02 February 2008

POD: ComixPress.com

Comixpress.com was the first Print on Demand printers dedicated solely to comic books. They currently offer saddle-stitching and perfect binding in color and black and white.

My first experience with them was back in 2004 and the very first job, I had them do was a simple 8-paged black and white book with a full color cover. Since POD was new to comics, these 8 pages were designed to run ComixPress through the paces. I had received the sampler that they sent out and production quality wasn't what I expected. I suspected that some of the production problems were due to pre-press and not actual printing, so I devised this sampler booklet as a test. As it turned out, I was right. The problem that I had with the sampler all turned out to be pre-press problems and the sampler looked much better than I expected AND I received 10 copies of the sampler within 2 weeks of placing the order.

This led me to use ComixPress when I needed to print Warmageddon: The Art of Sengkry Chhour. This was back in October 2004 and I needed the books ready from the Mid-Ohio Con in late November. ComixPress delivered and I was very happy with the results.

Unfortunately some time in 2005, ComixPress became victims of their own success and soon have way more orders than they could fill in a reasonable amount of time. This led to 3-6 month delays between payment, printing and delivery. These delays also extended to email responses and since email is the only means of contacting ComixPress, this meant that you could go for months without hearing a response from ComixPress. This problem was not only in printing, but also in fulfillment of orders placed via their online store. Sometime, in late 2005, I placed an order to refill my W:tAoSC supplies, the results were great when I finally received them 3 months later.

Fast forward to Oct 2006 when both Logan (the gut in charge of ComixPress) and I were both at SPX. Logan and I were back and forth between our 2 tables talking about the past and future of ComixPress. I found out about the launch of the new line of graphic novel services. Logan went into depth about what they do at ComixPress and the reason for the set-up fee. Even though, I have experienced the delays and poor response, I walked away from SPX full up hope for ComixPress and hoping to be able to promote the service.

Sadly, the same problems still plagued Logan and crew at ComixPress through the remainder of 2006 and into 2007. I last spoke with ComixPress in early 2007 in effort to find out about the performance of W:tAoSC and the process for removing books from their store. Their responses were once again delayed (2-3 weeks between responses).

Overall, I think ComixPress offers a great quality product in both color and black and white. They probably have the best quality product between the 2 major online comic PODs (ComixPress and Ka-Blam). ComixPress, however, still struggles with customer service, fulfilment, and delivery.

My advice for those that want to use ComixPress is to follow their guidelines exactly and plan 6-9 months in advance. Doing this will almost guarantee that your printing will be delayed as little as possible. If you can't do that, then you are better off exploring another option.

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