Comics are an amazing thing. After introducing countless children to their favourite superheroes over many years, they continue to delight both new and old school readers alike. Comic books have experienced somewhat of a resurgence of late, perhaps due to the movies and TV shows being created and inspired by famous comics.
One of the exciting things about the development of technology in recent years is that now ordinary mortals like ourselves are able to create our own comics and potentially have them read by countless others around the world.
So how do you go about designing and publishing your own comic book?
1. You need an idea
This sounds obvious, but it’s important. Ideas can come to you at the randomest of times, so remember to write everything down, no matter how strange you may think it is at the time. A basic idea can evolve into something much bigger, so let your creative juices flow.
2. Formulate a script
The core essence of a comic book is to tell a story. This means that the storyline is probably the single most important aspect of a comic. Without an interesting story, readers will not want to touch it. While many people focus on graphics, those that may particular attention to the storylines first will generally see much more success. When considering your story, think about the genre that your comic will fall into, the main points about your character and their journey, the setting for the comic, and the structure (ensure there’s an introduction, core story, and conclusion). Once you know where your story is, the rest will be easy.
3. Plan the layout
The layout of the comic is an extremely important element for both readability from a practical perspective and keeping the reader interested. Making sure that it’s clearly laid out, but also leaving each page with a cliffhanger, can help to keep a reader engaged and wanting to turn the pages. Storyboarding is a great way to get a clearer idea of how to lay out your comic.
4. Draw the comic
Depending on how traditionally inclined you are (or perhaps your specific skill set), you can start drawing the comic by hand or on a software application. Keep it rough at this stage as a draft is all you need. Many professionals recommend drawing outlines only at this stage of the process.
5. Give it some colour
Once you have your outlines drawn, you can start to think about the right colours to use for consistency and also for maximum impact. Consider inking as well so as to ensure the depth of colour that you require is appropriate for your application.
6. Apply some fonts
Even those who don’t read comics are familiar with the fact that they include large fonts to convey all sorts of things, whether they be sounds or actions. The lettering component of a comic is actually extremely important, as even with a great story and skilled drawings, the reader won’t be drawn in. Make sure that fonts for conversations are easy to read and that any action fonts have the desired impact. Take a look at some popular comics to gain an understanding of how they use different fonts and lettering to convey messages and keep readers entertained.
7. Sell it!
Now that the hard work in actually creating your comic has been done, it’s time to hit the big leagues by selling and marketing your creation. Start by telling your friends and asking them to spread the word. Social media is an excellent way to have your comic shared around the world and online marketing is your greatest weapon here. You may need to brush up on some marketing techniques, but the good news is that there is a lot more leverage available nowadays than there used to be.
Remember that online comics are just as popular as print comics, so you can decide which appropriate suits you best. If printing, you’ll need to consider the paper, binding, and work with an approach that suits you best. If printing, you’ll need to consider the paper, binding, and work with a printer you trust. Distribution of print based comics is another kettle of fish when compared to online methods, so bear this in mind when embarking on your adventure (depending on your personal goals for your comic of course).
Creating a comic isn’t an easy process, but it can certainly be a rewarding one. It relies on your creative genius, some inspiration, and a lot of hard work. However what was once the realm of only big studios is now available to all of us, and who knows, your comic may be the inspiration for a Hollywood blockbuster movie franchise 20 years from now.
In any case, many people like to create their comics for their own personal satisfaction or just use them as a way to express their creativity via this outlet. Whatever you decide, the process is sure to be a fun one.
Looking to design and publish some comics? Need some design and printing assistance? Contact the team of experts at Dark Horse today to find out about all of the options and solutions that are available to you.