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  • Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
    Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
    by Scott Mccloud


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Frequently Asked Questions


What are you page rates?


Page rates are calculated based on the client’s needs and industry standard rates. To request a custom quote click here.

What kind of contract do you use?


Work-for-Hire contracts are standard in the industry. This means that the person or company that commissions the work owns the copyright to the work. I still retain the right to use the artwork as portfolio pieces. These contracts are tailored to the client’s needs. Ownership of the original pencilled pages is negotiable. Every contract includes a kill fee for cancelled projects.

What is your turnaround time for a standard 22 page comic?


The industry standard is 4 pages a week. I work with my clients to determine a project schedule that fits their deadlines. There is time alloted into the schedule for approvals and revisions. Clients and inkers can download each page as it is completed from this website.

Do you provide free custom samples?


No.  Samples are on the Comics page. You can view the Comics Gallery here.


What are pencils?


Pencils are the produced by the Penciller. These pages are fully rendered sequential art based on the writer’s script. The penciller is responsible for layouts of the page and panel, telling the story that the writer has written, and laying the foundation for the inker, colorist and letter. The penciller must consider the mood and intention of the writer.

What does blue line mean?


Blue line refers to non productive blue lines. These lines are not picked up by mechanical devices (scanners, copiers, etc.). After a page has been inked, and scanned these lines are not picked up and do not reproduce, producing a clean reproduction of the inks.

How are comics made?


The Process of Creating A Comic Book

Author: Pamela Ravenwood

Comic books have been around in the United States since 1934. The term 'comic book' was coined due to the fact that the first books were actually reprinted humor comic strips. But as any comic book enthusiast knows, comic books aren\'t just about humor anymore as they tell stories and cross many genres.

If you have ever wanted to become an author of a comic book or create your own series, you might have asked what it takes and what is the process.

To start, most comic books are designed by groups of people. For larger and better-known comic book distributors, there are a series of people on staff that include a writer, a penciller, an inker, a colorist, a letterer, and an editor. Sometimes one person can take a variety of roles. For instance, in most alternative and small press comics, the same person will write and illustrate, although it is still common for a separate person to produce the color separations, and sometimes the lettering.  In Japan, where the comic book is called a mangaka, one person usually writes and pencils his own work while their assistants may handle the inking, screentone, and lettering.  In most European comics, there are usually two or three artists involved: a writer, an artist who provides lettered artwork, and a colorist where necessary.

If you are you are interested in starting your own company and hiring the people or friends to get your comic series off the ground, here are some steps to consider:

1.    Concept/World - Maybe you already have the concept or imaginary world of your comic book idea in your mind and this is why you are interested in creating your own comic book. This is a great start. But if you don\'t and you just like the idea of comic books, then here is where you try to imagine a concept that nobody else has come up with yet. You can start by asking yourself questions such as who would be my hero or what would happen if this kind of person met this other type of person in an imaginary world? You don\'t have to be the writer to come up with a concept, which brings us to number two.

2.    Writer/Story - Your writers are the people or maybe just one person, who takes the concept and turns it into a story. A good writer understands the story well and is great at writing dialogue. The writer or writers will also give the story its basic structure, rhythm, its setting, develop its characters, and help refine the plot.

3.    Penciller - The penciller uses a pencil to sketch out images to go along with the story. It is done in pencil so that changes can be made as needed. This person has the responsibility of creating the overall look of the comic. Many comic book enthusiasts are very critical about the artwork of a comic and can even choose comics solely by the artwork, therefore the work of the penciller is just as critical as the other positions.  

4.    Inker - The inker will take the pencil work and bring it to life with color. The inker will typically start off by going over the penciled in work with black ink, giving the lines more depth and more of a three-dimensional look. By enhancing the lines in black and white to start, it makes it easier to copy and color the images. Some pencillers will do this part themselves, but it takes a different kind of skill set than the penciller uses. Although the inker is basically retracing everything, they also are given credit for helping the art become a finished piece.

5.    Colorist - The colorist adds color, lighting, and shading to the inks of the comic book. Special attention to detail is critical here, because if the colorist doesn\'t use the right colors, people will notice.

6.    Letterer - Without words to convey the story, your readers may very well be lost. During this stage of comic production, the letterer adds the words, sound effects, titles, captions, word bubbles, and thought bubbles. Some creators do this by hand with the aide of an Ames Guide and T-Square, but most people do this via computers.

7.    Editorial - The editor of the comic book gives it a final look through - overseeing the quality and identifying problems that potentially need to be fixed. The editor has fresh eyes or the project as well, and is able to see the comic as if for the first time.

8.    Printing/Publishing - Now for the printing and publishing. Some comics are printed digitally. Having your comic book printed and published is the final element and therefore the book should be complete in every way. Once published, all you have to do is market it and sell it, which could mean a whole other set of staff.

While these eight steps seem simple, the process of creating a comic book that is truly unique and catchy can be a challenge. But if it is your passion, then there is no harm in giving it a try. Who knows, you might have the next best selling comic.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pam Ravenwood is a freelance writer. is one of the largest retailers of comic books in the world. Mycomicshop is the online presence of Lone Star Comics, a leading retailer of comic books with seven stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For more information please visit:”