Comic Resources: Reading and Designing

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. 😊

strawberry

My first strawberry!

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?

idea springboard

Use reality as a springboard for your comic creativity.

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.

Additional Resources

Happy reading and drawing!

arrietty pic

-ARRIETTY-

Happy First Day of Spring!

For almost two years now, Flint, Bone, and I have been participating on a blog called Thousand Mile Walk with several other writers.  On the blog, we practice our writing skills so that we can grow and improve as writers.  We write essays, poems, short stories, reviews, and other types of compositions on a variety of topics.

Here are some articles from that blog which Flint and Bone have written related to comics.  My comments on some of the stories and movies I have watched and read are in italics.

Graphic Novels

Cardboard

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel – Flint examines the story, artwork, and worldview of a modern graphic novel written for middle grade boys.  This is a really creative book.

Ruse by Mark Waid – Flint reviews a captivating detective story reminiscent of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.  I found this book to be well-written and well-illustrated.

Movies and Television

Arrow Season 3

Guardians of the Galaxy – Bone reviews the popular superhero movie released by Marvel.  Guardians is entertaining and lighthearted – even making fun of itself and the superhero movie genre at times.

Arrow – Flint takes a close look at the currently airing superhero television series which is already in its third season.  This is a captivating series where the characters wrestle with difficult questions about what true justice is and what differentiates villains from vigilantes. It’s a good watch for a discerning audience.

Webcomics

Speed Bump

Adam4D by Adam Ford – Flint reviews a digital webcomic that he discovered.

Speed Bump by Dave Coverly – Another comic that Flint found and reviewed.

A Tip for DrawingDrawing tip

Drawing” – Flint gives some pointers on how to improve one’s drawing skills.

I hope you enjoy!

arrietty pic

-arrietty-