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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 4th day of Hiding, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 84 > Articles > I Don't Get It... The Importance Of Understanding Comics

I Don't Get It... The Importance Of Understanding Comics

by tracypaper12

LENNY LIBRARY - I'm sure you've all been here before. You're casually browsing through The Neopian Times, and you come across the comic section. You click the first link, waiting for a laugh. You read through the comic. You read it again. Its just no use. You don't get it. Don't worry, you're not the only one. Many comics make it through, comics that nobody understands. Hopefully, this guide will help aspiring comic writers and maybe throw out a few tips for the experienced.

The Plot

Although its not as obvious as a story, all comics should have a plot. The plot in a comic should lead up to the humour. Write down any ideas you have for a comic, whether you use them or not ( Just watch out, Neopets have some strict guidelines to follow, since it is obviously a family site). Soon, you should have a few ideas of what you would like to base it around. Write out a rough plot, adding some dialogue for your characters. Here is an example;

Scorchio and tree Scorchio talks to tree, 'Hello tree' Scorchio walks into tree Meerca falls on Scorchio It's a good idea to show some of your close friends or family your plot. Obviously it won't be as humourous as the finalized version, but they can at least give you an honest opinion on it, so you do not waste your precious comic drawing time on something nobody will understand. If you are already confident with your plot you may not want to show it to anyone. Once you have finalized your plot, and are happy with it, it's time to begin creating your comic.

Roughing it out

Drawing is a large part of the comic itself. The facial expressions and the poses will help bring your plot across much stronger. That is not to say you must be a professional artist, just that it is important to keep the characters feelings and body language in mind when drawing up your comic. The images help give your comic its personality. It is always a good idea to draw up a rough sketch of your comic, using the plot you have previously created, and putting in the dialogue. Try and draw within your boundaries, if you can't draw Lupes (*cough*) then pick a different pet. If your plot revolves around them, then maybe you should think up another plot. Since comics are still images, exaggeration is always good in your panels. If your pet is confused, be sure the emotion comes across strong. See if the dialogue fits with the characters faces, and there is room for the dialogue itself. Again, show somebody your sketch. The plot should be much clearer by now, and if people don't understand, now is a good time to adjust. It is also a good idea to show more than one person. If one person understands, they could be in a minority.

When you feel happy with your rough sketch, you can begin the real thing.

The real thing

Firstly, you must decide how you will make the comic. There are usually three main types people go for...

Number one - People sometimes draw their comic on paper, outline it and colour it in using crayons or felt tips, then scan it. These are a rarity, but can be very attractive. Often the artist uses a font for the dialogue.

Number two - Some comics are drawn and inked (outlined) on paper, then scanned and coloured in by computer. To do this, it's a good idea to be able to use your paint program well, and have a good knowledge of its applications.

Number three - Finally, the most common are those drawn completely on computers. The comic is drawn, lined and coloured using a paint program. Like number one, this takes no great knowledge, but it does require being able to draw with a mouse/tablet.

None of the above are better than each other, it just depends on which you are most comfortable with. I personally enjoy drawing my comics completely on the computer, although it can be quite time consuming.

Once you have your method chosen, its time to draw it up. Drawing the outline first will make colouring much easier. Keep your lines neat and as accurate as possible, using any tools necessary. Try not to use a copy paste method for your characters, it looks much nicer if you draw each one separately.

Then its time to colour! Try and make the colours clear and bright, if you're colouring it that is. Some comics look fine in just black and white, usually the ones which are drawn by hand. But colour is always a nice touch.

Also, make sure it has an interesting background. Backgrounds are essential in some comics, but not in others. Its a good idea to have a nice one nonetheless. I usually copy paste my backgrounds. At this stage, your comic is almost completed...

Speak up!

Dialogue is probably the biggest downfall of many comics. Usually the font is too small, or hand drawn ones have hard-to-read handwriting. When inserting speech, or locations, or any text for that matter, make sure it is clear and easy to read. Ask someone to read it out for you. Fonts such as Arial and Verdana are extremely good fonts to use for clarity. Make sure the background or your speech bubble contrast with your chosen lettering, or it will not show up clearly. Black is a common choice. If you have drawn the comic by hand, its a nice touch to write the dialogue out... but make sure its clear and legible.


Voila! Your easy-to-understand, clear and concise comic is complete! Just to make sure, show someone the finished product. Ask them if they have any criticisms, or anything they think worked well. Once you are completely happy with your finished comic, submit it to Don't forget to put your username, comic title and your saved comic as an attached file, or upload the image and link the URL. Remember, if you didn't get in the first time, have another go. Writing comics is fun, and getting responses telling you how funny your comic was is even better.

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