How to start a comic strip

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While the professionals make it all look so easy one may wonderr how to break into the business of drawing and selling comics. Here’s some help. It all comes down to WRITING! Hone your skills as a writer first and as an artist second. A creative writing course with an involved professor can help. I say this because good writing carries more weight than good art. Creating characters that will hold your audience’s attention day after day is not as easy as it sounds. Humor is subjective but a good story with humor carries its own weight. For instance, Bloom County was a strip that was not consitantly "funny" per se but carried it’s stories well by giving us characters that were well defined and strong enough to pull us into their world so that we wanted more.

Start first with your characters. Where do they live, what so they do , who do they associate with, what are they like? The characters make the lasting impression and keep the readers coming back. Author Steve Alten suggestes to create characters that you like and that are as human as possible. They need strong points and weaknesses. They need likes and dislikes. Once you have established who your characters are and their relationship to one another your strip can begin to evolve into story lines. Good interaction between characters can stirr up associations for hunor.Determin what time period your characters live in. Are they in the present, do they live in the past like Alley Oop? Are they living in the future like Captain Murphy? Where do they live? Where do they work? All these factors give your strip a life of its own.

Technical help and help with the submission process can be found in a few good books that I highly recommend. THey are out of print but can still be found online through amazon.com.1. The Secrets of Professional Cartooning by Ken Muse (an animator on Tom and Jerry and a comic strip artist)2. The Total Cartoonist also by Ken Muse.

Great books that are extremely helpful!

Good luck


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