This post will discuss the two main different types of comics and give the pros and cons of the different comic styles.
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 you and your project.
For both styles of comics you will want to work in a MINIMUM of 300dpi. This will help you out later, for when you want to make posters or create portfolios.
Newspaper Comics/ Comic Strips
Newspaper comics and comic strips are the traditional forms of comics. They are short, periodical, and can be nonlinear.
For creating comic strips you want to decided on your panel. For the most part, keep this format the same when creating all of the comics in this series, however, changing up the style every once in awhile is ok. UNLESS, you are writing/drawing for print, like a newspaper or magazine.
Panel Formats are the square boxes your characters will be placed. The two most common newspaper panel formats are 3-4 panel like Garfield or Calvin and Hobbs, or 6-8 panels like Foxtrot.
Visit the Washington Post website for and look at what current comic creators are doing on The Washington Post’s online newspaper.
Feel Free to download the panels 1 and 2 provided below, they were created by me.
Pros to creating comic strips:
- Doesn’t need detailed storyline or art
- Doesn’t need a lot of characters
- Stories can be inspired by real life
Cons for creating comic strips:
- Not best for serialized/continuous storyline
- No room for character development or growth
- Used as comic relief (Not dramatic or romantic)
- Limited speech of characters
Online Graphic Novel, Comic Book, and Manga
These are going to be the most difficult projects for any kind of comic book creator. Creating online graphic novels, comic books and manga are big projects and they enormous focus on: Story, character development, characters, and background art.
In the comic book and manga industry, most projects are done as a TEAM. You have one person writing the story, one person drawing the panels, one person doing the background, one person doing drawing characters and one person that puts in the words and talking bubbles.
If you plan on working alone, all of these things are going to take a lot of time. A lot of online graphic novels, comic books and manga go unfinished because the creator lost the passion to continue the work or hit writer’s block, because they didn’t plan past a certain plot point.
If you plan on working as a team or a duo, be sure to hold each other accountable for sticking to deadlines.
Panels for manga and graphic novels look similar to the following:
If you are doing this by hand or haven’t gotten a feel for creating panels for manga or comic books, I recommend going to: Comic Book Paper.
They have free downloadable panels that you can look at for inspiration and customize to your needs.
Pros for creating graphic novels and manga:
- Your own comic’s sales, views, and marketing of your comic could land you a job in the industry and act as a portfolio
- In Depth story and characters
- Creating your own world/universe
- Telling a story
Cons for creating graphic novels and manga:
- Story must be outlined and storyboarded
- Detailed Artwork
- Detailed Characters with Character development
- Colored art work (optional but recommended)
- Long process with multiple steps for a single page
I would love to create a comic book and manga series. I have at one good story about an awesome anti-hero and at least two good stories for a manga series. However, realistically, it is not possible for me to begin these projects.
Between being a full time student and a full time worker, I can’t commit to these big projects. My small comic series, is a slice of life, is perfect for me to update regularly and write about.
It is also a good starting point for getting to know my software and honing my drawing skills. However, others are much more passionate than me and can pull off a full series. Don’t compare yourself to others, find a style that fits your needs and stick to it.