Putting pencil to paper is how it all starts. Since that fateful day in 1938 when Superman bounded into life in the first issue of Action Comics, artists and illustrators have found themselves pre-occupied with the burning desire to create superheroes. Designing these characters, the worlds they protect and how they can live in synergy with words on a page is an art in itself – and comic book artists have a huge and worldwide following. Comics are often derided as a ‘low’ art form, but they boast a massive influence on pop culture. Comic books have come a long way in the past ten years, and the best of them are beautifully written and illustrated, with complex stories and themes.
Original Comic Book Character The first part of the assignment is you will create an original comic book character. Answer the following questions to help you with brainstorm your own original comic book character:
- Is your character good or bad?
- Male or female?
- Human (babies, teenagers, elderly, teachers, athletes), alien, animal, inanimate object come to life, or other?
- What is your character’s personality (hero, clutz, nerd, shy, boastful, popular, cute, brave, funny, etc.)
- Does your character have an unusual power or a special ability?
- How did he/she gain that power? What was he/she like before?
- Does your character have a weakness?
- Does your character have an double identity (Superman/Clark Kent)?
- Does your character have a special weapon? What does it look like?
- What is your character’s name?
- What does it look like in print?
- What is your character’s mission?
- What are your character’s colors?
- Does your character wear a costume? Mask? Cape? If so, what does it look like?
- Will the character have a supporting cast or a side-kick?
- Will the character have props or a special environment that they live in?
When you have it all worked out, start with a fresh page. Draw a thumbnail sketch of what the character might look like. Participate in the tutorial on action figure drawing. Take one idea and continue to develop the character showing both a frontal and side view. Include the full body and any props the character will need.
Turn in 2 views character drawing for approval.
Comic Book Cover Propose where your character’s name will go on the page – above or below the character. To come up with an eye-popping name, consider using a color (The Green Lantern), alliteration (The Masked Marvel), irony (Super Flea), or a twist on a familiar phrase.
Once approved your drawing will need to scanned (sent to you via email). Open you image up in Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator. Complete the cover art in Photoshop or Illustrator. Upload the drawing (background) with 6+ layers to complete the digital image. Use the text tool for the title.
Now that you have created an original comic book character you will place your character on a comic book cover. You will be using Adobe’s InDesign program and you will import your character, title/name, and any supporting graphics into InDesign. Here are the requirements that must be used on you comic book page:
- The document size will be 6 5/8” (6.625 in.) width x 10 ¼”(10.25 in.) length and the live area (where comic content resides) is 6 x 9 centered on the page. Which means that your margins for the left and right side of the page are .3125 inches and the margins for the top and bottom of the page is .625 inches.
- Your character must show Emphasis on the cover or easily put point of focus. Emphasis marks the locations in the layout that most strongly draw the viewers’ attention, it does not mean that it is CENTERED!!! (Center alignment is weak!)
- Your character must show Contrast by setting the point of emphasis apart from the rest of its background. Various kinds of contrasts are possible. The use of a neutral background isolates the point of emphasis. Contrast of color, texture, or shape will call attention to a specific point. Contrast of size or scale will as well.
- Your comic book cover must have
- Title (The Green Lantern), alliteration (The Masked Marvel), irony (Super Flea)
- An Original Comic Book Logo that you have created*
- Your comic book character
- Create a specific background that supports your character and story line*
*These items will need to be created in either Photoshop or Illustrator and then imported into InDesign.