From Start to Finish: How to Create a Comic Book


Creating a comic book is no easy feat – there are a huge number of steps that need to be carefully completed before the finished product is in your hands, ranging all the way from developing the original idea behind the comic, to the comic’s design specification and the dynamics of printing.

If you’re a fan of comic books, it’s likely that their bright and engaging artwork, as well as the personality behind the characters, alongside a beautifully simple reading format, are what captivated you from a young age.

However, while part of the beauty of comic books can be in their simplicity, it’s by no means a simple process to create a truly polished, professional standard product, and an even harder one to create a comic book that is nationally or internationally successful.

While there is no recipe to creating the perfect comic book, as they are all loved by their fans for their own reasons, you can read on to find out more about some of the important production steps, and how they contribute to the finished product.



Writing and Illustration

What is a comic book, if not an illustrated story? That’s why it’s important to start out with the writing of the story script, as it is this that influences and to a certain extent, dictates the stylistic decisions that will be made going forward in the process.

By creating the script first, you are creating the world and the characters in it, and the art style of a comic book is a huge contributing factor in conveying the personality of that world – so to have a strong sense of the story and plotlines before the drawing begins is crucial.

The process of plotting the story out panel-by-panel will ensure that the comic flows properly. Once this is done, it is down to the illustrator to prepare the panels and the cover art for digital scanning.


Design Decisions

In order to complete the creation process and obtain the finished comic book, there are a number of design-oriented decisions that need making, as these will dictate the physical attributes of the comic book once it’s completed.

The main aspect to consider is the size of your comic book, and whether your story would be best suited to a small, large or medium format. The standard size for comic books is 6.875” x 10.438” bleed, which is the dimensions before the pages are trimmed down. Usually, this amounts to 6.625” x 10.187” trim..

Depending on your artistic vision or the imagined use of your comic, smaller 5.5 x 7.5 and larger 9 x 12-inch options are also used.



The Printing Process

While it is possible to use your Lenovo business printers to print your comic book art, it will not have the same professional gleam and gloss that the comic books from your childhood have, as professional comic printing is done by specialized equipment designed for exactly that purpose.

The most common form of comic coloration is using a process called four-color printing, with machines able to translate the digital color inputs from the artist into vivid real color, using a combination of four presses to achieve the rich, engaging colors. Most people in the continental US will typically use professional printers with comics experience, such as Mixam, API, Print Ninja, or Ready Comics.

With all the work you put into doing your own comics, it usually makes sense to leave the printing to a professional.

Susana Romero

I love video games. Enough that I don't care about the lingo, the "in" thing, or the crowds and pastimes that typically appeal to gamers. Yes, I call myself a gamer. No, I don't really identify with gamers.