Creating Comics Pt.1: The Beginning
We all love comic books right?! We spent years dreaming of Batman, Wolverine along with many, many more characters from the first time we could read. Well, many of us always wanted to create our OWN comic book. That is where I come in, to give you some tips and advice along the way. There isn’t just one way or one method that works the best. You can ask any artist or writer how they go about creating a character or a comic book. Each of them will probably describe it in many different ways. I will tell you a little about my background in comic books.
I was, like you, a huge fan of many different comic books. I had a knack for writing short stories while in high school. Fast forward to a few years later where I decide to take a few classes in college for creative writing and English. This didn’t necessarily help me to creating a comic book. It just gave me the push to create something. So that is what I did one day back in 2004. Me and a friend of mine who was in college for Illustration decide we should try to make our own comic book. We were young, naïve, and didn’t know all the tricks of the trade. We learned through trial and error. Fast forward again and we have now created and self-published two different comic book series and were hired to work on a comic book for Comics for Cancer.
First off I will let you know – Do NOT get into creating comic books to make money and hoping your comic will become the next big thing or even a Hollywood Blockbuster. You must do this art form for the love of it. People will be able to tell if you truly put your heart and soul into this creation. Now, you might not be as fortunate as me with having a friend who is a talented artist or writer. So if you are a writer or an artist looking for one another then the internet is the place for you. There are many different websites to find artists/writers with the likes of Deviant Art, Digital Webbing, to many different comic book message boards like Millarworld or Jinx World. Hell, even check out Facebook group’s like Connecting Comic Book Writers and Artist.
Now you will find out if you are a writer looking for an artist you might have to pay this artist to illustrate your comic book. This is just the way it is, because many of these artist are up and coming and really need the money as well as the exposure. Most illustrators charge a page rate or character design rate. Just look around and don’t just jump on the first guy you meet. Many artists will have sample pages, character designs as well as the writers should have some sample scripts or short stories for you to look over before you commit any money. You might be able to work out a deal with the artist/writer. Say a 50/50 split of profits and expenses for the book. This is one way it will benefit both of you for exposure and possible profits for your comic book dream.
Now the very first thing to creating a comic book is to have an idea/story or a featured character in mind. Research this idea and story, keep coming up with more and more ideas or things you would like to include in the telling of this story. The same goes with creating a character. You might have an idea what he or she might look like. Put all these ideas down. Remember you don’t have to create something in a flash. Take your time and it will develop into something magical.
Some artists and writers have books out for just this thing – Creating Comic Books!!! Alan Moore has a pretty good one that I would recommend – Alan Moore’s Writing for Comics. That is a good place to start, along with this column.
Check back here at Comic Booked for my next installment on “Creating Comics Pt.2: Writing the Storyline”. If any of you have any advice or would like to chime in, just do so in the comment section below. See you next time, Same Comic Booked channel, same Comic Booked station!