I recently printed up a small run of a couple comics for Arisia, a convention in Boston. In the past I have used Print Ninja for this and had a pretty decent result in the end, but somethng was very wrong with the first batch. I don’t remember exactly what anymore–they agreed it was an error on their part and printed a whole new batch and overnighted it to me for free, if I remember correctly. While I was happy with the print quality in the end, it was nerve wracking waiting to see if the second printing would look professional. It had been ten years and I figured I’d better research and see if any other good-looking options had come up since then.
I found recommendations for a print service called Mixam and decided to give it a try. There are a good amount of paper, texture/coating, cover stock, binding, and size choices. Once you make some selections and upload your page images, the site auto-generates a preview of your project which you can flip through like a simulated book.
It also auto-generates a high res PDF which you can download and check. You can order a physical copy as a proof by ordering one copy by itself so see and hold in person before ordering more. That is, of course, if you have time. Once you approve the files, it takes about two weeks to get your physicial print.
The print quality looks good! And the prices for a small batch are good too. The biggest area of possible improvement would be the packing of the books once printed.
The box my comics came in was very beat up, and the comics inside were only loosely shrink-wrapped and otherwise left loose in a box quite a bit larger than the books.
This led to some of the individuals copies being at times pretty badly dented.
But the quality of the print looked great!
I had my old comic from ten years ago printed as well, and came to the same conclusion: Nice quality, great price, but a few books could be too dented to sell.
The interior looked great though! (Pardon my phone photos – the books looked great in person!)
If you’d like a copy of my comic Cut Flowers, you can order it here.