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Panel By Panel: Three Resources You Should Be Using For Your Webcomic

hpkomic at 3:20PM, March 22, 2024

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Panel by Panel, a periodic exploration of comic panels around The Duck.

Last time we had a look back at the work of the great Akira Toriyama, as a sort of a breaking/emergency version of the column. This week I wish to return to the original idea I had intended - sharing resources to use in your webcomic.

These are only a small sampling of resources I used for creating comics, and not in any particular order. So, let's dive in.

#1 - PoseManiacs

Drawing the human figure can be hard, especially when you have to draw them in interesting and dynamic ways. I love PoseManiacs because it gives me a browser-based library of hundreds of 3D models for pose references. You can take each pose and adjust the camera to get just the angle you want. From there you can take a screenshot and save the pose render for reference, or you can just sketch while the website is open, like doing a life drawing.

The website is 100% free and is great for getting some practice in. However, you can also use a variety of poses as references as you draw comic panels and covers. So be sure to give PoseManiacs a look.

#2 - High-Quality Movie Screencaps Gallery

When it comes to figuring out shots in my comics, I love to use what has worked before, especially when those shots are proven winners. Take for example the “trunk shot” in a Tarantino film, where the camera is placed in a trunk or box and looks up at the characters that are lifting the lid.

When I design comic panels I love to reference shots I have seen from movies I love, which is why I really appreciate the High-Quality Movie Screencaps Gallery. I can find most great, visually striking movies that I would want to reference on that website, with substantial galleries of their most iconic shots. Give this one a look if you want to push the cinematic quality of your webcomic.

#3 -20,000 Names

Naming characters can sometimes prove tricky and I know there are many names I end up falling back on, just because I like them. When I need to find a name for a project, such as a new character in a comic script I am writing, I tend to take advantage of this website, 20,000 Names. The collection of names is organized by sex, nationality, and other thematic lists.

Anyway, those are three resources I use. In the future, I will share more. If you have any resources you feel I should mention in the future, please drop a comment and let me know.

If you want to find earlier editions of Panel By Panel, click here.

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HawkandFloAdventures at 3:06PM, April 5, 2024

Wow this thread is useful adding it to favourites right now ^^

phinmagic at 8:05PM, April 4, 2024

Good stuff, man!

PaulEberhardt at 8:23AM, March 24, 2024

Interesting! I've done without them so far, but now I'm wondering why. ;)

rickrudge at 2:30PM, March 23, 2024

Thank you W/ HPKOMIC for posting the hyperlink to Posemaniacs. I think that this might work very well drawing my characters compared to using my grandson’s action figures or looking in a mirror. What a great tool for us. Thanks again.

J_Scarbrough at 5:12PM, March 22, 2024

I wish I knew about Posemaniacs before, because I can attest to having difficulties in trying to figure out how to draw characters in certain poses or positions that doesn't look weird or off, and basically having to do almost motion capture for such (by which I mean taking pictures of myself in the poses I have in mind and using those as references). Otherwise, I've also used screencaps as references for drawing certain shots or scenes when freehand proves to be a little challenging. And when naming characters, I often try to use names that you don't hear very often to avert the One Mario Limit trope, and if I can't think of any good names, I may ask friends or colleagues to pitch suggestions to me - that's exactly how Levana got her name when a friend of mine suggested it (it's the Hebrew word for "moon" BTW).

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