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Rob Norton
03-30-2016, 12:11 AM
so i havent had a chance to dig around and see what the norm is.. but..

im writing a script for the first issue of my own comic series. im curious at what page count i should put it at, just in case i get to print the thing in some/any manner of professional looking book?

i have a page count in my head of 24 pages, as if thats the kind of norm i have known for ever now.. but i keep reading page counts of 22, or even 20. i understand that most printing places offer a way to have different numbers of pages depending on what you want to pay for. is that right?

but what would be a safe assumption for page count while i write this thing...? 24? 22?

any advice would be appreciated.

rob

Stewart Vernon
03-30-2016, 01:59 AM
To give as complete of an answer as I can...

For printing of a saddle-stitch binding (staples) you need to have page count in multiples of four... so 20, 24, 28, etc. That's what the final page count needs to be.

The bigger publishers sell ads... so they might have an 18 or 22 page story and they fill those other pages with ads to be sure they are at a multiple of four for the final thing. As the selling of ads went up over time, the story page counts have come down slightly in many cases.

So, a book being published with ads doesn't have to be as concerned with the story page-count because they can sell the ads or do in-house promos to make it work. When you're doing it all yourself, then you have to make your story fit the ratio OR maybe you can add a page or two of sketches or something to make it work.

As to the story itself... the golden rule to me is... write your story. Plot it out however it seems natural. See where that leads without trying to make it fit any particular page count. You're in control, so enjoy that freedom.

IF you can tell the story you want to tell in 20 pages, cool. Don't pad it or compress it just to hit a magic number.

Printing costs don't seem to fluctuate that much over small page differences... so a 20-page book doesn't cost significantly less than a 28-page one anyway. Your price breaks are in the quantity of books you print moreso than the page count.

IF you go past 100 pages (you probably aren't) or if you wanted to spring at a lower page count for a square/glue binding... you don't have to do multiples of 4-pages anymore... then it just has to be multiples of 2... but I'm guessing this won't be an option for what you're talking about.

Steve Colle
03-30-2016, 02:06 AM
Rob, I think you're in a good place in that this is your own comic series and not under the dictates of a publisher.

If self-publishing, go where your story takes you, allowing for a page count that is more flexible. If considering submitting to a publisher, check what their typical page counts are. That's a good rule to work from.

Sully
03-30-2016, 09:47 AM
As to the story itself... the golden rule to me is... write your story. Plot it out however it seems natural. See where that leads without trying to make it fit any particular page count. You're in control, so enjoy that freedom.

IF you can tell the story you want to tell in 20 pages, cool. Don't pad it or compress it just to hit a magic number.


This. I shoot for 20-24, but I know if I land somewhere in between with my story, then sketches, information pages for the creators, process pages, maybe prose that supports the story or provides backstory, or just some neat pictures of the characters doing other stuff can fill that gap.

I've seen loads of comics do it, and really, it's often a welcome addition.

Rob Norton
03-30-2016, 01:03 PM
This. I shoot for 20-24, but I know if I land somewhere in between with my story, then sketches, information pages for the creators, process pages, maybe prose that supports the story or provides backstory, or just some neat pictures of the characters doing other stuff can fill that gap.

I've seen loads of comics do it, and really, it's often a welcome addition.

hey thanks for all the help guys.

as for the "write your story" thing without worrying about pages.. well..for me..ive learned it helps ME to know that i have a finite amount of space to work in and to work within those rules(or whatever).

because i know that i tend to get really long winded..and will write and draw(especially draw cause art comes first for me) long super decompressed scences that go on for 12 pages. and if i dont force myself to STOP and trim it..i will just keep going on and on. i tend to think very cinematically and i visuallize every scene and angles and pauses and tones and feeling and i want to draw it all.

and as you all know, comic book storytelling differs greatly i a lot of ways. i had to start paying attention to things that can happen "in-between" panels that i dont specifically have to SHOW. it just naturally flows without showing every minor detail if you do it right.

thats the struggle i have had to deal with myself. so..taking a scene where say.."2 guys talk in a pub and then hear a loud sound outside" can be done in 1 page, or 8 pages.

i find myself structuring this comic by knowing all these various things i want to happen in issue 1..breaking it down to how many different scenes, like 6. so i go...okay..i can allow 4 pages for each scene to fit them all in. (or less in one and then more in another) this just helps me to trim the fat in the story and just get to the important stuff i want to have happen in the book.

if i were to just write it without care of format limitations, i wouldnt get anywhere. i realize these are all faults of my own that i need to get better at, but its just how i work at the moment.

so...i hope all that makes sense..

rob

maverick
03-30-2016, 03:16 PM
You might also want to take a look at how your budget factors into it. It's cheaper to print a 16-page comic versus a 24-pager.

Sully
03-31-2016, 01:33 PM
Definitely pick for a multiple of four (usually 20-24) to aim for then, and make that your goal, but if you find it flows perfectly to end on 23? Do it! :D