Comic creator’s compendium – How to make comics

When I decided to really get into drawing comics as someone who had no connections to the field, I didn’t know where to start from.

A lot of professionals share their knowledge openly through YouTube, social media and other places, but unless you know what or who you’re looking for, they might be hard to find. Some I discovered through word of mouth, and some through social media algorithms. (Though, with the current state of the internet, the search is sometimes harder than before.)

This is why I decided to start this compendium – a list of links to resources in forms of books, texts and video that covers the topic of comic making or adjacent fields. Some of these I found on my own, some were recommended to me, some are very well known members of comic communities.

The resources are not listed in any particular order. If you have links that you’d like to share with me, feel free to email me as I am looking to expand this list.

The whole process, Writing, Editing

  • “Making Comics” by Scott McCloud – Scott’s book is one of the best known resources for making comics, and you have probably already stumbled into it. If you haven’t, I highly recommend reading it.
  • Matt Garvey – Matt is a comic writer from UK with years of experience in self-publishing. His channel covers both writing and other parts of the comic creation process through short, concise videos.
  • “FILTH & GRAMMAR” by Shelly Bond – This book is a step-by-step guide about comic making that covers every part of creating a comic, including how the industry works, as well as advice from industry pros.

Structuring a page

  • Elsa Charretier – Elsa is a French based comic book artist & writer. Through her YouTube videos (“10-minute layout”, “Case study”) she shares how she plans pages for scenes and analyses how other great artists planned out theirs. While she doesn’t seem to be currently active on her YouTube channel, the videos that are uploaded are very insightful.
  • Strip Panel Naked – As their YouTube channel says “Taking a look at why the best comic books work the way they do, by breaking them down and analysing the work that’s gone into them.”

Drawing

  • “Framed ink” by Marcos Mateu-Mestre – One of the best known books about visual storytelling. It covers composition, motion, continuity for visual storytelling.
  • David Finch – David is an Eisner Award winning comic artist who shares videos on drawing “everything from dynamic heroes, to intricate backgrounds, storytelling”.
  • “Perspective Made Easy” by Ernest R. Norling – One of the rare books I will continue to shove in people’s faces as long as I live. This is, in my opinion, the best book on drawing perspective there is. The examples are simple and clear and it covers everything you need to know.

Coloring

Lettering