Since someone pointed this out:
Rapid = faster than drawing sprites on paper and scanning (or using an expensive tablet)
Webcomic = I recommend comics you make be published on the internet
Prototyping = You can change the layout of each scene until you find the best layout
System = I do this systematically to arrive at agreeable results
Microsoft Edition = The tools required are the basic components of Microsoft Office programs
You can see some of my existing comics at http://www.xanga.com/cryptopath
And if you can't see the details of my comics, just click the links that I've pasted, which look like:
Step 1: Make the Sprite Database
Step 2: Make a Sprite
In my webcomic, Freaks and G33k$, the characters consist of circular heads and bodies that look like upside down Dixie cups.
Note that you can resize the drawing canvas as necessary to fit in more elements to your sprite.
Tip: Holding down SHIFT while making circles using the oval tool allows you to make perfect circles.
Tip: Holding down CTRL while making shapes allows you to make them symmetrical in the direction you are dragging.
Step 3: Add Sprite Details
The best way to do hair, including my rediculous longish (emo?) styling, is to use the Curve tool under the Autoshapes, Lines menu. Remember to make enough points by clicking, and then double-clicking on your FIRST point in order to make the curve into a shape.
If you make a mistake halfway through your points, you can erase one or more points by pressing BACKSPACE.
Step 4: Populate Your Sprite Database
You can quickly duplicate a sprite by clicking on the border of its Drawing Canvas and then copy-paste-ing. This allows you to make the characters in various poses.
Step 5: Add Sprites to PowerPoint
Paste in your sprites after highlighting the Drawing Canvas (by clicking the border). Note that you cannot adjust the individual placement of the sprite elements in PowerPoint, so you should put the character into his/her final pose before importing.
Step 6: Layout Your Scene
Tip: You can add effects by using unbordered text boxes with stuff in asterixes like *blink* and *scratch head* and *BZZZZT!*
Step 7: Finish Off Your Scene
Tip: If your character is vertically symmetrical, then you can make him/her turn to face the other way by holding down CTRL while you drag either the 3 o'clock handle or the 9 o'clock handle. Just drag from one side to the other, it should flip your sprite. Or you could use the flip vertical function.
Step 8: Generate the JPEG to Publish
Step 9: Publish Scene for Webcomic
I personally use the simplistic Xanga servers to upload and host my pictures. You can see the new Extended Comic: The Legends of Cryptopath here:
Step 10: Make MORE!!!
The usual comic strip is Freaks and G33k$, featuring the random true stories from my life. The usual theme is my own geekiness and hobbies, as well as the funny things my friends do.
As of now, I have completed one "Extended Comic" (which is an independent storyline) called H4xx0rZ.
Now I'm working on another Extended Comic called The Legends of Cryptopath, also starring my friends.
If you found this useful, or have any questions, please email me at email@example.com (which is a spam reducing dead-email box set to forward to my primary email). Good luck!