So this past weekend saw the publication of Cerebus the Newsletter #19:
The issue (along with the back issues) can be purchased for $1.50 each + shipping from the Friends of Cerebus website. Issue #19 as you can see by the cover above is about Dave Sim’s The Last Signing. While it may say “Special Edition” on it, that was just me having fun. It is the first issue, however, that has one central theme running through it and all the items in the issue cover The Last Signing.
For the cover I used this picture of Dave and photoshopped out the NES and put in part of the artwork used for the event poster. For #18 I used a different type of paper for the cover so I could get that neon green / yellow color as I wanted something that would stand out. For #19 I went back to the heavier cardstock used in other issues. Though instead of just white I got one that had a bit of a tint to it. For subsequent issues I want to try and use more color cardstock for the cover to have them stand out, hopefully pop out the artwork more. The darker colors tend to mask the artwork which is something I want to stay away from.
I did stick to the 24 page format, as I have a word document set up for that layout: all I have to do is put the artwork and text pieces in it, print it out double sided and voila – all it needs is two staples and to be folded. When printed out double sided it is 6 full 8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper back and front.
For the printer I use FedEx online printing, which used to be Kinko’s, the two merged a while back. FedEx allows me to upload both the file used for the cover page and the file used for the interior pages, merge them, select what paper I want for each file – this is crucial, and why I have two files: so I can get a different paper for the cover page and plain paper for the inside pages, select how I want them printed, i.e. double sided vs single sided, and voila. It also lets me select if I want the two files in two separate stacks, or put together, i.e. collated. That way I don’t need to sort though all the cover pages and all the interior pages and put the two of them together myself – the machine will do it for me. FedEx also gives me the option to have them stapled and / or folded also, but as that cost extra money, I pass on it. I have a “long head” stapler that allows me to staple them, and then I just fold them myself. Though occasionally FedEx will surprise me and the newsletters are already stapled, folded and put into bundles of ten.
The other bonus of using FedEx’s online printing vs say Office Depot or Staples or some place similar? FedEx will deliver it to me and I don’t need to go pick it up. So I have them delivered to work (cheaper for business vs residential, and that way I know I’ll be there to sign for them).
The one issue I had using FedEx’s online printing was new with this most recent issue. Seems FedEx changed their online publishing to go to a flash based system and I don’t know if it was me using Chrome (as I didn’t bother trying another web browser) or FedEx’s system: but when I uploaded the two documents, in the preview window that shows me what the final document would look like, it kept showing the cover as the next interior page along side the other interior page (what would be printed on the left). It was . . .odd, and I didn’t want to take any chances that my document would be printed looking all jacked up like that. And as I was printing this at 9pm at night – another bonus to using an online printer like this is I can do it when I want to, but downside is no tech support at that hour, usually not an issue – I didn’t want to wait for tech support to get back to me. Luckily for me they had an option to use the previous uploading system so I just did that.
I don’t know how other zine publishers put together their zines and get them published, but that is how I do it with Cerebus the Newsletter. If I could get a copier like the one I have at work, then I could just do it from home - but that copier cost more then all the newsletters I’ve published so far, not to mention the footprint of that thing is huge and I’d have to get rid of my couch to fit it in my living room, so I’ll stick with FedEx, overall they rate a 9 out of 10 stars from me for their online printing services.