It can't be that hard to make a PDF webcomic collection, can it?
March 4, 2011 9:08 AM   Subscribe

I want to make a PDF collection of my webcomic. What's the best approach?

I've put together two physical collections, printed through Lulu. Now I want to look into a digital collection. I briefly considered making the PDF proofs of my Lulu versions available, but that doesn't seem optimal.

What's the best way to go about this? My gut tells me I should be using InDesign to put this together; I don't know InDesign, but would actually kind of welcome a project that would require me to learn it. I do know my way around Photoshop pretty well.

Is it best to go back to the original 300-dpi photoshop working files for each strip, or, since this'll just be on screens, are the 72-dpi final outputs ok?

Any thoughts or suggestions, including "you're insane and out of your depth" are welcome.
posted by COBRA! to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
What's standing in the way of using the original pshop files and just making PDFs out of them in the resolution you want? Do you intend your audience to use a particular comic viewer to read them or just distribute as the PDFs? Do you want people to be able to print them at high quality?
posted by jardinier at 9:18 AM on March 4, 2011


I would look at 150dpi as well, assuming these are normal print dimensions you're working with. I've found 72dpi comics annoying to read.

Beyond that I would personally try a command line tool like "convert" (part of ImageMagick) to just do it all in one go:
convert *.jpg My-Finished-Comic.pdf
And...done!
posted by circular at 9:26 AM on March 4, 2011


What's standing in the way of using the original pshop files and just making PDFs out of them in the resolution you want? Do you intend your audience to use a particular comic viewer to read them or just distribute as the PDFs? Do you want people to be able to print them at high quality?

Part of my question, I guess, is that I don't know what the optimal specs are for a PDF aimed at being read on, say, an ipad (and I don't really want people to be able to print at high quality)....

I would look at 150dpi as well, assuming these are normal print dimensions you're working with. I've found 72dpi comics annoying to read.

Beyond that I would personally try a command line tool like "convert" (part of ImageMagick) to just do it all in one go:

convert *.jpg My-Finished-Comic.pdf


I should clarify: I don't want to go through and convert each strip into its own PDF. I want to gather, say, 120 strips and convert them all into one paginated PDF.
posted by COBRA! at 9:29 AM on March 4, 2011


Do you have Acrobat (not Acrobat Reader)?

If so, just save each PSD as a jpg at 150dpi. Then, select all the jpgs you want for one document and drag and drop them onto Acrobat. It will ask if you want to make one document from all the files. Click Yes. Then you will have a PDF containing each jpg. You can click the little "stack of papers" icon on the left side of the Acrobat window and then you can drag around the pages to change their order, if necessary. Then save the PDF somewhere and you're done.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:30 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Right on, that sounds perfect. Thanks!
posted by COBRA! at 9:35 AM on March 4, 2011


I don't want to go through and convert each strip into its own PDF. I want to gather, say, 120 strips and convert them all into one paginated PDF.

Right, that would take whatever's in that folder and put it into a single paginated PDF.
posted by circular at 9:36 AM on March 4, 2011


Running convert *jpg My-Finished-Comic.pdf will make a single PDF with each JPG having its own page. But since you have Acrobat you don't need to do that.
posted by zsazsa at 9:37 AM on March 4, 2011


Got it. Thanks, Metafolk!
posted by COBRA! at 9:42 AM on March 4, 2011


Happy to help. Please note that I do not know the best resolution for an iPad. Also, giving someone a PDF at 150 dpi WILL allow them to print it at fairly high quality. It's not technically "hi-res" but it'll look pretty good.

If you want to have people only view it on an iPad or a monitor, make sure the jpgs are RGB versus CMYK. You can still print an RGB jpg, but the color will come out screwier than a CMYK one.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:50 AM on March 4, 2011


Right on. I'm not really sweating the fact that people can print if they really want to; if anybody's dedicated enough to print out 120 strips and read them, well, I guess I'm impressed with their dedication to my work, or something.
posted by COBRA! at 9:59 AM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


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