How To Write A Comic Book

For many Otakus and Geeks out there. We all dream at some point in time to either have our own Anime, Videogame, Manga or Comic Book. Since I have started the blueprint process of my comic book that I will be writing. I thought I share some tips on how to write one.

Step 1 - Blueprinting

1. The first step in any writing process is blueprinting or brainstorming. The first thing you need to think of is the story and genre of the comic book. What type of genre or sub genre will your book be? Sci-Fi, Horror, Superhero, Mystery etc. Personally I like to know the setting and the genre before I start writing. It helps me to know what type of environment the characters will be interacting with. For example if it's Sci-Fi then most likely the characters will be dealing with Aliens.

2. Once you have the setting and genre in place. It's time to give a history to your world. This is a very long process. You need to ask yourself some of these questions. What is the history of the planet, city or location? Is it known for crime? What is the climate like yearly? Who will be the citizens at this location? Is their any vehicles? Ask yourself all possible questions about the setting and make a pros and cons list about the setting.

3. Once the setting is done, it's time to work on the characters. Don't worry about what they look like for the moment. Get the main character story first. Who is he or she? What is the backstory? Really get into the psyche of the main character. Become the main character, feel what they feel. Live the character and from there you can create the antagonist and the supporting cast.

4. Once the settings and characters are ready. It's not time to write the first issue yet. Depending on the genre, you might want to come up with some cool powers, vehicles and illnesses. What are the causes of these things? What are the pros and cons etc?. The blueprinting process should take you a couple of months.

Step 2 - Writing The Story
There are various ways to write a comic book. However I' am going to show you the proper way to write it. Like any form of entertainment that contains dialogue, you will need script. A comic book script is similar to a movie script, only that you have to add the sound effects and separate it by panels. Here is an example of how a script would look like.

PAGE ONE (Underline this)

PANEL ONE (Underline this)

Then comes your description of the first panel. The description can be as little or as detail as you want. This depends on your relationship with the artist. If the artist knows your vision well then just do a few simple sentences. For example Justin is typing on the computer with a huge smile on his face. There is little detail in that line, so this will give the artist more freedom. If you want to make more detail it will be like this. It is night time around 9PM eastern time. Justin is on the computer talking to his sister Anime Angel. He has a happy expression on his face. He is wearing a white Otakus and Geeks hoodie, blue jeans and white sneakers. He is slouching in his chair as he stares into the computer. The computer desk is made of glass and on the table is a notebook, a lamp and his cellphone. The more detail, the more helpful it would be for the artist.

JUSTIN (This should be centered)
Woo hoo! Anime Angel brought "Summer Wars" on DVD. I can't wait to see it.

SFX (Center this)
Phone ringing.

If sound effects is needed you can either add it under the dialogue or write it out in a sentence. Continue this process until you have at least 22 pages. Comic books usually run 22 pages long per issue. Also you can use Splash Pages. Splash Pages is one big panel, usually use for big action scenes, or when a lot is going on. Make your Splash Pages count. Now the format is done get to work.

Splash Page

Step 3 - Protect Your Work

1. Step 3 is very, very important. Before you go pitching your comic or releasing it independently. You MUST protect it. Protect every single script that you have written. Don't show anybody until it is protected legally. Don't mail it yourself because it's not fully protected. You want your story fully on data with the government stating that you have wrote this. Visit this Copyright Website and find out which form you need to fill out. I believe it's the PA form. It costs about 45 bucks.

Step 4 - Getting A Team Together

1. Now that the script is done and protected. It's time to build your team who will make your vision happen. Your going to need an artist if you're not doing it yourself. A letterer, someone who will put in the dialogue. Figure out and research what team member you would need, if you can pay them then good. However if not, research some freelancers who believe in your vision and get to work.

Step 5 - Getting Published

1. To get published you can either submit your comics to the big names. Most of them have a submission page, but I think they won't take work that you copyrighted.

2. You can do it independently, which I suggest that way there is no politics and you get most of the money. Research how you can do that, most books are going digital so it might be easier.

Any comments or tips of your own leave in the comment section.