How I Make a Webcomic
Not too many people know this about me, but I am also a webcomic artist myself. My
webcomic is entitled "Oshkosh and Josh" and has been posted on the free webcomic-hosting
December 2003. My webcomic is about your basic boy and puppy who go off and explore
strange new worlds in their own backyard and get into humorous situations too. This
is my first attempt at creating a webcomic, and when I started, I wasn't exactly sure how well-received
it would become. As of this writing, I have created over 100 strips since its
debut, and my artwork and storytelling has improved considerably ever since. You can
visit my webcomic by clicking the image above or
Now, there are many different ways to make a webcomic. Some are just a few quick sketches
while some high-quality ones are divided among several people (penciler, inker, etc.)
I will now explain about the rarely-seen process of webcomic creation by showing how I
create my own webcomic.
However, should you decide to make a webcomic of your own, you first have to decide what your webcomic is going to be
about. Make designs of your characters, create settings and storylines, think about their
personalities and how they will interact with each other. When I first started, I didn't
have much depth in my characters at all, and I only had about six comics done before
posting anything. Try to have at least two weeks of comics completed before posting
them online. The more pre-planning, the better.
Also, you should acquire some image software for your computer for posting comics online.
Unless, you're going to post unedited scanned images, pick a brand of software that will
improve what you've already created. Some, like the infamous "MS Paint", do not improve images very well
at all. Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard. Many webcomic artists use this program
for editing their work. Some, such as myself, even create the entire comic on Photoshop, with
the aid of a graphic tablet and stylus.
Step 1: Create a Template
The first step in making my webcomic is to make a template. This is the default image
from which all my comics will be created on. It's best to put on this layer the name
of the comic, the author's name, the copyright, the signature, and the borders. Other
elements like the website name or additional copyright information can also be added.
Step 2: Sketches
The next step is to sketch out the scene for each panel. This is where the basic
positions for each character will be planned as well as the backgrounds. The sketches
are almost never permanent and are often changed to create a new camera angle or character
position. The sketch layer in Photoshop is always turned off before it's saved so that
they won't be visible when the comic is posted. Sometimes, when I'm short on time (and as a
full-time college student, this happens a lot), I'll
skip this step, but the result usually isn't quite as good.
Step 3: Backgrounds
Here is where I start on the backgrounds. Not all of my strips have backgrounds and
when I don't have much spare time, I'll skip this step entirely. But normally I would
ink the backgrounds and add special brushes if necessary (like the leaves on the tree.)
Step 4: Inking the Foreground
Now I start inking the characters and any foreground elements. After this step, I always
turn the sketch layer off so it doesn't become a distraction.
Step 5: Adding Color/Texture to Backgrounds
Except for a few Sunday and holiday comics, my webcomic is primarily black and white because
I want to keep it vaguely in the same tradition as newspaper comics while at the same
time adding computer-created grayscale and shading. Here the backgrounds are added
shades of neutral color. Sometimes the backgrounds are faded so that the foreground
stands out more. Notice how I add shadows to create a better sense of depth.
Step 6: Adding Color/Texture to Foregrounds
Now the foreground colors are added, along with shadows and any other lighting effects.
Again, if pressed for time, shadows will not be added.
Step 7: Adding Balloons/Speech
My final step is to put in the word bubbles and text. Sometimes I actually put in the
balloons and text before the sketches so the scene becomes better organized. You can either
make your own balloons or go to places like
and download pre-made balloons and fonts. After this step, I flatten the
strip down to one layer and save it as a 'gif' file. Then it's ready to be posted.
So that is basically how my webcomic is made. The entire process takes about
2-4 hours depending on how much detail I want to put into each panel.
It sometimes can be troublesome, but like
all hobbies, it's just fun for me to do.
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And to give you a better idea of how my webcomic is made, here are the steps again...this
time for the entire strip:
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