Tag Archives: beginner

02Aug/22
the entrance of a school

Do I Need to Go to School for Comics?

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions from people who are looking to start in comics. If you’re looking to draw o write comics, then you probably want to know if you need to get “qualified”. For most people, the obvious equivalent of this would go to school or getting a degree in comics. 

The simple answer is – No! 

However, you will need some level of training or self education if you do not decide to go to school. There are advantages to both paths.

In this post, we’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of going to school for comics and some alternatives. 

 

Advantages of Going To School

Some schools do offer classes, or a degree path specifically focused on comics. Other than those programs, you can find creative writing or visual art programs at most universities or community colleges.

Learn The Rules For Your Tools

The biggest advantage of the school path is that you get context around the skills you develop. You get the history of different creative skills and how they developed. This allows you to know the rules for what makes objectively engaging art and how to break those rules to make art more impactful.

Applicable Skill Development

Schooling also provides a training path for practice and development. The assigned classwork and curriculum will challenge you in new ways and incentivise you to create a lot of writing or illustrations. This is a great way to find the encouragement to create.

Day Job Credibility

Something that new comic creators need to be aware of is that you will probably need a day job. Comics are not the most lucrative trade. Of course, the goal is to make comics your full-time job, but starting out, you will probably need another source of income to cover your needs. 

Having a degree gives you a tool to get a day job that you can still find fulfilling. Plenty of our creators have day jobs in graphic design, copywriting, or art education. Having a creative day job is a great way to keep your creative juices flowing all day long.

 

Disadvantages of Going to School for Comics

There are, of course, downsides to going to school.

Cost of Admission

College tuition prices seem to go up every year if you live in a country where those are a thing. Especially for private art schools that offer degrees tailored for comics. That makes it impossible to recommend the college path to everyone in good faith. 

At the top, we mentioned community colleges do also offer classes. These are usually the typically creative writing or visual art degree path, but sometimes you see specific comics class. Community College could be a good low-cost alternative.

Time Investment

Degrees take time to earn. Of course, there’s nothing to stop you from creating comics with your free time, but your degree path will lock you in for 2 to 4 years. If you want to get straight into making comics or have a family to provide for, then you may not have the required time to go through the program.

You could look at night programs. These will allow you to create or work during the day and then attend courses at night or even online at your own pace. 

Availability

Not every state has a school that offers programs for comics. You can probably find one for creative writing or illustration, but if that’s not what you are interested in, you may not do as well as you would in a program that aligns with your interests. Not everyone can fly to a new state or country to go to school, and that’s valid. 

Online programs can bridge some of that gap now that those are more common. Another option would be to seek a more seasoned creator out, either locally or online, and ask for some of their time on a call or otherwise to learn from them. 

 

Alternatives

So what are some alternatives to going to school for comics? There’s actually quite a lot. 

Some of the most pursued options are:

  • Self-Education
  • Mentorship
  • Translating Adjacent Work

Self-Education

If the cost, time, or availability of school are prohibitive, then you can always educate yourself. There are tons of outstanding books and resources out there to teach yourself how to make comics. We try our best with our podcasts and craft series. The secret is that books on how to make comics rarely cost much. The same books they use in school, you can just buy for yourself

Mentorship

There are a lot of comic creators in the world. A lot of them have some sort of online presence, go through the convention circuit, or they may even live down the road from you. You could always ask politely if they can teach you a thing or two. Sometimes they’ll stick with you to guide you along, other times they’ll just give you a few pearls and send you on your way. Either way, you’re more knowledgeable about making comics. 

Adjacent Work

Here’s a secret: You don’t have to learn how to make comics to make comics. You just have to be a fan of the medium and know what comics are. Words on art in panels on pages. If you have experience writing any other form of fiction or drawing anything else, you can translate that to comics. However, you’ll need some practice to get the idea of sequential art down. 

There are plenty of people who just stumbled into making comics after illustrating cartoons or writing commercials. 

07Jun/22

What Is The Craft Of Comics?

Hey There Silverline Family!

Today is a cheeky post. We’re talking about the craft of making comics. We’ll be talking a little bit about what all is involved in making a comic, and then giving a start on how to improve that craft. We’ll probably do an entry down the lie on how to grow that craft in detail, so this will just be the first step once you know what it is.

First of all . . .

What is Craft?

Well, craft is all sorts of things. To boil it down a craft, or someone’s craft is their skilled profession, hobby, or pursuit. Some people are skilled carpenters and are said to be craftsmen. Others pursue an art form as a craft, either professionally or for pleasure (ideally both). That art is said to be their craft.

What is the Craft of Making Comics?

Other than a sick blog series we run, the craft of making comics is almost another umbrella group. Making a comic involves several art forms. This includes writing, different forms of illustration and pencil/pen art, color, and editing. I do include editing as an art because the editor needs to have a solid working skill or understanding of all the other involved art forms.

Some people are auteurs and can do all the above themselves and will either publish independently or get a special contract with a publisher to do so but in most cases, multiple people work on one comic book or series in different aspects. So in most cases, there are no true comic craftsmen, but rather several individuals skilled in other crafts that come together to make a well-crafted comic.

You might ask if the real craft of making comics then is teamwork and friendship? If you want to be sappy about it, yes. Practically, the craft of making comics is an umbrella term for all the skills involved. I am a writer, but understand the value of good art. I know that for my books to be well crafted, I need a good artist.

What Is My Craft?

Your craft is largely going to be dependent on what you are skilled in, or are willing to learn, and what you already like doing. It can be a relief knowing that if you want to get into making comics, you don’t need to do it all. You just need to find someone like-minded with a craft that fits the needs of your book. If you’re a writer, you need an artist. If you’re an artist, you need a writer.

If you haven’t drawn or written something seriously, and you don’t know what your craft style is. Try to create something in any of the following crafts.

  • Writing
  • Penciling
  • Inking
  • Coloring
  • Lettering

If you have questions about any of those. Click around in our Craft Series. You might find something that sounds exciting. Experiment with art, kids! All your friends are doing it. You might just find something you can get good at and that you love.

How Do I Get Better At My Comic Craft?

You’re going to hate me for this one, but “just do it” (As commanded by Shia Lebouf). The reasoning is pretty simple. The more you do something, the more efficient you become at it. Whether that’s figuring out how to do it properly or quickly, you get better at getting it done. If you read comics (why would you want to make comics if you don’t read them?), you already have a taste in comics that has grown with each comic you read. The more efficiently you do something, the more efficiently you do it to your taste. So the more comics you read and the more you perform that craft, the better you get.

Now, there is much more you can do to get better at making comics. That’s a subject for a different blog post though.

Who Are Silverline Comics

A bunch of nerds trying to give you some dope reads and take you on fun adventures through comics. If you want to catch up on what we have going on, follow our socials. If you want to hang out with us, check out our live shows on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday.


Make Mine Silverline!