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American comic page sizing in Manga Studio

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  • American comic page sizing in Manga Studio

    Hello! I just recently picked up Manga studio, and am very happy with it. Ive been searching the web for what the correct sizing should be for American comics (Page size, Finish frame, basic frame and bleed width) when I make a new story/page. Eventually I want to self publish with a site like, so I want to get everything right on. Any help would be great!


  • #2
    trim size 6.625" x 10.25"

    bleed size 7" x 10.5"

    live art area 6" x 9"
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    • #3
      Manga Studio uses different terminology than the US industry:

      Art board/paper size = Page Size
      Trim Area = Finish Frame
      Live Art Area = Basic Frame
      Bleed Area = Finish Frame + Bleed Width on all sides

      I work at art-board instead of print sizes, so these are the measurements I use...

      Standard Resolution: 400 dpi
      Page Size: 11" x 16.5" (should be 17", but MS maxes out at 16.53", the height of an A3 board)
      Finish Frame: 10" x 15"
      Basic Frame: 0.25" margin all sides OR 9.5" x 14.5", no offset
      Bleed Width: 0.25" (thus bleed area = 10.5" x 15.5")

      You might use an offset if you were making an original graphic novel, so no important art was lost in the middle. In comics, the "interval" between panels is known as the "gutter" but the gutter is, in publishing, the place where pages meet at the center of a book. So you can set the gutter margin a little higher if you're worried about art getting lost in it. Not usually necessary as long as the important stuff is inside the Basic Frame/Live Area.

      I set, under File/Preferences/Page/Panel...
      Horizontal Interval: 4mm
      Vertical Interval: 6mm
      Panel Border Width: 0.6mm
      ...but this is personal preference. Many, maybe even most artists use equal vertical and horizontal intervals/gutters. Variation is standard in manga and I personally like it.

      When the page is finished, I convert it from 400 dpi to 600 DPI in Photoshop, without resampling. That reduces it to 2/3 size for final printing.

      I based this on some old Blue Line Pro art boards and a recent issue of Captain America... but different artists use slightly different metrics, and different publishers might have slightly different rules... especially for double-page spreads. I have some Canson boards with a Trim Area of 9.75" x 15" and a Live area of 8.75" x 13.75". I've been looking at various websites and at different comics for a while, trying to find a definitive answer. Everyone uses slightly different measurements. Just use something that feels right.
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      • #4
        I work at 600 dpi, just because I feel it's easier to downres than up.

        Manga Studio runs so light that the higher resolution has never slowed me down, and I'm not running a powerhouse over here. I just got up to 3GB RAM a couple weeks ago. My processor is only 1.8Ghz. Most of my friends with laptops out-power me, now.

        As for page size, I usually ask the client if they have standardized dimensions, and if not then it hardly matters to the hundredth place... 10x15 Safety on an 11x16 page (Manga Studio hates going past 42cm, which is equal to about 16.5inches). You can trick it if you need to, by creating a double-page at maximum size, giving you 16.5x37, but I've never needed to so far.

        And it's possible that page dimensions were one of those things fixed in v4. I really need to get that, but I'm in this bizarre place where I've got ongoing projects that I don't want to try and shift over, even though I'd like to get into the newer software.

        Last edited by Inkthinker; 03-09-2010, 04:31 AM.

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        • #5
          Thanks you guys very much! Now I just need to get down to drawing.


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