50 Tools & Resources to Start a Webcomic

Creating your own comic strip is now easier than ever, thanks to online resources like Web hosting systems, webcomic communities and support networks and collections of design tools and tutorials. To help you get started, we’ve organized 50 of the best resources on the Web. Read below for inspiring examples, sites that offer free fonts, design tips and more. Useful Guides To get an overview of the typical webcomic start up process, read these useful guides that provide tips on starting your own online series. 1. Create Your Own Webcomic: This article provides readers with ideas for coming up with plot lines, characters, design themes and more. 2. How I Make a Webcomic: This "investigative report" explores the different strategies webcomic artist Jonathan Requesens uses to create his comic OshKosh and Josh. 3. How to Make Your Own Webcomic in 3 Steps: This simple post on the Megatokyo Forums gives tips on drawing, editing, uploading and more. 4. How to Make Webcomics: The artists behind Player Vs. Player strongly recommend checking out this book, which includes "a guided tour of everything you need to know to make, post and profit from your own online comics." 5. Fleen: This popular webcomics blog posts articles about industry news, tips on making your webcomic a money-making machine and lots more. 6. Hyatt Art Webcomic Forums: Participate in the chats on Hyatt Art to share tips with other artists and learn what’s new in the webcomics world. 7. Manga Punk: Even if your webcomic won’t be in the style of manga or anime, this site has lots of valuable tutorials for drawing people, eyes and more. 8. A Guide for the Novice Webcomic Artist: From plot to production, Ghastly’s Ghastly Journal offers up great tips for beginner webcomic designers. 9. The gURL Guide to Making a Comic: This guide to making comics is completely accessible even for beginners. Get tips on coming up with a story line and choosing your style, read about the history of comics and more. 10. Mega Online Comic Manual: Create, Share and Profit from Webcomics: Posted by Danogo.com, this tutorial provides a detailed introduction to starting your own webcomics and links to sites that make designing, managing and hosting much easier. Fonts and Text From advice to creating your own fonts to websites that provide them ready-made, check out the resources below for making your words pop right off the screen. 11. Blambot: If you’re having trouble designing your own fonts or dialogue balloons, try out Blambot, a site that offers all kinds of designs to artists. 12. Lettering on the Computer: Cymbrele’s Webcomic Tutorial posts this article about making your own lettering for computer projects. 13. Text and Balloons: 6 Advanced Techniques: This post from the blog Your Webcomic Can Still be Saved goes over tips for overlapping balloons, creating different-sized text within the same frame and more. 14. 1001 Free Fonts: Score tons of free fonts from this website, which also provides Web hosting and fonts especially for Mac users. 15. UrbanFonts.com: Browse fonts in categories like Comic, Asian, Rounded and more to give your comic a unique edge. 16. How to Make Your Own Fonts: If you’d rather create your own fonts, try out this tutorial from Chank! to help get you started. 17. Fontifier: To bring more of your personal artistry into your webcomics project, use Fontifier, an online program that creates a font based on your own handwriting. Hosting and Management Tools To help you choose the right hosting services for your webcomic, we’ve put together this list of management tools and sites that will keep your projects organized. 18. StripCreator.com: Create an account on StripCreator.com to design and organize your own webcomic, visit with other artists on the forums and more. 19. Drunk Duck!: This online community of webcomic artists and enthusiasts hosts comic strips for signed-in users. 20. WordPress.com: Many webcomic veterans suggest maintaining a blog along with your comic so that your readers feel more connected to you and your characters. The resources at WordPress are some of the most straightforward in the blogging world. 21. Comic Genesis: This "free webhosting provider for webcomics" also lets visitors check out different comics by searching categories like Sci-Fi, Romance, Horror and Manga. 22. Smack Jeeves: This popular Web hosting and online comic management service is also free. 23. Transplant Comics: Sign up with Transplant Comics to create and upload your webcomic for free. Members can also benefit from the site’s forums and community-oriented atmosphere. 24. CUSP: CUSP software, or Comic Update Script for PHP, "allows a cartoonist to take full control over his website while automating much of its tedious day to day maintenance." Features include easy upload management, daily news updates and the ability to support all sizes of comic strips. 25. The Newbsoft Network: Another system that provides free webcomics hosting, The Newbsoft Network welcomes all kinds of artists and designs. 26. Webcomics Nation: Join this community of webcomics designers to expose yourself to a broad audience. Finding Inspiration If you’re suffering from designer’s block, check out these comics and resources to get you back in the game. 27. Ask Dr. Eldritch Webcomic: This webcomic creator has devoted his entire website to the comic. Different pages introduce characters, host a comic archive and even support an online gift shop. 28. A Softer World: Designer Emily Horne and writer Joey Comeau create their webcomic out of subtle but intriguing photographs. 29. DrawingBoard.org: Members post their designs onto this message board to share ideas, network with other artists and perfect their craft. 30. A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible: The artists of this innovative comic are taking a temporary time-out, but check out their archives for award-winning design and images. 31. Raina Telgemeier’s Comics: This collection of artist Raina Telgemeier’s comics on WebComicsNation.com demonstrates how she is "a representative of the new breed of creators who move easily between print and Web," according to The Webcomics Examiner. Online Resources These online resources provide tools and tips for creating your own webcomics. Save them to the site or e-mail them to all your friends to increase your audience. 32. Weblog Tools Collection: Turn to this list of articles when you have questions or need support figuring out the more technical side of your online creation. 33. StripGenerator.com: The Stripgenerator v1.0.3 combines blogging and webcomics so that users can easily create their own stories and designs and link up with other artists. 34. Make-O Your Own Stinko!: If you’re not too serious about uploading your comics, or if you think you need a little more practice designing frames before you go public, try out the Make-O Your Own Stinko! game. Players can choose backgrounds, characters, props and more to create a basic webcomic all their own. 35. Charlotte’s Web: Make-Your-Own Comics: This fun little children’s game sets up templates so that users can create their own comics related to the Charlotte’s Web story. It’s also great practice if you want a safe space to play around before going solo. 36. ToonDoo: ToonDoo is "the online comic, cartoon strip creator." After you use ToonDoo’s resources for starting your own webcomic, check to see if it’s made it into the Editor’s Pick or Most Popular categories. You can also enter contests hosted by the site or organize your favorite comics and designs into an online gallery. 37. Make Beliefs Comix!: kid-friendly site instructs beginners on how to create their own webcomics by using simple one-click tools to move images around the template, print and e-mail finished creations and more. 38. PikiStrips: If cartoon characters aren’t your thing, sign up with PikiStrips to create webcomics out of your digital photos. Design Tips and Tools Even the most experienced Web artists could use a few more tips on designing their webcomics. Check out these tutorials for new ideas. 39. 10 Tips for Webcomics: This list of dos and don’ts includes minimizing major changes to your design or story line, forgetting to self-promote and more. 40. The Webcomic List: This website serves as an online news source and forum for webcomics. Get updates on your favorite comics, check out other artists for design inspiration and find out which comics have recently received press or won awards. 41. Online Comics: Image Size and Layout: This post gives basic guidelines for artists who need to determine appropriate image size and layout for their strip. 42. Webcomics: Tools and Techniques for Digital Cartooning: This book, available at Amazon.com, is a helpful resource for artists looking to improve their designs. 43. Graphic Design Tools Reviewed: CNET provides this list of links and reviews of graphic design tools like Adobe Flash Professional and iClone Studio Edition. Distribution and Promotion Once you’ve created and uploaded your webcomic, you need to figure out an online marketing strategy to attract an audience. Read below for tips and resources on how to promote your project. 44. Webcomic$: This blog has lots of postings and resources to help artists make money from their webcomics. Recent posts include "Ad Management Systems" and "Big Companies WILL Pay for Your Webcomic." 45. I Want My Ten Dollars!: This post from Fleen doles out creative ideas for getting your readers and fans to pay up. 46. deviantART: This community of artists allows members to upload and share their creations with other users. 47. OnlineComics.net: Submit your webcomics to this site so that other members can view, comment on and send them on to friends. 48. Webbed Comics: Register your comic here to let other members vote on your creation. The top 30 make it to the homepage. 49. How to Promote Your Webcomic for Free: This series has lots of ideas for getting the word out about your webcomic. 50. How to Promote Your Webcomic by NOT Promoting Your Webcomic: This list of alternative marketing strategies may help boost your readership.

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