sydney printers

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sydney printers

Postby jpaulos on Tue Mar 11, 2008 8:31 am

Can anybody recommend a good docutech style printer in the Sydney area? I'm hoping to do some short run printing for Supanova. Names and numbers and rough costings would be great.
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Postby rumpusroomie on Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:42 am

Hi Jase,

Is this Supernova Melbourne? cause I really want to get your books but the ordering comis off the world wide web freaks me out a bit. Everything i've ever bought off the web comes a bit crinkled and I love my comics too much to get crinkled comics.

Alternatively is there a local seller of your stuff down here? Minotaur? Cause i'll suffer the pretention of the clerks for your stuff.
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Postby Red J on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:42 am

Hey Jase!

I'm basically here to ditto your question!

Looking for a good, competitive printer who can print short runs (100-200 copies) of comic size stuff. Any ideas??? Recommendations?

cheers!

Jon.
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Postby Red J on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:44 am

oh yeah...by the way, I am currently looking at these guys here:

http://www.ka-blam.com/

Even after shipping costs and all, I am pretty certain that they have the best prices. And they are in the US, so I don't understand why they charge so much here in Australia. Am I missing something?

J.
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Postby rumpusroomie on Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:54 pm

I'm looking at them too, i've ordered a sample book to examine the quality and will let the boards know when i get it.
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Postby mark selan on Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:05 pm

If its a self contained 32pg+ story that will fit the Sureshot Presents format (A5, b/w, coloured card stock) then i'd be interested in publishing it

http://saveded.blogspot.com/2006/03/sur ... sents.html
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Postby matt g on Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:12 pm

Red J wrote:oh yeah...by the way, I am currently looking at these guys here:

http://www.ka-blam.com/

Even after shipping costs and all, I am pretty certain that they have the best prices. And they are in the US, so I don't understand why they charge so much here in Australia. Am I missing something?

J.


My take on it is that most Australian digital colour places just can't get their heads around wanting to do, say, 100 copies of a 40 page full colour book. Their pricing structures are generally based on the "I want 5 colour copies of this page" or "give me 5 copies of this report" idea. I suspect they just don't have the sorts of workloads to keep a large full colour machine running at a level that would get them bulk discounts on supplies.

Either that, or it's something like the companies that lease out the machines simply have coke habit margins on them for the local market that they can't / won't get in America. Also, labour is cheaper there - base pay rates are much lower.

In getting my books done, I looked all over Sydney for quotes to do 2 books, 100 of each, one 40ages inc cover, the other 44, both full colour. The *best* price I could get was from my current poster printer and that came out at $9/unit, but one quote was $27 *per unit* and there were prices all up the scale between.

On the other hand ComiXpress did them, and *couriered* them to me for less than the best local printing price I could find. If I hadn't had the time rush of an impending Supanova, and had them airmailed out, I probably would have achieved a price closer to 2/3 of my best local quote - and that was with 2006 level exchange rates. Whatever the reason, local short run comics printing certainly wasn't a very viable option when I last checked it out.

cheers
mattg
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Postby Red J on Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:22 pm

matt g wrote:
My take on it is that most Australian digital colour places just can't get their heads around wanting to do, say, 100 copies of a 40 page full colour book. Their pricing structures are generally based on the "I want 5 colour copies of this page" or "give me 5 copies of this report" idea. I suspect they just don't have the sorts of workloads to keep a large full colour machine running at a level that would get them bulk discounts on supplies.

Either that, or it's something like the companies that lease out the machines simply have coke habit margins on them for the local market that they can't / won't get in America. Also, labour is cheaper there - base pay rates are much lower.

In getting my books done, I looked all over Sydney for quotes to do 2 books, 100 of each, one 40ages inc cover, the other 44, both full colour. The *best* price I could get was from my current poster printer and that came out at $9/unit, but one quote was $27 *per unit* and there were prices all up the scale between.

On the other hand ComiXpress did them, and *couriered* them to me for less than the best local printing price I could find. If I hadn't had the time rush of an impending Supanova, and had them airmailed out, I probably would have achieved a price closer to 2/3 of my best local quote - and that was with 2006 level exchange rates. Whatever the reason, local short run comics printing certainly wasn't a very viable option when I last checked it out.

cheers
mattg


Awesome! That's really helpful actually. I have found an OK quote here in Canberra, but I have a feeling that comiXpress will work out better for me...Especially with our current exchange rate.

How was the quality of comiXpress? Did you go full colour?

rumpusroomie: Please do let us know how you go with that!! I'll be very keen to hear your thoughts.
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Postby rumpusroomie on Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:30 pm

The only reason i haven't even looked at ComiXpress is the negative reviews of those that have dealt with them here. I think you're in the minority as far as favorable reivew.

I'll definitely keep you posted J
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Postby matt g on Tue Mar 11, 2008 1:53 pm

Red J wrote:
How was the quality of comiXpress? Did you go full colour?



The production quality on the books was, and judging my own stuff here, certainly comparable with any book you could pick up on the shelves of a comic store. Caveat - comparable in terms of having looked at it compared to similarly toned books - my blacks are not particularly black for example, and I don't use flat strong solid black shading as is generally common for western comics.

It would perhaps look better with a gloss or semigloss stock. The full colour bits are actually a bit nicer in terms of tone gradation subtlety than the greyscale (but that's reasonably common on full colour printers in my understanding), which if I was going to be ultra-critical loses a tiny bit of dynamic range in the deep shadows - again, that would probably be negated visually by a gloss stock.

The only thing to be aware of is that if you put any colour in the book aside from the outside and inside covers, they have to print the entire book within the colour process - so you end up like me paying full colour price for what was mostly a greyscale book (I knew about that ahead of time though, so it was my choice).

cheers
mattg
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Postby Red J on Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:53 am

All good info there Matt...

One last question (for now!!) :D

How many copies did you get shipped to yourself? And if possible how much did it cost? I would like to get a rough idea of how much extra the shipping will add to the final price.

cheers!

Jon.
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Postby matt g on Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:28 am

Red J wrote:All good info there Matt...

One last question (for now!!) :D

How many copies did you get shipped to yourself? And if possible how much did it cost? I would like to get a rough idea of how much extra the shipping will add to the final price.


I got 100 of both books, from memory it was going to be somewhere in the vicinity of AU$200-250 for airmail (again at 2006 exchange rates). I think the quote process you can go through when you're setting up your book has a shipping calculator as a part of it.

Bear in mind though, my books are double length compared to a "normal" format book, so more or less twice the weight as well.

cheers
mattg
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Postby iangould on Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:37 pm

Jase,

I recommend Music Mania even though they aren;t in Sydney - they did a fantastic job on Local Hero 1 very cheaply and an exceptionally fast turnaround.

I know the owner and would to be happy to set thigns up with him.
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Postby apple head on Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:07 am

The last US sized comic I printed was Mickey Moose. We printed 200 copies for $600. It was 48 page B&W interior and full color cover. We got some dodgy copies where the ink was peeling, but generally it was pretty good quality. I also printed comics in the thousands (Quay-Line), which ended up costing 80 cents per unit.

Anyways my theory is that the reason printing comics is expensive is the same reason Matt pointed out. It's just a foreign concept to most printers in Australia. They are either used to printing thousands of brochures, magazines and panthlets or just a handful of random portfolio crap. Anyways my understanding is you're not paying for the print, but for the set up, and comics especially US size is a totally foreign concept.

Which is why I gave up on it and figured out some other ways of making my last few comics look interesting. I printed my last comic as an A6 landscape thing, and I was really happy with it and saved a bunch money. I paid $100 for 100 copies. I used the printer at UTS. The Turkish man there was really helpful, but I wouldn't say the same for the younger guys. I also found that I would buy my own stock of paper for the cover. That made it look nicer. Anyway going A5 or A4 probably will save you cost too.

Anyways I'm working on a new comic myself, and I'll be printing around 200 copies. I might keep you guys posted on the cost here. I think it's going to be cheap though. I paid something like $2 (2000 won here) for a locally made comic and it really looked the business.
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Postby JasonFranks on Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:22 pm

I used Comixpress in 2005. They didn't meet their promises about turnaround time, but they did get 2/3 of the print run to me at the absolute last possible minute (they'd asked what my final deadline was). Literally, the books arrived, I put them in my car and I drove to the convention. The books printed nicely, but they don't really lie flat and the covers curl a bit. Service reputedly got a lot worse after that. Then their prices doubled and I assume that they're running ok again.

Since then I've done two books with South Island Printing in British Columbia (www.wedocomics.com). Half the price of comixpress and awesome service. They've done a great job on the printing, they turned around my print runs inside 48 hours. SIPS were a bit reluctant to ship books to Australia when I asked, but I wound up sending them to Florida instead. (I had been living there at the time).

They're not answering my email at the moment, which is a bit of a disappointment. I'm not sure what's going on.

A friend of mine in the States has used KA-BLAM on several occasions and they do a pretty good job.

I've lately been talking to Kainos Printing (KainosPrint.com.au) out of the ACT and they sound willing and able to meet my needs (small runs of 30-40 page B&W comics, custom trimmed to US size), so I'll probably give them a go when my new books are ready. Won't be in time for Supanova but it should be shortly afterwards.

-- JF
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