Comics on the Web
Introduction
Webcomic Categories
How I Make a Webcomic
Online vs. Newspaper
Additional Commentary
Cute and Cuddly, huh?

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 site Drunkduck.com since 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 here.

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


This is step one 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


This is step two 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


This is step three 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


This is step four 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


This is step five 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


This is step six 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


This is step seven 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 Blambot.com 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:


Step 1


Template

Step 2


Sketches

Step 3


Backgrounds

Step 4


Ink

Step 5


Bus Seat

Step 6


Colors

Step 7


Bubbles
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Introduction | Webcomic Categories | How I Make a Webcomic | Online vs. Newspaper | Additional Commentary