Looking to push your storytelling skills, practice composition, &/or improve the movement & variety in your illustrations?
I was working through John Hendrix’s Drawing is Magic when I fell in love with what I like to call “quickie comics.” The exercise was to create a 6 panel comic with a beginning, middle, and end featuring two characters in conflict. (I highly recommend this book by the way!)
This is now an exercise that I do on a semi-regular basis. Most of my quickie comics focus on little moments of tension with my children. It’s a fun way to document those little moments in life. But it would also be a great way to explore story ideas & characters.
I’m enjoying myself so much that I’ve taken the plunge & started my first graphic novel.
How I make my quickie comics:
- Brainstorm a beginning, middle, & end.
- Brainstorm approx 6 different images
- Break my page into thirds & divvy up into panels.
- Rough in my illustrations with pencil
- Apply ink
- Add captions/dialogue if necessary
- Wish I’d remembered to leave room for captions/dialogue.
- Add some colour with whatever I have handy.
- Admire my handiwork.
- Share with family/friends/social media.
- Admire my handiwork some more.
My rules for my Quickie comics:
- There has to be emotion
- There has to be variety
- There has to be movement
- There has to be conflict
- It has to be quick ( ~ 1 hour, occasionally 2 hours max.)
- It has to be finished but does not need to be perfect
If you’re keen to explore comics/graphic novels as more than just a quick exercise, here are a few great resources to explore:
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud
- Drawing Comics (Jake Parker)
- Making Graphic Novels (Nathan Hale)