Thinking of creating a Garfield comic? In this article we will teach you how to do it.
Method 1 of 4: Write a Script
Step 1. Decide on the story itself
Decide what plot you want your story to have. With comics, it will not be necessary to know all the details of the story you are going to tell, but you will have to have a basic idea about its course. This will help ensure you have more material than just a few strips.
If your desire is to do individual comics, you should outline the types of jokes you want to make. This will help you decide what type and how many characters you will need to pull off these jokes
Step 2. Decide on the format
The first thing you will need to decide is how many panels you want to use on average, if you want one line, two, etc. For a 1-row strip like Garfield, the norm will be 3 to 4 panels; for a two-row comic strip like Cul de Sac, from 6 to 8.
- Obviously, sticking to a certain size will be vital if you plan to publish your comics on paper (such as in a newspaper). If you plan to publish them on the Internet, it will not be so much a problem.
- If you are going to print them (and even if you don't), it is best to at least ensure that the same row has the same width and height. In this way, you can have a strip in one row and another strip in two rows, but the three rows must have the same width and height as each other.
Step 3. Plan each panel
When you go to create an individual strip, write and plan each panel. You will need to know what will happen, which characters will participate, etc. Keep it simple. A written script should be as general as possible. You should only include scene descriptions if they are necessary for the events in the story.
Step 4. Balance the text and images
Make sure not to put too much text on the panels, otherwise the cartoon will be difficult to read and enjoy. Try to limit the number of speech bubbles to 2 (3 if there is a bubble with only one or two words), make sure that the number of words in a panel is less than 30 and preferably less than 20.
Method 2 of 4: Bring the Characters to Life
Step 1. Give them hope and dreams
Make your characters have wishes. Setting goals will be great for propelling the story and creating stories when ideas are lacking.
Step 2. Make them have flaws
You should not create characters that seem perfect, otherwise the readers will not consider them realistic and they will be bored. If you want readers to identify with your characters and be encouraged by them, make them have flaws.
They could be greedy, talkative, rude, selfish, or not so smart
Step 3. Develop their lives
Make your characters have backgrounds, hobbies, hobbies and other aspects that show that they have real lives. This will make them more real and the readers will identify with them.
Step 4. Avoid cliches
Fight the cliches! Don't make your characters "normal" by comic standards. Give them individual and unique characteristics, and come up with new and different ideas for your comic.
- Remember that your characters don't have to fall in love. Don't create a character just by becoming a love interest. Make it realistic, and if a love story seems appropriate between two characters, let it unfold in a realistic way.
- Clichés are not about what people are like; They are the way they think they should be. You can help change this by making your characters behave like people in the real world.
Method 3 of 4: Draw the Cartoon
Step 1. Draw the frames
First draw the frames. You will need to decide, based on the amount of dialogue in your script, which panel will have to be the largest, the smallest, etc. Just make sure you stay within the size limits.
Step 2. Sketch the characters
Next, sketch the locations of the characters. Make sure there is enough room for the speech bubbles. Try to position them so that the panel does not look too cluttered or empty.
Step 3. Add the speech bubbles
Sketch the location of the speech bubbles. Remember not to put them on the characters or go too far from the frame. Keep in mind that changing the shape of speech bubbles can sometimes be a device to indicate a particular voice. For example, a cartoon sun-shaped bubble (with pointed edges) could imply that the character is screaming. Take advantage of this resource.
For good examples of speech bubbles, check out the Dumbing of Age online comic or the Pearls Before Swine paper comic
Step 4. Sketch the backgrounds and scenes
When you know the location of the characters, you can sketch on a background or other objects, if you wish. Some comic strips have very detailed backgrounds, others only have basic items that the character will interact with. You can choose any and many other options.
Step 5. Outline the lines
Define the sketch lines with something dark and more permanent to make it look neat and professional. Remember to use different line weights and other artistic tricks. When you're done, you can erase the sketch lines.
Step 6. Add the text
Having already drawn most of the cartoon, you will only be able to add text to the speech bubbles. Make sure to use the same font and font size. Even if a bubble is smaller, the text must always be the same size. If the text appears larger or smaller, it will indicate screams and whispers, respectively. In turn, make sure to use a legible font.
Step 7. Add color
If you wish, you can color your cartoon. Remember that doing so will take time and will significantly affect the number of strips that you can complete in a given period of time.
Method 4 of 4: Publish Your Comic
Step 1. Decide what update frequency you will follow
If you are going to publish your comics in a newspaper, the comic updates will most likely have a very specific fixed frequency and you will have to adhere to those dates. If you're posting online, you'll have a little more flexibility. Still, remember to be realistic.
Step 2. Create a memory
If you want to publish your comics, the first thing you will have to do (whatever medium you will use for readers to obtain them) is to create a memory. This will be the reserve source of available strips, for example, if you update it once a week, make a memory of 30 comics. In this way, if you are late, you will still have comics to publish on the scheduled date.
Step 3. Post them on the Internet
You can publish your comics in a newspaper, if you wish. It could be your school newspaper or your community newspaper. Contact the presentation department and find out if they are interested in new comics. However, publishing in a newspaper while a stranger could be very difficult, so be prepared.
Step 4. Publish your comic online
If you want to reach a wider audience, have more control over your work and a better opportunity to control your income, you can publish your comics online. The process for doing this is easy, but your earnings will vary and it may be difficult to win over a loyal readership.
- Make use of an existing web page. You have at your disposal many special web pages to host comics. Like starting a blog, you can create an easy-to-update page where readers can find the strips, which is great for beginners. Some popular options are SmackJeeves and ComicFury.
- Create a web page. Doing so will give you a little more control, but it will also be more work. Only do it if you think you have the ability to make a pretty page on your own or with a little help.
- Make use of your blog. It is becoming more and more popular to post comics on blog sites like Tumblr. This is an extremely easy publishing mechanism that will allow you to place advertisements to earn money and it will cost you nothing to use the site.
- Look online for tips for drawing comics.
- It will be better not to draw the frames before drawing the scene in case everything does not fit.
- Give it a good title image to give your comic an identity.
- Remember, when the instructions say “squares,” you can draw the main events in circles or other shapes.
- We also recommend using watercolors to fill them in, as this will look very effective and you will not need to add much detail: just one or another pass!
- Reading other comics may give you ideas, but it won't be necessary to steal them.
- To stay organized, you must be like the creator of an animated program and create a bible for your comic. In it you should have everything about the story: the characters, the sketches, the scripts, ideas from the comic, everything.
- Maybe you want your comic to be an image on your computer. There are many ways and programs to do it and you could also color it. In this case, just draw the outline of your image in black, scan it and open it with an editing program. So you can color it.
- Read a story and make a comic from it. The more you practice, the better you will be.
- If they don't have a newspaper at your school, you could create one.