aliasing - see our File Quality Guide
artifacting – see our File Quality Guide
CMYK - CMYK or Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, are subtractive colors and are the standard ink colors for printing. This means that whenever we print an image, we are using CMYK inks to produce the print. Since KDP only accepts digital comics, we do not use images created in CMYK.
color mode - The color mode, or image mode, determines how the components of a color are combined, based on the number of color channels in the color model. Color modes include grayscale, RGB, and CMYK, among others.
comic - This may refer to the medium of comics or to any story that is told in the comics medium. Comics as a medium are typically a series of images, often combined with text, juxtaposed in a sequence to tell a story. Sometimes they use panels to define these images but this depends on the artist's style, intent, and experimentation with the art form. Will Eisner coined the term "sequential art" to describe comics. Read Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics for a good foundation on the history of comics and the basics of how comics utilize text, image, and the interaction between to tell a story.
credits page - The page on which the credits (the contributors to that comic/story) are acknowledged. This is also sometimes referred to as “indicia”.
double page spread - Also referred to as the acronym DPS or as just "spread." Double page spreads are two pages meant to be viewed as a single image that extends from one page to another conjoined page. It may be one single illustration spanning both pages, or it may be multiple panels arranged and meant to be read across the page.
DPI - DPI (dots per inch, or more accurately, pixels per inch) describes the resolution of an image based on pixel density per inch. For example, an image of a one-inch square composed of 100 pixels would have a resolution of 100dpi. Images with higher DPI have higher image resolutions. Print comics typically require a resolution of 600dpi while web images are typically only 72dpi. Because Comixology offers high-definition digital comics to our customers, we require submissions to have a minimum resolution of 300dpi.
graphic novel - A book that is told in the comics medium but was never released in a serialized format. Though "novel" would typically be a work of fiction, a graphic novel may be any genre. Some graphic novels are standalone stories, but there may be multiple graphic novels making up a single series.
Guided View - An optional reading experience for comics. Guided View animates panel-to-panel movement with each swipe across a device to show how the story progresses across each page. Guided View also magnifies comic panels to make them easier to read on smaller screens.
Guided View Native - Or GVN. A unique form of Guided View in which the comic it is applied to was created to be viewed one "slide" (like a slide in a powerpoint) at a time. Comics created as Guided View Native take advantage of the features present in our Guided View reading experience to further their storytelling.
gutter - The gutter is the space between panel borders. The gutter is used to visually separate panels but can also be used for storytelling purposes to show the passage of time and/or separation of story beats within the narrative. The use of gutter space can also be stylistic, in that you'll find more defined gutter space, more space, less space, or no space dependent on the aesthetic decisions of the artist.
JPEG - JPEG files are images that have been compressed to store a lot of information in a small-size file. JPEG files are usually used for photographs on the web. A JPEG is compressed in a way that loses some of the image detail during the compression in order to make the file small (and thus called “lossy” compression). This can create a lower image quality when these images are converted for a PDF file. JPEG file names end in .JPEG
Kindle Create - Kindle Create is a free desktop application that helps you turn a completed manuscript into a professional looking eBook. For comics, this program helps create comics that include Guided View, a reading experience which animates panel-to-panel movement with each swipe to show how the story progresses across each page. Kindle Create saves projects as KPF files, which can then be uploaded to KDP.
Kindle Direct Publishing - Often abbreviated to KDP. KDP allows you to self-publish eBooks and paperbacks for free. We give you direct access to your book on Amazon and allow you to create a product detail page for your book. We also give you the option to expand your book’s availability on a global scale, making it more accessible for readers around the world. Publishing with KDP gives you full rights to your book, which is not something a traditional publishing house typically allows.
Kindle Package Format - Often abbreviated to KPF. Using KPF files allows your eBook to easily format an fit all Kindle devices. It’s a go-to method for avoiding any formatting issues. You can create a KPF file using Kindle Create.
lettering - The text in a comic. It may be created digitally via computer or hand written and seen in or outside of word balloons. Hand lettering has long been used in comics; some comic artists still use the Ames Lettering Guide to letter their comics today.
narration box - The box (or shape) that confines text that contributes to the narrative but is not spoken directly from a character in a word balloon. The text in a narration box may be a character or narrator speaking/thinking, but it may also include time and location information. A narration box will not have a "tail" that originates with a specific character.
panel - The word used to describe the frames that are part of the comic page to tell the story. It is a frozen moment, like a keyframe in animation, chosen to convey the narrative beat and progressing a story. A panel may contain text, image, or a combination of the two. It may be enclosed by a panel border or not.
PDF- The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.
photo comics- Photo comics are a form of sequential storytelling that uses photographs rather than illustrations for the images, along with the usual comics conventions of narrative text and word balloons containing dialogue. The photographs may be of real people and scenes, or posed dolls or other toys on sets.
pixelation – see our File Quality Guide
RGB - RGB or Red, Green and Blue, are additive colors and are what we see when we look at our computer monitors and televisions screens. The RGB color space is very large and is ideal for images that would be used for web and presentation purposes. Since Comixology comics are digitally displayed, we prefer images created in RGB.
sequential art - This term was coined by Will Eisner to describe art that falls in a sequence for graphic storytelling of a narrative or concept. Comics are the most well-known form of sequential art. The concept of sequential art can be traced much further back than comics (i.e. caveman drawings, Egyptian paintings, etc). Sequential art often includes the art of storyboarding as well.
sound effect - Also known as SFX. Sound effects are words used in a comic to give a sense of what sound contributes to the scene. These are typically an onomatopoeia. Examples include "pow" (the sound of a punch), "woowoowoowoo" (for a siren), or "meow" (for the sound a cat makes in English). Sound effects are used across many languages to convey sound in the otherwise silent medium of printed comics.
splash page - A single page in a comic where the whole page is a single illustration with no panels separating beats of the narrative. It is typically used for especially dramatic moments or pivotal actions.
TIFF - TIFF images create very large file sizes. TIFF images are uncompressed and thus contain a lot of detailed image data. TIFFs are also extremely flexible in terms of color and content. They maintain their image quality when converted for a PDF file. TIFF file names end in .tif
trade dress- Trade dress is a legal term of art that generally refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or its packaging that signify the source of the product to consumers. In comics, this refers to the title, the publisher logo, the issue number, the price and barcode, and the names of the creators involved that are usually overlaid on top of the cover art.
word balloon - The shape encapsulating dialogue spoken by a character/entity in a comic. The name comes from their often balloon-like shape. The word balloon will typically have a tail that indicates who the speaker is.
aliasing - see our File Quality Guide