Comic Book OptionsWhether you want a cloth covered book, a graphic cover, or dust jackets, we can help get your collection started.
The options are nearly endless when ordering custom bound comic books! All information necessary to produce great custom bound volumes are provided with descriptions and images below. You’ll find these options to select within each comic book order form.
Comic Book Binding
We use the most current binding methods with state-of-the-art equipment. We also have the experience to do binding by hand. (This is what we do best!) Comic books can be bound using the following methods:
Double-Fan Adhesive Binding (DFAB)
DFAB is a library binding style method that utilizes polyvinyl acetate glue (PVA) instead of thread for the binding. This method provides binding durability and flexibility, is our most requested method for all types of library binding, and allows books to lay flat. It can accommodate comic books, individual pages, and trade paperbacks, or all of them combined.
Note: DFAB is great for nearly all comic books. The only exception is for very glossy paper (like acetate or foil covers). DFAB can still be used on glossy pages, but with significantly reduced margins on those pages. Also, this is a great method to include your own table of contents within the book, to cut apart books and remove pages, or combine comics and trade paperbacks.
Note: Maximum size for DFAB books is 35 issues, or about 2 1/2 inches.
Polyurethane Reactive Adhesive Binding (PUR)
PUR is an extremely strong binding option. It is a glue based binding method used on textbooks, school yearbooks, and for many of our edition binding projects. The main benefit when used on comic book projects is its ability to bond glossy pages (like acetate or foil covers) without reducing the margin.
Note: PUR binding has all the benefits of DFAB and it can accommodate glossy pages. With this method you can mix comics, individual pages, and trade paperbacks with no problem. But books bound using PUR binding cannot be rounded; they will have a straight/flat spine that will have a hard strip used on the spine.
Note: Maximum size for PUR books is 35 issues, or about 2 1/2 inches.
Oversewing is an extremely durable, old-fashioned method of page attachment, and is still popular for certain paper stocks. Oversewing generally takes up more of the inner margin than Ultrabinding and Smyth sewing. It can also accommodate all paper types and all paper formats.
Note: While a thin book (approximately 1.75″) will have about the same gutter loss as a DFAB book, the thicker the book is the farther into the margin the sewing needs to go. This results in a reduced margin on thick books.
Note: Maximum size for Oversewn books is 35 issues, or about 2 1/2 inches.
Smyth Sewn Binding (Sew Through Fold)
With Smyth Sewn binding, the thread is driven “through the fold” of a folded signature. In comic book binding, each individual issue is treated as a signature. This method has no impact on the inner margin of the original comic books, and lays flat when opened.
Note: To use this binding method for a volume of comics, each individual issue must have a centerfold to sew through. If any of the issues are “flat back” (such as a Trade Paperback), a different binding method will need to be chosen. All paper types can be used as well. Also note, the thicker each volume is, the more of a “wedge” effect you will get. A wedge shape is when the spine of the book is significantly thicker than the outside edge. This is caused by the thread build-up used to sew the books.
Note: a small amount of gutter loss will be seen between each comic on the covers from the binding process.
Note: maximum size for Smyth Sewn books is 18 issues.
Cloth Cover Colors
and Material Options
We have an extensive selection of cover materials that can be used for cloth books. Below are the colors we keep in stock and are available for comic book orders.
Note: Buckram, Luminaire, C-1, Advantage 9, and Verona will closely match from one order to the next. Leather options will vary from order to order because of the natural variance to leather. Genuine leather is available starting at $65 per piece.
Lettering is added to the spine and/or cover of a cloth book using foil stamping in our standard type.
Standard Systems Stamping
Cloth cover comic books will be stamped using 18 pt type in the direction indicated on the order form, except when the characters exceed the available space. In those circumstances, the text will be either rotated 90° or reduced to 14 pt type. If the book is large enough to allow it, we may also increase the type size to 24 pt type.
Seven lines of stamping are included in the base price of the book. Each additional line is $1.
Note: If you would like a book to match a previously completed volume, please send either the book or a full-size image with a ruler next to it for reference. Also note, systems stamping can be done either horizontally or vertically. We will stamp whichever way is indicated on your order form, unless it will not fit. To have the lettering stamped vertically, fill-in the spine lettering by hand.
Foil Colors Available
Gold, White, Brown, Black, Purple, Yellow, Blue, Green, Copper, Red, Silver, Orange
Panel Lines are horizontal lines of foil placed on the spine of a book. They are decorative and a great way to divide content on the spine. Each line is $1.
On the order form, simply draw or type a line across the Spine Layout portion to indicate where you want the lines placed. They will be the same color as the type.
Die stamps are metal stamps that can apply foil in a pattern or logo onto a cloth book. Houchen Bindery Ltd has a collection available for general use, and new die stamps can be created at any time.
Note: Die stamps are a solid piece of metal and cannot be adjusted in size. New die stamps usually start at about $55 for a 1″ square stamp and go up approximately $7 per additional square inch. Also note, once created, the die stamp will remain at Houchen Bindery Ltd and be available for general use. If you would like the die stamp returned, there will be a fee (30% of the cost of the die) which is the charge for Houchen Bindery Ltd to have it made and shipped (which we don’t add to your charges normally). A request for the die stamp to be returned to you must be made when it is created.
This is an option where a printed image is laminated and applied directly to the boards of the book in place of the cloth. We offer a variety of options for design, or you can provide your own.
Customer Provided Cover
Tip: Don’t end your images on the edge of the boards. Wrap them around a little to produce a better look.
A sample of cover dimensions that we will send when ready for covers:
Template for creating your own covers:
HBL Designed - Simple Cover
Note: Logos or additional requests for the spine will have an additional cost.
Simple cover example:
Example of how to complete the order form:
HBL Designed - Character Cut-Out
For a small fee, we can remove logos and other background from a cover of your choice. Text from your order form will be added to the spine.
Note: Not all covers are suited for this request. If the character is blocked by type or barcodes, etc, we cannot recreate them.
Good Choice: Character is not covered by logo, title, or barcode.
Bad Choice: Character is covered by logo, title, and barcode.
Character cut-out example:
Example of how to complete the order form:
HBL Designed - Custom
Want something very specific or unique? Give us a guideline of what you want and we can create a great graphic cover for your volume. Estimates can be given prior to placing the order, just send us an email and we can provide an estimate: tbenson@houchenbindery.
Note: Estimates are based on initial request. One revision is included in the estimate. Further revisions will result in additional costs.
Custom cover example:
Example of how to complete the order form:
Books are trimmed on the three exposed edges after being bound, and prior to rounding. This gives the books a clean, smooth edge.
Note: How much is trimmed will depend on the size of the books. Not all comics are the same size, even within the same title. To estimate how much will be trimmed, put the books in order and find the smallest book. That is about the size all of the books will be at the end.
Rounding the spine gives the book a curved spine; a thin, flexible backing is added under the cover. Books not rounded will have a flat/hard spine, and a hard cover board will be added under the spine.
Note: PUR books cannot be rounded.
Note: SMYTH books must be rounded.
All books will receive a white end sheet. This is a heavy paper that joins the book block (the bound comics) to the cover. Black and custom-made end sheets are available at an additional cost. Custom end sheets can only be added to DFAB books at this time.
Note: The end sheet file should be sent as a PDF at the time the order is placed. The size of the end sheet should be 1/4″ larger than one of the comics to be bound when it is opened flat. Also note, we can design an end sheet for you. Just provide images and/or direction for us to follow. Cost of design is based on your directions.
Head & Tail Bands
Head and tail bands are a decorative cloth piece at the top and bottom of the book block.
Black, White, Blue, Black & Gold, Black & White, Red & Gold, Burgundy & Gold, Red & White, Green & Gold, Green & White, Blue & Gold, Blue & White.
A ribbon bookmark is a ribbon adhered to the inside spine of the book block that can be used to mark your page in a book.
Black, White, Brown, Orange, Yellow, Purple, Green, Navy, Blue, Teal, Maroon, and Red.
Note: You can have more than one bookmark in a book.
Half-binds are books that have a cloth material on the spine and another material on the cover. The cover material can be another piece of cloth or a graphic image.
Note: This is technically a quarter bind process. A true half bind would have corners made of cloth and the board would be exposed.