How to Make a Comic Book

By Contributor ; Updated September 15, 2017
Make a Comic Book

How to Make a Comic Book. Comic books have been around in their present form since the 1930s, when superheroes caught the public fancy and gave the art form a major boost. Now comics have become a literary genre in their own right, and you can make a comic book--story in narrative art--on any topic, serious or comic. Read on to learn how to make a comic book.

Determine what your story is going to be about. You can cover drama, comedy, action, martial arts, romance or anything else with comics now.

Write the story. Include the dialog and a type of "storyboard" for yourself. On separate paper, sketch out the basic compositional elements of each page that you're going to draw. Set up your panels--number, size and shape--in thumbnail version so that you have a clear idea of where you want to go.

Buy or cut good-quality bristol board to size (11" by 17") and plan your drawings within a 10" by 15" area. This is the standard size for standard comic book format. This allows for good, crisp reduction of your pictures when you copy the pages and bring them down to comic-book size.

Work from your written notes and your thumbnails to create your actual drawings. Draw lightly and get movement and organic feeling to your characters. The professionals often use blue pencil, as it doesn't have as much chance of being picked up by the copying process later.

Use good-quality ink over your preliminary drawings, inking in just those lines that you need. Be careful with shading. Make sure that your tones, blacks, whites and grays are in balance throughout the page and that you don't have a "muddy" look. Comic book drawings should be clear and easy to decipher.

Letter your pages. You can do this before or after you ink the pictures. If you do it after, make sure to leave enough space in each panel for your words. If you do it before, be sure that you leave enough space for all necessary visual elements to be seen clearly. You can hand-letter the pages, or look for computer fonts, print out the words on paper, and paste them onto the page, as some professionals now do.

Take your finished work to a copy center of your choice. Decide if you want a typical comic book binding, where they staple the pages down the center spine. Check the prices for the various options, including the type of paper you would like to use and see what they offer.

Tip

Visit the Lulu website in order to find out how to participate in the new print-on-demand technology. You can have your comic printed professionally and make it easily accessible to everyone for a very low cost. Don't get too uptight about not being "perfect" as you write and draw. But be sure to train yourself as well as you can, and do the very best job you can. If this is going to be published and go out to others, you want a good image of your work out there.

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