How to make a comic book
Create your own comics by following that step-by-step method
Creating comic books requires a set of special skills such as a talent in drawing, a knack of telling an entertaining story, and a passion of reading comics. If you have these attributes, you are on your way to become a good creator of comics.
If you only have a talent in story-telling and a passion of reading, you can still make your own comic by collaborating with an artist or a penciller and an inker.
The next thing you should do is to learn the basic technical aspects in making a comic book, as well as procuring the right materials you will need to create your own comics.
3 important things to know before making a comic
Prior to buying the materials and execute your ideas, there are certain things that you need to consider:
• Choose which form of comic you want to create
You need to decide first whether you want to make a comic in print format or digital format, also known as webcomics. This would give you the idea what materials you will need, and the various methods commonly used that need to be familiarized when creating your comic.
• Determine the genre of comic book you want to make
Comic book genres usually include superhero comics, manga, humor, science fiction, children, horror comics, and underground comics. Select the genre you are most comfortable with or more familiar to you and the most enjoyable for you to do.
• Keep an audience in mind
Consider who are your targeted readers, and bear them in mind when making your comics.
Materials needed when creating a comic book
For print format comic, make sure to have the following materials:
- Pencils, 2H pencil is recommended for lighter lines and HB pencils for darker ones.
- Ink (India ink is recommended), markers, colored inks, or watercolors
The materials you need for your digital or webcomics are the following:
- Graphics Tablet or Tablet PC
- Photoshop or Corel Painter
Steps on how to make a comic book
Step 1: Finalize the main idea of your comic book
A comic book start with an idea: a plot of the story and a set of characters that keep the movement of the story. Plan out the content of your comic properly.
Get a paper or a notebook and try to write an outline of what will appear in the content of your story. Ask yourself the following questions or you may come up with your own:
- What is the plot of the story?
- Who are the main characters and secondary characters?
- When does the story happen?
- Where does it happen?
- How do the characters deal with difficult situations or conflict of the story?
Step 2: Writing the comic book story
This is when your knack of telling an entertaining story is put to good use. You can create and write the whole story on paper complete with characters, dialogue, settings, conflicts, series of events, rhythm, twists, and the denouement.
You need also to include notes of instructions for your comic panels, which you will later do when everything is in proper order.
Step 3: Creating the comic art
When the story is done writing, you can proceed to creating the art or illustrations that go with the story. Do this using your pencil so that you can still erase or change some mistakes on your drawings.
It is recommended to make preliminary sketches so as to determine the size and space you need for each panel needed for the whole story. Take note, draw lightly and make the lines and movement of your drawing as flowing as you can. Creating the comic art may take time.
Whether you want your comic book in print or digital, you can still follow the same instructions above. You can just scan the finished artwork to your computer.
Or you can just create you comic art directly on your Graphics Tablet or Tablet PC with reliable comic book creation software such as Photoshop or Corel Painter.
Step 4: Inking the comic artwork
When it comes to inking comics, this is the time to give your drawings some texture, depth and a dimensional look. If you can afford the price, use good quality ink such as India ink or fountain pens, and be always careful when shading the drawings. Keep the balance of blacks, grays and whites properly.
Step 5: Coloring the comic book artwork
This is the time to put life to your artwork by adding colors, shading, and lighting. Apply appropriate colors accordingly and pay special attention to detail.
However, there are also cases wherein artists chose not to add colors to the drawings. This can also be a good option for you as you can save money and time if you opt to forgo of this process. There are still buyers who love to have their comic books in black and white.
Step 6: Lettering your comic book
This is the last part of the illustration process: lettering your comic. You can either hand-letter the pages of your comic or use your computer for lettering. Lettering includes adding the words, title, captions, sound effects (such as such “boom” or “kazoom”), speech balloons, or thought bubbles.
For speech bubbles or thought balloons, write in the letters lightly using the pencil first. Short and small ones are always preferable and much better.
Step 7: Printing or publishing your comic book
When everything is done, you are now ready to print comic books. Print your comic book or scan it on your computer and published it online. Publishing your comic online is the best way to go if you are on a budget. It is also the easiest way.
Other option is to take your comic book to a copy center and let them bind the comic for you. Or you can just do it yourself: print your finish work, staple the pages together and you are done!
How to make a comic book: Dos and Don’ts
• Do what you love. If you want to make a comic, do it for the love of the medium.
• Don’t follow trends if you can. If you do that just because a particular genre is the hit in the market and you want to make a quick buck, it will show in your work and your readers will not like it.
• Do something original. Never copy from the works of others. Make a comic that is unique and the readers have not seen before and they will love you.
• Don’t give up if your first comic book is not as great as you expect. It takes lots of practice to prefect your craft.