UPDATED December 14, 2015
It’s been a year since the original post and I’ve adjusted the list to keep up with the ever-changing environment of making comics. These are the five sites I’ve found to be the most useful for knowledge on the craft of creating comic books and getting the word out. If you’re asking any of the “How to [insert part of process] comics” questions, this is the place to start. Even the experienced can benefit.
Jim Zub is the wondrous writer behind Skullkickers (Image), Pathfinder (Dynamite) and Wayward (Image), all three of which are must-reads. His website has the most helpful list of tutorials this side of Middle Earth for making comics from the beginning to the end, covering classic questions like “How to Break into Comics” and “How To Find an Artist” as well comic writing and how to pitch your story to indie publishers. He brings his writing skills to the task too, laying everything out in fun, clear language that gets to the point using real life examples from his work. The best parts for me were seeing Jim’s pitch for Skullkickers and the posts on creator-owned economics where he shows sales trends over time for Skullkickers, breaking it down between print and digital (info on digital sales is hard to come by). Do the right thing and bookmark this baby right away. You’ll be going back to it.
About half of all comic book Kickstarts fail. So what does it take to crowd-fund your project successfully? ComixLaunch has the answers. This phenomenal podcast hosted by Comix Tribe’s Tyler James, who I can safely proclaim is the Tim Ferris of comic podcasting, goes through all the steps of preparing for and executing a solid Kickstarter for your comic. James brings real experience to the table with six successful launches and brings regular guests on to share their tips on what works. Listen to the podcast on iTunes or directly from the site.
The first thing to do is follow @ComixTribe, @tylerjamescomics and @StevedForbes, the latter two being some of the creators at Comix Tribe. These feeds are full of great comics-building nutrients. Comix Tribe’s mission is to help creators be successful by giving them the best resources possible. The site is chock full of info for creators with regular columns that discuss comic script writing (actually breaking down submitted scripts for review), drawing, promotion, Kickstarters, you name it. This is a great resource to consult on an ongoing basis. I’m a regular at this site and I can’t recommend it enough. While you’re at, check out the great comics they produce, starting with a free download five of comics for signing up for their newsletter.
This site has gotten better and I now give it a strong recommendation as a resource. They have have solid info on all aspects of the comic creation process from the art to the distribution and social media promotion. The new front page is organized well, so its easy to dive into the topic you’re most interested in. A clear winner for creators. Worth following @making_comics.
5. Comics Experience
Comics Experience, which offers courses and workshops for creators, has a top-rate podcast called “Comics Experience Make Comics” that you should subscribe to on iTunes or listen from their site. There’s over a hundred episodes giving concise strategy, troubleshooting and tips on topics such as promoting at comic cons, dealing with bad reviews, contracts and breaking into the industry.
Other Sites Worth Mentioning
This site focuses on the business and marketing side of making comics covering ground like engaging audience and digital publishing.
Absolute Write Forums
The comic book and graphic novel forum on Absolute Write is a great place for writers to learn and participate in discussions about the craft of writing and making comics. This is where I learned about Jim Zub’s site and MakingComics.com, as well being the engine that jump-started me on the whole digital comics process when I began working on Satanic Hell. Search the thread archives as well for info and answers. The other forums can be just as useful for comic book writers with categories such as basic writing questions, blogging and social networks and beating writer’s block.
This sites is geared at webcomic creators but there are some helpful points for making comic books in general. Check out the series of posts on how to make a comic book or graphic novel for another take on the process. Follow them @webcomic_alli.
To conclude, I’d also like to recommend this site, ZenoTelos.com, as I post info and resources for creators on an ongoing basis. You can sign up for blog posts below and the newsletter to the right. Follow me @GrigorisDouros where I also tweet and retweet about creating comics and writing.