I needed to make some good quality hard copies of the first Grubbs comic book. I had run across a POD (print on demand) printer called Ka-Blam that specializes in comics. Believe it or not, it cost less to have a few full-color comics printed than it would have cost to have laser prints done at a copy shop... in this case, just a tad over $3 a book.
This is great for printing out a good quality dummy to proof before going to print, or for just printing up a short run if you're not ready to have a couple thousand copies printed up. And the cost is less than $2 per book (for 32 pages) if the interior is black and white, making it affordable if you want to print up a few dozen and sell them yourself.
The quality is pretty darn good, and Ka-Blam met their turnaround deadline, and actually got it to me a couple days early. Based on this experience, I would recommend them to anyone who is considering a short print run.
The colors are a little off, because for some reason they require the files be RGB rather than CMYK. They say this is to make the pages more vivid with bright colors, which is understandable, but converting to RGB might require going in and doing a little color tweaking before delivering the files. The color quality is great; it's just that colors change when you convert from CMYK to RGB, and I didn't do any tweaking.
Overall, though, the books look like "real comic books" as my kids said. The paper is nice and one could confidently sell these to readers. It's also an efficient way to make sure everything looks right before sending things to the printer.
I think it is also a great resource for kids who are creating their own comic books. This service is easily affordable and blows Lulu out of the water. Kids can make their own "real" comic books and sell them to their friends.
To find out more, check out Ka-Blam's website.