Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Need Help... tips on how to make my comic better...
chezz at 6:03AM, Feb. 5, 2006
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errrrr i dont know how to say this but i think i need help on my webcomics
because many say that the way i draw is like a kids drawing and i think
that even my drawing are not that good……. they are usually drawn in pencil first then traced with a sign pen…. hehehe kinda dont have money to buy equipment and stuff to make my comics look better……..

so uhh please feel free to post some tips on how i can improve my comic….
check out my new comic at http://www.drunkduck.com/Damned_Zan/
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
Squeegee at 8:03AM, Feb. 5, 2006
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Well, creating a better “look” for your comic generally has to come in, and is usually enhanced by your technical skills. What I would recommend is a trip to a library, and pick up any various “Learn to Draw” books. For you, I'd think maybe a Manga style book, or perhaps a “Superhero” deal. There's a lot of valuable tips to be learned from those, even though you may only think they're crappy books. And spend time following what they have to say, too. True mastery of technical skills won't come over night, but hey, what really does? You'll find that one of the greatest catalysts to your comic will be time. The more time you spend working on and with it, the more time you'll find it grows and grows into what you want it to be.

As for your comic at present, some things you can do to fix it up a bit are to really go over it in a dark pen. If you haven't the money to get a real “artist's” pen, then just use a thick or fine point Sharpie. From there, you can adjust the brightness/contrast when you scan it to enhance the dark and white tones of your comic. Note that stray marks on your page will show up too when you fuddle with the controls, so use your eraser often before scanning, and use the imaging programs eraser (if it has one) once you have it scanned to clean your page up.

I'm sure many of the members here who actually do their comic with pen and paper will be more helpful (I do mine entirely digitally, and even then it's still just “modified stick figures”). Good luck!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:54PM
Mazoo at 2:38PM, Feb. 5, 2006
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I use paper and ink for my comics, so I can help you.

First things first, I think you need to work on figure drawing. You've got the right idea, but right now your figures look stiff. Either you can take a figure drawing class, or (since you said you're a bit short on money) try taking photos of yourself or others and drawing that. Drawing from real life is the best way to improve your art.

Also, work on background and landscapes and such. Trees aren't columns under a thick bar. Their trunks aren't straight lines, nor do their leaves connect together. Look up some landscapes on google or other search engine and sketch that for a while. Now, your art won't improve over a day, but doing these things will help dramatically.

Alright, now to the technical stuff.

I generally will do thumbnails of my pages, about an inch by half an inch (give or take some). This gives me the basic ideas of what my panel layout and stuff is going to be like (but I'm still not the best at page layout). Then I roughly sketch (in pencil) where the panels are on the real page. Then I roughly sketch in the characters and backgrounds. After I'm done I'll go over everything with the pencil to make everything definite. Next, I'll go over the lines with either a Sakura Mircon pen or nib pens. You can just use a ball point pen or a permenant marker, but the problem with those is that they tend to fade when I erase the pencil lines. Sakura Micron pens are really good.

Also, I scan my pages in “Black and White” at 300 dpi. That way even if I forget to erase part of a pencil line, it won't show up.

Later on, you'll want to use different thicknesses of pens. Always make your characters thicker than the background. That way you can tell where your characters are without losing them in the background.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
mykill at 10:01PM, Feb. 6, 2006
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Well, dramatically improving the drawing isn't going to happen overnight.

Your drawing is limited, but it's also clear - so for purposes of storytelling it could be sufficient. The ‘kid’s drawing' thing isn't entirely a negative, presented well it can become a legitimate style if the content, the narrative, is strong enough.

Now, presentation you CAN improve ‘overnight’. Here's what you can do:

1. GUTTERS, white space between panels exists for a purpose - since black and white art is lines, the lines of the panel border could become confused with a line of art were it not for white space between panels. Not doing this suggests ‘amatuer comic drawn by kid’ all by itself as the conventions for published comics creates the expectation of gutter space.

2. Lettering. The classic letterring conventions make an awful lot of sense, and imitating them will help the comic read easier and seem more polished. What are those conventions? All capital letters, clean simple printing - in a DIAMOND shape (center justify paragraph, fattest in the middle, single word or two at top and bottom) surround with a clean round baloon.

Do those two things and the visual impact of the comic won't scream “childishly amatuer” - returning attention to the nattative where it belongs.

Umm. your inkline is awfully light. Use a fine line black sharpie.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
SarahN at 4:36PM, Feb. 7, 2006
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….yes, you definitely need to work on everything. First off, like everyone else says, getting some Sharpie or Micron pens will help the linework. Definitely try messing with the Brightness/Contrast some to make it look more fancy.

A good online, free place for drawing tutorials is Polykarbon. It helped me improve a good amount anyway.

Though right now your story is bothering me even more than your art. It doesn't make much sense…well…it kind of did at first. This guy's a demon slayer and now he's a demon all of a sudden? With such a deep introduction on his slaying life? Now, BOOM. He's a sadistic havoc-causing psycho. Well, the beginning seems kind of pointless then.

Also…the newest page:
“This isn't training it's more like playing. Training is fighting angels and other demons.”

….um, say what now?
…and then…

“TIME TO DIE!!!”
“One of us will die today but it won't be me!!!”


So now….all of a sudden they want to kill each other?
So yes, dialogue needs work too.

Comics are a good way to improve though, so good luck.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:22PM
chezz at 3:57AM, Feb. 8, 2006
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sorry bout many things i got confused when I started this comic, I started it when I started college and believe me the course I took is enough to make on messed up hahahaha maybe I would start a new comic all over again………… IF i have the time mwahahahaa :D :D :D thnx for the tips btw do u think I should draw realistically or more on the cartoony side?
check out my new comic at http://www.drunkduck.com/Damned_Zan/
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:41AM
mykill at 9:14AM, Feb. 8, 2006
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Depends on your ambitions. What you do, what you attempt, you will get better at. So if you have the ambition to draw really well, keep trying to draw as ‘realistically’ as possible. If your ambition isn't to draw well, but to tell a story well, a ‘cartoony’ approach would represent a smaller scope and be easier to achieve a high level of quality at sooner.

The cartoony approach may sabotage you from learning to draw realistically in the future - so choose carefully.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:09PM
Blueberry146 at 8:36AM, Feb. 9, 2006
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For porportions you always use the head…. THE HEAD!…. and torso.

For guy shoulders you take the length of the head and that will be your shoulder width.
For girls its the width of the head.

For the Torso its one head down to the nipple, and another head added down to the waistline.

For arms the elbow is always down to the length of your waist, and then add the same length to the bottom part of your arm.

And for legs Its the torso and head to the knee then the torso to the ankle.

And this is how the skeleton looks like… withought all the extreme detail. that would be too hard to practice off anyway.

And this website should help alot if you decide on manga:



http://omu.kuiki.net/class.shtml
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:28AM
Blueberry146 at 9:50AM, March 4, 2006
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And for dialouge, You write it out BEFORE you make the comic. Then when your done you read it through and fix things untill your happy with it. Then get a friend to read it over and if you get the good your good to go. An dno im not being mean, Im helping. Helping? you know? Most people on this forum dont know what nice is.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:28AM

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