Learn how to make a comic book: the best comic book illustration guide for nerds

want to learn how to make a comic book? The artistic process of making a comic book or cartoon is very varied. Every comic book fan, at some point, has come up with a great idea to set up a story, but they don’t know how to capture it.

Before we start talking about how to make a comic book, it is important to define it briefly. According to the Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, a comic strip consists of the narration of a story through a succession of illustrations complemented by a written text. Although there are also silent comics, without text.

In fact, comics or comic strips involve a great effort, not only in the elaboration of ideas, but also in drawings, colors and even printing, in case you want to spread them to a large audience.

That is why in today’s article we will teach you how to make a comic book. You will also learn what is the purpose of a comic strip and some examples of famous comics.

If you are interested in knowing how to make a comic book from scratch and with your own hands, join us!

1. Write the script

This is the first step in figuring out how to make a comic book and, in fact, for any production that involves a story as such.

It is important, first, to have a clear idea of what we want to write about and for what purpose. On the other hand, if we simply want to let our imagination run wild, this step may be a little easier. put your creativity to the test!

However, if what you are looking for is to learn how to make a comic for a specific audience, it is important to keep in mind the age, interests, intellectual level, among other details, mainly to accommodate our dialogue to a language that is understood by the audience. For example, if I want to make a comic book for children, I could not include violent scenes or rude words.

Also, when writing the script, you need to keep in mind each of the characters in the comic. You need to be quite specific with their personality traits and their most salient characteristics. This will help you later in the process of conceptualizing and illustrating your own characters.

El Santa Satan, teacher of the Conceptualize and Illustrate Your Own Characters course, tells us a bit about how comic book characters should be conceptualized:

“Now, how are we going to define the character, how are we going to know how we want him to look and what kind of things he is going to reflect? It’s very simple, the characteristics of the character are what will define it, this means that we have to develop and describe how the character is composed”.

As for the dialogue in the cartoon, it should be as brief as possible; a single line of dialogue or a single speech may require several vignettes if it is too long. Also, it is advisable to make notes on how the illustrations should look on the side of each page as you revise. This will make it easier for you to identify what you want to draw in each box. It will also help you prevent good ideas from getting lost.

Finally, it is very important that, when the comic script is finished, you can read it 2 or 3 times to polish the details and perfect your ideas. Additionally, you could give it to a friend or family member to give you their opinion about the story and, above all, to check the writing.

Escribiendo el guión para una historieta

Source: Pexels

2. Make the graphic conceptualization

When we already have the comic script ready, the next step for you to learn how to make a comic book is to define how you want the illustrations of the comic to look like. We can start with the most basic elements, that is, the characters.

Relax, you may be thinking: can I make comics if I don’t know how to draw? The answer is yes, we can all learn! Besides, there are many tools that can help you, such as our guide to illustrate narrative.

As we mentioned in the previous point, having a well-detailed script will help us a lot, since we can start from a concept of how the characters of the comic look like.

Start by making sketches of the characters. Illustration expert Matías Sielfeld tells us in the online course Illustrate your story in vignettes that the sketching of an idea consists of capturing what we have in mind in an outline or sheet to start shaping it. It is characteristic that these sketches are with very simple lines, which can be perfected later on.

In the same way, he recommends that, in case of having difficulties to start with the sketches, we can apply a progressive brainstorming. This is based on drawing in a notebook everything that comes to mind. it’s like a kind of drawing diary that you should always carry with you! From this, it will be easier to learn how to make a cartoon.

Oncewe have the characters designed, it is important to start drawing the space or spaces in which the story we have createdis going to develop. The scenarios of the comic strip must be well detailed, as this will attract the reader’s attention much more.

Hacer bocetos para la historieta

Source: Pexels

3. Create the vignettes

In the third stage, for you to learn how to make a comic strip, we find ourselves with the elaboration of the vignettes, in which we are going to put together the script with the characters and graphic spaces that we have designed .

The ideal is to start drawing with pencil on a blank sheet of paper. First, we must distribute how many vignettes we want to have on a sheet of paper. This depends on each artist and the types of vignettes, although the amount of information and the emphasis you want to give to a particular scene of the comic book also influences.

For example, if we have a scene where the main character is blown up by a bomb thrown by his enemy, it would be advisable that this vignette occupies a large part of the page to highlight the effects of the explosion.

After thecreation of the vignettes, we will proceed to the framing of the characters in each of these spaces. This is undoubtedly one of the most important steps to learn how to make a comic strip. You should not focus on the background, but on placing your characters in the space so that they are placed as you wish.

Take as a reference the different ways of framing characters in cinematic shots. Comics take a lot of visual cues from movies, so use your favorite shots as inspiration to think about how to illustrate a comic book.

Dibujando viñetas para una historieta

Source: The Vanguard

On the other hand, you may notice that, generally, comics start with 1 to 2 large vignettes showing the environment. This is a good way to hook the reader and give them a first impression of the layout and style of the comic. Here you can focus on incorporating the settings and try to make them look eye-catching.

Also, it is important to include details in the characters known as expression lines in the comic. Their purpose is to refine what each character expresses. A clear example of expression lines is when a character is moving and effects are added to make the movement look real.

In the whole process of learning how to make a comic strip, special importance should be given to what the characters are going to communicate, since this will be what keeps the audience interested in reading. Try not to make these dialogue balloons too long, as this would take away space from the illustrations of the comic.

As an optional element, add color to your work! Although it depends on the style of the comic, it is advisable to use a palette of bright colors, but not too bright.

4. Check your cartoon and digitize it

We’ve reached the end of this whole adventure in which we’ve learned how to make a comic book. In this last section, we will focus on reviewing everything we have done. In addition, we will take care of correcting certain details of the drawing or dialogue.

Finally, it is time to learn how to digitize a comic book. With technological advances, the creation of webcomics is becoming more and more frequent. Also, if we want to publish our comic on a digital platform or in physical format, it is necessary to know how to make a digital comic. We invite you to learn how to make a webcomic.

Digitalizar ilustraciones de historietas

Source: Pexels

what is the purpose of a comic book?

Before learning how to make a comic strip, it is essential to know the purpose you want to give to your masterpiece.

In general terms, the main purpose of a comic book is to entertain. Although there may be comic books made to inform or raise awareness, most of them seek to distract and transport the reader to a fantasy context.

Mainly, this is achieved through the content of the story; however, the graphic resources of a comic book are also important to make the reader feel satisfied. It should not be forgotten that a comic book is both visual and written.

For example, a very striking element in a comic book are the typographies, which are usually characterized by particular styles that transmit amenity. On the other hand, very formal fonts are not usually used when making a comic.

Just as in movies and books, before considering how to make a comic, it is important to know what genre we want our comic to have. This will directly influence the specific purpose we want to give to our comic.

For example, if we are thinking about how to make a comedy comic, the ideal is to think of good jokes that will make the reader laugh and laugh. Likewise, if what we want is to learn how to make a horror comic, you must scare the reader, creating terrifying characters to transmit that feeling.

Also, to know how to make a comic book it is important to have good references. Next, we will show you some examples of comic books that succeeded and, nowadays, are part of the comic book culture.

Examples of famous comics

In this section, we will talk about iconic comics that we recommend you to read. Besides being very funny and interesting, you can take them as references for future projects!


Maybe this name sounds familiar to you from a well-known Netflix show. This comic from the sixties, is the inspiration for the famous series “Riverdale”.the comic book for young people tells the life of Archie, the main character, who attends Riverdale High School and lives a series of adventures and romances with his friends Veronica and Betty.

This is a comic book that touches on very everyday issues of youth and, although it may surprise many, it does not have a mysterious character like its television adaptation. It could be said that this comic is a great example of how to make a comic book for teenagers .

Archie comics

Source: Amazon


this is the most famous Argentine comic strip! Mafalda was launched in 1964 by author Quino, and her legacy lives on to this day.

In short, Mafalda is a highly intelligent 4-year-old girl, concerned about the world situation and a lover of the Beatles. Her very social sense of humor never lets it go out of style and to this day she is one of the most beloved characters in Latin America. If you like satirical comedy and thoughtful jokes, you will like Mafalda. This is a very good example of how to make a comic strip.

Ilustración de Mafalda de Quino

Source: Quino

Little Lulu

Many must remember the TV series; however, this masterpiece was also born in the comics. little Lulu told the adventures of this mischievous little girl, besides showing us her love-hate relationship with Toby. If you don’t know how to make a comic book for children, this could be a good inspiration.

Historieta de La Pequeña Lulú

Source: Pinterest

The gauntlet of infinity (Marvel).

Finally, we leave you with what is probably the best superhero comic book. This comic was the one on which the latest Marvel movies were based. We are talking about Avengers Infinity War and Endgame. what else could we say about this wonderful comic! It has action, comedy and drama. Undoubtedly, if you wonder how to make a superhero comic, you must read this volume.

If you like this genre, we think you might be interested in the best sci-fi comics to inspire you.

Historieta El guantelete del infinito de Marvel comics

Source: Marvel Comics

From these examples, many people have developed the dream of learning how to make a comic book.

what program to use to make a comic book?

There is no way you can learn how to make a comic book without knowing which programs you can use for the design work. The programs we are going to mention are very popular in the graphic design world, and they can be an excellent tool to make a comic strip.

The best of all is that if you learned everything we told you about how to make a cartoon, you will be able to make your own designs from a phone, a tablet or a computer. The important thing is to know the basic principles to make a cartoon, and to know which program to use in each device.

This list of programs to make a comic strip can be a bit long, so you’d better take your notepad to start writing down the ones that catch your attention.

Apps to make a cartoon on smartphones

If you already have some ideas to make a comic book, you can start developing your characters even from your cell phone. It may seem a bit complicated because of the dimensions of a smartphone, but the truth is that many artists use their phones as a tool to illustrate.


This is one of the best applications you can use to make a cartoon, especially if you have an iPhone. We recommend you to use it if you want a program that you can have fun and make your sketches with, as this is a free app for making manga and comics.

The interface of this application is optimized for phones, moreover, it is compatible with programs like Clip Studio Paint. That is to say, you can start making a comic with this app and finish fine-tuning the details with other programs.

Clip Studio Paint

Anyone who wants to learn how to make a comic strip should know Clip Studio Paint, since it is one of the most popular applications among artists who are dedicated to making comic strips.

This program is ideal for making comics, illustrations and animations. Best of all, it is available for any kind of devices, including iPad and iPhone.

MediBang Paint

This is a free app with many features for those who want to make comics. In addition, those who pay for the monthly subscription can access a lot of special features.

It is avery complete drawing application, although it works more for making a comic than for making illustrations or any other type of design.

MediBang Paint para dibujar historietas

Source: Medibang Paint

Apps to make a cartoon on tablets

Tablets have become the most widely used tool by those who are dedicated to making comics, illustrations and graphic design in general. The facilities that the stylus gives to artists allow them to make designs with better and more attractive finishes.

Thinking about it, we tell you which are the best apps you can use if you want to learn how to make a comic on a tablet.

Adobe Fresco

Adobe Fresco is one of the latest products developed by Adobe, and it was designed especially for those who want to make their designs on a tablet. With this program you can give life to your ideas to make a cartoon in a very fast and simple way.

The app has special settings for the tablets’ stylus, such as the one used to measure the amount of ink that comes out depending on the pressure of the pencil. It is an application that we recommend for those who want to know how to make a cartoon and already have knowledge of other Adobe products.


Of all the apps for making a comic book on a tablet, Procreate is the best for beginners. This app has a very simple and easy to use interface, so if you want to learn how to make a comic book, this program will make things much easier for you.

This application does not have a trial version, however, it is worth paying its cost. Among its features we can highlight its functions to customize brushes, its text tools, and its animation options.

Página principal de Procreate

Source: Procreate

Software to make a cartoon on computers

To make a cartoon you need to think about what your goals are, because depending on that, you will be able to choose one or another software. At this point we will share with you some of the graphic design programs that you can use if you are interested in learning how to make a cartoon in a professional way.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the preferred program for those who make comics on computer, no matter if it is Windows or macOS. It is a graphic design software with many tools and functions with which you can make a cartoon very easily.

To use this program you must have certain skills and knowledge about design and illustration. The advantage is that there are an infinite number of tutorials with which you can learn how to make cartoons with Photoshop.

Corel Painter 2022

This program is also perfect for making cartoons, since it has a very extensive list of tools. In addition, it has more than 900 customizable brushes that will allow you to draw in a professional way.

The only disadvantage of this design software is its price, since to get the full version you have to pay 429 USD. If you are just learning how to make comics, maybe it is better to try a free or cheaper program.

Paint Tool SAI

Last but not least, you can make a cartoon using Paint Tool SAI, a tool that has been gaining popularity in recent years, and that you can use without advanced knowledge of graphic design.

Paint Tool SAI is ideal for beginners, since it has few tools and functions, that is, you can understand how it works without much trouble. Some artists do not recommend it for making comics, but we consider it a good option to learn the basics of illustration.

Remember that if you want to learn how to make a comic, you can consult our catalog of drawing and painting courses. With them you will learn how to develop your ideas to make a comic strip and you will discover how to use the best graphic design programs on the market.

Hacer historietas con Paint Tool SAI

Source: The Monkey Business

The steps to create a comic book are simple, although they can be time-consuming, especially if you are not used to developing a project of this kind from scratch. be patient! The results will be worth it.

We hope that the content of the article has been useful to you. Now you know how to make a comic book step by step and how to realize your dream in an illustration of this nature. Remember that ideas are there to be captured, and what better way than in a good comic!

If you are interested in the wonderful world of drawing and illustration, you can learn how to make a comic book with the online course of traditional and digital illustration for comics by Pía Prado Bley.

Let’s get to work.

see you in the next post, nerds!

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