How to Make a Homemade Comic Book

Written by robert vaux
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Every comic book fan has thought about creating his own comic book from scratch. New design software makes it much easier to make a homemade comic book, and as you practice, you'll discover the tricks and methods the pros use to make their comic books look so great. The process can be a lot of fun, and it allows you to stretch your imagination by devising great comic book stories of your own.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Drawing paper
  • Writer paper
  • Pencils
  • Inks
  • Paint
  • Scanner
  • Color printer
  • Staples
  • Computer (optional)
  • Graphic design software (optional)

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  1. 1

    Come up with a good story for your comic book. It can involve one of your favourite superheroes or a superhero of your own creation. In fact, it doesn't have to be a superhero story at all: You could tell a story about pirates or a soap melodrama involving modern characters. The only limits are your imagination.

  2. 2

    Write out your script for the story, breaking the action down page by page. Each page should have a certain number of panels--anywhere from 1 to about 9--and your script should provide a brief description of the action in each panel. Keep dialogue short--it will need to fit comfortably in word balloons--and make sure it corresponds to the action you're describing. Most professional comic books run either 32 or 64 pages long, but because you're making this from home, you can make yours as long as you like.

  3. 3

    Sketch out pages to match your script, using boxes to separate the action. Each box should be separated from the others by a uniform length of white space (usually no more than 1/8 inch). Make sure each box includes room for the word balloons: spaces that match the action but contain uninteresting or unimportant elements that can be covered by the dialogue.

  4. 4

    Finalise your sketches by inking them, setting their lines indelibly in place. Add word balloons and text boxes in the appropriate locations, then fill them in with the appropriate dialogue from the script.

  5. 5

    Once the ink has dried, colour in the white spaces to bring your imagery to four-colour life. Be careful not to colour in any of the word balloons.

  6. 6

    Design a cover for your comic book, containing an eye-catching title and a single image encapsulating the action contained within. Sketch it out, then ink it and colour it in as you did with the interior pages.

  7. 7

    Scan each page into your computer, then print them out using a colour printer. If your printer allows, consider printing the pages double-sided--or, if you're really ambitious, use double-length printing paper and print two pages on each side. You can then gather the pages together, fold them in half and staple them through the middle just like the pros do. Barring that, you can simply staple your comic book together along the left-hand side, then read it or distribute it to your friends as you wish.

Tips and warnings

  • Although you can create your own comic book using hand-drawn elements, a number of software programs let you conduct the process completely on your computer. InDesign and Adobe Photoshop work well for designing comic books, and specific software such as Comic Book Creator makes the process very easy. (See Resources below.)
  • If you're going the full distance and printing two comic book pages on each side of a printed page, be sure to note which pages go where in order to produce a coherent comic. The outermost printed page, for instance, should contain the first two comic book pages and the last two, and so on--moving toward the innermost printed page.
  • While you're welcome to create a comic book featuring your favourite existing superheroes, keep in mind that those characters are copyrighted by their respective owners. It's OK to use them for personal purposes, but don't try to sell or distribute a comic book you've made with them in it. Otherwise, you may be liable for copyright violation.

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