Creating a ComicThere are many ways to do things. The following is merely a description of how I go about making a comic. I hope you will find it useful.Step 1 - The Text: In my work, I don't have to come up with the text or script as you may call it. Sometimes the text comes with art suggestions as well. I always like to have as much input as possible for a project. I'll read it over a couple of times and think and pray about how to illustrate it, what approach to use, what art style, etc. I may also do some small sketches if anything pops into my head.Step 2 - Break It Up: The next thing I need to do is to determine how many pages the comic will be. In my work, the final comic needs to come out to be a multiple of four. Sometimes I just measure the text from top to bottom with a ruler, make an estimate as to how many pages it will be and then divide the length of the text by that number. For example, if the text is 50 cm long and the comic will be 12 pages, each page should have approximately 4.2 cm of text on each page. With this in mind, I will measure down the text, see where 4.2 cm will hit and then look for a natural break like a new paragraph or part of the story. Then I put a little line and write the page number with a circle around it. The main idea is to divide the text so that you have relatively an equal amount on each page. If you don't do something like this you can find yourself winding up with 13 pages and then you have to stretch the last bit another 3 pages to come out to 16! That can be a drag! Of course, if you don't have to worry about having your comic a multiple of four, that's even better!Step 3 - Character Design: You don't always have to do this, but if you do have characters that will appear throughout the comic, it's a good idea. I scribble around until I come up with my cast of characters and then put them all on one page. I even give them names so I can remember who's who. In animation work, not only do you do character sheets, but you do one for each character with several poses and then do pages to show the comparative sizes. That's a lot of work, but sometimes necessary.Step 4 - Thumbnail Layout: Now I'm ready to block out the comic page by page. I take a sheet of paper and fold it three times so that I end up with 8 mini-pages. It's much easier to do small pages like this as it prohibits you from getting into too much detail and you can see the overall flow of the comic. If a comic is longer than 8 pages, I do the rest on the back.Step 5 - Layout: Knowing the basic layout I now go to the computer and layout the text and frames using InDesign. Then I print out the blank pages.Step 6 - Rough Sketches: I make preliminary roughs for each page, frame or picture. These are just to get the basic idea down.Step 7 - Refine the Sketches: I place a rough sketch onto my light table, place another sheet over it--usually the print out of the InDesign layout--and go over the lines. This step eliminates all my scribbles and guidelines, etc., and clean up the sketch.Step 8 - Final art: Once the final pencil sketches are done and I'm happy with them, I'm ready to do the final art. I scan the sketches and import each one into Xara where I do the line work and color. See my Drawing & Coloring with Xarapage for more details.Step 9 - Layout: I import the final pictures and place them into my InDesign layout. Of course there are always little fine tunings to do with the layout and art which I work on till I get it right. I add speech bubbles in InDesign so that they are editable later on if necessary.Step 10 - Done! So that's how I do a comic! There are lots of ins and outs along the way, but I've tried to keep this to the basics. Hope you liked it!