Making comics is not just about learning how to draw, it’s about storytelling. This page is designed to make the process easier for you, by providing some Free Online Tools for Comic Creators.
For your convenience, I’ve put the comics templates up in two formats: Letter and A4. Choose whatever your printer prefers!
Comic book templates
Unsure of the standard format for making comic book pages? Tired of measuring out borders and bleeds? With these comics templates, you no longer have to! Just right click and save to your computer, open in Photoshop, Manga Studios or Illustrator – or just print out and start drawing!
Check out the .jpg examples here. Below you can find the high quality .pdf files.
Below are PDF templates for both the US comics format and European graphic novel format. Take your pick!
- Free Comic Book Template US – Letter Format (PDF)
- Free Comic Book Template US – a4 Format (PDF)
- Free Comic Book Template EU – Letter Format (PDF)
- Free Comic Book Template EU – A4 Format (PDF)
Character Design Templates
A helpful tool when designing your comic book characters, is a style guide or design template.
I”ve put up a male and a female version, making it quick and easy for your to concentrate on the design rather than anatomy. Please note that people are not ALL the same size, so you may have to vary a bit in your rendering of the characters in your book.
Use the templates as a quick guide to design clothes, hairstyle etc. These templates are also available in both letter format and A4 format.
- Free Character Design Template – Female – Letter Format (PDF)
- Free Character Design Template – Female – A4 Format (PDF)
- Free Character Design Template – Male – Letter Format (PDF)
- Free Character Design Template – Male – A4 Format (PDF)
Other helpful resources and tools:
These are all personal recommendations!
Photoshop is a must, if you want to color your comics digitally. Monthly payment plan at adobe.com makes sure you always have the latest version.
Invaluable for drawing or coloring on your computer.
A nice, sturdy pencil with a good grip. The 0,7 lead tends to break less often than the more widely spread 0,5 version and makes for more versatile lines.
A nice all-round brush that stays in shape if you take care of it.
Canson is a good brand, their watercolor paper is good value for money too.
Water-resistant and smear-proof, these markers are a great all-round tool. Especially great for drawing on weather maps!
If you want another kind of marker with a little variation to it, this is a good choice.
Excellent for small, quick corrections. Dries fast and covers most inks.
Want to know what tools I use personally? Watch this video!
One-sheets for freelance artists:
As told in this article on Muddy Colors, artists Lauren Panepinto and Marc Sheff are putting together a book for freelance artists called Make Art Work, “a guide that gives artists the most specific information in the simplest language possible”. They held an Art Business Bootcamp at Spectrum Live and some pretty valuable info came out of that, as these two one-sheets will tell.
“There’s not one absolute rule that works for everyone, but these one sheets present a good place to start, and a general consensus on a lot of the questions that we Art Directors hear repeated from con, to con, to panel, to email, etc.”
I agree completely! And hereby present you with the two PDF’s:
Books on making comics:
A classic, if somewhat dated.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
Another classic. Very academic and not very practical, but great for inspiration.
Somewhat more accesible than “Understanding Comics” but still very high brow and very thorough.
Comic Book Design by Gary Spencer Millidge
A very visual tome with examples of comics storytelling and graphic design from a variety of artists.
Business of Comics: Everything a Comic Book Artist Needs to Make It in the Business…Plus Interview s with 40 Comic Book Professionals
A guide to the US comics industry with tips and insights from pros.
An excellent insight to how different artists approach a script, their thought process and workflow.
Great books on writing:
Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
A simple, understandable book about story structure for any medium.
Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Film Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know by Jennifer van Sijll
An excellent resource for framing shots and visual storytelling, easily applied to comics.
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Stephen King’s classic book is half memoir, half hands-on writing tips. An excellent read and very inspirational.
Article on QualityComix with contributions from creators like Phillip Sevy, Ramon Gil, Clayton Barton and Palle Schmidt
SOLO – Survival Guide for Creative Freelancers
Learn how to make comics from idea to finished story through the tutorial videos. Sign up here.
Inking samples courtesy of Michael Johnson Curry (mikejc.com)
Click the image, download or print and try out your inking skills at home!
Tell me what more you need in the comments – and I’ll try to dish up even more tools for comic book artists!