Comic Tutorial

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Tutorial Tuesday: Comic Composition (part 1)

So you want to make a comic book?  That is awesome!  Let’s make sure it doesn’t suck…

A comic book, though dominated by pictures, is more like a language than anything else.  It’s communicating a story, information, and/or ideas to somebody else.  In order to communicate clearly there are certain rules that need to be followed so that everyone understands what the story, info, or idea is trying to convey, much like a language.

There is alot of rules to comic book and sequential art composing.  So we’re going to do this in two parts.  Part one is the bare bones basics.  Next week will be part two, where we talk about some higher level concepts.  Still the basics, but part two is useless to you unless you understand this part today.  So lets get started.

1. Panel Direction

*side note for those who are unaware:  the word “manga” is the japanese word for comic. It is not an art style.  Though there are artistic styles that are nearly exclusive to japanese comics, the word manga is not the name of that style.  So when you’re saying “I’m making a manga” you’re not saying “i’m drawing in an eastern or japanese style,” you are saying “I’m making comics.”  and making your comic read from right to left, when you speak english, does not make it more “authentic,” it just makes it confusing.

2. Panel Layout

3. Word Balloons

So thats the bare bones basics in comics.  If you can nail down these three things, then at the very least you’ll have an comic thats clear and easy to read.  Next week we’ll talk about pacing, panel sizes, and depicting movement.  If you can nail down that lesson with today’s tutorial, then the only thing left to know is the actual drawing part!

Hoped this helped you guys.  If it did leave a comment and let me know!

And remember, we don’t make excuses here, we make comics!

anonymous asked:

Hey Amanda!! I really love OHK and you've inspired me to make my own manga as well! However I'm a bit lost as to how to start >.< Do you think you could give me some pointers (e.g. what program to use, how to go about planning, layout of manga pages or whatever you think a beginner would need to know?). Thanks so much and keep up the wonderful work!!!!

omg I’m super flattered you would ask for my advice! I’m not a pro or anything but I’ll do my best to tell you what I know (super long message with example images up ahead)

1. Keep it simple. Simple plot, simple characters. Don’t add a bunch of characters or details all at once or it’ll be hard to follow the story.

2. Explain everything. Don’t assume the reader knows anything. I’m a lazy reader so I like to have all the important stuff explained to me like I’m hella dumb lol.

3. Don’t jam in too much text. Split up speech bubbles with longer text segments and write fairly simple sentences. Again, I’m a lazy reader so this is just my own preferences.

4. Let the speech bubbles guide the reader’s gaze from panel to panel as much as possible:

I’ve found that horizontal paneling speeds up the reading pace while vertical paneling kind of slows it down, so think about that when you panel your pages.

vertical panels:

horizontal panels

5. Make sure the setting is obvious (e.g. school building, house, amusement park, etc.). A good way to do this is by starting off with a fairly big panel of the setting before you draw the characters. You can make the transition to the next panel smoother by adding a speech bubble that continues from one panel to the other. For example:

6. Write down every idea you get; even if you can’t use them now they might be useful later. I usually write a script so I have an overview of what’s going to happen in the chapters. Don’t worry too much about the details since they’re probably going to change later on to fit with the flow of the comic.


Actual page:

7. I use Photoshop CS5 for everything, but you can use any program you’re comfortable with. I know a lot of people who do their lines in Paint Tool SAI and use PS to add the tones and text later.

8. Draw on a bigger canvas and resize it later so the lines will look crisper and cleaner. I draw on A4 and resize it to 700px width.

9. Don’t stress and remember you’re doing this because you want to get attention   share your art   who are we kidding we’re doing it for the attention lol

These are just the things I could think of off the top of my head, I hope it was helpful and feel free to ask if you have any other questions!

Poorly Made Comic Tutorial

These questions have popped up here and there, so I decided to try my best to give a small tutorial on how I make my comics!

Before anything, I want to explain that I use some Portable Version of Photoshop that I found off the internet some years ago. Idk where to find it again, it was during dark times.

Also! My tablet is an old Wacom Bamboo Fun tablet. His name is Capertillar. C:

Pardon the spelling errors! Woo!

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

How did you find SXL and what advice do you have for people starting out writing comics/that sort of thing?

I sort of stumbled across it just looking at stuff for Pokemon groups on DA. It looked really interesting, so I decided to join. You can find lots of groups like that on DeviantArt. In fact, they have a whole section where you can search for them at the top (the little drop down arrow next to the logo).

The group ended this spring break, however, and they don’t have plans for a reboot of any sort, I’m afraid. You can join other OCTs (original character tournaments) from DA though, for a similar experience.

As for advice on comics….

Start out with making character sheets. You can use templates that you find online for free, or make your own. You want to have basic information such as;



And so on and so forth. This will give you a basic idea of the character’s structure. I try to leave sexuality off, because I never really know what my characters are into until I get into a situation with them where I wind up finding out. It’s always awkward.

Also, draw your character from the front, ¾ths view, and the back. Get a turn around look of them with clothes on and clothes off so you know what they look like and have something to reference for later pages.

Draw your characters’ expressions! I can’t emphasize this enough. This is an important thing to do in order to maintain consistency in style throughout your pages.

Make a color palette for your character. You don’t want to have to guesstimate every time you go to color in your character. Make a palette for them on a separate doc or in the palette option in the sidebar of whatever program you’re using.

Now that we’ve got the basics for your actual characters down, let’s talk about the actual comicking part.

Script out every page. This is important so you not only know what actions your characters are going to do, but also so you know things like camera angle and, of course, their dialogue.

Here’s what my scripts look like, but yours can be different.

P19:Carol: [camera centered] *muttering* Oh, right.

P20:Carol: [camera remains centered] *standing* Well, if you need me, I’ll be in the basement trying to come up with things to put into my will.

P21:Sylv: *looking up at Carol with concern* Carol….

P22:Carol: [headshot] *over his shoulder and down at Sylv* Look, we both know I’m dead, just leave it alone, okay? And leave me alone!

P23:Carol: [camera at collar level, showing Sylv behind him] *walking away* Frickin’ jerkass keeping things like that from me.

Like I said, you can change this up however you want, but it’s an important step and not one you should think you can get away with missing.

Make a timeline of events and leave wiggle room in case you need to make changes. This is important so you know the basic flow of what your story will be about.

Here’s what one of my timelines look like.

The dark line is the overlaying plot. Along that line, I usually write out a summary of the plot. In the bubbles, I write how I want the comic to open and close. In the little, colored ones, I write certain subplots in. It’s the same concept with the dark line, however, I also write in how it helps the plot along the line. The bubbles show where I want it to start (I usually scribble in what event the subplot starts after and what causes it to take place in the first place).

This is a very helpful technique, I think. I know there are lots of other ways to make timelines, but out of all the ones I’ve tried, I like this method the best.

Watch movies and short films and pay attention to camera angles. I can’t tell you how much doing this has helped me with my comics. The basic concept of successful camera angles lies in The Rule of Thirds.

The Rule of Thirds divides the image up into a grid. Each of the cross hairs in the grid above indicates the “sweet spot” (if you will) of the image. It’s along these cross hairs that you want to position the focus of the camera.

See how the bottle looks all fancy? Yeah. This image shows a successful display of the usage of The Rule of Thirds.

Now that’s just a small bit of camera angles. I’m also talking about wide shots, low angles, high angles, and close ups.

Wide shots are generally used to put the entire scene on display.

Close ups usually only show one character in detail, and center the focus on said character.

High angle shots make the characters look small and maybe weak or scared.

Low shots can be used to make a character or object look very large and often give it the appearance of having power.

The next thing I’m going to talk about is color. Since we don’t have the benefits of a musical soundtrack or a heavy description as are used in film and literature respectively, we need to rely on color to depict the mood of the page.

Red indicates violence or passion. Deeper reds or pinks usually indicate passion, while orange or fiery reds indicate violence.

Blue indicates calm or sadness. Darker blues generally lean towards a sadder mood, whereas lighter blues indicate calmness.

Yellow indicates happiness.

Green indicates tension.

This is a very important part of comicking, and it will help you a lot to utilize right off the bat when you first start your comic.

If you plan on doing a black and white comic; use lines and contrast to give your pages the right mood effects. I would recommend looking at the Attack on Titan manga for an idea of how this would be used.

Try to update consistently. This is not only so you’ll keep your readers interested, but so you’ll also become better at working with deadlines, which is a skill you will need when you go to college and get a job. Yes, things will get in the way. Life happens. But if something does get in the way, make sure you let your readers know, especially if you’ve been very consistent with your comic with weekly updates or so on.

Promo yourself! There are plenty of comic websites and groups on DeviantArt you can join to get views. It might also help to post links to your pages on tumblr like I do every time a new one comes out.

Read comics! We tend to learn more by example, so read a lot of comics, ranging from manga to Marvel, and try to pick out the techniques they use that make their comics effective.

Do your research! Take a figure drawing class, do some studies of objects that you see every day. Look up information about time periods or how machines work or whatever it is you need for your comic. Remember, you’re still technically a writer, and when you’re a writer, you’re a lot of other things as well (like a dentist, a mortician, an astronomer, etc.)

Last but not least! Remember, you’re just starting a comic. You’re going to get better as your comic moves forward. I know for a fact that my comic looked TERRIBLE when I first started out, and that’s okay. I was happy with it at the time that I made it, and that’s all that matters.

Comics are a great way to improve your style, as they force you to draw certain things over and over again. I seem to be improving with every page. It’s always fun to look back and see how you started.

Remember, comics are a lot of work and can cause some stress. Just do your best, and I’m sure your comic will look great!

I hope this helped!

Comic tips

Okay so this is some of the Sequential Art stuff that I learned while I was at SCAD

  1. The funny border thingie that separates panels is called a gutter
  2. The gutter is about a width of 3/16 to a ¼ inch 
  3. Be cautious of how you order your panels 
  4. Make sure that your reader is immersed in your story
  5. Create an outline
  6. Crate thumbnails of your comic this should just be motions, make sure that your comic’s panels aren’t confusing
  7. If your drawing looks right, then it is right (This is applying to things like perspective, don’t make it look too perfect)
  8. Draw a grid of 3x3 squares and the four corners of the center square are main focal points this is really helpful
  9. Have no more than about 27 letters in one speech bubble before starting a new bubble
  10. When you are inking add line weight, your readers will love you for it
  11. Take into account the light source when you are inking, the shaded areas will have thicker lines then areas that are in the light
  12. Only make a comic page 70% black and 30% White or 70% White and 30% Black it doesn’t look right if it’s 50/50 or anything else. Don’t ask why that’s just how it is
  13. Think in black and white, it is VERY hard to come even close to achieving a soft pencil-like gray with an inking pen
  14. Mind your speech bubbles 
  15. Make sure you watch your drawings and DON’T MAKE BULL’S EYE COMPOSITIONS!
  16. Make sure you define your figure, don’t let them blend into the BG
  17. DON’T CUT OFF YOUR FIGURE AT THE JOINTS you may think it’s a good place to crop but it’s not

That’s all I can remember for now ._. I hope this helps you guys


Last week I was writing the next issue of Shadows of Oblivion and there are alot of panels where characters are just talking.  It’s always challenging to keep panels visually interesting when all that’s happening is talking.  So I had to refer to Wally Wood’s 22 panels that always work, to create interesting panels that weren’t repetitive and borring.

Then It dawned on me.  Most of you who who are following my blog and read my tutorials are very new to making comics. Most of you probably don’t even know who Wally Wood is, let alone his 22 panels.  Which is understandable, as he passed away before I was even born, and I didn’t even know who he was until I started making comics.

So first read up on this fantastic comic creator and illustrator.

Then Study his 22 panels that always work.  Because they do always work.  They’ll make your comic’s much more visually interesting when all people are doing is talking…

Tomorrow is page 19 of Shadows of Oblivion #2. Hope you’re enjoying the adventure!

Until then follow me around the web!

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Re-blog me on tumblr

And if you love my artwork don’t forget to pick up my comics!

And remember: Make Comics! Not Excuses!


my comic process! a couple anons were asking about this so here you go! uvu 

sketching: anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour depending on the number of characters and amount of detail you put in. Generally just figuring out where everyone goes. 

inking: (can be traditional or digital) usually about 1 to 2 hours, again depending on number of characters and amount of detail. This is where the concrete forms usually come in. Can also skip this step entirely, if that’s your art style. Also includes cleaning up the lines, etc. 

flat colors: if done digitally, can range from 1 hour to 3 hours, especially if done the long way or meticulously. Just getting the colors in and making sure theyre the right shades. 

shadows: this can really vary, it can take anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

effects: for me its about 10-45 minutes. This is just adding the tiny details like reflections or rain or whatever you need. Also includes final overlay for texture. 

Also I’m sorry for not using the same page as an example for all of them but I never really save the pictures of my sketches ;-;

Comic Tutorial - Choosing the Right Font

(A promise is a promise, here’s to all of you comic creators!) 

Choosing a digital font instead of handwriting/lettering has obvious, convenient benefits. But, there is a lot of confusion on what font to use for your comic. What’s a good font for my comic? What am I looking for? What does sans serif mean? Why can’t I use Comic Sans? In this tutorial, I shall attempt to dispel any problems you might have with finding the right font for your comic. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but here’s what I’ve observed over the years. 

Keep reading


DISCLAIMER: I’m no expert on comics so please don’t take everything written in this as the holly truth or something, just take whatever knowledge you find helpful. This is also my first tutorial, and the first time I’m trying to explain all of this stuff, so please don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you need it.

Also, this tutorial is long as hell. Most of it comes from the format and the varying sizes of the picture references, but just a heads up if your computer takes forever to load really long pages. 

Keep reading

Tutorial Tuesday: Comic Composition (part 2)

Okay so like a month ago I had done the first part of my Comic Composition.  There I talked about the bare basic fundamentals to the language of comics.  If you want to make comics either professionally or just for fun I highly recommend you go back and read that one.  There I talked abut  Panel DirectionPanel Layout, and Word Balloons.  Some of you you might read it and go “Duh Shawn, This is obvious.”  But it never ceases to amaze me on how some seemingly obvious fundamentals are lost to creators starting out.  So If you’re really new to making comics definitely go back and read it.

Today we’re talking about the next step. Remember that Comics is a language. There are rules to it so that everyone reading it understand what’s trying to be communicated. You can eventually bend the rules and be “artsy” about it, but You can’t do it successfully until you have a firm mastery of the rules and can execute them in your sleep.

Of course there are many many many more rules than are covered in these two posts, but I don’t want you guys to get overwhelmed.  So once you get this down come back and we’ll talk some more…

So lets get started:

1. Panel Layouts

2. Time Pacing

3.  Movement

This just scratches the surface. There is alot more to talk about in all of this. But a blog post isn’t really the proper place to write an entire book down at.  So we might expound on this more later, if you guys are interested.

In the mean time if there is something YOU want me to do a tutorail of, leave me a comment! I’ll make sure i incorperate it in future posts!

And don’t forget you can find me around all over the web.

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Re-blog me on tumblr

Check out my blog

And if you love my artwork don’t forget to pick up my comics!

See you tomorrow and until then use your time to make comics, not to make excuses!

So a few months back, someone asked me “How do you comic?”

[ Literally, exactly like that.]

So I sort of… tried to explain it. Now, i’m in no way a pro, and I actually should have probably done a little research before making something like this… 

But i’ve been reading comics since I picked up my first book. It’s how I learned to read. [ Being a visual learner and all that jazz.]

So I know what tends to work, and what doesn’t. [ Solely based on personal taste , of course.]

So here are a few things I personally think work when considering making a comic.

[ Sometimes I wonder if I can take anything seriously.]

Tutorial Tuesday: How a comic is made

Someone had asked me a couple weeks ago how comics were made. I first thought they were asking how the physical book was printed and stapled and distributed. But it turns out they were asking how a book was made from concept, to writing, to the art.  And I realized, unless you have been a life long comic fan, the answer isn’t that obvious.  So I’m going to show you step by step how a comic is made.  I’ll be using my comic Shadows of Oblivion as the example, however most comics are not a one man show like mine, most are team efforts, so keep that in mind as we go through this.  Each stage is usually executed by one person who is an expert in his or her field, it is very rare that one person does all the work.

so here we go!

Step 1: Plan Out The Story

This stage is usually executed by either an editorial staff at large companies, by licensors if it is a licensed property, or by the writer for small or independent companies.

This is when all the major plot points are written down.  By no means is anything in this stage set in stone, but it gives you a starting point, and organizes the beats and pacing of the comic.

Everyone has their own process that works for them. And there is no right or wrong here, it’s literally whatever works best for you. I personally like writing each plot point on a piece of paper and pinning it to a cork board.  That allows me to move things around as needed, if i decide one certain plot point, works better in a different area of the story.

If you are a writer for a company, they may ask you for break downs.  Which is sorta like this cork board here, but written in a way where the editor knows where you’re going with the story.

Step 2: Script the Story

Since I do all the creative work on Shadows of Oblivion, I normally skip this stage.  It’s redundant to me to write it out, and then layout what i wrote.  I normally combine this step with the next step.  But for those of you who are writers and cannot draw, or writers working for a company you will need to script out exactly what you want to happen in the comic. There are many different ways you can write a script.  There is no definitive right or wrong. As long as you are clearly conveying to the artist what images they need to draw to tell the story well.

The most typical way is a style that breaks down the page panel by panel. Describes what happens in each panel, and what is said in each panel.  This is an example of a script I wrote for Brooke Clayton, who did the illustrations for the Chibi back up story in Shadows of Oblivion #1.  Hopefully it gives you a good idea on what a script should look like.

Step 3: Layouts

Once the script is done, it gets passed the the Comic’s penciler.  As the name implies this is the person who will be drawing the comic… with a pencil….

But the penciler can’t just jump right into drawing the book.  They have to plan it out.  Read the script, then figure out the best way to arrange the panels and use camera angles to tell the best story.  For myself when drawing Shadows of Oblivion, I combine this stage with the scripting stage and get it all done at once.  Everyone’s style is different, but usually a page of layouts looks like a scribbled mess of random lines…. but the artist knows what they’re looking at…. oh they know….

Step 4: Pencil the Comic

Once the penciler has layed out the book, they will start drawing it.  They style the penciler will use often depends on the other artists they’ll be working with. Whenever possible artists will play to the strengths of the other artists working on the book.  I say “whenever possible” because sometimes the penciler doesn’t know who they will be working with, so they just draw the best they can.  In Shadows of Oblivion, I’m working with myself, and I’ll be inking myself.  So my pencils are a bit looser and sloppier.  Not recomended if your working with an inker who needs nice clean lines.

Step 5: Inks

Once the penciler has penciled the page off to the inker it’ll go.  Like I said, I ink my own pages, so it stays with me.  But when working on a book with a team you may have to email, or snail mail your artwork to the inker so they can ink it.  Despite the popular joke, the inker is not just a tracer. Alot of subtle pencil details are lost in the scanning and printing process.  The inker not only adds depth and shading, but provides a great drawing for reprinting.

Step 6: Colors or Tones

After the inker is done with it he sends it to the colorist. As the name suggests, that’s the person who adds the color.  Not all comics are in color though.  Sometimes its toned gray, or sometimes not at all.  Shadows of Oblivion is a black and white comic.  So i add in screen and gray tones to complete the depth in the art.

Step 7: Letters

Once colored or toned the artwork now gets passed on to the letterist.  This person will put in all the word balloons, captions, and sound effects in the comics.  Just as the name suggests, anything involving letters this artist will take care of.

Step 8: The Editor

All the artists work as hard as they can, but we’re only human.  When we’ve been working too hard for too long we sometimes make mistakes.  The editor is there to catch the mistakes.  He or she will go through make sure the story makes sense, the artwork is consistent, and there are not spelling or grammar errors in the word balloons. Once he gives the all clear its time for the last step.

Step 9: Send to printer

Your comic is done. Send it to the printer and get it made!

I hope that helps all of you out there who want to start making comics, but had no idea how they’re made.

Tomorrow will be page 2 of Shadows of Oblivion #2.  But in the mean time check me out around the web!

Like me on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Re-blog me on tumblr

And if you love my artwork don’t forget to pick up my comics!

And remember: Make Comics! Not Excuses!

anonymous asked:

how does reading comics on the computer work? i'm new to this

it’s super easy! you can either download comics, or just read them off the internet- i prefer reading them off the internet just because it’s less of a hassle than finding a good download link, but whatever you prefer! 

if you want to read the comics online, i recommend these sites. they’re reliable and simple to use! if you’re experiencing any problems with either of these sites, feel free to message me! 

if you want to download the comics, then first you will need a comic book reader. i use cdisplayex, but there are others, such as comicrack, simple comic, comix, and mangameeya. to find out which one is right for you, go here

do have download links for some (marvel) comics, but i won’t publish them here- i’m currently working on a faq for comic resources because of the amount of questions i am currently receiving about them.

the link to this page will be /comicfaq, and it will probably be finished sometime this week. in the meantime, feel free to ask any question you want me to answer.