If you want to make your own manga, you have to know all there is to know about manga paper. Manga paper comes in all kinds of sizes depending on a publisher’s personal specifications but there are some standards that you can use.
A4 (210 × 297 mm; inches: 8.3 × 11.7) – Used for doujinshi aka fan-made comics
B4 (250 × 353 mm; inches: 9.8 × 13.9) – a larger paper used for professional manga
The lower the number, the bigger the paper size and conversely, the higher the number, the smaller the paper size. For example, A3 > A5 in size. Most people that work on A4 or B4 reduce the size down to A5 and B5 respectively when it’s “printed”.
Plain – nothing is printed on the paper; great for creating cover or title pages.
Grid – paper that has markings to indicate bleeding area, the center, measurements and so on. Markings are in non-photo blue so it will not appear in the final printing.
4 Koma – paper with two columns of pre-printed 4 panels on each page; the Japanese version of a comic strip. Manga’s that use 4 Koma include K-On!, Azumanga Diaoh, and Sunshine Sketch.
110 kg (about 243 lb)
135 kg (about 298 lb)
The higher the weight, the better it is in taking on multiple erasures, marker coloring, tones, and so on. Conversely, the lower the weight, the easier it is for the paper to bleed, wrinkle, and not take as much heavy handling as higher-weighted paper.
The top three companies who make physical manga paper are I.C., Deleter, and Kent and you can purchase them at online stores like Akadot Retail and Blue Line Pro. Prices for manga paper ranges from $6 to $10 USD for a pack of 20-40 sheets.
The Areas of a Manga Paper
Safety Zone – The center area of the manga paper that will definitely show up when it is published. Be sure to include major scenes and text in this area.
Trim – The area between the safety zone and the bleed. This is what I call the “gray” area because things within this area may or may not be cut off. I do NOT recommend that you put anything important in this area from your text balloons to major scenes and characters. For example, if you drew a person being shot but the part where the person is actually being shot is on the trim area; if it gets cut off in the final printing, then you’ve pretty much created a confusing sequence of panels.
Bleed – Areas near the edges of the paper that will definitely be cut off during printing. You DO NOT draw anything here unless you’re okay about it getting cut off.
Measurement Area – a term I’ve coined to call the area beyond the bleed that has ruler-like measurements.
If done properly, your manga will turn out right like the examples below:
Anything in the red is within the Safety Zone. Anything in the blue is in the Trim area and the area beyond that is the Bleed.
The final manga page when everything is done right!
For more information on what you should and should not do when making you manga, check out Tokyopop’s Mechanical Specifications.
Digital Manga Paper
You can print these out or use them digitally on whatever digital graphic software you use. They are all at 300 dpi for printing. If you would like to use them for web comic purposes, you can reduce the dpi to 72.
When you’re finished with your piece, I suggest you either making the guide layer invincible using the eye icon, deleting it, or take the opacity down to 0%. The blue lines are NOT non-photo blue.
A4 Doujinshi Manga Paper – Single Page (PNG | PDF)
A4 4-Koma Manga Paper – Single Page (PNG | PDF)
B4 Professional Manga Paper – Single Page (PNG | PDF)
Tokyopop Manga Paper – Single Page (PNG | PDF) – 2 Page Spread (PNG | PDF)
If you have Manga Studio Debut or EX, you already have pre-set A4, B4, and other page templates. Just make sure to select the size in the settings when you’re making a new project. For tips on making a Tokyopop template on Manga Studio, drop by Pencil Killer.
Tips on Using the Digital Manga Paper
1. When printing, do NOT check the button that says “Scale to Fit Media”.
2. Make sure the scale is set at 100%.
3. Always shrink the manga first before applying tones or you will more than likely get the dreaded moiré pattern. If you really need to shrink a manga page for making previews and the like, first change the mode to Greyscale then shrink the size by multiples of 25 (i.e. 75%, 50%, 25% etc).
Use them well and enjoy!