Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Links for Beginners in Comics Creation

If anyone's looking at this site, you probably already know we're still alive. John has circumnavigated the Earth several times by this point, while Damian has stayed near the Midwest territories of these United States, but we talk to people, we hand out cards with a link to this site. And then you've come here and been like, "The last post was in 2011! WTF?!"

Well, Eye Trauma's coming back soon in a  big way. In the meantime, here is a post of useful links for the beginning comics creator. I, Damian, he of the D2 portion of the site, have been asked from time to time for advice on getting started on comics. Here are some web resources to help the novice creator or comics enthusiast get a little bit deeper into this medium to which we here at J2D2 have wedded ourselves, in a polygamist sort of way.

Please be aware that this list is far from definitive. It's just a starting point. If you have other links, please feel free to post them in the comments of this post, or put links up on facebook or twitter or whatever.

I've just had this list as something to send newcomers to making comics in various forms for a long time, and I wanted to put it somewhere where anyone could access it.

ONLINE COMICS CREATOR INTERFACES (Websites with comics creator applications and templates. Generally speaking, for the non-professional creator.)
BitStrips: http://bitstrips.com
ToonDoo: http://www.toondoo.com/
Make Belief Comix: http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/
Pixton: http://www.pixton.com/
PikiStrips: http://www.pikistrips.com/

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud: http://scottmccloud.com/2-print/1-uc/index.html
A book about what it's possible to do with comics, how comics works as a form of art. It really opens up your mind to the possibilities for comics as a form of art. It's great. Just read it.

Making Comics by Scott McCloud: http://scottmccloud.com/2-print/3-mc/index.html
This one is more about the practical aspects of creating comics, with specifics about telling stories, creating characters, balancing words and images.

Drawing Words Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden
This is a nuts and bolts textbook on comics creation. This one is probably a bit more comprehensive and practical than McCloud's "Making Comics", so if you're choosing between the two, I'd say check this one out first.
Website: http://dw-wp.com/
Book info/online preview: http://www.firstsecondbooks.com/drawingWords.html

Alan Moore's Writing For Comics: This is a really specific book of two essays by comics writer Alan Moore, the first about how he thought about writing comics in the 1980s, and the second essay a more recent reaction to the first. It's not as informative as any of the books listed above, but it's a good insight into one writer's (unique) thought processes.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Alan-Moores-Writing-Comics-1/dp/1592910122

There are a lot of other nuts-and-bolts How-To books out there, but I think these are a good start for that sort of stuff. If nothing else, make sure to check out Understanding Comics.



Here's a good source to create print on demand comics (print books that can be bought one at a time online, as opposed to traditional printers, who usually require you to print a minimum of 1,000-2,000 copies of a book):

And here's a place where people sell their independent comics:

Here are a few of the more successful webcomics you might like to check out. Make sure to go back in their archives and take a look at how their art has evolved over time.
Wikipedia has a list of artists supporting themselves with webcomics.

Here are some online comics communities (except for deviantART, which is just a general site for artists to post work)

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