1. Know Your Story
You can’t draw a comic book without a good story. Are their super heroes, monsters, or regular people in your comic? Once you’ve got an idea, dive into the research to take it to another level. Develop the plot, the names of all your characters, and where the story takes place.
Get into the nitty-gritty details until you know each character and scene like the back of your hand. Take your ideas to the drawing board and sketch them out to get a better grasp of what you’d like.’
What does the star of your comic look like? Are they tall, short, human, or an animal? From the face to the hair and wardrobe, make sure that your characters all have their own signature look. This will give your characters personality while making them recognizable to your readers.
When you think of your favorite comic book characters what comes to mind? Popular characters always look the same. It’s like they have a full closet of the same outfit but it’s all on purpose. Make sure the way you design and style your characters makes them memorable and unique.
We all have great imaginations but don’t make us work too hard! When people are reading your comic they want to make sure they understand what’s going on. The right body language can sometimes say a lot more than writing things out.
Make sure you learn how to properly illustrate expressions and your comics will be so much better! And there’s so many more expressions than happy, mad, angry, and sad, so study up by drawing from photos or people you know.
Where your characters live is just as important as their style. Unless you’re creating a futuristic comic from your imagination, know that culture and language has a lot of influence on character development and script.
Once you map out the places where your characters live, draw thumbnails for the buildings, landscapes, and interior designs. And if you need help with perspective, create scenes in 3D programs first to help guide you.
Did you know that your readers will most likely read from left to right and top to bottom? It’s important to know things like this so that you design your layouts properly. Don’t make it hard for your readers to follow your story because they don’t know which panel is next.
Here are some other tips when designing the layout:
Keep it clean and simple.
Make sure the story clearly points to the next panel.
Try new angles and views to make your scenes more dynamic.
Draw with and without borders for a cool look.
Here’s a bonus tip! There’s only so much space in the speech bubbles so make sure you make each word count. Try to focus on illustrating expressions and scenes that show the mood better than the words. If you can look at each panel without the text and still have a general understanding of what’s going on then you’re on the right track!
Bam! Wham! Slash! Chop! These simple one-liners are classic examples of keeping things simple. Just seeing them with big exclamation points shows that some great action is going on. Though these are more retro, learn how to simplify the language to get your point across with fewer words.