1) Decide what type of comic book you would like to create. Regular comic book (32 pages), or graphic novel. Perhaps a new concept of a comic book in style…like a hardbound super novel with comic scenes or pull-out sections? Take a look at some of your favorite comics for ideas and inspiration. Don't forget that there are some business considerations you may need to keep in mind.
2) Brainstorm the story you would like to convey. This is key, as this is the foundation point for what will come after. If you don't have a good idea that draws the reader into the plot in some way, everything that follows will be a failure. Similar to building the foundation of a house on sand…who cares about the color of the wallpaper on the 2nd floor bedroom if the whole thing is sinking into the sand… Consider your audience. It is not a good idea to come up with a comic introducing principles of nuclear fusion of the target audience is a 10 year old.
3) Now you have a story, what sort of characters do you need in order to tell this story. Do you need a hero? How about a villain? Any side-kicks or supporting cast? Gadgets are always nice…how about special cars or a special weapon? Now is the time to get these ideas roughly identified. They are not finalized, so don't stress out about it…just think in broad guidelines.
4) With your ideas in hand…get out a piece of paper, and just start to draw and doodle and make your own comic books. Studies show that people who doodle are much more intelligent. Don't worry that the trees look like they are about to fall over, or the house looks like it is about to fall down…just draw. We can rectify all this in later steps. Stick figures are fine. Write out little thoughts next to each drawing as to what you want the characters to say or do, or thoughts you want to remember. If you want to remember that your hero had a tragic event that happened when he was young, write that down next to one of the panels so you will remember.
5) Elaborate on your ideas. Would adding additional characters, or gadgets, help with the telling of the story. If the superhero you are introducing catches criminals…how do they do this? You need to solidify these ideas now. Perhaps this car has a special type of weapon, or is extremely fast, or can fly. Now is the time to elaborate on what you are planning to convey to the reader.
6) You have now gone through the comic roughly…but we need to check for inconsistencies. Think about what you have already. Do all the concepts align? If you mention in the start of the book that the hero works at ABC Construction, it makes no sense to have him working at DEF Construction in the next panel. If you mention he has glasses at the start of the comic book, telling the readers that he has perfect eyesight at the end of the comic book is an inconsistency.
7) With your comic book starting to take shape, now is the time to get some feedback from someone else. If you are trying to keep your idea to yourself, you can try to resolve inconsistencies by yourself, but sometimes it's hard to think "outside the box" so to speak. Another person with a fresh set of eyes, and another outlook on life, can help to not only find inconsistencies, but create more depth to the comic you are trying to create.
8) You now know what you want to say, down to the specifics. Now, you have to make your own comic books….actually create the physical entity. A good technique at this stage is something that is called "story boarding". In a nutshell, it is to roughly draw the comic panels that you need to convey the story that you are trying to tell. You will find that as you do this, you may be thinking that only one panel will be needed to tell a certain segment of the story. Through story boarding you may find out that you will need three different panels. Story boarding helps you to visualize what the final product will look like.
9) Now that you have your comic storyboard completed, you need to determine how the panels will be displayed. Here are a few tips to keep in mind. Now is the time to solidify the "look and feel", because these are the comic panels that will be your final product when drawn.
10) Advertising and such. Keep in mind that when you make your own comic books, they are not always about the story being told. Have you noticed advertisements and other areas in comics that you have read? Now is the time to incorporate these into your comic book. Perhaps one of the covers of your comic will be used to display an add for the publishing house who had published your comic. Maybe you are going to advertise another business you own on another page. If you have a pet charity you would like to promote, you could do this here as well. Keep in mind, you don't want anything to take away from the story you are trying to convey to the user, so be mindful of where you are placing these ads and supporting comic panels.
11) Getting it done. For you, as the comic book developer, there are various tools at your disposal. You can do it yourself, have someone else do part of it, or farm out the whole concept… When you make your own comic books, others can be a valuable resource…
12) It's done, now to publish it. Where do you go at this stage? There are numerous avenues out there in the area of comic book publishing. The main goal, just get it out there into the hands of all your "adoring fans"…
13) Selling. You now know how to make your own comic books…but how about the next phase? With comic in hand, you can now start to sell it. Why not consider self-publishing. Big publishing houses can be utilized to sell your comic to individual comic shops, but the publishing house you have used will often have other avenues. How about selling your comic on their online-shop? They will take care of the actual selling of the comic, and you will get the money (after they have taken their cut of course).
14) Whenever you make your own comic books, think about sequels. So, you are now a comic book creator. If you don't want to be a "one trick pony", you have to keep going. Think about a sequel. What other adventure do you want your superhero to become involved in? Do you want to introduce a "side-kick" or another villain in this issue? How about elaborating on the concepts you have tried to convey in Comic #1? This whole process should be much easier, after all, you have already created a comic at this stage of the process.
15) Get feedback. When you make your own comic books you don't have to do it all alone! Sometimes the readers of your comics are the best source of ideas for where you need to go next. They might have devised plots that you would have never thought of, or gadgets that you would have never dreamed of. The ideas is to get these thoughts. Think about creating a web page where you can receive user feedback and feedback on your comic creations.
With a great idea, and a little bit of effort, you too can make your own comic books.