Making a Comic Book


I have been writing a comic book story for a little while now. I just started some of the story page layout. One thing I’m having a problem with is what style to draw it in. Anime or Western style art. I love American comic books and I love Japanese anime/manga. I’m not quite sure how I want to portray the art in my comic. I do know one thing though. I don’t want my characters to look super realistic. Like this:

It truly is an amazing picture but this kinda artwork is not my thing.


Personally I like western style better. Or you could make two versions - sounds like a lot of effort, but you might find it rewarding to do both styles.


western all the way… my prefered style… feels more natural to me… how much money you put into this operation? got scanners, posterboards, programs, ect.?.. i got a comic in the works myself… but funds are low and times are tight y’know… feel free to flow me a copy, it’d be an experience to check it out… exchange work for critiques, network and watnot…


well, yeah I’ve been saving money for a long time now in hopes og getting this project going. I’ve got what you mentioned. Scanners, programs, etc. Even though I have Photoshop, I’m not really good at using it. I’ve always had trouble coloring. I was thinking about getting a job at a comic book company, but they restrict you on so many things. I doubt I would ever get to work on my own project. I just want to see if I can do something amazing on my own first. Something that looks professional, without the help of professionals.


I’m making my own comic too. Good luck everybody, its a long haul. To make it you have to treat it like a 9-5 or have amazing will-power and work speed.

Let’s make this thread a sort of progress report? To hold us all accountable. I know sometimes I need a kick in the pants to keep my focus on the end goal.

As a side note, the thing about working for a large comics publisher is the recognition. The artists/writers who formed Image all put in their time making a name for themselves in the Big 2 before they jumped ship to form their own label. The reason it was so successful is because they were household names in the industry by that point. So you sacrifice your individual creativity upfront in order to have the opportunity to do your own thing (for an actual profit!) later on.


well mine is a slow, yet steady process… that is not helped along by my not having a scanner… but i’d be willing to show watever progress i can whenver i can for critics and help or watever…


ok not sure what stage you’re at exactly. how much of the script is done? is it an ongoing comic or do you have an ending in mind. this is important because in my opinion you can’t have the legendary storytelling without a good beginning middle end story arc structure and if its ongoing you’ve generally got to have a story arc competed every couple of issues or so. but with the ending in mind your story can take on more “epic” proportions

do you have character designs and model sheets completed? model sheets are highly recommended especially with super detailed characters. it will take a lot of the headache out of your work.

as for style, that will be more or less up to you. which ever one is is superior, is pretty much subjective but as a comment on both industries on either side of the pacific, north america is a place where in order to break into the comic scene you need at least a few years of formal training and several years of practice preceding it. this pretty much forces the industry to be a lot smaller but with a higher percentage of quality work. in japan on the other hand anyone who cares to take a dump on a piece of paper can get it published. they’ll just market it as a “gag manga”. that’s not to say that japan only has bad comics to offer. there are eisners on both side of the pacific. The Bhudda by Osamu tezuka and Blade of the Immortal by Hiroaki Samura are but a couple of prime examples on the japanese side. what im saying is that you just have to sift through a lot, and i mean A LOT of tripe in order to get to the good stuff

but speaking strictly about the good material out there, the principles followed are all basically the same except for the fact that the japanese have more freedom in how they lead the eye across the page. by north american standards the japanese way can seem more erratic and confusing at times but remember the japanese can write both horizontally and vertically

and lastly the comparison of the art styles, is that the japanese often write and draw their comics in monthy installments often with only a single extra man on their team. this results in the need for simpler character designs and layouts, whereas in north america, teams of ofter 5 or more usually highly trained people come together to make a comic often dividing the penciling and inking and coloring among three different people, allowing for more time to draw details and still make deadlines, and this is key. how much work are you willing to put in until the deadline approaches?

man i love all forms of sequential art

  • Fryborg


Isn’t the typical manga still published weekly? I know that most serialized manga are first put out in weekly digests, then released in larger tankobon (basically graphic novels) as more material is collected.

Also, some manga-ka have a team of assistants that draw backgrounds, do text, touch-ups etc.

Great advice though.


you are correct, but to my knowledge most renowned professional manga-ka tend to publish on a monthly basis. yes they have assistants but they mainly add tones and hatch marks - simple monotonous stuff that the lead artist doesn’t want to do. either way its alot of work


that’s why western style is superior… they come out on a monthly basis… giving artists and writers ample time to draw out plans and get shit done…


i disagree. many japanese comics come out simpler in design, its true, but simple doesn’t mean bad. the point i was trying to make earlier was that there is just as much good material in both areas but there is a higher volume of comics in general in japan and most of it is crap dished out by wannabe artists

…bad western comics
…good western comics ^

good japanese comics japanese comics that are utter tripe


Western 100% without a doubt there is more variation and less same-face(just my opinion)


How’s your progress on it?


Don’t get stuck on Western/Japanese style. Find a style that suits you and comes natural to you.


You have draw your stuff out if you want to be a comic writer. I want to get into comics too, but I can’t draw a lick and when I get the chance I want the most amazing art like the example in the first post.


Are you talking about contributing to a pre-existing comic or creating your own? For pre-existing comics you dont have to draw. Most editors already know the artists they like to use and will stick with them. In fact, even for new IP, if youre going via an agent, the agent may well just want a writer that does not draw. The reason is that it makes for simpler business. It’s a lot easier to keep the writin and the art seperate. Only real reason you would need to do both is if you want to self-publish.

My knowledge here is based upon the UK where I work as a writer (of many forms) but I dont believe it would be radically different for US or wherever.


Huh? People in the UK read comics? I heard from someone else in this forum that’ y’all don’t really like super heroes and think it’s gay and yes I’m talking about creating a new one. First time author.


I personally do not read comics, no, however there still is a scene here for it and im sure it must be inline with the business elsewhere in the world. I’ve done a lot of reading on the business just because it is A form of writing and as a writer I like to keep my options open. Where abouts are you based? It doesnt say on your profile…

Anyway… as I was saying, you dont have to create the art yourself if you dont want to, im 100% certain on that. Its pretty much the same as all other forms of writing, you have more than enough options These being…

  1. You could find a like-minded artist who likes your idea and would like to work on it with you (just go to a college / uni whatever… there will be artists there looking for oppurtunities in art much like you are looking for oppurtunities in writing). Thats an option if you want to be involved in the art AND writing process.

  2. If you just want to write… well… basically you just need a fricking sweet idea that an agent likes (most writing goes through agents these days, publishers generally dont have enough time to consider writers who arent already established)… but yah, get an idea that says " MONEY! :D" to an agent and sell it to them.

  3. Even though you have a new idea you want to sell, as a new writer (or perhaps not new, but unpublished) it may very well be worth approaching already established markets and seeing if you can contribute. This will help in a lot of ways. It will : a) give you experience in a short time scale that will be useful when it comes to creating your brand new work. b) Give you contacts - perhaps with an artist you can work with in the future. c) Give you much more of an understanding of the actual business (having ideas is one thing, being able to write them another, and understanding the writing market is something entirely different and absolutely essential to finding any success.

4 ) You might want to self-publish. Its easier but more expensive and ultimately far less lucrative, but hell… it will at least give you a finished product. This is a HUGE subject though, so if its something youre interested in youre gonna need to do a lot of research.

  1. By far the safest and most comfortable way of getting started is to make a few friends who have already had success in the field. Youll gain a shit load of knowledge and be pointed in the right direction. Theyll know artists, publishers etc. They might help with your writing, and if theyre impressed, they might even give you a reference. Obviously dunno where you live so no idea where you will find other writers but its not as if the internet doesnt have plenty of sites for artists and writers alike to meet n discuss things.

…The only single way in which your ability to draw will affect your ability to create a comic is if you want it to because you want to create the whole thing. There are hundreds of writers out there who will help you, and even if you cant find one, any publisher / agent will take you on as a writer, knowing full well that they will need to find an artist.


I personally like manga better, but also not super realistic. Try something like that? Dont get hung up on a style though, just draw a lot till you find something you like.


Ok so I see my thread has been bumped. lol My comic is my own original work. So hopefully i can make it as good as possible.

Anyway, my progress so far:

First story arc is done.
300 written pages - about 50 rough drafts pages of sequential art - 30 pages of character/location/important item concepts

My overall drawing style ended up being Western. I’m trying to be very meticulous in detail. Such as having good clothing detail and backgrounds with a sense of depth in them. This is making me take much longer. Also, I don’t want my comic to be bogged down with too many words per panel either. If there’s one thing I like about Manga is the fairly small number of words per page and large amount of pages. I have no scanner, so as of right now, no pics to post…

If anyone wants to know some of the story, I could post a preview summary here. I guess. lol