How To Write A Comic Book!
“The pleasure of reading a story and wondering what will come next for the hero is a pleasure that has lasted for centuries and, I think, will always be with us.” – Stan Lee
While reading is a pleasure, writing is no less than an intellectual expedition that involves proper planning and thorough research. This means as an author, you must prepare yourself and count the cost before you start writing.
A comic book is a form of creative writing where images, drawings, and cartoons depict the story. The story progresses in the form of successive colourful, emotive images and dialogues written in Speech Balloons. The images are arranged in sequence and are related to each other to form a narrative.
Use of pictures to depict a story had started a long time ago, the earliest form in the 18th century. It is an attractive way to indulge the young audience in reading. With the growing popularity of the comic book, artists started creating stories centred on mythology and ancient beliefs.
Jack Kirby, the celebrated artist of the comics of Marvel series, made the comic books an addiction for all the kids and even adults.
Frank Miller, creator of Batman, was noted for combining film noir and manga influences in his comics.
John L Goldwater, founder creator of Archies Comics, made a simple and normal boy-next-door popular. His idea of creating a red-carrot top, freckle faced character torn between two loves one blonde and one dark was inspired by the popular ‘Andy Hardy’ movies starring Mickey Rooney.
Benefits of reading comic books
Some people think that reading comic books doesn’t help! You have got it wrong, reading comic books has many advantages:
- Cultivate Love for Reading
Young readers who struggle to improve their reading skills can start by reading comic books. The visual format along with plot and characters help to keep readers engrossed.
- Nurture creative streak
Growing up reading comic books tend to expand your creativity and help readers think differently. Stories told in the form of colourful pictures can leave a lasting impact on a young reader’s mind.
- Comics Are Cool
Comics are cool unless you haven’t read one since your childhood. Superheroes are blockbusters, and there are no reasons not to enjoy superhero stories.
- Are Not Just Superhero Stories
Comic books are more than superhero stories; they have weighty themes and even feelings. The visuals allow the reader to experience the themes in different ways, unlike the traditional book.
Before creating the graphics, you need to make sure you have the following points ready.
You need to know the kind of story you want to create, so the first thing you need to do is brainstorm about the outline of the story. The draft must have questions like what will be the story about? What is the genre? What is the setting? What is the aim of the story? How will the story start? How will it end? Will it have major and minor characters? How many characters will it have? Outlining is essential and useful before you start writing.
- Arrange In Order
Arrange the order of appearance of your characters and the sequence of the plot that gives you a sense of direction and will help your readers to follow the story as you write. Arranging it in order will help you create a proper and neat plot.
- Create Characters
After the outline and arranging the plot, make sure you pen down the names of the characters and their unique characteristics. Let them have flaws, attitudes, wants, pain and joy; this way the reader will feel the characters are realistic and not hypothetical.
After writing a good outline and penning your characters, you need to start working on the design of the comic book.
- Expand Plot
The draft is not enough, so take time and expand the plot. Decide the way the structure should look like and then add dialogue to show the uniqueness of each character.
- Work On Dialogues
While writing the dialogues, the writer tends to get in the mood and go over-the-board. The only thing you need to keep in mind while creating the dialogues is – you are writing for a comic book, the dialogues have to be precise and short.
- Be Dynamic
Being dynamic is one thing that comic books allow you to do. Not that there is any rule but yeah! Let your characters make mistakes, let them fail, let them get hurt and heal, this leaves a breath of fresh air while the reader goes through your story. A hero can fail, and his decisions can be wrong.
- Character Should Be In Charge
While writing the comic book, make sure your characters are in charge and not you as the writer. Think like them and let them make their own decisions. Don’t impose your decisions on the characters.
The first draft that you would write would be terrible, and nothing is wrong in that. No matter who the writer is, she has learnt it by doing it. Don’t change things while you write; it can disrupt the flow of thoughts. Edit once you are done with your story.
- Realistic Dialogues
Let the dialogues be realistic and not ideal and too verbose. Keeping those snappy and witty will keep the readers engrossed.
- Defined Role
The characters should have a defined role. Don’t deviate from the plot of the character, stick to the outline. Otherwise, it can confuse the reader and make them lose interest.
- Construct Panel
Create a panel according to the plot. Each expression, the scene should be properly outlined. If you are hiring an illustrator, then ask the person to create the panel in front of you.
Once the writing and panel are done, it’s time for you to add graphics. Ask your graphic designer to keep the characters realistic and not sharpen their features.
Whooshh! It was such a painstaking effort! After all, writing a comic book is not a child’s play and easy reading is always difficult writing!
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