Drawing or designing a comic strip is not only a matter of knowing how to draw or having “that revolutionary idea”… To be able to create a comic strip with sense and strength we need much more. That’s why we are going to see in a very simple and schematic way how to create a comic strip:
What is a Comic Strip?
To begin with, we must keep in mind that a comic strip does not have to represent a complex story. Keep in mind that it is not a novel that has to be contextualized. In this case, the comic strip should be understood with the vignettes that compose it. No need for more text or explanation than what is contained in the spaces. An example is this strip:
Without receiving more information we understand that the action advances from left to right and from top to bottom. So we must always try to follow that order. This way we will avoid that our reader can get lost in the succession.
It is not necessary to make too many details, in fact, suppressing the background is a very valid resource to create a comic strip. A flat ink or a subtle gradient will make our characters stand out and the cartoon is visually much more free.
If before learning how to make comics you want to know a little more about comic strips. Here we leave you the post about the history and characteristics of the comic strip.
Creating a Comic Strip – Step by Step
After seeing the necessary materials for a comic strip and studying a cartoon, let’s go with the process. Here is a step by step guide to create a comic strip.
We understand brainstorming as brainstorming. To carry it out, make yourself comfortable and start writing down the ideas that come to your mind. Without any hurry we have to design the idea of the comic. To do this we ask ourselves a series of questions such as:
- What do I want to tell?
- What characters do I need?
- How many vignettes do I need?
- Color or black and white?
This last question is not as important as the others. In any case, it is important to consider whether we want our comic in black and white or color.
Once you have the idea, it’s time to present our characters in the space they will occupy. To do this, respect some spaces to be able to add the texts or elements that are necessary. Keep in mind that these boxes will only be used to create an expression, a noise, a balloon or an action in general.
Creation of Characters
Now the most visible work begins. We begin to present each of the symbols, characters or elements in the chosen place. With their expression, gesture and intention. We have to keep in mind that they are static characters that are living a situation (generally comic or dramatic). So the gesture or intentionality in the position of the character’s body will be a very important part.
What would a comic book be without the “BOOM” “BOOM” “AUCH”….? Indeed, the onomatopoeias in comic strips have a great weight, as much or more than the texts themselves. These elements are a graphic way to represent sound through writing. Sometimes they require a lot of space (whole boxes), other times a small label inserted in the text is enough.
Balloons and Tex
The speech bubbles or balloons are the spaces where the text will appear. This text can come from different actors in the vignette, among which we find:
- Narrator or entity that describes from outside the scene.
- From the conscious character, what he/she says.
- From the character’s subconscious, what he thinks.
- From a known out-of-field. That is, from a character who does not appear in the scene at that moment but who is known to the reader (or who is assumed to have a role in the action).
Depending on the origin of the text, the delta of the globe will be of one form or another. The delta is the protrusion that separates from the body of the balloon pointing to the interlocutor.
Digitizing and Color
Of course, these last steps are optional and depend on the artist. On the one hand, adding color is completely subjective. This step is a matter of taste or style which we will not go into.
On the other hand, the issue of digitizing, although optional, is something we recommend. In fact, we rather recommend it as a backup before the original. For what could happen to it, it is always better to have a digital copy. Besides, this will allow us to share it and show it to many more people through the network.
We hope we have helped you with your doubts about how to start creating a comic strip. If you need any other consultation or you are the one who wants to give some advice to the rest of the readers… go ahead!