They could create a whole universe from just their imagination and become the next Stan Lee! This article includes a step-by-step guide on how to create your own comic.
Time To Plan
Ready to start? Let's get stuck into the planning process! Here are some of our top tips:
1. Pick A Genre
A great first step when creating a comic is to choose the genre. Kids might instantly know what genre to go for, or they might decide to explore a range of genres. It could be a comedy comic strip like Garfield or Dennis the Menace, or taking inspiration from the Marvel and DC comics, kids could write a superhero comic. The list below gives a few ideas:
Fantasy: With a fantasy book, you can write about a universe where people can read minds or where dogs and cats can talk! There's no limit to what kids can write about if they choose fantasy. This a perfect genre for kids with big imaginations.
Autobiographical: The famous quote "write about what you know" is perfect for writing stories. We're living in some unusual times and a comic is a perfect way to get your kids' view of lockdown. Or they could write about some funny things that have happened to them, or about when they last went on holiday.
Sci-Fi: If your kids like science fiction, then it's a great genre for them to base their comics around. Aliens, planets, robots, oh my!
Scary: Kids can make their comics scary by putting in something supernatural or ghostly. Doctor Who and Scooby Doo comics include scary themes but are still great comic books suitable for younger children. If you have older kids or teens, then there are teen appropriate horror comics which can be really fun to read and create!
Western: Children could also make a comic series about a cowboy going on adventures around the Wild West.
A Combination: Kids don't have to stick to just one genre though; they could write a fantasy story, with Sci-Fi elements, set in the Wild West, also throwing in some autobiographical stories!
2. Plan The Story
-Before they start drawing, colouring and writing, it's good for kids to sit down and plan the general story. Comics vary considerably in size from a small segment of a newspaper, to a huge graphic novel book.
-Encourage kids to start by planning a beginning, a middle and an end.
-Remember they could decide to write more than one book so this story could end on a cliffhanger.
-If your kids are already comic book fans, ask them to take a read of their favourites for inspiration, and to see how they are structured.
3. Create The Characters
-Sketching out some characters is a great way to plan them out.
-Start with the protagonist and other members of the team. If the kids have villains in their story, they can give them scary features to make them look even more evil.
-Ask kids to create 5 different drawings for each character and choose their favourite.
-They can use their story plan to help with the appearance of their characters. For example, if they're a super hero, are they going to be super strong or small and stealthy?
Creating The Comic
Now that all the planning is done, it's time to start making!
1. Materials To Use
The beauty of this activity is it doesn't require much to get started. The following list shows everything you will need for this activity:
- Black Pens - a range of different thicknesses would be best.
- Paper or a blank note book.
- Colouring pencils, crayons or pens.
- A ruler.
- A printer- not essential, but can be helpful for printing out elements.
-To start, kids can use a pencil to draft their page, separating it into squares and sketching out characters.
-Once they have a basic pencil outline, they can go over the pencil with a thick black pen.
-In terms of dividing the pages into scenes, it's best to start simple; if they've never made a comic book before, then starting off with easy equal sized squares is a good start. Once they get used to the first few pages, they can start making the boxes different shapes and sizes!
3. Colouring In The Drawings
-Once all the outlines are drawn with black ink, kids can start adding colour to their pages.
-Using coloured pens or pencils, they can really bring their story to life. They could start with the backgrounds as this will show the reader if it's night or day, inside or outside.
-Then they can start colouring the characters and objects!
4. Get Help From Friends
-Creating a new comic is no easy thing! When a comic is usually made, there's usually a whole team of writers, graphic designers and illustrators behind the story.
-Sharing this activity with a sibling or a friend is a great way to socialise, especially if both kids like comic books.
-Perhaps one child really enjoys writing stories and their friend prefers drawing. They could combine their skills and work together. Why not plan the activity together over Skype, Zoom or FaceTime and send each other emails of the progress and any scanned documents?
5. Final Top Tips
-There are lots of free printable online to give you access to empty comic strips and speech bubbles to help make comics. It's a quick and easy way to get started and it gives kids lots of tips on how to lay out their stories.
-Kids stuck on how to draw characters? See if they can get a family member to pose while they draw the outline!
The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.