Starting a Comic

pariquinpariquin Posts: 111 ✭✭
edited March 2013 in Comics
I am going to start writing a comic and I know I'm not the only one.  

The problem is I no idea how to write comics. 

It would be really helpful if you guys could post suggestions of how to start and what to do or possibly list some good books or sources that could get me and everyone else who intends to start a comic on the right path.

by pariquin


  • CloudMonstaCloudMonsta Posts: 9

    I did a little for-myself type of comic a little while ago, so I could share what I did. ^^

    I found the most important thing you want to do before beginning, is decide what you want it to be. How do you want the comic to look? Do you want it to be a strip, single panel/page, full page with panels, etc. type of layout? Decide what style you're going to draw it in. What's the purpose of your comic? Is it fun, just for fun, meant to be humorous, educational, what? Really, once you know what you're going to do, it's pretty simple. I could give tips on various things I used for effects and paper, pens, materials, etc., but it also depends on what you're looking for.

    What I did was I made journal comics, mostly just for fun. First thing I did was use a ruler to crop off the page to a smaller section than the actual page (so you have like outside edges on the paper that won't be in the final work, extend your lines a little farther out this way, it makes it look more natural when you crop it), then I figured out how I wanted the layout to look in terms of panels and stuff, and lined them off. Then I rough sketched it, cleaned it up and figured out what my final lines were as I did so, and then I inked them in with various sized calligraphy pens. The largest one was for the panels & solid black; next size, for outlines & speech bubbles, and the smallest for the details and whatnot. I also use a dip pen, which allowed me more control over my lines, but plain calligraphy pens work as well. Or you could just go over and over with a single pen to make the larger lines. I never colored them, so I couldn't share tips on that, I'm awful at colors.

    And then if I wanted to share it online or summat, I'd scan it in with my printer/scanner in black and white (so you get less of the awkward grayscale smears or anything whoops) and cleaned it up a bit on the computer, to make it a touch nicer. I hope this helps! And if you know a bit more what you're looking at doing... work from there! ^^
  • leonwingsteinleonwingstein VTPosts: 2,683 Mod
    Were I you, I'd google writing prompts.  I have never used one for a comic before, but I have for writing, and I find them really stimulating and useful when beginning to write.

    As for my own personal comic experience, I usually just take things from real life, actual conversations and interactions, and embellish, add something funnier or more exciting than was actually there, and then use that.  That might not be the best method for you, but heck, it might be!
    "Even in the darkness, every color can be found." -Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog | "Remember: You're unique, just like everyone else." -Warren Miller
    "Like cheese in our pockets, these are the Pizza in Our Pants." | THE LAST ONE WHO VLOGS HERE WINS
    You can call me LeoN or Jezzy.  Or anything else, though I might not recognize or respond. | Diamond of the Last Ones
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    There are many ways to create comics. Some creators write scripts; in the American-style comic business especially, each page is described, panel by panel, in great detail (and typically drawn by a different person than the writer). Personally, I don't write scripts at all except to get dialogue down on paper so that I don't forget it. Instead, I do storyboards!

    They might look like this:


    Drawn on graph paper to make it easier to draw straight lines without a ruler; this is supposed to be quick, dirty work. You can see how some panels are almost blank because the peripheral details were less important, and other panels are like little sketches because there were particular poses, perspectives or facial expressions that I wanted to get right. I'll write notes about what needs to be added in or changed, and draw arrows to tell myself what bits need to be moved around inside a panel, and what panels need to be swapped or resized. The positions of the speech bubbles are very important.

    If I don't have the dialogue for a scene written down, this is when I write it, speech bubble by speech bubble (although because I do the lettering digitally after drawing and scanning each page, word choice often changes right before I'm done editing a page). Sometimes I have to re-draw a storyboard a couple times before I'm satisfied, which is part of why I try to draw as sloppily as possible.

    The finished page, in this case, looks like this:

    Stuff I make: webcomic (weekly); biology vlogs (every few months); tumblr posts (apparently)
  • Dr_MachinegunDr_Machinegun India,MumbaiPosts: 31
    @olle wow man...i seriously like your speech bubbles...the way you write it...i can actually imagine hearing them...i was thinking of making a webcomic inspired from one of ISSAC ASIMOV's Books..thanks bro..great deal of help. ^_^

    they call me Dr Moooooooo...Dooo Wee Dooooooo

  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    edited August 2013
    Thanks, dude! Glad to get to help/show off.
    by Olle
    Stuff I make: webcomic (weekly); biology vlogs (every few months); tumblr posts (apparently)
  • KiarKiar Elsewhere Middle EarthPosts: 14,370 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Olle DUDE! I totally read Ironborn. I didn't know you were a Nerdfighter! This is awesome.
    "A ship is always safer at the shore, but that is not what it is built for."
    My writing project
  • OlleOlle Posts: 289 ✭✭✭
    Awesome! =D
    Stuff I make: webcomic (weekly); biology vlogs (every few months); tumblr posts (apparently)
  • saveartaxsaveartax Posts: 3
    My best advice for someone who wants to start making comics is to start small.  Dedicating yourself to an epic length graphic novel can kill your motivation to make comics before you've left the gate.  Learning how to write and draw comics is a lot like body building, you wouldn't try to lift the heaviest weights on the first day at the gym, or you could injure yourself.  Try telling a short story in one page, then move on to a five page story, and so on.  This will not only help you to gradually build your tolerance for the task of writing and drawing comics everyday, but also help you to concentrate on creating solid narratives in a limited amount of space and time.    

    Have fun! 
  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,905 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013


    Shameless plug:

    I now have 446 strips in the archive going back almost three years. 
    I use pencil, ink, a scanner, Paint and Microsoft Photo Editor.

    Yes, I am an absolute hack but the point remains that drawing comics, writing, art generally is like a fire in your belly; so you'd better stick an instrument in front of it.

    It also helps if when you're drawing long arcs, to have the endpoint in mind first.
    by Rollo
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
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