Creating comic strips is like writing and directing you own movie.

The cartoon character moves from frame to frame. Some use close-ups, different angles, dramatic lighting effects, over-the-shoulder shots and many other film techniques.

The comic strips are either:

  • Self contained strips, each panel not related to the story of another panel, or
  • Serialized strips where each strip must go together to form a long story
comic strip

comic strip

The cartoon character must have enough substances to supply plenty of stories. The length and height of the strip have to be proportional to the printed page. Usually they are drawn not more than 2 times the actual printed strip.

The lettering of the strip is very important. The lettering of successful strips is legible and not sloppy. The letters inside the balloons are not crowded. The words are concise, terse and simple. The words need not be funny. Gentle human reactions provide the humor.

Each character in the comic strip has its own interesting traits and personality reactions. Each character speaks differently or behaves differently. Usually they wear the same clothes for strong identification. The character portrays the human side of the viewer with foibles like greed, selfishness, anger, and indignation.

Silhouettes are sometimes used, but only to show action.

The comic strip is usually divided into frames numbering from 2 to 4. Each strip or mini movie begins with the mood setting stage, like an introduction to the scene. The mood, place, and character setting are presented. The next frame may further establish the movement and flow of the story. Then there is a switch, or the action. The last frame will have the punch line or startling explanation or discovery.

Steps to create a strip

  • Get the idea for the strip
  • Come out with the gag
  • Come out with the dialogue
  • Plot out the panel
  • Put in the balloons
  • Draw in the rough sketch
  • Ink in the drawing

The sequence to follow is — First the script then the actors