One Publisher Returning to Newsprint For Comic Book Printing

U.S. Library of Congress
Credit: U.S. Library of Congress
Credit: Alterna Comics

Independent publisher Alterna Comics is launching a new line of comic books where its single issues will be printed in newsprint and retail for $1.99 or less per issue.

"When I fell in love with comics, it was an entire experience. The stories, the imagery, and the paper. There was almost nothing else like reading a comic book. It was a fragile thing, but durable at the same time," said Alterna Comics' publisher Peter Simeti. "Printed on newsprint with a thin, but glossy, cover, you could roll the comic - not that you'd necessarily want to - and they were lightweight and had a floppy feel. The smell and feel of the pages is something that no longer occurs on the new comic book day release wall, yet it's prevalent in back issue bins across the country. Our goal is to create a comic book that would 'feel' like it just came out of a shop from 30 years ago."

From the 1930s to the early 1990s, most all comic books were printed on newsprint-quality paper. Following advancements in comic book coloring in 1992 and 1993, Marvel, DC, Image and others segued to glossier paper in order for the more nuanced coloring to register. With that came higher prices due to the changing paperstock; something Alterna plans to take advantage of by using newsprint.

"While most companies seem to be trying to out do each other with premium paper stocks and escalating price tags, we're aiming to make comics affordable and bring back a practicality to single issues. We're not in the business of making collectibles first and comics second. These won't be variant covers or variant issues, just basic comic books. We're happy to leave the premium paper stocks to our graphic novel line, which we will still be producing. Right now, we're aiming to launch this line with a few issues priced from $1 to $1.99, in Spring/Summer 2017."

Twitter activity