Creating Online Comics For Beginners

This is a series of 10 blogs that will help beginners in creating online comics and manga.

This post will focus on the preparation of creating your comic.

Throughout this series we will be discussing several topics every beginning online comic creator should consider before, during and after creating online comics, such as; preparing your comic, platforms for posting your comics, programs for creating your comics, finding motivation and inspiration, gaining viewers, schooling and drawing tutorials, exploring different types of comics, creating a schedule for your comics, and whether you plan to create comics for recreational purposes or for monetary gain.

Before we begin, understand that you will not achieve overnight success! Finding followers and a fanbase will take a long time to build and depend on several factors such as: Platforms, how often you update, and how much you are willing to put yourself out there.

Personally, it took me ONE YEAR to prepare for my blog. Why? One factor was working up the cahoonas to actually post the comic. I was concerned no one would read the comic or people wouldn’t like the artwork.

If this is one thing that is holding you back from even beginning your comic or manga series, then here’s some advice:

Talk about your idea with close friends or family, or someone who is going to support your idea. For me, this helped build my confidence. I was able to take in other people’s thoughts and concerns about writing and creating it as well as get people invested and interested in my comic before I actually began it.

Jason Brubaker, author of reMind, wrote an article about the fear of failure on his blog, Email Answers called, “Afraid to Start” that contains helpful information and advice on concurring your fears.

I also waited to post my comics until I had around 6 months of additional comics. That way if I had a busy week or encountered writer’s  block, I could still post a previously drawn comic and not get behind on my updates.

The Planning Stages

There are several things that need to be decided before you begin POSTING your comics. You can begin drafting, writing and drawing them as soon you have to need or inspiration to, but DO NOT post them until you’ve considered the following:

  • Type of comiccw
  • Story/Script
  • Scheduling/Updates
  • Budget
  • Is your comic a business or Hobby?

What does all of this mean collectively? RESEARCH!

Type of Comic

What kind style of comic are in interested in making? Are you making a traditional comic strip or a manga? Or are you be doing a webcomic that looks like a comic book? Each comic type has its pros and cons, but you should pick the best comic format for your art and story.

We will be discussing the different types of comics and their pros and cons in a later blog.

Story/Script

After you have determined what kind of comic you will be writing, begin and loosely draft your comic story. I say “loosely” draft your comic script because I want you to be aware that things change. Sometimes, the characters you draw and write come to life and don’t follow the original story you had laid out for them.

THAT’S OKAY!

However, you still want a rough draft of a script for a reference point and timeline to keep track of where your story is. We will go into storyboarding, script writing, and character development at a later time.

Scheduling/Updates

As anxious and excited as you are to start posting your comic or manga, you don’t want to update everyday. Once a week is ideal, however, if this is an unrealistic for your schedule (like it is for me) be sure to set up an updating system and update constantly on that day.

I post a new comic every other Friday around 8pm. If I have a comic done early, I upload the comic BUT set the comic to be released on its regularly scheduled release date. I will go into more detail about how to do that after we have discussed possible websites to post your comics.

Budget

Depending on your needs, you might need to pay for the program you plan to be using to create your comics/manga. I use the adobe cloud and pay about $40 a month for it. You might also need to pay to use the website you plan to post your comics to.

We will be going over how to figure out your budget and what to budget for when making your comics when we discuss what are popular comic creating programs.

Business VZ Hobby

What are your plans for your comic? Is it just a hobby? Are you building a portfolio for future jobs? Or do you plan on building your comic into a business and making a profit off of it by yourself? If you plan on making money off of your comic, there is going to be more marketing involved than creating the comic for a portfolio or as a hobby.

We will also go in to greater detail with this topic at a later time.

Closing Notes

If you take anything away from this first blog in the series its this:

Focus on your comic first.

Whether you are making comics for fun or business, don’t worry about fame, merchandise or designing your website at the expense of making your comic better. What builds a strong fanbase is a art, a good story and time.

See you next time!

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