I don’t like self promotion so I’ll make this short, but I thought it would be a good idea to be transparent and share a bit about myself.
My name is Evan. I’m a software engineer living in Vancouver, Canada. I also write, draw, and edit comics.
I’ve been working in publishing for a number of years now. I’ve produced quite a few short stories, zines, and personal anthologies, edited the kid friendly horror anthology Fantastic Frights, self published my children’s book Turn The Page, and am currently working on my comic miniseries turned prose book. I’m also Director of Promotions at Cloudscape Comics, a non-profit comics publisher.
I’ve learned a lot about making comics over the years but there’s still so much I don’t know. As I continue to learn, I plan on sharing my knowledge with all of you so that we can grow together, both as an industry and as a community.
You can see all of my previous work right here.
I don’t have much of a social media presence currently but feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I share more comic making tips and other random shenanigans.
Why Make This Guide?
When I first started making comics, the whole process was really intimidating to me. There was so much I didn’t know, and even worse, I didn’t know where to look for help.
I desperately hoped to find that magic resource that would tell me everything I needed to know to make an awesome comic.
I now understand that that resource does not, and cannot, exist. Making comics is a journey. No matter how much you research in advance, there are some things you just have to learn by getting out there and doing it.
Despite that, the purpose of this guide was to get as close to that magic resource as possible. By providing a walk through of every major step that goes into creating a comic, I hoped to at the very least give you enough confidence to take that initial plunge into the world of making comics.
Yeah, okay but why did YOU make this guide?
To keep things simple, I love comics. I love reading people’s stories and I love finding ways to express myself through my own stories. What truly excites me about comics though is that for all the years they’ve been around, it’s still a generally unexplored medium. We’ve barely cracked the surface of what can be achieved with comics and I think it’s amazing to see how people discover new, awesome ways to express themselves through them.
At the same time, making comics is hard. There’s a lot that goes into them, and tons of things to know if you want to do them well.
That’s why I made this guide. I love stories, but they’re nothing without the creators behind them. If I don’t support my fellow creators there won’t BE a comics industry. Art is inherently collaborative. It builds upon previous knowledge to create something new, and I find that collaboration beautiful. By putting up guides like this one for free, I hope to not only help you learn and grow, but to also inspire you to share your knowledge with the world (and me) to help others grow as well.
The business of comics is not a zero sum game. Get rid of those capitalist beliefs! Out here, your gain is my gain, so why not help each other out? We’re all on the same team after all :)
Alright, let’s get right into it. I hope you have fun!
Table of Contents
Before You Start
- It All Starts With An Idea
- Thought Dumping
- World Building
- Writing Scenes
- Breaking Scenes Down
- Choosing A Title
- Writer's Block
Hiring A Team
- Sorting Out Your Budget
- Writing A Solicitation
- Where To Find Your Team
- What Makes A Good Partner
- General Tips
- Standard Black vs Rich Black
- Choosing A Font
- Font Types
- When To Bold Text
- Sound Effects
- Getting Print Ready Files
- Offset vs Digital Printers
- Why Page Count Matters
- Book Formats And Binding Types
- How Many Copies To Print
- Tips For Saving Money
- Printer Comparison Table