Like many of you, I am hunkering down at home for the time being. While I’m not bored, I know a lot of people are probably struggling to adjust to this unexpected break from normal activities and keep themselves (or their kids) occupied. I’ve seen a lot of suggestions that people use this time to start a hobby or learn a skill they’ve always wanted to try, so I thought I’d provide some reading and design resources for any comic book enthusiasts out there.
This is also a fun opportunity for me to dabble and doodle a little myself. It’s been a while. 😊
Want to Read a Comic? — Hoopla
This site is a great resource for reading comics. Hoopla has a large collection of comics, ranging from newspaper comic collections to graphic novels by acclaimed authors and artists. If you have a local library, check their website to see if you can gain free access to Hoopla through your library membership.
Hoopla’s interface works well with both laptops and cellphones. If you double tap the screen on your phone while reading your comic, you can zoom in and scroll through the pages panel by panel so that the text is easy to read.
Want to Create a Comic?
Tip 1. As with writing a regular book, start with what you know. Consider what you can draw well and then think of a story that will incorporate these elements. (See featured image for examples of how I applied this to my own sketches. Leaves, trees, flowers, and simple animal shapes are what I’m comfortable drawing). Try to choose a story that deals with topics, settings, or characters you are familiar with. You can add fun or fantastical elements, but familiarity is often the best foundation for a story.
Tip 2. If you’re uncomfortable committing to a design, practice drafting your art with a pen. You can discard what you don’t like because this is just practice. Consider using scrap paper or the blank sides of used paper so that the pressure is off for you to maximize each page and you don’t feel bad about throwing your sketches away if they don’t turn out. This is the brainstorming stage, the rough draft, so just relax and have fun! You need to get your ideas down before you will have anything to work with. Also, you won’t know what you like or dislike unless you explore a little first. Try something new and see where it takes you.
Tip 3. Vary the tools you use to figure out what suits your project’s style and your personal preference. The beginning of a hobby or a project is the best time to explore your possibilities so that you don’t unwittingly limit yourself. If you become hooked on the first medium you try (pen, pencil, charcoal, etc.), you may never discover that you really love something else even more. This will also give you more tools in your artistic tool bag so you can adapt your medium to suit particular projects.
- Check out this book we reviewed. It’s a great resource for comic book beginners.
- This resource also has some useful ideas: Get Better and Faster at Drawing Comics With 11 Handy Tips
Happy reading and drawing!