How to Make a Comic Book Story Board

By Carl Hose

A storyboard is a visual outline artists create to help with the development of movies, comics or even books. A storyboard for a comic book looks similar to the panels of a comic, which makes storyboarding ideal for comic book development. Using a storyboard, you can define the concept and stylistic elements of your comic book and streamline the process of bringing your story to the printed page.

Draw the panels for your storyboard with light pencil first. You can make an even number of squares on your poster board or fit the squares individually around the content of each panel to vary the size of the panels as a way to indicate scenes of more importance to the story.

Number each panel. This will help later when you begin putting your comic together. Think of the storyboard as an outline. Each panel is a scene in the book. The numbers indicate the order the scenes will appear. If several panels of your storyboard go together, augment the number labels with letters. For example, three panels that go together to form a complete scene would be labled 1a, 2a and 3a.

Keep the panels simple. A storyboard doesn't need fully drawn characters or scenes. The object of a sketch in the panel is to capture the essence of each scene. If you're doing a storyboard for a werewolf comic and a guy is changing into a werewolf while someone watches the transformation hidden from view, sketch that scene. The art work can be simple as long as you present this information visually.

Avoid drawing speech bubbles and writing dialogue or captions for the storyboard sketches. The dialogue and written action elements are an entirely different aspect of the comic creation process.

About the Author

Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.