If you are trying to break into the comic business as an artist, several common mistakes will hold you back. From an inability to draw to not working on the plot, let’s take a closer look.
Inability To Draw
There’s no doubt that the biggest mistake aspiring comics make is not being able to draw their way out of a paper bag. Unfortunately, not everyone has the skill to draw characters that look realistic.
Folks who want to become successful comic professionals need to know how to draw and understand both perspective and anatomy.
For example, drawing parts of the body that don’t make sense or not drawing vehicles on the right part of the street will derail your comic. The tiny details make a huge difference.
If you struggle with drawing, it’s okay. The first step is to enroll in a life drawing course in your area. This will help you nail anatomy and learn learn how to draw facial expressions, which are absolutely critical in comics.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a breathtakingly talented artist to create a popular comic. Of course, you need skill and experience, and a decent amount of natural talent helps. But if you work at learning to draw, you can probably get your skills to the point where you can create a comic book.
Not Working Out The Plot
Comic artists tend to be creative types who itch to get to drawing because it’s fun and a creative outlet. However, it doesn’t matter how incredible those scenes you drew look if the reader doesn’t understand or care about the plot.
Many promising comics are derailed because the artist had a fantastic initial scene, but the story fell flat.
It’s vital to have a story skeleton in place before you sit down and begin drawing. That means focusing first on the story and the script and not just the ‘fun part.’
Story Doesn’t Hook The Reader
This point is related to the one above. Many experienced comic artists say you must hook the reader with your story in the first three pages. If you don’t, you’ll lose the reader.
A proven technique is to make a likable character face a major dilemma. Of course, this doesn’t mean it must be life or death, but it’s not a bad idea!
Or, work hard to make your dialogue as compelling as possible.
Shot Is Too Close
Once you can draw well enough, there are many other mistakes to beware of. One is drawing the shot close-up when it should be further out.
For instance, pulling the shot back to include the street or trees gives the reader a better sense of the place. What you need here is the shot that establishes the location, which requires a broader angle to show the background.
After the reader understands the character’s location, it’s time to use some close-up shots.
Too Much Narration
Words matter in comics, but you shouldn’t use too many words to convey something the picture should. Remember, it’s a comic, not a book, so don’t rely on words when a fantastic image will do the job.
Some signs that you have too many words on the page:
- There are more than 200 words on the page.
- There are large blocks of text. These are hard to read, so think about ways you can convey some of those words in a drawing.
- Your characters talk about how they feel. Instead, make the drawings convey their emotions.
Too Many Colors
When you are finished inking the drawings, it’s vital to be sure you aren’t using too many colors. Each page must be simple but attractive. There shouldn’t be every color of the rainbow on each page.
It’s wise to choose maybe six or seven colors to use on each page and maintain continuity between each page.
Readers will grow accustomed to the colors you use for your comic book, so keep them consistent as you illustrate the pages.
Drawing comics is fun, and you can have more success with yours by avoiding these common errors. And don’t worry, with enough time and work, you’ll get better at creating comics!