When I started drawing Cross Hare comic strips, I never thought beyond individual strips. I had picked some old newspaper strips that I liked and figured out how tall and wide they were. This determined what size I would make my Cross Hare strips.

After I had drawn about 30 strips, I attempted to combine them into a book. It wasn’t going to be a professional printing job. I was just going to print the pages out on my cheap desktop printer and staple them together. I soon discovered that my strips didn’t fit well on a comic book sized page. I should have realized this would be the case. After all, I had collected anthologies of newspaper strips for years that were odd sizes. All of my Calvin and Hobbes anthologies are either in a small 9 X 8.5 inch format, or a larger 8.5 x 11 size.

For some reason, I really want Cross Hare to fit into a standard comic book size. So, with my latest storyline, I’ve been planning out pages in advance. As you can see above, I’ve planned 3 strips that fit neatly into one comic book page.

This also ads more structure to my previous writing habits. Originally I was just sort of outlining a story or strip with a sentence or two and then worrying about layout and dialogue the night I posted the strip. With this new process, I’ve got all the drawings and word-balloons planned and laid-out weeks in advance. Seems like a no-brainer now, but it’s taken me a while to realize this is a more efficient and more organized way of doing things.

What do you think? Am I doing something terrible by abandoning a newspaper comic strip format? Or do you like the new format that I’ve been using?