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whitewolf
03-10-2015, 10:44 PM
Hey everyone. I'm about 15 pages into the script of my first issue and I've hit a snag. I know the standard page count for a comic is 22 pages, but I feel like this first issue could fit comfortably in about 18 pages or so. The next book in the series will probably be a bit longer, but I don't want to pad the page count of this first issue. Is page count really that important or can I afford to be a bit more flexible if it serves the story?

Steven Forbes
03-10-2015, 11:14 PM
22 pages is the standard, as you've already said. You can have more, you can have less.

But in having less, just make sure you have enough story to be satisfying.

Here's the problem that I see: if this is a first issue and you only have about 18 pages, with subsequent issues having more pages, then you don't yet really know how to tell a story in the medium.

The page count, when below a certain level, should be part of the gimmick that helps sell your story. It should help it to stand out in the sea that is comics. Turn that into something that helps you to sell the comic.

If you can't find more story somewhere without padding...then your structure is probably unsound, or you don't have enough story to carry the series.

Time to revisit, methinks.

Bishop
03-10-2015, 11:32 PM
I agree with Steven. If anything, a first issue should be oversized to hook the reader, not shorter.

I guess it is a little different when you are working on a web comic and you release a page a day or week, but you still need to keep your hooks in to make the reader want to turn the page or tune in for the next installment.

B-McKinley
03-11-2015, 11:11 AM
The standard page count in comics is just the result of minimizing waste and labor in the printing process. Usually that means 22 pages of story and 10 pages of something else (like advertising to further subsidize the costs of printing). It could be that in another 10 years everyone will say the standard page count is 18 pages because economics says that a greater percentage of the book needs to be ads.

If you aren't printing, or you aren't printing in bulk, the only thing that matters is telling a good story. Lots of standard comics are variable in length. Instead of adding padding and weakening the story, you can fill extra space with behind-the-scenes info, a back-up story (which is often serialized itself), or pin-ups. You could hook the reader by giving them a short taste of the next book.

Bishop
03-11-2015, 11:14 AM
The standard page count in comics is just the result of minimizing waste and labor in the printing process. Usually that means 22 pages of story and 10 pages of something else (like advertising to further subsidize the costs of printing). It could be that in another 10 years everyone will say the standard page count is 18 pages because economics says that a greater percentage of the book needs to be ads.

If you aren't printing, or you aren't printing in bulk, the only thing that matters is telling a good story. Lots of standard comics are variable in length. Instead of adding padding and weakening the story, you can fill extra space with behind-the-scenes info, a back-up story (which is often serialized itself), or pin-ups. You could hook the reader by giving them a short taste of the next book.

Yes and no. Readers have an expectation of a certain amount of story to justify them shelling out their money for the book. At least, I do. It's not impossible for a shorter book to succeed, but it better be good if you want people to not feel ripped off.

Robert_S
03-11-2015, 12:05 PM
I would go over your story very closely. When I originally told chapter one, I kept it extremely minimal to leave something in the hole for telling later.

However, chapter one was only 11 pages, which is too few for the general premise of chapter one. I tried combining chapter one and two, but then it got muddy as to what the chapter was about, so I'm rewriting chapter one to include more exposition of the story world.

There is nothing wrong with having dialog that reveals the character's personality, but it needs to be significant. If the character's liking cats has no bearing on the story, don't go into a long spiel about it.

Stewart Vernon
03-11-2015, 04:40 PM
For what it's worth...

As some have noted, it will matter when it comes to selling your finished book, as people have become accustomed to a certain amount of story for a price point.

If you submit to a publisher who supports their publishing with ads, then it will be less immediately obvious, but some will still notice.

Assuming traditional saddle-stitch binding, your book will need to be a multiple of 4 in terms of pages... so IF you aren't going to have ads, then 18 pages doesn't work. With ads, you can make up the difference so that the binding works.

maverick
03-16-2015, 12:32 PM
It's your comic, do whatever the hell you want. But keep in mind if you want a printed version, the page count must be divisible by 4.

whitewolf
03-16-2015, 12:46 PM
I just wanted to jump in here and thank everyone for the advice. I went back and reworked my script to make it fit the standard 22 pages. I realized there was a lot of character-building I had to to. Thanks again for all the help. This forum has been invaluable for me.