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Thread: Is there a standard size for drawing comics/graphic novels/manga?

  1. #1
    Soon I will be invincible Question's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Is there a standard size for drawing comics/graphic novels/manga?

    I've scoured the internet for the answer to this question for months but nobody seems to have discussed it.

    I've drawn a few things but I don't know (for certain) how large everything should be. I know I can scale it but it'll be an issue if the proportions are off. What size do you guys follow (for any of these) as a rule of thumb?

    Do you just fill up an A4 page (the size of a legal pad, I think, if you're American) or do you use something smaller? How much of this should be the gutter?

    Sorry for all these questions! This has been on my mind for a while

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Max Vaehling's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Bremen, Germany
    Of course you're free to choose whatever format you're comfortable with. Unless you're planning to print your book digitally with one of the big POD services because they all have standard sizes. I think the most common formats are:

    US Comic Book format - 7x10.5", if I'm not mistaken.

    Manga - 5x7.5"

    European A4 (album format) - I'm not used to presenting it in inches, but it's 21x29.7 cm.

    European A5 (pocket book) - 14.7x21cm.

    The first two have an aspect ratio of 1 to 1.5, which is a lot different from US letter format. I think it's what you get if you cut the legal pad in half or put two of them together. (Seriously, Americans, how can you live with a system as random as that?!)

    The European formats always have an aspect ratio of 1 to 1.41 which makes them very practical: Cut an A4 in half, you get A5 and so on. The pages are a little wider than US format. Makes transition between the two a hassle. (I'm working in US format but sending stuff to European-format magazines all the time, so I know all about the last bit.)

    For drawing, most people use paper that's one size up - A3 for an A4 page and so on - and scale it down. For US format, I take A3 paper and leave a lot of space at the sides.

    If you want images to extend all the way to the edge of the page, you'll need to draw beyond it. That's the bleed. It's what printers use to trim the pages. They'll define how much you'll need. I use a lot of bleed so I can edit the pages for both European and US formats without them looking butchered.
    Last edited by Max Vaehling; 03-23-2011 at 03:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Soon I will be invincible Question's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Thanks a lot! I work on A4 so this is good news ^^


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