Comic book/newspaper printing

I was wondering if comic books were printed in one place and then distributed (do all Hellboy comic books come from hereabouts?) or if regional areas had local ability to print books that were sent them electronically, like Coke has bottling plants. Similar question with newspapers. If I subscribe to the Austin daily paper for my house in Portland, will I be getting an Austin printed paper that is mailed from TX to my house or a locally printed version?

Newspapers and comic books are printed once at a central location. The Austin American-Statesman rolls off the presses in Austin, your address wrapper is put on it, and it’s put in the mail to you.

National newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times are printed at a number of locations around the country, but they have to justify printing 5,000 or more copies distributed within a few hours’ drive. The New York Times prints at eight locations around the country; Oregon copies come from Tacoma.

There were some short-lived experiments in the 1990s with sending foreign newspapers via a sort of fax machine to be printed and distributed locally, but the Internet soon made that obsolete.

I remember reading once that some paperbacks are printed in Canada and other countries as well as the USA; but the glossy covers are pre-printed in the USA and shipped to other locations. Hence the Canada/USA price, and for some editions of pocketbooks, a price list for a number of countries. Of course, sometimes different publishers have the right to publish in different countries.

Most American comic books were printed in Sparta, IL from the 60s until sometime in the 90s. Charlton Comics was the big exception; their owners also owned a printing press that had originally printed cereal boxes, and their editorial, business and printing facilities were all on the same block in (I think) Dover, DE.

Today, most American comics are printed in Canada.

There’s a company in Texas called Brenner that does a substantial business in comics printing, but as Krokodil says, nowadays the majority of professionally-printed comic books (including most everything by Marvel and DC) are run in Canada. The printer used to be Quebecor, although poking around on Wikipedia shows there’s been some consolidation in the industry in the last couple years, so I’m not sure who’s owns that facility now


Almost all local newspapers are printed locally. The very few newspapers with national circulation, and that may be as few as The New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal, long ago devised regional printing systems so that the trucks that carried their papers were within a x hour drive of the printing plant.

Even though I live in Western New York, I am too far from NYC to get the metropolitan edition. Instead I get a “national” edition that’s keyed to the “eastern Great Lakes.” It gets put to bed, as the newsies say, early so that most ballgame scores are not reported. I’d guess that articles are cut off at 10 or 11pm and the printing is done around midnight so that the carrier can pick them up and get them to houses by about 7am.

Let’s see how good my guesses were. Not bad, but even earlier than I thought. That graphic doesn’t look like it’s been updated recently, but it’s probably still gives a good approximation.

The technology to send pages electronically is ancient. The Times has been doing it for 30 years. The bottleneck remains the physical distribution of paper, so all local editions have to be local (with local meaning metropolitan area).

Almost all the papers that a large newsstand sells - and that gives away my age - either appear late in the day when the truck finally rolls in or the next day. It’s a niche audience who doesn’t care about timeliness or reading them before breakfast. You can get newspapers mailed to you, but those will take several days, assuming anybody still does that anymore.

Even in a nation as small as the UK, national newspapers are printed at several sites around the country.