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POD Question (input, please)

edited September 2012 in The Toolbox
Hey folks

OK, so, I finished the "beast" at 3pm today... 80 pages of magazine-style layout for a presentation for "final greenlight". We're going to have it printed/bound Magazine/comic style, and we are looking at Print On Demand, and these guys were brought up...


Has anyone used these guys?  If so, what was the experience like?

thanks!

Comments

  • I haven't even heard of them. New POD printers are popping up like toadstools in rainy season.
    I always use Ka-Blam - http://www.ka-blam.com - but these guys have lower prices. If you do use the ICGeeks guys, I'd love to know how it turns out. 
  • I've never used them either. I usually work with MinuteMan Press for POD, depending on their quote, or Activities Press for larger print runs.

    Ka-Blam I've used for graphic novels, since they tend to have better rates for POD for smaller print runs.
  • I use RA Comics Direct-- very fast, very professional, great results... but a smidge costly:
  • Look like we are going to go with these guys, as they've been insanely responsive and professional, so we're hoping that translates in the finished product.  They are doing a "insane rush" job for us, with a very reasonable fee for doing so, and their price-per-unit (with NO minimum order!) is pretty mind-blowing... almost half the price of the others we've looked at.

    Will let everyone know how the end result looks... if it's good, we just found our printer for the Widowmaker deluxe editions.
  • Do these services supply proofs as a matter of course?
  • @Rantz definitely please let us know how it goes. Another, cheaper, quality POD option is always good. I've used Ka-Blam a lot, but their new "no proofs, not even digital" policy kind of bothers me. And I liked what I got from RA Direct, but their prices are a bit high.
  • Print proofs are provided if it isn't a "rush job" (we're having it turned around in 4 business days).  Will let everyone know how it goes.

  • @rantz: I just saw a book they did -- a very limited run of a story that Dirk Manning did with our own Anthony Peruzzo -- and I think you'll be happy with the results.

  • @EricPalicki i'm still waiting to see it :(

  • We got the finished, printed copies. A day earlier than scheduled, which was great.  The binding (square bound, 80 pages) was excellent, nice cardstock high quality cover. The only thing on the downside is that is printed noticably darker than the digital file specifications (or the test prints that I did off my Epson "pro quality" printer as tests). BG screens that were set to 15% opacity read at least twice as dark (if not darker) than that, and some of the colors are off (specifically one of the "Dark Blood Red" areas come across as more of a Burnt Sienna/Dark-warm brown than red).  Overall, especially for the price and quality of the print, I'd recommend them... just make sure that you have enough time in your schedule to allow for a print proof so you can make adjustments.  We have to do a second print run for a couple different groups, so we will be making adjustments, but it would have been much better to have not had to make them after the first run.

    Overall, I'd definitely recommend them, with the above caveat.

  • I had the exact same problem with a dark red on my books from IC Geek. A graytoned character was supposed to pop against a red-tinted background, and he, well, doesn't.

    Because the red is almost brown.

    But, given the price and the incredibly fast turnaround time, I'd echo Rantz's recommendation. 
  • Cool beans. I'll give them a try. Thanks!!

    I wonder if the color difference will be consistent? Every order I get from Ka-Blam is different. Sometimes quite a bit different in a reprint from the exact same file. (And all I'm doing is color covers.) And, yes, it's mainly the reds that vary in shade/brightness.


  • @Rantz thanks for the report. I've found that with most digital printing jobs I do these days, I always adjust the exposure of the pages up about 10-15% before sending them off, so those results sound about typical.
  • edited February 2013
    So...I'm hearing reports from multiple sources that IC Geeks has disappeared, absconding with at least one Kickstarter's money. (Edit to add: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/232860137/modest-medusa-coloring-book/posts/369626 I don't want to be thought of as a rumor-monger.)

    I don't know if anyone is currently in the market for a printer, but you should beware.

  • Further evidence that there just aren't enough good, affordable, trustworthy printers catering to the on-demand/short run comic niche. It's why we all keep going back to the Ka-Blam/Comixpress well. Although RA Comics Direct is doing great work in record times, although they can't compete in price.
  • Don't Ka-Blam want RGB files? If so, red is always going to be problematic, what with it being a primary colour in a Red-Green-Blue file and a secondary one in the CMYK print file.
  • I'm considering going through RA for one of my books and using their recycled newprint paper in order to reproduce a Golden Age style comic....I just need to have a comic that warrants it. :D

    RGB colours use principles based on mixing lights (like pixels on a computer) while CMYK are pigment colours which are always used in the actual printing process, even if you are working from an RGB file. In the end, if it's RGB colour it will be converted to CMYK values when it's printed. In that regard, it's only natural that there will be colour variations unless you are doing a traditional print run and using additional Pantone spot colours.
  • I'm considering going through RA for one of my books and using their recycled newprint paper in order to reproduce a Golden Age style comic....I just need to have a comic that warrants it. :D
    I did that, with my last superhero book. I was disappointed at first: The paper is a little darker than my own old books and feels smoother than what I thought newsprint would feel like, which altogether makes it feel more like it was just printed with a layer of dark over the page. But it's a fun look nonetheless. Adds a patina to everything. Especially if it's the kind of book that could be old - mine had heavy inks and flat colors, so it fit right in.
  • I whole endorse Createspace for all POD stuff.
    The online tools and easy set up engine are a joy for me to use.
    The printing quality for color is as close to offset as you can imagine. Matte paper stock, but that's how I like it and expect it to be.

    If only the shipping costs would be more advantageous to ship overseas.
  • Ha, ICGeeks entire website is GONE.
  • Interesting, I had talked with them via email just a couple weeks ago (regarding a second printing of the project) and hadn't gotten any indication of issues or problems.  I should also note that we hadn't been billed for the "partial print" (we needed 10 extra copies with a one day turn-around, we they did immediately), nor have qwe been billed yet for it.

    Time to do some investigations...
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