GNP / TalkingComics / Underdogs

Comic Road 1: Starting Your Comic

So you want to make a comic? That’s great! In fact, that’s exactly what a class full of students down at Chula Vista High Tech High wanted to do. And after designing an extensive curriculum, Making Comics Worldwide CEO Patrick Yurick, and incredibly handsome Editor-In-Chief Kevin Cullen, decided to bring all of you burgeoning comic creators into the mixture by giving you the opportunity to follow along with the Graphic Novel Project (GNP) students step by step through this blog!

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Do note: this weekly series will be like a Sparknotes version of our much more detailed “How To Make A Comic Book MOOC” course that we are currently offering. If you’re serious about making a comic book, I highly encourage you to enroll in that course (it’s free, after all!). But if you’re looking for quick tips and brief examples of the steps to making a comic book, then this Graphic Novel Project Blog will be just what you need.

Our Mooc

Now, before we get started, it’s important to know the steps involved in making a comic. It’s a lot of work and, though it might sound fun to make a comic at first, the process can get long, involved, and frustrating. Devin Larson wrote a brilliant article outlining each step along the comic making journey. Read that article and become familiar with each step and the terminology involved, as we’ll be following this outline in the coming weeks.

ARTICLE-IMAGE-1Once you’ve come to terms with the amount of work you’ve got ahead of you, it’s time to think about what story you’re going to tell. Have you come up with a totally original super hero tale? Maybe a more down-to-earth story about bullying in the school setting? Or an intrepid explorer lost in a city of trees? Your imagination is the key to, well, everything that’s to come!

But it’s easy to just think about a fun story and run with it. The challenge is coming up with a story that will stand on its own when you’ve finished writing it. A story that doesn’t need you to be there to explain essential backstory items that you didn’t have the forethought to add into your comic. I wrote an article about finding that inspiration and crafting it smartly a while ago. Give it a read (it’s short, don’t worry) and think about main topics – specifically finding a character and developing a conflict around that character.

7-all-time-greatest-ideation-techniquesIf you’re looking for a more technique-centric resource, this article by Chuck Frey discusses the top seven idea creation (or ideation) techniques that professionals use in almost every industry that involves some form of creative thinking. It’s a heavy article and isn’t as fluffy as mine, but some folks operate on wavelengths that demand specific, focused language. I still want you guys to read the article over and mull over some of the techniques Frey talks about.

Finally, I recommend you give our latest podcast series, ComicFuel, a listen. The podcast revolves around questions that you guys (yes, you!) sent in regarding the creation of comics, which Patrick then gives over to professionals in the comic field. In just about an hour, you’ll come away from this podcast with such a wealth of knowledge that you’ll be able to help others in their comic-making adventure!

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Your Task

Come up with an interesting story and jot down some notes. Develop your story’s large acts, the characters within the story, and the other big details you’ll need in order to bring your story to life next week when we discuss scripting. Form these notes into a rough outline and get ready to give that outline some serious pizzazz next week!

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