For 20 years I have made zines using A4 paper. Upon moving to Canada I was dismayed by the availability of only the Letter paper size. After all the photocopiers here have the setting for A4. At first I tried to adjust and work with Letter sized paper. But now matter how much I tried, it felt too frustrating. One of the main problems I had that when you fold a Letter paper in half it creates a strange tall rectangle, that fits a comic page into itself oddly.
I then tried to find an online retailer for A4 paper. I managed to find some but even with that I ran into some issues. You have to order in bulk without any idea of the quality and texture of the paper. It was wildly expensive or the webpage showed the paper but was listed as out of stock or not available online etc.
I eventually hit on the idea that if it was the ratio of A4 that i liked then perhaps I could trim Letter size paper to meet that ratio. That way I could continue drawing in the same ration I always had and produce books that had a much moire pleasing rectangle shape that I was accustomed to.
Below is the sketch that I came up with.
The sketch shows the dimensions of both sizes of paper. It then shows how you take a piece of Letter size paper in portrait orientation and trim 19mm from the width of the paper. You now have a piece of paper (smaller than A4) but the same dimension as A4.
As crazy as this might sound, I eventually tried this out for the first issue of my comic Spare Parts and it worked! Maybe down the track I can get my hands on some good A4 paper here in North America but for now this works really well and create a unique zine size.