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Scale

Size is both a visual and a tactile consideration. There is no “official” standard size for comic books, but many of the larger publishers default to 6 ⅝ x 10 ⅛ inches. Page count is typically 20-25 including advertisements. Graphic novels tend to follow the sizing of individual comics, but are by no means required to do so. Many original works, (in this case meaning comics not published in single issues before being bound as a trade paperback) are sized at the discretion of the creators.  

The two most used binding formats for comics are saddle-stitching and perfect binding. Saddle-stitching is when several large sheets of paper are folded in half and stapled along the seam. Perfect bound items are constructed by glueing a series of folded pages to a thicker exterior cover. Perfect binding is stronger than saddle-stitching, but works better when there are more pages, and tends to be a more expensive option. Comic books often use saddle-stitch binding, while graphic novels have larger page counts around 100 or so, and as a result are often perfect bound.

Of course, not all comics need to be printed. A comic can now be a click of a mouse away instead of at the nearest book store. Webcomics, also called online comics or internet comics, are becoming more and more popular these days as creators skip the costly printing process and deliver their work to readers digitally instead. This option is appealing to many without access to the publication and distribution channels that the major companies have built, as it allows an alternate route for their work to be enjoyed. Of course, webcomics are by no means confined to works by independent creators. Established publishing companies like Marvel and DC offer digital versions of their comics as well as the traditional print or graphic novel form, making the options for readers more diverse than ever before.

Click on the images below to learn more about different publication formats!

Citations

Beaty, Keith. "Formax Printing Solutions." Formax Printing. October 22, 2013. Accessed June 11, 2019. https://www.formaxprinting.com/blog/2013/10/six-things-to-consider-when-printing-a-comic-book-or-graphic-novel/.

Leonard, Caroline. "Types of Binding - Back to Basics." Student Bookbinding. December 23, 2014. Accessed June 11, 2019. https://www.studentbookbinding.co.uk/blog/types-of-binding.

Heekyoung, Cho. "The Webtoon: A New Form for Graphic Narrative." The Comics Journal. Accessed June 25, 2019. http://www.tcj.com/the-webtoon-a-new-form-for-graphic-narrative/.

O'Neill, Katie. "Chapter One, Spring." Tea Dragon Society. September 1, 2016. Accessed June 25, 2019. https://teadragonsociety.com/comic/chapter-1/.