Comic Strips - drawing your own with the help of a computer

I think I put this thread in the correct forum, since it’s about comic strips.

I thought it would be fun to try my hand at creating my own comic strips using the computer. Have any of your Dopers had any experience doing this? A friend at work said they use Word to make comic strips for their company newsletter. I didn’t know Word has that capability.

My little boy is excited about the idea, so he wants to make some comic strips, too. He’s made a few with paper and crayons, but we’d like to see what we can come up with by using the computer.

Can anyone here give me some tips on how we can do that? We don’t have Word on our computer. We do have WordPad and WordPerfect.

Well, if it were me. I would create some 3d characters in 3DS Max and use an Ink & Paint renderer to create the scenes. Maybe use Photoshop* to composite the scenes into the classic comic style with the panels and word bubbles and whatnot.

You could draw them by hand, scan them into Photoshop and make the strips there.

If raster-based graphics isn’t your thing, you could use a vector based graphics program.

There may even be programs specificly designed for making comics

*Paint Shop Pro is a suitable free substitute.

I know the guys at Penny Arcade draw it out first, then ink it on the computer.

If you have a tablet, it’s pretty easy to draw onto the computer with a program (Wacom tablets come with Photoshop Elements free, a very nice program.) It’s like a pencil and the tablet itself which automatically sends the image you’re drawing into the computer, so you can draw as though it’s a normal pencil and paper. Much easier than drawing with a mouse.

To use word to make comic strips, although word could be used to insert dialogue and organize the images, you’d have to already have illustrations for it I think. You could probably add captions to clipart to make comics, too.

In MS Word, you can select “Insert > Picture > Autoshapes” from the top menu, and you can draw simple lines and shapes, insert word balloons or choose from a number of pre-drawn pictures and symbols.

WordPad doesn’t have that ability, but if you select “Insert > Object”, it should list some options for creating pictures and inserting them directly into your document. That should be fine if you and your son are looking for a fun and creative pastime, not expecting to produce professional-quality graphics.