Making Comics: A Resource

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Do you want to make comics, or maybe just have a better understanding to be able to critically read and evaluate? These two desires drove me in high school not only to read and draw my own, but also to try and find resources on how to effectively tell stories in the comic book medium. A great tool that I found was the book Making Comics.

What NOT to expect

If you are looking for a step by step guide of any kind, or if you are looking for an anatomy introduction or beginners course in perspective look elsewhere (Figure Drawing for Dummies). Scott McCloud, the author, is interested in principles, not formulas. While this does not mean that the above are not present in abbreviated form, this book’s primary focus is on broader principles. McCloud is interested in presenting options and information, not teaching a color by numbers approach.

What to expect

Scott McCloud’s book is unique in that it is actually a comic book itself. This means that while he is teaching principles, the book itself is demonstrating the very things he is talking about. He discusses in depth the use of page layout and its interaction with pacing and intensity. He talks about art, and using it on its own and in conjunction with words to most effectively communicate ideas, emotions, and story. All the while, the pages of his book visually reinforce everything he is discussing.

Conclusion

Scott McCloud’s book Making Comics is by far the most valuable resource I have found for learning the principles surrounding effective comic making. It is easy to read, but eminently approachable and useful since it is in comic book form itself. Scott has studied this art form his whole life, and he is able to concisely communicate core ideas in a natural way. Whether you want to make comics, or simply be better equipped to read and evaluate the comic books in your personal collection, this is an excellent resource.

-FLINT-

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Comix: for all your Linux comic needs

Comix_ScreenshotWith ereaders and tablets blooming, more and more comic books are moving into digital formats. This week I wanted to share a comic book viewer with you. I recently started messing around in the world of Linux, and discovered a comic book reader called Comix that allows comic book lovers to view .cbr and .cbz files. I haven’t been able to use it extensively, but the software does have some very useful features. One of the features that could come in handy is the “Manga” mode that turns pages right to left. This would be very beneficial since manga is a growing style of comic here in the U.S. Below is a picture of some of the different viewer settings, including the “Manga” setting (second from right):

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The software is also very intuitive to use, and provides an immersive reading experience. Although I do not have a picture of it here, Comix does allow readers to enter full screen so that all of the menus are hidden and don’t distract from the reading experience.

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In the coming weeks I plan to test comic readers for Windows and write up a report on those since I know most people don’t run Linux. Do you have a comic reader that you use? If so, let me know which one.

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-flint-

Credits:

  • Comic Book used in screenshots: Insufferable by Mark Waid (I am not promoting anything on the Thrillbent website. Not all of the comics are child or teen appropriate. Visit at your own risk).
  • Software: http://comix.sourceforge.net/