A simple minicomic format

We talk constantly about the importance of working for reproduction in our classes (and in DWWP, of course). Comics are, after all, primarily, if not exclusively, a medium seen in copies, not originals, whether those be on paper or digital. We have our students print minicomics at the end of most of our courses, but those courses are at least a semester, and are often an academic year long. That’s a lot of time to create content and think about making elaborate print pieces.

However, there are plenty of times when a quick and easy minicomics format would be just the ticket. I’ve done this mini at the end of a 3-hour workshop, and it provides some of the same satisfaction, and the same understanding of the issues involved in going to print, that a 16-page digest-sized mini would. When you’re working on your own, too, the ability to work more-or-less on the fly and have a nice little printed package when you’re done can be motivating and fun.

I’ll be having my students do a mini of this type at the end of their first week in my Miami Wolfsonian workshop this Friday. They’ll draw stories on location, and print them up immediately. More on this assignment in next week’s post.

A one-sheet, no-staple, 8-page minicomic

First, we’ll make a mockup/imposition guide to learn the folding technique and format. Then you can fold a fresh sheet of paper and use it to create directly-drawn content, or do pasteups with copies of content drawn elsewhere.

Make a mockup/imposition guide

(An imposition guide is a chart that shows you where you lay pages out on your master copy so that they print out in the right order and right side up.)

Fold a sheet of 8.5" x 11" or A4 paper once, lengthwise.

fold it again

Fold it again.

Fold it a third time, in the same (horizontal) direction.

Unfold it a bit and find the segment of the first fold that's closest to the second fold.

Cut off a smidge of the first fold from the outer corner of the second fold to where the third fold starts.

Unfold the second fold.

Push the outer edges in so that the cut section opens up.

Crease it like this.

Crease it like this.

Close the booklet. Now number each page from one to eight. Put a mark under the numbers to indicate which is the top, which the bottom.

When you unfold the sheet, you'll see that the pages lay out in a rather non-intuitive manner. Use this to guide your layout.


2 Comments to A simple minicomic format

  • by Ramise

    On June 26, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    That’s a cool tool thank you.

    Started reading your book a few days ago. Am excited. So glad you’ve got a website to augment the training in your book.
    Ramise (a ronin)

  • by Jessica

    On June 28, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Glad you like this! I’m having a workshop full of students do this mini right now, and it’s really satisfying to finish something so quickly and in such a nice neat package.

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