View Full Version : Creating Comics for Mobile Devices and Print

03-20-2015, 01:05 AM
So I have a question for you guys.

Do you know the screen sizes for mobile devices and how they translate into the size of a comic panel?

For example if I wanted to take a standard sized comic page and chop it up into equally sized individual panels to read on an iPhone or iPad on Comixology or a similar platform, what kind of layout would translate well to that?

Would a 9 panel page of 3 panels by 3 panels work?

03-20-2015, 09:30 AM
Sadly Android has made sure that there are no standard sizes or even ratios. Thanks, Google. Apple was consistent for a long time but I think it's starting to fragment. This is a major issue in the larger world of web design and the response has been to let the design adapt to the screen using ... math and clever tricks.

For comics on the tablet I don't really ever have trouble reading a full page at a time. So there's no need to break up the page. The tablets are usually in a book-like aspect so adapting a comic to that isn't much of an issue. For smaller devices like phones you'd have to choose a aspect ratio to target and then see if you can divide up your page into those segments. It might get pretty limiting compositionally. I'm looking at taking my page and dividing it into two tiers so that each half can display as a standalone unit on a screen, but then also be united in print.

I imagine Comixology's guided view actually uses some sort of tool to set up the reading experience. Motion Artist from Smith Micro let's you do that same sort of thing.

There are a couple things I really hate running into in digital version of a comic: Double-page spreads and really "creative" panel layouts with lots of stuff breaking the frame. Never looks good in guided view.

Stewart Vernon
03-20-2015, 06:15 PM
I would say that you shouldn't let the choice of mobile vs print guide your storytelling any more than you have to...

Your first goal should always be to tell a story. That said, you do have to keep in mind how the reader will read your story.

IF it is convenient to tell your story in the form of uniformly-sized panels, then I'd say go for that and have maximum flexibility.

But in print, your story will be more dynamic and attractive with varied sizes and layouts in your panel design... so it would be a shame to sacrifice storytelling for convenience in mobile output.

Tablets are fine for reading full pages... so it's really only the smaller smartphones that pose the problem you are trying to consider where a reader might zoom in to read panels rather than a page at a time.

03-21-2015, 04:17 AM
Most phones are around 16:9 ratio, possibly 16:10.
They're just video screens, manufactured in bulk. Theres not going to be a huge variation.

Resolutions are definitely all over the place, and they will always be that way. Its cheaper the manufacture a lower resolution screen. Theres no way to actually account for every variation. To do that would require a specific render of the image at the same resolution as the destination device. Logistically almost impossible.
Stick to 1920x1080, 2160x1080,1920x1200 etc.
These would be final output resolutions for the image you want to appear on screen.

@B-McKinley - Sorry dude, if anyone has messed up the market its Apple. Google don't make the phones, they make the OS. Anything you can do on a double spread can be done equally well, if not better due to self editing, in a 1/3 page panel. Finally, do tread using Guided View. Its a garbage gimmick. Do you run your finger along underneath the words?