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How to Create a Comic Book on the Computer

Updated April 17, 2017

From Captain America to Superman and Japanese Manga, comics have long been an entertaining distraction both from the daily study routines of students and the hectic work hours of adults. Comic books can be classified as either astoundingly exciting or incredibly dull. Although making a comic book isn't as easy as it might seem, the development of computer technology has allowed artists to create their comics using special software.

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  1. Create the panels (where the scenes are going to be illustrated) by separating the canvas in different sections. Use the Slice tool and draw a thick line. The height and width of each panel will entirely depend on what are you going to depict inside (for instance, a 13" x 7" panel for an action scene).

  2. Go to the Pencil tool and choose the thickness of the pencil tip. We recommend you choose a 2.1, which is not too rough and not too transparent. Start making the drafts. To erase an extra line or a mismatched curve, choose the Eraser tool.

  3. Dispose of those annoying extra lines. They are just a nuisance, so eliminate them completely. You can use two different methods to do this. You can minimise the size of the eraser to remove intricate details. However, another way to erase lines is far easier and leaves your panel with a spotless appearance. Choose the Water Drop tool, and open the list of options. Choose the second one, the triangle. This option is called "Sharp" and (as it says) sharpens your draft lines until they become solid. Once you sharpen them, get rid of anything outside your sharpened lines.

  4. Start layering. Layers allow you to create techniques over the drawing without affecting the original picture. Do a right click and choose "Edit," then "Copy," then "Paste," and finally "Paste as a new layer." Now you have one layer. It's up to you to determine how many layers you want, and how you shall use them. Let's say you make three layers: A Flesh layer, a Clothing layer and a Hair layer.

  5. The order of the layers should be like this: Top-Ink layer (this is your original picture), Clothing layer, Hair layer and finally Flesh layer. Start colouring the Flesh layer. You can choose either the brush tool or the paint bucket.

  6. Once you finish colouring the panels and their respective layers, start shading. Choose the black magnifier. This will create shades when you swipe it over the drawing area. To shade the edge of a coloured area, place the black magnifier below the area.

  7. To create the text, make a new layer and create a bubble box using the brush or pencil. Finally, choose the tool "A" and write into the bubble box.

  8. Tip

    Be sure to have drafts of your comic ready (at least the characters or some plot scenes) before beginning your computer design work. Pay special attention to the characters since they are the features that will draw readers to your comic. We suggest doing several drafts before the final version of the characters.


    Avoid using colour lines for the line art. The line art should be black so as to give consistence to your pictures.

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Things You'll Need

  • Previous comic drafts
  • Computer with Adobe C.S Photoshop or any other illustrating program
  • Drawing tablet

About the Author

Manuel Páucar (Lima, 1978), is the author of "Chronicles of the Exile," a popular column in the Hispanic market. In his 18 years as a writer, he's published four books and received several awards, including a special recognition from the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Páucar attended the Andes Chef School in 1999, and studied theater arts at CTL Institute in 1998.

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