What makes a comic book great? What is the difference between the comic books that made history and the ones that went unnoticed? Well, the success of comic books depends on various factors. However, there are some crucial aspects that you need to have in mind. Firm characters, good story, and high-quality comic book self-publishing are the top three factors that can make your comic book great.
A great comic book must tackle people’s imagination and take them to a world where their everyday problems disappear. What’s more important, comic books have to open opportunities for personal identification with the characters, no matter if it’s the hero or the villain that readers like more. Sometimes, readers even identify themselves with the sidekick or another secondary character.
This is why you need to pay a great deal of attention to each character in your comic book, to every aspect of their personality and attitude. Although the beauty of comic books is largely based on the moment of surprise, your characters need to have a firm and consistent personality. Their thoughts and actions should be creative and different from one another, but always characteristic and recognizable.
Think about Marvel and DC characters like Captain America, Batman, Superman, the X-Men, and Iron Man. All of them have certain personality traits that help differentiate them from all the other characters. As soon as the readers get to know your characters, they start anticipating the ways in which they will react to certain situations.
This is where you surprise them with a reaction they wouldn’t anticipate, but still fits perfectly with the character’s personality. You need to decide on the hero type of your main character. Will he/she be a people person or a mysterious loner? The heroic moments of your characters are the ones that can keep your comic book alive. The resolutions of the heroes in situations when the plot thickens are the ones that stay in the memory of your readers for years to come.
Comic book characters range from simple humans with a strong will to fight for justice, all the way to heroes with super-human abilities. There are also heroes who get temporary abilities, such as the Green Lantern. Whatever type of hero or villain you choose, make sure it’s a man or woman who people will have many reasons to love.
2. Story Line
When it comes to comic books, the story is made up of both artwork and script. These two are equally important and highly intertwined. The script and art have to support one another, but they also have to be able to tell the story separately. The reader has to get the same story from each of them separately. Generally, the art must grab people’s attention, while the script should keep their attention.
Before you start writing your script, you need to prepare a solid outline for the directions your story will take. You need to map the beginning, interlude, and ending of the story for your main and supporting characters. To make the script writing easier, apply the flexible three-act structure that can fit the length of your story. Since the script will go through changes from the original outline, the structure will help you keep the planned frames.
If you try to build your entire story in one go, you’ll easily lose track. Your readers will feel it and believe me — they won’t like it. Make all the changes within the frames of your basic plan. As you feel you are coming close to the final draft, start planning the pages and the panel breakdowns of your comic book. This will help a lot in the drawing process.
Whether you do both script and art or only one of these for your comic book, be ready for changes. It’s almost impossible to create a script draft that won’t go through some slight changes in the drawing process. If nothing else, there will be situations that call for additional onomatopoeia and emanata.
In case the creation of comic books is new to you, here’s a short explanation of these terms. Onomatopoeia is a word that represents a real sound, such as boom, crack, or squeak. The term emanata stands for all the symbols that show what’s on a character’s mind. For example, “%#&#@” is used as a symbol for swearing, while a light bulb means the character has an idea.
When it comes to the art, the first drawings are usually made with a pencil, so it’s easier to make corrections. As soon as you complete the drawings, you’ll need to add some depth and shading. This part of the artwork is done with ink. Next, you add colors by hand or with a computer. In the end, you can place the word balloons and the explanatory text.
3. Comic book self-publishing
High quality comic book self-publishing is probably the most important aspect in the creation of a great comic book. The most interesting script and the most creative art can go to waste if your comic book is not printed well. One wrong page or a small smudge is all it takes to ruin all the time and effort you have put into your project.
Quality comic book self-publishing starts with a proper preparation of the print file. Since preparations for comic book self-publishing are more specific than regular book printing, it’s advisable to hire a professional editor. It’s better to have the file perfectly prepared before the comic book printing starts than to do reprints due to print file errors.
In case you want to prepare the file by yourself, remember to always set up your pages 1/8 inch larger on all sides of the page. This is extremely important in comic book printing since the text and graphics are typically close to the edge of the page.
Another highly important aspect in comic book self-publishing is choosing the right printing company. It must promise you fast and high quality printing, one that will add value to your precious project. You also have to pay attention to the rights and royalties regarding your comic book.
At Publishing Xpress, we do not try to take control of your comic book. We’ll print your file fast, in high quality, leaving all the rights to you. In order to give you a peace of mind regarding the quality, we’ll provide you with a fPDF proof within one business day of placing your order. We can also ship a hard copy proof if you would like to see a sample before printing all copies.
We’re aware that you may not be ready to print many copies of the first issue of your comic book. Therefore, our minimum order quantity is just 25 copies. Another thing that we at Publishing Xpress are proud of is the mutual respect we have with our clients. We proudly promote our talented clients on our blog in the form of client spotlights.