Optional Hardware

Printer

An inexpensive ink-jet or laser printer can be handy for proofing your images or printing contracts and email.

Ethernet

Some type of NIC (Network Interface Card) is important so you can network to other computers locally, as well as use some form of broadband communication to get to the net. Creating a LAN (Local Area Network) is simple with an inexpensive ethernet hub, just be sure to get one with enough ports for all your machines. You're also going to need some CAT5 ethernet cable, available at your local computer supply store.

Broadband Internet Connection

Being able to get to the net is becoming an important aspect of working in comics. The latest news, job offers and tutorials all appear on the web first. Entire communities of artists congregate online, making it the richest place to network with fans, peers and even publishers.

More importantly, most comic companies and professional printers maintain FTP sites so you can upload your large graphic files directly to them, saving you the risk and expense of mailing physical copies. Of course, with the large size of graphic files these days, uploading and downloading these over a standard modem would take far too long. For security reasons, if you have a broadband connection I also recommend a software firewall and even a router so you can also hook up all the machines on your network to the internet. A router has the additional advantage of adding another layer of protection to your network, making it difficult for hackers to tamper with your machine. ■

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