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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ask the Inkmonkey

The first in an occasional series where I wrestle with your questions, force them to the ground and kick them to death.



Felix writes:

Hey Roger!

Can you give a fan some insight into how the publishers choose the paper they use for the comics? I love the matte paper, feel and look, that Popeye is published on. I even like what Bongo comics uses for Simpsons books. However, I can't for the life of me appreciate the glossy stock that always seems to have wrinkles, printing issues, tears, kinks, etc... Seems like it doesn't affect the cover price, but maybe the profit margin? Anyway, any insight would be appreciated! I'm only venting because I found the last 2 pages of my Rocketeer Hollywood Horror to have some massive wrinkles through the page! 

Anyway, the octopus made me think of the Spirit. Then I thought how cool would it be for the two to have a team up book? Looking forward to issue 2...

BTW - Rocketo... a shout out to the comic Rocketo?

Roger replies:

I don't have much insight into these decisions, really, although for what it's worth I hate that glossy stuff as well. I may be misremembering this, but I have a vague memory that the paper stock on Popeye was initially a mistake, but everybody liked it so they stuck with it. I know when I was self-publishing, I had two main criteria: (1) Is it cheap? and (2) How cheap is it?

As for a Rocketeer/Spirit team-up... I agree! Somebody should get on to that right away.

Last but not least, the "Rocketo" line... the comic book did occur to me, but it was more a reference to the comic strips of Gus Mager, who used to do a strip called Sherlocko the Monk. Paul Tumey recently did an excellent series of blog posts about Mager if you want to find out more about him - you can read that here. The Marx Brothers took their stage names from Mager's fondness for giving all his characters names ending in "-o", including one "Groucho the Monk".

As for why that might be significant... I couldn't possibly comment.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great response! Now that my creative partner and I have basically settled on a story and rough thumbnails for our ashcan we've started to look at self-publishing costs. We're getting a bit ahead of ourselves given that the ashcan will probably just be photocopies, but it's fun to learn about all this stuff. We got to speak with a lot of self publishers at Wondercon this past weekend and it was cool to hear that in Southern California you can still drop into a local printer with a physical comic and ask them... how much would it cost to print my comic like this one? And more importantly, that they can potentially beat the costs of the on-line print on demand places with quantities in the hundreds. Again, maybe hundreds is too much to print! We'll be doing some "testing" before we spend a dime on repro. Anyway, thanks again for the great response... Popeye #12 just hit the states today so I'm off to read that!

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About Me

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London, United Kingdom
Eisner and Harvey Award-winning cartoonist responsible for The Muppet Show Comic Book, Thor the Mighty Avenger, Snarked! and Fred the Clown. Would like to save the world through comics.