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Sizes & formats

Started by ASS-P, August 28, 2018, 04:42:37 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

ASS-P

I was not aware, as it says here, that the $2.99 BETTY AND VERONICA: FRIENDS FOREVER was reprints! From the digests?
  For its size, I had never seen a 20-pages-plus-cover comic book before, I think, from a still[size=78%] technically ' big ' company.[/size] :P

DeCarlo Rules

August 28, 2018, 04:29:26 PM #1 Last Edit: August 28, 2018, 05:58:37 PM by DeCarlo Rules
Quote from: ASS-P on August 28, 2018, 04:42:37 AM
I was not aware, as it says here, that the $2.99 BETTY AND VERONICA: FRIENDS FOREVER was reprints! From the digests?
  For its size, I had never seen a 20-pages-plus-cover comic book before, I think, from a still[size=78%] technically ' big ' company.[/size] :P

Sure you have. B&V:FF  has 20 pages of comic story (comprised of four individual 5-page stories) for $3 (plus ads). Other comics with $4 cover prices also have 20 pages of comic story (and sometimes even one or two pages less) plus ads. To be clearer, B&V:FF isn't a 20-page comic book -- it's a 32-page comic book which includes 20 pages of comics stories, 8 pages of advertising/editorial content, and the 4 pages which comprise the front and back cover & inside front cover and inside back cover. 20+8+4=32. It's the standard format for periodical comic magazines. That said, depending on the publisher, a 32 page comic could contain more than 20 pages of story if the publisher decided to sacrifice some of the advertising pages (which are really 11, since of the 4 pages that make up the covers, 3 of those are actually being used for advertising). In truth, the number of pages of story is less dependent on losing that ad space than on how many pages of story the publisher can afford to pay for.

The reason B&V:FF is priced at $1 cheaper than other floppy format comics that ACP publishes is that those 20 pages are pulling double-duty (with the four stories being spread out over the two most recently-published issues of both the Betty and Veronica Jumbo Comics digest, and the B&V Friends Jumbo Comics digest).

The 4 stories appeared in the digest titles so recently prior to being seen in B&V:FF that I guess they're almost considered 'simul-prints', but in different formats. That seems to bear out the idea that ACP's perception is that the audiences for their digest comics and their floppy format comics don't intersect much. The bulk of the copies printed and sold of floppy comics will be sold by comic book stores, while the bulk of the copies of digest format comics will be sold outside those stores.

ASS-P

...My point was how many paper pages the B&V:FF comic book had, not how many story pages it had! It's packed away now, but I recall it having only 20 interior pages - all story, with no ads 8)  - plus the cover. Only 20 pages :crazy2: !

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: ASS-P on August 30, 2018, 01:45:38 AM
...My point was how many paper pages the B&V:FF comic book had, not how many story pages it had! It's packed away now, but I recall it having only 20 interior pages - all story, with no ads 8)  - plus the cover. Only 20 pages :crazy2: !

I don't have it in front of me now, but it seems unlikely, based on how comics are printed. The original comic book size was determined by taking a full-size newspaper page (already folded once, so it would actually be 4 pages, front and back) and folding that in half (exactly the way the paper is when delivered to you), then in half again -- and trimming the edges. That means that all floppy comics would have to contain pages in multiples of (4x2)x2, or 16. So that determines the page count (not the story page count) of comic books. 16, 32, 48, 64, 80 -- and you can indeed confirm from those last three page counts that over the years many comic book specials or annuals have been "48-Page Giants", "64-Page Giants", or "80-Page Giants".

ASS-P

...WI1'm an extremely long-serving comic book fan, and I know th background very well! For one quick comment for now, I have been seeing 24- and 28- pagers (I'm not counting the covers, remember.)...and the 24-page format/template was used way back in the 70s, during the underground era!

DeCarlo Rules

Quote from: ASS-P on August 30, 2018, 04:23:15 PM
...WI1'm an extremely long-serving comic book fan, and I know th background very well! For one quick comment for now, I have been seeing 24- and 28- pagers (I'm not counting the covers, remember.)...and the 24-page format/template was used way back in the 70s, during the underground era!

I've checked this against the actual comic book. It is indeed 24 pages -- and yes, we count the covers, as that follows the standard convention. When you see the page count listed somewhere, it includes the covers.

BETTY AND VERONICA FRIENDS FOREVER has 24 pages. By comparison to another ACP floppy comic format title, the Archie Horror title VAMPIRONICA has the formerly-standard 32 pages, 8 pages of which are advertising or editorial content  -- one of these is a text feature, "The Riverdale Gazette", which takes up 2/3 page, with 1/3 page devoted to Upcoming Releases, while another whole page is devoted to a Variant Cover Gallery. Both comics devote the inside front cover to a page of credits and the indicia, and the back cover is not the usual advertisement, but more like the back cover of a paperback book, describing the interior story. Both B&VFF and VAMPIRONICA have in common that all of the pages are printed on the same heavy stock as the cover.

Comparing the two above titles with a third ACP title, ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66, that comic has yet a different page count than the other two -- 36 pages, 11 of which are devoted to advertising. In common with the other two titles, it devotes the inside front cover to credits and the indica, and has a back cover that describes the inside contents. All three titles also have a single page devoted to a preview of "Next Issue" (a single illustration plus text). Where ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 differs from the other two is that the interior pages are printed on a thinner paper stock (still white) than the covers (which are identical to the paper stock used on all pages of both B&VFF and VAMPIRONICA). Since none of these comics are printed on newsprint stock, we can assume that the old ground rules of 16-page signatures no longer apply. The only thing I could discover about the printing plant used is that the titles are all "printed in Canada". 4-page signatures seem to be the minimum now, since we have examples of a 24-page, 32-page, and 36-page floppy comic book all from the same publisher (theoretically it would be possible to produce a 28-page or 40-page comic as well).

Comics like B&VFF and VAMPIRONICA which use the same paper stock for both covers and interior pages can be printed together during the same print run -- what used to be called 'gang-printing'. Formerly when different paper stock was used for covers and interior pages, the covers got printed in a separate print run from the interior pages, and were only brought together in the bindery stage (when the staples are added) of the printing process. ARCHIE MEETS BATMAN '66 might have had its cover run combined with the print run of the other two (assuming they had the same shipping dates, or close enough), but since the interior stock used is different, that would have meant those pages needed to be printed separately.

I mention all these details only because they're something crucial (along with what it costs to pay the creative team for each page of story and cover, and what portion of the printing costs can be defrayed by advertising income from paid ads) to what the price of the comic is to the consumer -- the more pages that can be combined during a single print run, the lower the cost to ACP to produce the comic.

ASS-P

...I lost TWO completed drafts of replies to yourself! Bawww! Waaah! Sob! :'(

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