At conventions, Ashcan comics is, essentially, a "cheap print" comic. Traditionally, these are smaller, black and white copies of the comics you produce, to allow readers a free (or VERY cheap) comic to read, with the idea that they will become engaged in the story enough to purchase the colored version or future comics. These were often 8 1/2 inch by 11 inch pages, just printed on standard printing paper, and often done in short runs. Sometimes they had several pages per page, other times they were simply low quality.

It's changed, to some extent, as many people now produce very high quality Ashcans, but with only 5 pages or so, which has been criticized. While it is true that higher quality, shorter comics can be great to show off the quality of your work, your art, and coloring, it does not usually allow readers to get engaged in the story.

What is your opinion on Ashcan comics?

Are they useful? We live in an age now where people not only expect instant gratification, they expect it for free... So, id you provide them with an outlet for them to obtain your comic for free, will they purchase the better version?

What about for webcomics? Are Ashcan comics a realistic way to allow people a taste of your comic, and show them where to go to read more?

In my opinion, yes it is. I have had fantastic results with giving people a sample they can actually read, that is lower quality. What has your experience been?

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ADRIAN9 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
If its a sample to give away its cool, as a promotion tool, but as always sometimes some of these end up becoming treasures and high priced items
RavynCrescent Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
DevinHWorks Featured By Owner Edited Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
The first 'serious' comic series I did was in ashcan format. I generally had them the same format described above, and were typically 16 pages.  I laid them out myself digitally & sent them to kinkos for short runs.  I had a modest degree of success with them.

Also regarding the pagination, it generally helps to remember (for me anyway) that:

front cover=right, back cover=left
Odd pages are always on the right-hand side
The first page will be joined to the last page in the sequence, 
2nd page will be joined to the next to last in the sequence, e.g*

Say your book is 12 pages:


Notice that the middle (spine) pages are the only ones that directly face each other when folded.
ADRIAN9 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2014  Professional General Artist
also its worth noting that since pg 6 and 7 face each other it would be cool to have a double page spread there, is a no-brainer!
DevinHWorks Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
RavynCrescent Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
That's awesome and informative!
stefy9215 Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2014
Very interesting, thank you!
Schulzfan Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
Never heard of this before. Does seem like a good way of getting exposure. Hard to say if you can make a living at it, though anything's possible.
RavynCrescent Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2014  Professional Artisan Crafter
Likely cannot make a living out of it, as Ashcans are generally free, or for $1.00 or so, and it can cost more than that to produce, but they are great at getting the word out.
PLASTIC-ROBOT-COMIC Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That was very informative. Thank you.
bakertoons Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2014  Professional Filmographer
Awesome! Thank you!
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