Zine Folding Schemes!

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I created s a tip sheet for my old Making Comics classes that referenced the excellent info here on wikibooks to make sure it didn’t leave out any important bits. 

I started making comics in the mid 80s in high school, and along with some of my classmates started a school comics company! To print them, we used the art department’s photocopier, and created B&W Zines! Sometimes called Ashcans in the pro comics industry.

I’d seen other comics like this visiting my local comic shops, and took ours to them that many of the owners stocked on commission for us. We didn’t sell a lot of those but it was fun, and later I made zines I took to small press events as my first experiences tabling at a book festival.

These days a lot of people’s first publishing experience will be online, in some kind of digital format. But it remains a both fun and educational experience to make zines of your comics. You learn more about how spreads and page turns impact the way pages read, and it gives you a way to take your comics to shows.

It’s possible today to do that with print on demand services that will give the book a professional finish, but for your first efforts; as a way to mock up the book using a home printer, and as a small run cheep way to make books for zine fairs it’s still worth considering the zine format.

Binding can be done a few ways, the most basic is taking one sheets and folding it into an 8 page booklet – see the illustration – You can do the one sheet , one cut 8 page method as a jam with your friends too! For more random fun, you can only see the last panel and react to that making it a kind of exquisite corpse comic? The end result can be folded and read on the spot with the one fold and cut pattern.

Most booklets use some kind of saddle atitch bookbinding.

You can use regular staplers for smaller booklets, saddle stitch staplers for larger booklets made from folding single whole sheets of standard paper sizes just once into a folio.

Stitching is an option too, a lot more work but gives very fine results and you can get quite creative if you don’t want to make a traditional booklet! Hardcovers and trade paperbacks are often made from assembling serval booklets in a larger set. I’ve seen books with wood covers and bolts holding them together! I own a box of small scrolls, an old friend’s book of poetry.

Have fun and start making comics!