Printing comics? Printing coloring books? Comic books and coloring books are usually made up of line art, like the comic featured above (Stonebreaker Issue I from Shipwreck Planet). Line art prints differently from a photograph or a halftone graphic—most printed graphics are made up of a series of dots of varying sizes called halftones, but solid black line art is the exception to the rule. Line art is essentially type!

Printing Comics: Bitmap Images Please!

In order to print crisp, clean, line art, make sure that your file is set up using bitmap images, and not grayscale or CMYK images. Bitmap images are exclusively composed of either black or white pixels, with no shades of gray in between.This means the printer will not rely on halftones to render your image. Line art printed with halftones tends to look blurry or smudged, while a bitmap .tiff file will print sharp and crisp.

printing comics

The image on the left HAS been bitmapped; the image on the right HAS NOT been bitmapped.

How to Prep Your Line Art

Once you’ve cleaned up your image (removed any smudges, eraser marks, specs of dust), adjusted it to the correct print size, and have the resolution at 600 DPI, it’s time to convert your image to bitmap in Photoshop. To do so, click the Image tab, then select Mode, and finally, select Bitmap.

printing comics

In the window that appears,  select Use: 50% Threshold and click OK. A this point you should inspect your image to insure that there is no loss to detail and clean up any remaining specs of dust.

printing comics

Once your bitmap image is cleaned up, save it as a .tiff. You’re then ready to place the image on the page using InDesign, much as you would for any other image or graphic.

printing comics

Please note you will want to make sure you are using Bookmobile’s export PDF settings in order to make sure that your exported image remains uncondensed and optimized for printing!

And thanks to our own comic book artist, Sean!

Sean Knickerbocker put together this how-to. You may know Sean as a publisher print representative at Bookmobile, but he’s also a talented comic artist!

Sean has been making mini-comics since 2007. He utilizes a variety of print methods for his comics including serigraphy, offset, digital, risography, and letterpress. Is he printing comics at Bookmobile? Of course! Sean graduated from The Center for Cartoon Studies in 2012. His first book Killbuck was published by One-Percent Press, and his forthcoming book The Collected Rust Belt will be published by Secret Acres in Spring 2019. His work has appeared include The Nib, ecotone, and Irene.

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Sean at work on his next comic!

Printing Comics at Bookmobile

Our short-run print quality is excellent, our pricing is affordable, and we offer many options.  Customize your paperbacks with a square trim sizetranslucent vellum insertfoil stamping on a paperback cover, and more. Browse our Gallery to see the full breadth of what we offer!

Bookmobile can perfect bind as few as 16 pages, and we offer PUR binding for a durable bind for coated interior stocks. And with a minimum run quantity of just 25 copies, artists can print short runs and order reprints as needed—which means no worries about storing inventory or cash flow complications.