How to Layout a Comic?

10 November 2009

Don't know how to make your panels in comics? Learn a simple way here.

I'm sure many of you have read comics such as Garfield and many others as well as manga. When you look at these comics, they always have a spacing in between panels. This little spacing can sometimes be present or absent depending on situations. I have made an example.

WNx Homestay: Playful Animals

Panel Boxes
Your boxes can be triangular in shape or any kind of shape you like. It is not necessary a square panel. The good thing about doing a shape that points towards another panel is it directs the reader to that panel.

2. Frameless
You don't even need to add a box frame as shown in the 1st panel sometimes. Careful not to make too many without boxes or else everything will seem like it's blending together and it will be harder to read.

3. Overlapping
Overlapping two panels with one can make a connection as well to direct readers to anywhere you want as shown in the 3rd panel.

4. Shorter Panels
Short panels indicate a shorter timeframe. It means if the event is happening very quickly, then your panel should be shorter as shown in the 6th panel. A big panel would take a longer time. Use this panel size to simulate the time in your comic.

Story Elements
You can draw your character's full body at one point in the page where it overlaps everything as shown in the 1st panel. This makes the character stand out and readers will read that first, before continuing. It can also show that the character is present in all other boxes it has overlapped as well.

2. Speech Bubbles
You can use your computer to add in text and speech bubbles in your comic. This is a better choice and makes a clear reading for readers.

3. Toning
Shadowing and toning can be done by the computer as well to produce very good effects than using pencil like the example.

Always leave some spacing between panels except certain ones so that readers can tell and read easily. Sometimes direct your readers around your page so that it isn't too boring. Please erase all your pencil guidelines...I didn't erase much for the example above.