So I was asked how to comic, and I figured the best way to explain is with some visual aid.
I suppose I would suggest starting with the story [ for beginners it’s best to write out the plot and key parts of the dialog first, I think. Actually maybe everyone should do that, don’t use me as an example, I just wing it.] You don’t have to write out every bit of dialog at first, this way you can leave some wiggling room for when you start the pages. I usually end up with more solid parts of dialog in different places, things that move the plot along and remain the same even as I start to draw.
After you’ve got a rough draft of the story [ or a more finalized draft, whatever works for you.] It’s time to sketch out the pages. Just doodle it out, consider the placement of the panels, general layout, and blocking in where the text bubbles are vs where the people are.
Important things to remember about the layout: Speech bubbles should linger near the top of the frame as much as possible, and the bubble tail should lead towards the mouth.
Make sure to keep a space for your words, and try not to have the bubbles overlapping anything important, unless there’s a reason for it. [ for example, someone interrupting someone else, or trying to block them out in some way with their voice.]
[this is not a great example for speech bubble technique.]
For people, remember the ‘talking heads’ rule. Always very between shots on the page. Even if you keep a row of like-framed drawings where it’s just two heads talking, try to change the angle for the next set. If you have a few people talking to one another, maybe try a shot from above, or below. Switch it around so you are facing the speaking from behind the back of the listener, or vice versa. This is great for establishing a reaction or lack-thereof.
Have fun changing it up a bit, but be afraid of repetition or re-using a frame. This helps give the sense of time passing, or changes happening around the character.
Another important thing to remember is layout for printing. [ If you are printing.]
There’s the bleed and the live area to consider, as explained below.
Another thing that’s important is pages vs sheets. A sheet of paper has two sides, front and back. Each side is a page, so one sheet = two pages. When a printer asks how many pages, tell them exactly how many you have drawn. [ remembering that a two-spread page is two pages.] Most printers also consider the cover separately, so remember, only count the inside pages.
So in general, follow these steps:
Work out your ideas, settings, designs, costumes, any significant languages or symbols.
Create a rough draft of pages. Think about layout, placement, etc.
Set up your workspace and pages with the correct sizing and bleed.
Do that comic thing.
Double check all spelling and continuity, and if possible, have someone else check it over for you as well. There are always things the creator misses.
You’re done, probably, now celibate and get some sleep.