Fun Size Mini-Comics

Halloween is quickly sneaking up on us and soon we will have to contend with costume clad  trick-or-treaters looking for candy at our door. It only takes one stop in the candy isle at the local grocery store to know that the huge candy bars we received as kids have be reduced to microscopic proportions. Some marketing genius coined the term Fun Size to describe these shrunken delights and the moniker has stuck. This year there is even a Halloween themed movie  bearing the title Fun Size.

Over the years, the practice of strangers doling out candy to children has become suspect as more and more sociopathic idiots get their jollies by lacing the goodies with drugs, poison, strait pins and razor blades. My family has turned to handing out inexpensive novelties that can be purchased in bulk from any number of mail order companies like U.S. Toy or Oriental Trading. The little trinkets that might consist of spider rings, monster teeth, tattoos, or rubber bugs are quite popular with the kids and relieve parents of the threat of tainted treats.

Inspired by the wide variety of mini comics that small independent publishers have been producing including CO2 Comics’ own creative duet, Joe Williams and Tina Garceau whose Monkey and Bird mini comic can be found here, I thought it would be great to hand out hand-made, Fun Size Mini Comics to trick or treaters this year.

Monkey And Bird mini comic cover

This is an inexpensive and novel way for comic creators to get the word out as to who is the coolest cartoonist in the neighborhood. It is also a fun introduction to the process of comic production and a unique calling card when promoting your creative services in this difficult market for cartoonists, illustrators and graphic designers.

These 32 page self-covered Fun Size Mini Comics can be black and white, black ink printed on color paper, full color, or color covers with black interior. Their final size is approximately 2.5″ x 2″ They are printed 2 sided on a single sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper either on your own printer at home or at a copy house like Staples or Kinkos. Fold them by hand, trim with a scissors or paper cutter and bind with a single staple.

Because the page size is so small art should be simple and graphic with minimal dialogue. You can focus on Halloween images, images lifted from your sketchbook,  or a more ambitiously composed story. Someone with limited art ability could use clip art with snappy one liners  on each page. Be creative. Have fun.

The hardest part of the process once the content is created, is figuring out the pagination. to get an idea of where each page lies, fold a piece of 8.5″ x 11″ paper in half four times. It is important to always fold the paper the same way each time so be very careful to take note Trim the top side and bottom leaving the spine in tact. Number each page taking note of the top and bottom of each page. Fold another piece of paper the same way but do not cut it. Unfold both papers carefully marking the page number and directions on the uncut paper using the trimmed version as your guide. You can now create a template on Photoshop, Illustrator, or a fresh blank piece of paper. Insert or paste art into the appropriate spot careful to face it in the right direction as some will be mounted upside down.

Pagination front & back

Once you have laid out the art for both sides of the paper have it printed two sided on a single sheet. Make as many copies as you think you will need. Fold them neatly using a folding bone or a burnisher to make crisp folds.  Staple the spine with a single staple using any decent household or office stapler. Open your comic in the middle and lay it face down in the stapler so the bent side of the staple will be  inside of the comic. Needless to say the staple should run in the same direction as the spine. Trim the top, side and bottom of the comic using a sharp pair of scissors or a paper cutter. Be sure all the pages are separated cleanly after you have trimmed your comic.

This Fun Sized Mini Comic is a great treat for the kids on Halloween or any holiday and is a wonderful project for cartoonists and their families to participate in together. This is also a great project for educators that may be teaching cartooning or are looking for a creative project in an art or literature class. If you might be thinking about using the Fun Sized Mini Comic as a promotional tool make sure that your name and contact information is prominently displayed on on the cover. Please also remember that if you are making the Fun Size Mini Comic to be handed out to children on Halloween, be sure that the content, including  any contact info or websites that may be on your comic, is appropriate for young children or you will have parents banging on your door the next day.

Making Comics Because We Want to,

Gerry Giovinco

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3 Responses to “Fun Size Mini-Comics”

  1. This is such a cool idea! While too late for me to get this done this year, I’m going to talk to my artist friends about doing it. It would be so much fun to have a swap too! I wish I could trick or treat at your house!

  2. Tina says:

    That’s a great idea! Now what am I going to do with the bags of M&Ms, Kit Kats, and wax lips?

  3. Joe Williams says:

    Thanks for the plug! Comics are great giveaways for Halloween!

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