Original Thread: Submissions
Second Thread: Voting and Compilation
This thread: Printing and Distribution
What do I do?
The sampler is distributed in PDF format. It's 23 MB (thanks cortland!) so even if you have dialup you can probably download it in an hour or so. You can download the PDF from any of these mirrors:
The more mirrors we have, the better. If you're willing to lend us some of your bandwidth to host this file, please post a link in this thread and I'll add it to the list of mirrors.
The reason we're distributing the sampler by PDF is because none of us have the money for major printing and distribution. Moving bits across the Internet costs next to nothing but moving paper costs big money. Because so many of us participated it's easier to distribute the cost of printing by letting each distributor do the printing themselves.
An incomplete tutorial on getting a comic printed. You can skip down to the Printing section for an overview of what you can expect.
Brother HL-5140 laser printer (B&W)
Printable area: Top/Bottom = 0.17, Left/Right = 0.2
Swingline long reach stapler
Heavy Duty Rotary trimmer
I'm basically set to do most of the printing myself but I can't do the color covers.
My 2 and a half hour adventure:
I downloaded the PDF as soon as cortland posted it but wasn't able to do anything with it until the weekend.
At 11:30 saturday, I printed out a rough draft of the sampler.
I used Acrobat Reader 5 with the scale oversize pages unchecked but autorotate checked. First I printed the odd pages from 1-16 then put the pages back in the paper tray (flipped over) and printed the even pages from 1-16.
Around noon, I drove over the MU print shop with the rough and showed the worker there. The "S" in "Bears" was cut off because of the printable area on my printer. The inside pages were fine because they have a white border around them anyway. I could get color copies made at $0.50 a piece but they would still have the border because the color copier/printers at the print shop also had a printable area (roughly the same size as my printer actually). However, they could resize the cover so it completely printed on the page. (I think they just checked scale oversized pages in Acrobat Reader.) The problem is, this leaves a white border around the cover that you can't trim off.
$10 + tax later I walked out of the print shop with 23 color copies of the cover. I went home and printed page 2 on the backs of all the pages.
Then I started printing the B&W pages on my laser printer. (I could have printed those for $0.03 per copy at the print shop but they didn't take credit cards.) The problem I encountered was my printer started running out of memory after loading just a few pages. I finally just printed 4 at a time in batches of 10. Here's how:
Page 3-6, 10 copies. Acrobat Reader spat out 10 copies of page 3 then 10 copies of page 4, etc. I swapped pages 3 and 4 and pages 5 and 6 then reran the print so page 3 printed on the back of the 10 copies of page 4 and page 4 printed on the backs of the 10 copies of page 3 and so on. At the end I had 20 copies of each of the first 4 pages. Repeat for pages 7-10, 11-14 and 15-16.
The Brother is fast. I got these printed in roughly an hour of trial and error (300 prints). Once all the prints were made I arranged them face down from left to right:
FAUB 1/FAUB 2
Pirate Queen Marianne/Decypher
McDuffies 1/1 BR Apt 1
Cortland 1/1 BR Apt 3
Digital War 1/Requiem 2
Inside Front Cover/Inside Back Cover
Then I proceeded to make stacks, one page from each stack starting from the left with the cover on the bottom.
Each stack was then stapled and folded. The long reach stapler is for getting the staple in the exact center of the fold. You CAN fold then staple from the side. When you fold a book, the inside pages stick out in a little triangle. You want to trim that off. That's what the heavy duty trimmer if for.
The pile of shavings you see in the pic of the trimmer above is what's left after I finished trimming 20 comics.
From driving to the print shop for color copies to finishing the last book took me approximately 2.5 hours.
Get copies in the hands of as many people as you can. You ARE ALLOWED to charge money if you want or need to. In all honesty, though, it's a sampler. Nobody is going to want to pay for this but if you're nice they may help you recover some of your printing costs. (I got a dollar! YAY!)
Nobody expects you to print 10000 copies and distribute them on your local campus or in the mall or anything like that.
DO take a few copies with you if you go to a convention. You might be able to trade straight up for other people's comics. Just explain where you got it and what it's about.
DO talk to your local gaming or comic store. They might be willing to setup a little display for you and get the word out.
DO give it to friends, relatives and anyone else you know who likes webcomics.
Please post the number of copies you printed and how many you distributed where.
I was able to print 20 copies and got ten of them distributed mostly to people I knew in the Washington/Union area south and west and Saint Louis (and one to the cool guy at the print shop who gave me 23 color copies for the price of 20!). I'm going to talk to the owners of Rock Bottom Comics in Columbia, MO and Fantasy Shop in Saint Louis to see what it would take to get a few copies displayed in their stores.