A mammoth comic requires really big paper.
Happy Harbor Comics owner Jay Bardyla was picking up an order in late September when he mentioned he was looking for some huge paper. He wanted to do a mammoth comic pushing Guinness records as part of the Royal Alberta Museum 48 hour closing party.
The problem was to source paper that would take pencil, ink and paint and work double sided. We print graphic novels on Domtar’s Lynx and use it in our artists sketchbooks. I believed it would work well if we could get a larger size. Folio sheets are 28 x 40 inches but that didn’t cut the mammoth size specified for the project. Wide-format inkjet paper is available in 60 inch rolls but is either coated on one side or straight bond weight and too thin for the project. A double-sided product is available in 44” rolls which still isn’t mammoth and it is more of a photo paper so there were concerns with the coating.
We have been using Earthchoice, Lynx and Cougar for many years as they are match or values of being environmentally and community minded so I approached Domtar directly.
“I am working with a client planning a commemorative event coinciding with the relocation of the Royal Alberta Museum in December. Our goal is to create an extra large comic on-site with a number of artists and are looking for paper that would be suitable for drawing and painting. An ideal media would be a heavy Lynx text but how does one source some oversize paper?” I wrote.
Domtar caught the vision and responded immediately. The next morning there was a call from Domtar’s, Aline LaFleche clarifying what was needed. The next day another call, “I have a roll end of 80 pound Cougar coming off the mill, it is 77.5 inches, will it work?”
Cougar is a smoother paper than Lynx and partly due to it’s higher cost we use it for Family books and some Children’s books for it’s ability to reproduce vibrant colour with no glare. I believed it would work. Jay picked up a few sheets from our stock and tested it for the project, as long is it didn’t get too wet it would be great.
Domtar donated and shipped the roll-end to local supplier, Unisource, who delivered it to our shop.
The paper was sheeted at PageMaster to 68 inches providing the basis for a 24 page comic plus cover that when folded will be 5’ by 6’6” or a massive 39 inches wide and 60 inches tall when folded.
If you have an opportunity this weekend drop by the Museum (open for 48 hours straight) and check out the progress. There is a bit more information on the comic challenge on Happy Harbor’s event page.
Expect some photos and updates next week. We also plan on reproducing the comic.
– Dale Youngman
Domtar Corparation is the largest integrated marketer and manufacturer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America with corporate offices in Montreal, Quebec and Fort Mill, South Carolina.
Happy Harbor Comics is an award winning comic shop that is active in our community and literacy initiatives.
PageMaster Publication Services Inc. is an Edmonton based provider of services and manufacturing for authors, artists and associations.