Thanks for stopping by at ELCAF, was lovely to chat. And super glad to hear you like my new comic.
I’ve recently done an interview (though it’s not been published yet) and answered a couple Qs that were about advice and insight into starting out in comics. So, I’ll paste them here and hope that they’re helpful in some small way.
Good luck with your comics and illustration!
What do you think makes a strong, engaging and entertaining comic?
A good mix of storytelling and illustration. Comics that tell stories in an inventive way are particularly engaging, and exciting to make too. The ideal balance is when a comic tells a great story and looks phenomenal at the same time.
I love comics that look beautiful or unusual, transport me somewhere and pass on a feeling or two. I’m always blown away when the colour palette (full colour, limited or even just black and white) is used as a dynamic part of the narrative - evolving colour tones, bold use of spot inks or inventive use of halftones and blacks.
Great comics have pages that work as entire compositions, as well as individual panels. As an illustrator, I am particularly excited to see a comic that displays a spectacle - something I haven’t seen before; an alien landscape, an explosive moment, a revealing cut-away.
Advice for designers, students, graduates looking to try making comics for the first time – what are the main (list at least 5) components to creating good comic?
Decide the printing method, size, page count and binding of your comic right at the start. Having to re-work and recolour drawn pages to fit a printer’s specifications is a horribly stressful and time-consuming task that it’s good to avoid.
Write a script. Even if your comic is wordless, just write a sentence to summarise what happens on each page. Being concise and clear now, helps the process down the line.
Thumbnail your pages. Break down your script into images on the page. Deciding on a grid to use as a guide is beneficial, as you can meaningfully divide your narrative into panels over the grid. For example, give more space for important events/moments or use lots of small panels to create a fast montage.
Make your comic about something you like to draw. If you like spend time drawing lots of detailed foliage, then set your comic in a jungle. If not, then maybe your story takes place in a desert landscape. You will inevitably have to draw the same things multiple times, so basing the key elements of you comic on your drawing interests is often a good way to ensure you enjoy the process.
Don’t make comics by looking at other comics. When looking for drawing references and inspiration, avoid looking at only other contemporary creators. Base your work on real-life experiences, things you really feel that are native to you. Look at unusual, historical and varied visual references.