Amazing Kids! Magazine

Fresh Start, Fresh Storyboard: How to Design Comics in 2018

By Sarina Patel, Jr. Assistant Editor and Comic Hub Co-Editor


Each January 1 marks a day of boundless hope. And for many, each February 1 marks a day of joyless defeat. For writers and artists, creativity often dissolves, and meeting New Year’s Resolutions can seem daunting.

Fortunately, we are here to provide extra inspiration for those of you wondering where to start your artistic adventures this year. So here is an ingenious idea: Design a comic in 2018. Not quite sure where to begin? The process of designing comics has never been easier. Follow this guide, and see if you can assemble a comic…and your very own allegiance of avengers.

First, follow these basic steps to create your own comics.

  1. Do your homework. All heroes do their homework to determine what they are up against, and so should you. Read and watch tutorials on building comics, write down any questions you have, and find answers to all of them.
    Example: “What’s a storyboard? How do I design characters?”
  1. Draw a plan of action. Even the best superheroes can’t breeze through a battlefield without the man in the ear microphone guiding them through a step-by-step action sequence. Sketch out a plan of action with reasonable monthly goals that you can stick to, and narrow your interests. Some important things to determine are the following: how long your comic will be, what colors you will use, who your characters are, and whether you are going to publish it anywhere. Make sure to get parental permission before publishing your content.
    Example: “Drawing isn’t my thing, but I’m really interested in writing dialogue. By the end of the month, I’m going to complete five pages of character dialogue.”
  1. Be critical, but be creative. Draft, draft, and keep on drafting, regardless of how silly it may seem. The comic will only improve from your own constructive criticism. At the same time, explore your creative side. Oftentimes, the best graphic novels are not the ones about superheroes. Don’t be afraid to be funny, smart, serious, or silly in your comics. It’s your artwork.
    “I’m going to write a funny comic, where the princess and the superhero are in the middle of a pun battle when the villain invades.”

Next, learn from the best.

Raina Telgemeier, the author of acclaimed, bestselling graphic novels Smile and Sisters, has this advice on her website for budding cartoonists. We summarized it into five main sections.

  1. Read. “The best way to write is to read.”
  2. Practice. “You’ll only improve.”
  3. Share. “Once you start to share, people can enjoy [your work], give you feedback, and help you improve.”
  4. Collaborate. “Team up to create something!”
  5. Start small; dream big. “Why not try creating short stories? Creating short stories is a great way to improve your craft.”

Cartoon Network also provides free pictures of actual storyboards and animation guides from your favorite shows, which you can find simply by googling. Below is an animation guide for Cartoon Network’s hit series, Clarence.

After that, check out these kid-friendly and helpful comic-building programs.

Scholastic’s fun, easy-to-use, and completely free Make a Comic game.

Fearless Self-Expression by Rebecca Sugar (creator of Steven Universe), a completely free five-week program broken up into five fun and easy-to-understand videos on the Cartoon Network YouTube channel. Here’s Week 1:

That’s it! Good luck with designing your comics. We hope this guide helped you. Comment below telling us which section you enjoyed the most!

Credits to WikiHow