Can I print 800 pages of color comics inexpensively?
November 27, 2008 5:52 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to print two copies of roughly 800 color pages for less than an arm and a leg. And there are a couple of other complications.

So I was trying to figure out what to get a friend of mine for Xmas when I hit upon the fact that she's read almost everything by Neil Gaiman, but that she won't have the opportunity to read Miracleman, as it's in a legal hell of copyright disputes. Luckily, that doesn't stop the internet from having it available.

So, I'd like to print and bind that into two or three books. So I'm wondering if I can do that at a Kinko's or similar place, or if the dubious legality of what I'd like to create means that I'd be better off not even asking around. Also, does anyone know how much a job like this would cost? I live in New York, so I'm used to things being pricey, but I'm a student, so I may have to scrap this if it gets to be too much.
posted by Hactar to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know about Kinko's, but most places I've worked which charge for color laser printing have priced it in the region of 25c a page single-sided, 48c a page double sided for letter-sized paper. At those rates 800 sides costs around $200.

"Print on demand" publisher lulu has a cost calculator that tells me 740 color pages, letter size paper, and binding, will cost $150.

There might be other cheaper options, I don't know about.
posted by Mike1024 at 6:17 AM on November 27, 2008

Depending on the resolution, would printing it 2-up (two pages per sheet) be feasible? That would cut your printing costs by half (or possibly a bit more, if you're doing two-sided printing)
posted by zippy at 7:04 AM on November 27, 2008

Have you thought of just getting a cheap printer and printing it yourself? You could probably get 800 pages on one cartridge and then take it to kinkos just to be bound.
posted by mjcon at 7:05 PM on November 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Or give it to him on a CD? (not as special, but gets the job done).
posted by pakoothefakoo at 9:04 PM on November 27, 2008

Giving it to him as a CD or DVD of .cbr files, including Comical on the disk, and buying him dinner, would amount to about $50. For 1/3 the price, it's a better present, IMO.

Color prints of scanned comics never look quite as good as the original scans, either; whereas on the screen, they're expected to look a bit pixelly.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:03 PM on November 27, 2008

I've had Kinko's get in my face* about copyrighted materials before so they're probably not your best bet. I'm seeing issues selling online for +/- $10, you're not going to get a better deal than that printing your own.

Unless the hand-printing/binding is the value-added part of the gift, in which case more power to you, full steam ahead.

*sadly, now that I'm in the industry myself, I understand that their paranoia is 100% legit; they'd be held as liable for printing the issues as you would be for having the issues printed.
posted by lekvar at 1:36 AM on November 28, 2008

Have you thought of just getting a cheap printer and printing it yourself?

This is nor as easy as it sounds to do neatly (i.e. for a present), neither as cost effective --- if the cartridges run out before you're done, the increase in cost will be significant. My advice is to do it only if you would be buying the printer anyway.
posted by ghost of a past number at 5:54 AM on November 28, 2008

Thanks everyone. I think I'm going to go with the CD option and something else. I wish I had thought ahead on this and had a few friends chip in, but, this is looking outside of my price range for a friend's gift.
posted by Hactar at 5:16 PM on December 2, 2008

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