Making a Comic

Making a Comic

I’m not an amazing comics artist or anything. But I’ve had a few mails asking me how I do comics, so I thought I’d write a tutorial. This is not a tutorial on the right way to make comics, but on how I make mine. of my comics get rejected, so keep that in mind – [15400]

Comics can be fun to make, as well as earning you 50 points, if accepted.
But having your comic accepted can be harder than it sounds. There’s a few clear requisites, your comic has to be:

  • Funny (for everybody- don’t be too clever)
  • TC game related
  • Look good/ ok
  • 650 x 200 (pixels horizontal x pixels vertical)

Even then, there’s no guarantee your comic will be accepted. I’ve had less than half of my comics accepted, and I put a bit of effort into them. If the person who checks them doesn’t like it, that’s it, no matter how good you think it is. Comics can take weeks to get reviewed/ accepted, so be patient.
It’s a good idea to take a look at the comics already in the newspaper, to check what kind of stuff is getting in.

An idea.
You need to have an idea for a funny comic. This isn’t that easy; it has to be something that’s not too complicated, so that all of TC’s players can understand it, relevant to the game, and you have to be able to draw the joke/point clearly in the limited space available. Also, what’s funny for you, might not be funny for others. Show an idea to your faction or some friends, and make sure they get it. I often realise much too late that I’ve done something that I think is really funny, but others don’t get at all.
While some people might be naturally funny, it can be hard to come up with something if you’re thinking about it. A good thing to do is just to play the game, and if something funny comes up, or something that you could make fun of, keep it in mind for a comic. Or, if you’re a funny guy, but can’t draw, find someone who can, and team up.
I read a lot of webcomics and normal comics too (see bottom).

Sketch it.
Before jumping straight into making your comic, make sure you know exactly how it’s going to work. This usually means sketches.
Although a lot of people don’t like getting off the computer, the fastest way to work stuff out is with a pencil and paper. Just check that things make sense, that you have room, and maybe refine some stuff. If I have time or something’s not working out, I might spend ages doing someones expression or something, but usually I’m lazy and just scribble something out. Below is all the sketching/planning I did for this strip.
Everybody has a different style, I just draw what’s easiest for me, which happens to be these sausage (c&h style) people. Don’t look at my characters for what to do, draw how you want.

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Make it.
This is probably what people want to know the most: How to make a comic?
I draw it with pencil, pen and paper, and then scan it, and then size it/edit it in photoshop. That’s the process I’ll show below.
Hoewever, there’s lots of different ways to do this. A lot of people draw their comics completely in programs, such as Photoshop, Gimp, Paint, Flash, or any others. You can use google to find these programs for free, or trial versions to use for a month or more. If you have a graphics tablet, you can draw by hand in these programs. I can’t write a tutorial on how to use these programs, as they are extremely versatile, but there are a lot of tutorials all over the internet, if you need to know how to do something specific. I’m lucky enough to have a scanner close by, so It’s fastest for me to just draw it by hand.
Some people use ‘make your own comic’ websites/ programs, which I guess is ok, but a little less creative.

I draw up my squares on paper, in the correct dimensions already, and then pencil in the comic. Once I’m happy with how that’s looking, I pen over it, and then erase the pencil.
In the pic below, I’m halfway through penning it.

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Then I colour it. I coloured this with some water-soluble coloured pencils, meaning I coloured it in with coloured pencils, and then brushed over it with some water so the pencil lines dissolve a little.
But really, you can do this however you want, or skip it altogether. I sometimes do colours on the computer.
You might notice that the rightmost frame has changed, and the clouds have gone, replaced by the guys walking out. This is because I ignored my own advice (see ‘an Idea’), and didn’t show anyone what I was doing. When I did, they were like “wtf is happening with those cloud things”. So I redrew that corner, and then photoshopped it in.

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Then I edited the background in photoshop, to make the characters stand out some more, and I thought the shaded background looked a little weird, and coloured the ‘Halloween’ text. In hindsight I could also have edited the Jack-O-Lantern’s top to be a different colour to the three other characters, which would have made a better contrast.
I forgot to sign/ number this one, so I put that in too. Signing your stuff is a good idea, but there’s no need to make it huge. Be modest.

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Before you submit it, make sure it’s the right size. For this step you’ll have to use a graphics program.
Open the graphics program, and make a new document that’s 650 x 200 pixels, and open your comic file, paste it into that new document, and resize it until it sits in there nicely. Then, save it as a .jpg, .gif, or .png.

Submit it.
Upload the comic to your images.
Preferences > Your Images > Upload images
Then submit your comic to the Newspaper.
Newspaper > Comics > Submit your own comic and earn 50 points!

Wait. And good luck!
You’ll be waiting quite a while. Comics can take ages to get rejected/ accepted, so don’t get too impatient.
Congratulations if it gets accepted! If not, try again!

Some Inspiration.
There’s lots of great webcomics out there, with lots of different styles, some very talented artists, as well as some less artistic funny guys. Take a look at their humour and how they draw stuff.
But, remember that plagiarism is not allowed! Take inspiration, but don’t just rip off peoples pictures or jokes. A lot of people read web comics/ comics, and you’ll get reported, and earn some federal jail time.

Here’s a few great great,and varied, web comics that I read. They all tell single strip, short, and funny, jokes.

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Left to right: | | |
Also, remember to check the TCB Comics Archive, or the comics in the newspaper, for the kind of things that get in!

Have fun!

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