Introduction: How to Start Your Own Comic Book

I am inspired to do this Instructable for two reasons: 1) I will be graded on it and 2) I never read anything like this when i started my comic, and though it might be helpful for anyone who feels compelled to write their own. My original thought for this little HOW-TO was 'How To Start a Proper Revolution' (after the themes of my book) however, i though this might attract come unwanted attention, perhaps even my own FBI file. So, i decided on the title you see above and stick to the broader picture of how to start a comic book. I hope you enjoy _

Step 1: Step 1: Come Up With a Good Idea

any idea can be a good one, but it should meet some of the following criteria:
1) will it last? does this concept have the potential to stand the test of time? Or will it fade into oblivion with pogs and yikes pencils?
ex: Superman = Good Idea (marketable and versatile)
A Day in the Life of a Telemarketer = Bad Idea (makes people feel annoyed)

2) Is it funny? People are more likely to read your book if it makes them smile and/or laugh :)

3) Will this story keep you inspired to write more? if you want to write it, chances are there will be people out there willing to read what you have to say.

4) Does the story have a forseable ending?
side note: As a seller of comics, I will say that story lines that have already been finishes and collected into books sell better than ongoing series with no end in sight. There is something about knowing there is a good ending (or at least a satisfying one) that compels people to go out and get the next book is a series.

Step 2: Step 2: Cast of Characters

Every good story has characters you can relate to. So, if you want to tell a good story you must create some characters. Remember to have a variety. Antagonists, protagonists and everything in between (aren't we all a little of both? imagine how boring things would be if we all agreed on there boing two sides).

Step 3: Step 3: Write Your Script

You should know what your characters need to accomplish in the smaller stories that can eventually create the larger goal of your comic. You need to know who says what and why. Make sure you have a beginning, a middle, and an end so the reader doesn't feel confused or left hanging. However, ending an issue with a jaw dropping cliff hanger is a sure fire way to get people to buy the next issue. This is a fine line to tread because if nothing substantial is accomplished, people will stop caring, on the other hand, nothing but action can get stale if there isn't a larger purpose.

Step 4: Step 4: Lay It Out

This is where we go from 'story' to 'comic'
Write out your script in boxes (if you like, you can be as simple or as creative as you wish).
In my case, i mainly keep it simple to give those less familiar with the medium a chance to take some baby steps. Please keep in mind you can be as crazy as you want to be, but please make it easy enough to read. If looking at the layout of the pages makes people dizzy, they probably won't by your book.

Step 5: Step 5: Start Drawing!

Now, there are some (in fact most) who only write and hand off their script to others who draw this pictures and put the words in the boxes. However, I (as well as many other artists more talented than myself) have chosen to do both. Simple pictures are key. Just draw enough lines to get the point across. Every now and again, for dramatic effect, it is nice to put in a full page picture. It is often a nice change of pace.

Step 6: Step 6: Repeat Steps 1-5

repeat the process until you story is told. If you're anything like me, you'll be surprised how fast you will improve.