Got a story to tell but don’t want to turn it into a traditional book? Try to do it like a digital comic – and ignore anyone who thinks visual storytelling is a lesser art form or staple fodder for Hollywood action movies. The tradition of storytelling through sequential art has a long and noble history, used in ancient cave paintings, Roman sculptures, tapestries and woodcuts.
Even if you don’t know how to draw or paint, you can still create a comic book. Some educators have found the medium to be a good way to engage children in creative writing. With a variety of apps, you can create your digital comics on a smartphone, tablet, computer, or even an old sheet of paper. Here is a guide.
Study the profession
Before you dive in, decide what kind of comic book you want to do: One scene like a New Yorker cartoon? A “Peanuts” style comic made up of two or more panels? A comic with a heroic protagonist like Black Panther? Or maybe a manga adventure or a long graphic memory like “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel?
If you don’t know where to start, the web is full of free advice, including a short guide from author Neil Gaiman. If your local bookstore is closed or you cannot order online, digital versions of educational books like “Making Comics” by Lynda Barry and “Make Comics Like the Pros” by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente can be purchased. and downloaded without leaving home.
Reading comics can also be inspiring. Comixology digital store or a comic book store taking online orders can help you generate your own ideas.
Can’t draw? No problem
After deciding on the type of comic book you want to create, choose the right software for your project. If you’re not an artist and want something easy to learn, consider an app like Canva, Pixton, and Storyboard That. These programs allow you to drag and drop characters, backgrounds and speech bubbles onto a digital canvas; all three are web-based and run on a computer or mobile device. (Another option, the free Make Beliefs Comix site, even encourages students to create their own visual pandemic journals.)
Although you start with onscreen inventory items, you can customize the characters and their actions, and then add your own dialogue. You must create a user account to store and save your creations. Beyond limited versions and free trials, Canva, Pixton, and Storyboard That each cost $ 10 to $ 13 per month for full access to comic book creation content.
For parents and educators looking to keep young people busy, the nonprofit Common Sense has a guide to comic book creation tools that also reviews app privacy practices.
Make comics with photos
If you can’t draw but can take photos, you can create comics from the photos on your smartphone. It’s a great way to turn the pet into a superhero, relive a vacation, or brighten up a party.
ComicBook for iOS and Comic Strip Pro for Android (both $ 3) are two of the many apps in this category. Both work the same: start by selecting a frame or layout for your comic. Then import images from your phone’s camera roll as artwork for the panels.
After organizing the photos, apply filters to the images that make them look like panels in a printed comic. The apps include things like customizable speech bubbles that you can drag onto images and graphic-like digital stickers (BAM !, POW! And others) to add some classic comic book accents to the page. When you’re done, just export your comic or email it to share.
Draw your own comics
When it comes to creating your own comic book, having an artistic flair gives you a much wider range of expressions and applications designed specifically for creating comics, from pencil sketches to distribution. The free MediBang Paint software, a digital painting and comic book creation program that runs on computers and mobile devices, is an application for artists.
Artists using iPads have plenty to do in Comic Draw, a comprehensive digital studio that includes drawing tools, page templates, a script editor, and perspective guides. The app costs $ 10, but it offers a 14-day free trial.
General illustration and drawing applications such as Procreate can also create illustrations for comics. But for parents worried that their kids are staring at too many screens all day, there’s a more analog approach. Just look for a site (like Printable Paper) that has comic book templates to download and print so young designers can create their world with pen and pencil. You can always scan or photograph the artwork later for digital recording and sharing.