Streaming TV and movies are complete of heroic characters with epos powers, yet there"s tho one tool where most superhero stories come from: comic books.

You are watching: How to make a superhero comic

Marvel and DC could have a duopoly ~ above the industry, however they"re no the only names in the multiverse. Valiant Comics gotten in the cinematic arena this year through Bloodshot certification Vin Diesel, and boasts its own shared universe that superheroes. And also while it"s unclear where the Valiant cinematic cosmos will walk next, the Russo brothers (the manager duo behind Avengers: Endgame) could deliver the published its first big hit through a to plan TV adaptation of Quantum and also Woody, a superhero duo who must connect their wrist bands every 24 hours or rather disintegrate right into nothingness.

"Quantum & Woody: Earth"s critical Choice" will certainly be released October 28.Valiant Comics

Quantum and also Woody"s newest saga, native writer Christopher Hastings (whose Dr. McNinja to be an early-aughts webcomic hit) is soon to come in a trade paperback collection, Quantum and Woody: Earth"s last Choice coming October 28, and also has an to exclude, sneak preview, in addition to some understanding into exactly how comic publications are made.

If you ever wanted come learn just how to make your very own comic book, Quantum & Woody writer Christopher Hastings and also artists Ryan Browne and Ruth Redmond reveal the what, the how, and also the why of writing and drawing a superhero comic book action sequence.

Here"s just how to do a superhero comic, indigenous Valiant Comics.

Their answers have actually been edited because that brevity and clarity.

Step 1: Be clear — and also Fun!

The pencils stage of a comic.Valiant Comics

The inking phase of the same page.Valiant Comics

The final, inked page.Valiant Comics

Christopher Hastings (writer): my stance here is a widely-held i don"t think will shock anyone: A comic page has to be clear. The reader should have the ability to follow what"s walking on. Nothing should be lost in between the artist"s intentions and also the reader"s experience.

Secondly, the page has to be entertaining! there are countless comic pages that are basic to understand but dull. Vice versa, there room plenty of impressive comic pages where you have no idea what"s going on in the story.

Ryan Browne (artist): The page has to tell the story clearly and stop confusing the reader. ~ above every page, I shot to re-establish the location and also where the characters are family member to one another. Dynamic storytelling requires a selection of “shots” to lug excitement. So on each page, I recognize the most vital panel and also work to make it the focal suggest of the page.

Ruth Redmond (colorist): the is my project as a colorist come encourage the reader’s eye in the way the writer and also artist intended if evoking any emotions i feel appropriate for the scene with colors i choose. Because that example, flashy yellows, orange, and reds invoke a sense of danger. Greens, teals, and also dark blues illegal a creeping sense of doom. Advertise back specific elements and also pulling rather forward is a big part of leading the reader"s eye.

Hastings: previously in this issue, Quantum and also Woody have failed at saving a child from the mind monster you check out in this sequence. They acquire a little therapy session from a more experienced superhero the gets to the core issues in their being bad at superhero-ing.

The point of this scene the comes after, is to display that the two room experiencing emotional growth. We"re using a struggle in a zoo to make that emotional story said in one active method that"s an ideal for a comedy superhero book. The superpowers and also their improved usage of castle is a metaphor for the brother"s connection healing. Also, said mentor gets flung the end of the way immediately so over there is no man that this "savior" cannot be relied top top here.

The guys will have to work out their concerns (fight the huge monster) top top their very own now.

Step 2: lead the reader"s eye

Browne: Comics integrate illustrations that as soon as read together are viewed as time passing. Therefore you desire to straight the reader"s eye so the it operation from panel to dashboard in the correct order.

Since we check out from left come right and also top to bottom, I try to make the action flow in direction. Therefore a punch is generally thrown indigenous left come right, or a character runs from left to ideal so the activity flows with the reader"s eye instead of against it.

Redmond: our eyes naturally seek out patterns and familiar principles in images. Once a comic is designed appropriate the brain goes right into this incredible autopilot whereby the leader is absorbed, bouncing from face to face and also quickly taking in the "voices" in the speech bubbles. A well-designed comic will certainly make it very easy because that the reader to slip right into a comfortable pace whereby they aren"t thinking around where to look yet are just considering what they are seeing, and how that relates to what they saw and hope to view next.

There are plenty of incredible techniques employed by every phase of the an innovative process that a comic book to help sculpt the many enjoyable slip and also slide that a superhero story.

Browne: sometimes this is difficult. You should stage a step placing personalities in the proper order so the word balloons don’t gain tangled up. You must avoid
the 180 dominion (where personalities swap places due to the fact that you unexpectedly view the action from the opposite side). Ns always shot and angle it under in the direction that the reader.

Step 3: Take benefit of color and also light

Redmond: A fun method to usage light and dark (or contrast) is when coloring disruptive light or flashy powers in a scene. Watch at where Woody is blasting the hippo in the mouth v his eye beams. I put the lightest colors wherein the figures would realistically obtain lit by the bright light and also darkened the base shade where irradiate wasn"t touching. This helped create a feeling of the brilliance of Woody"s inverted pillar of light even against a white background. Colouring Ryan"s exorbitant line work in strategic areas helps with this too.

This is called a color hold and is excellent in Photoshop by locking the pixels the constitute the line job-related I would have actually separated turn off the web page in the flatting stage. One more example of this would certainly be wherein I shade the snakes darker where I wanted them come recede visually and gradually lighten lock in the direction I believe the reader"s eye must be led.

Step 4. Produce suspense

Browne: I think about action and reaction. Having a panel offer as the setup and a panel as the punchline. Ns think about the page flip a lot. I like to develop the action to a head in the critical panel and also then have the reaction/reveal it is in the very first panel the the following page. That tiny moment the the leader traveling native the bottom the one page to the optimal of the following page creates a tiny hesitation and also thus suspense.

My goal in an activity sequence is communicating where the characters are and what they are doing, yet I have to do therefore in the many dynamic way.

Redmond: To relocate the reader through the amazing action Ryan and also Christopher have actually choreographed, particularly in chaotic scenes wherein there is a tentacled monster, three key characters, and also a stack of zoo animals, it can be difficult to decide what it s okay pushed back from the reader"s eye. I desire to emphasize speed, scale, and also the impact of blows or powers.

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Browne: that starts v the script. Kris is setting up the scene and also characters. I ar them in the panel based on the order castle speak in. The first speaker in a panel demands to it is in on the left due to the fact that they will have the very first speech balloon. With this page I had actually to establish the scene, climate reintroduce our characters (order figured out by who was speaking first) climate I had actually to create the looming threat. Finally, I used three little panels to present three fast actions. In general, the smaller the dashboard the faster the reader reads it and thus it becomes a smaller minute in time.

Step 5: recognize what comics have the right to do that TV and also movies can"t

Hastings: My favourite thing about comics is the I obtain to phone call a visual story there is no the massive demands of film or television. That is quite gratifying to come up v something prefer "A mind monster combines whole zoo"s worth of pets to make some sort of organic Voltron" and also then view it get illustrated so skillfully, and then actually get PRINTED and DISTRIBUTED. I prefer the emotion of "I can"t believe I"m enabled to execute this."