Creating Comics: Creating Digital Comics

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How easy is it to make an electronic comic and get it online and out there? Pretty easy.

Once you’ve created your comic, you can make a .cbz/.cbr file by zipping up a folder of incrementally numbered images and changing the file name (in a lot of zip software you can do this in one go as it lets you set the name of the zip folder):

A Comic Book Archive file or Comic Book Reader File is a type of archive file for the purpose of sequential viewing of images, especially comic books. The idea was made popular by the CDisplay image viewer; since then, many viewers for different platforms have been created.

There’s a guide on how make .cbr files here on eHow.

Once you’ve created a .cbz file you can convert it into a PDF or EPUB format using the eBook management software Calibre, a free and open source e-book computer software that organizes, saves and manages e-books, supporting a variety of formats. The software is available for Windows, mac, Linus and Portable devices.

If you’re a Windows user, you can also do this using Comic Rack which will convert a zip file into a CBZ or PDF.

Digital Publishers/Distributors

• Amazon’s Digital Text Platform for getting your books on Kindle and the iPad through their own app is at http://dtp.amazon.co.uk

•  Clickwheel
2000AD publisher Rebellion’s digital platform

•  comiXology
comiXology are making their developer tools available to select small publishers. Interested small publishers can sign up, so you can get on the inside track here: www.comixology.com/self_authoring_signup/

•  DriveThru
2000AD and WASTED feature on their services, among others.

• Lulu
You can also get on the iPad through Print on Demand publisher Lulu: www.lulu.com/apple-ipad-publishing

Madefire

Madefire has opened up its Motion Book Tool to all comic creators through its partnership with DeviantArt.

Smashwords
A cheaper and easier way of getting on the iPad  which also includes Barnes and Noble’s Nook reader. You can also sign up here: http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com

Tapastic

This web comics hub offers different levels of financial support to creators using its service: ad revenue share and, if you can gain 600 subscribers, a Patreon-style support tier, where your readers can make regular donations to your project.

Other Distribution Methods

• You might also want to investigate the ‘Not 99’ method and self publish your comics. Warren Ellis commented on this here on his forum.

• Comic creator DJ Hoffman has another idea for doing this here, too.

• If you’re very tech capable there is always the route of building an html5 version of your comic which is what the Financial Times has done (one of the team talks about the challenges of that here: http://aboutus.ft.com/2011/06/07/ft-web-app-technical-qa/). They did this to bypass the percentage of sales that is levied by Apple, Google etc.

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