Ink Outside the Box! How to Make a Comic Book

1h 32min beginner Resources

Share your story through comics! In this interactive class, cartoonist Jon Chad shows you the ins and outs of making a comic book.

Episode descriptions

What Is a Comic Book?
1. Episode: What Is a Comic Book?

Meet Jon Chad and get started by learning what makes a comic. Then Jon goes over the tools and materials you'll need to get started.

Creating Characters
2. Episode: Creating Characters

Characters are the pillar of every story. In this lesson, Jon shows you how to design a diverse cast of characters with personalities that make for fun, adventurous and exciting stories. He also discusses the common practice of spot blacking and character silhouetting.

Character Acting
3. Episode: Character Acting

Just like in the movies, your comic characters need to act! Follow along as Jon shares tips and exercises to help you bring out the most of your characters with facial acting and full body acting.

Word Balloons, Lettering & Sound Effects
4. Episode: Word Balloons, Lettering & Sound Effects

Lettering is not only an important component of many comics, it's also an extension of acting. Here, Jon covers best lettering practices, then shows you how to make your own lettering guide. You'll learn to use lettering and word balloons as an extension of your character's acting.

5. Episode: Environments

What makes a good environment for comics? Find out as you learn to create a number of different environments for your characters to live in. Using a few simple marks and drawing tricks, Jon shows you how to make your environments more engaging.

Composing Panels & Thumbnailing
6. Episode: Composing Panels & Thumbnailing

Discover the importance of panel composition as you create panel outlines (or thumbnails) that will help you determine the best layout for each page of your comic. Afterwards, get your creative juices flowing with a fast-paced thumbnailing exercise.

Composing a Page & Timing
7. Episode: Composing a Page & Timing

Next, Jon breaks down the different parts of a comic page. Find out how to tell effective stories, even when a lot of time has passed between two consecutive panels. After that, apply your new skills as you learn to create a one-page story.

Penciling & Inking a Page
8. Episode: Penciling & Inking a Page

Build on everything you've learned to draw a full comic page! First Jon introduces the bristol board, a higher quality paper that cartoonists use. Then he shares how to rule out a comic page, as well as tips for penciling, inking and correcting mistakes.

Making It Real!
9. Episode: Making It Real!

Finally, take all of your comic pages and make a real comic book that you can share with the world! Follow along as Jon walks you step by step through the final process of creating a polished, photocopied version of your comic.

About the Teacher

Jon Chad
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Lynne Chapman
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Join host Paul Costabile for an extreme doodling adventure! In this reality competition series, 16 talented artists flex their creative muscles to impress judges Jon Chad (of "Ink Outside the Box" on Bluprint) and Zoe Hong (fashion designer and illustrator). Each episode features two Doodle Warriors who go head to head in mind-bending challenges such as drawing a giant comic book and creating arm-sleeve tattoos on real people. But only one will walk away with $5,000 in cash and prizes.

Join the discussion! While your instructor may choose to chime in, this space is intended as a maker-to-maker forum.


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Ink Outside the Box! How to Make a Comic Book

Jon Chad

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Ink Outside the Box! How to Make a Comic Book