A Tip From Tony!

Changes! CHANGES! Arggggh!
That said, allow me to throw out this little disclaimer, if you don’t mind.
I’ve been involved in the comics industry, in some form or another, for about 20+ years; drawing comics, writing comics, eating comics and throwing the occasional bristol board bonfire party.  I know your pain and feel as though  it’s my obligation to share what I’ve learned from my numerous blunders  and hopefully, offer a solution.

So, here we go!

One of the biggest kicks to the stomach is when you think that your book is perfect and then you’ve been requested to make some changes; due either to a missed error,  misunderstood specs, or perhaps you wanted to take your comic sized adventure and blow it up to a magazine sized extravaganza!   You then realize that your word balloons are hanging off to the side and close to getting devoured by that nasty trimmer;  or even worse, your pages are too small and you really wanted them to be all-cool-like and bleed off the page!  There goes your perfect day. I have been there.

One of the reasons I love using Adobe Photoshop, especially for saving my files and getting them print ready, is so I don’t have to deal with those sudden surprises again.  With Photoshop’s layers, you can make changes to artwork; you can move things like word balloons around with little effort, and so much more without affecting the whole page. Of course it all depends on what you put in each layer but, a tutorial, this is not.

Another thing I’ve gotten in the habit of doing is saving my files at a larger resolution than 300dpi. I can’t tell you how many headaches this has cured. What I do,  is save my original, layered, Photoshop files on a portable hard drive at a resolution of 600dpi. You don’t have to go that high but, I’m paranoid and like to be prepared for anything.  If, for some reason, I have to resize my pages,  my resolution is high enough to not affect the final image. Doing this, you won’t have any problem reusing your images and worrying about if it’ll fit the specs for whomever you are dealing with. There are numerous types of affordable, portable storage devices out there now so you don’t have to burden your main computer with these large files.  Portable storage is also a good idea just in case your computer gets a nasty virus and decides to feast on your many hours of artistic greatness. Not that this has happened to me, of course.

I don’t profess that my way is the best way, but it works for me.  I’m sure that you’ve heard it before but, if it helps at least one person, my job is done.

Play Nice,


  1. I save my original edited files at 600 dpi too.

  2. Daniel, you’ll never have any surprises. Better safe than sorry!

  3. Hey Tony!

    I do most of my little doodles and smaller pieces @ 300dpi, but I tend to do my comic pages @ 400dpi. I have done 600dpi before but it seemed like overkill. Still, you make a good point. You never know what you’re going to be doing with this stuff in the future.

    Too bad you can’t sketch like mad directly into a nice vector image. Or can you??

  4. I agree with you James. I think 400DPI is just fine and 600DPI is a bit of overkill. That said, I did run into a situation once, where a publisher wanted a 600DPI file that I couldn’t provide without re-scanning, re-coloring etc. That was enough to turn me a bit paranoid. If I didn’t have separate storage for my files, I’d probably chance it by saving my stuff at 400DPI though. :)


  5. James, Speaking of vector imaging…I’ve been doing a lot of background work for the gaming world using Adobe Illustrator CS5. It’s amazing how far this program has come. :)


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