspective, we will start with some comic book history. The first comic books were printed using the offset printing technique. The first printed comic books were black and white.

For each page of the comic book, a separate plate was created. The multiple-rollers (plate cylinders) were used to transfer the ink to the paper. 

Next, comic books were printed using a newspaper press using a four or five-color system. Initially, they were printed using the spot or dot color, and the paper of choice was cheap newsprint paper. The colors were applied one at a time, making the entire process time-consuming.

As new printing techniques developed, so did the possibilities for creating comic books. So, how comics are printed today?

We can use several printing techniques for commercial book printing, such as four-color printing, offset printing, digital printing, monochrome printing, and screen printing. The most common choices of our clients in comic books are four-color and digital printing. Both techniques offer fast turnaround times and high-quality printed books.

The comic book printing process explained

The pre-printing preparations are equally important as the printing process itself. Most of the time, the preparation of the comic book will be your responsibility. You need to give life through content and illustration. But if you have some questions, our graphic design team might help you out.

If you draw the comic book directly onto paper, we will have to scan it and transform it into a digital file. If required, we might digitally select and apply the colors to the drawings. We will also proofread your comic book and ensure everything is ready to print.

The next steps depend on the printing technique that we will utilize. For instance, if you choose offset printing, we will continue with creating the printing plates. For digital printing, we must check the comic book and ensure it is done according to the technical requirements for printing.

But how do you format a comic book for printing? The list is extensive, but for us, the most important considerations are:

  • Choosing the correct file format, preferably PDF

  • Checking the layout of the graphic design

  • Handling color management

  • Making the artwork in the proper resolution

  • Checking if the text and images are correctly placed

  • Finalizing the cover artwork

The comic book printing process explained
Source: / Photo Contributor: Javi Az

What Kind of Paper Are Comic Books Printed On?

The choice of paper is significantly important for comic books. The paper’s texture, weight, and finish contribute to the overall look and feel of the comic book and artwork. It might also affect how the colors appear when we print them out.

There are many paper types to choose from, and they differ according to their:

  • Weight and thickness; we commonly print comic books on 54-68ln paper, but if the comic book has a high page count, we recommend lighter paper.

  • Materials the paper is made from

  • The finish of the print. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between matte, half-matte, gloss-coated, offset, and several other options

  • The coat; as there are uncoated and coated options, and you should decide according to the visual effect you want to achieve.

Our experts can assist you in picking the right paper type for your comic book. 

Common Sizes of Comic Books

We can print comic books in various sizes according to your needs. The most common size our comic book clients choose is the standard size, which is 6.625” x 10.25”. However, other popular options are:

  • Digest size 5.5” x 8.5”,

  • Magazine size 8.5” x 11”,

  • Golden age size 7.75” x 10.5”.

Typically, comic book publishers that have complex stories and fall into the category of noir and fantasy tend to print their comic books in larger formats. But that is not a universal rule. You might pick your comic book size according to your vision.

In addition, we print most comic books that feature detailed artwork in larger formats. That way, the reader can enjoy your unique masterpieces and captivating story entirely.

How Much Does It Cost to Print a Comic Book?

The cost of the print depends on several factors. Firstly, it depends on the printing technique you choose. The materials, size, number of copies, page count, full color or black-and-white book, binding method, additional finishes, type of ink, etc., all influence the cost.

Generally looking, the most affordable options range between $1.5 and $3 per copy. The costs fluctuate significantly based on your specific requirements. Thus, it’s best to contact us for an accurate estimate regarding your project.

Why Choose CityPress for Your Comic Book?

While we understand that you cannot wait to see your comic book printed out, and brought to press, we advise you to carefully pick your printing company. Although it might seem like something you shouldn’t pay attention to, your choice will directly influence the quality of the book, color and printing consistency, timely delivery, and cost-effectiveness.

There are many reasons why we tick all the boxes as the best printing company for your comic book. First and foremost, we are a printing press company that has been around for decades. We are experienced in printing various types of books, including comic books.

We use the latest technology and the highest-quality materials in the making of our prints. You will benefit from durable and vibrant comic books with astounding details.

In addition, we offer different types of printing techniques. You can choose between digital printing, offset lithography, and 6-color offset printing. Whichever you choose, you can rest assured your comic book will have crisp, vibrant colors with sharp details.

We also offer different customization options. You can pick the paper type you want to print on, the finishes, and the binding method. That will allow you to create a comic book that matches your vision perfectly.

Moreover, we have fast responses to inquiries and the best turnaround times in the industry. We respect deadlines so that you can stick to your publication schedule.

Last but not least, we offer you a proof copy to check and ensure that the book will turn out as expected.

Why Choose CityPress for Your Comic Book?
Source: / Photo Contributor: nikkimeel


The popularity of comic books is constantly growing. Readers are craving a good graphic novel. To create a successful one, you must understand how are comic books printed. After reading our comprehensive guide, we are sure you are ready to jump into the printing process. Get in touch with us today if you want to have an experienced and professional team handling the printing of your comic book.


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