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 Waterman. I’m a software developer living in Vancouver, Canada. I also write and letter comics.
I’ve been self publishing in comics for a few years now, with a number of short stories and anthology submissions, an in-progress miniseries, and a children’s book. I’m also a board member at Cloudscape comics, a local non-profit focused on publishing comics by BC artists.
I’ve spent countless hours researching and honing my skills in the hopes of becoming the best creator I can be but I still have a lot left to learn. As I continue to do so, 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 writing and lettering work right here.
If you want to chat comics, you can find me on Twitter.
Why Make This Guide?
When I first started making comics, the whole process seemed really intimidating. 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 know that resource does not, and cannot, exist. Making comics is a journey. No matter how much you research in advance, it won’t be able to substitute for raw experience in the field.
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. I truly believe that if our society is to survive, we can’t afford to be in constant competition. We NEED to work together. 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. 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
- It All Starts With An Idea
- Thought Dumping
- World Building
- Writing Scenes
- Breaking Scenes Down
- Choosing A Title
- Writer's Block
- 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