Hello, creators. We are really hitting our stride right now. The comic is coming together at this point. Why? Well, it’s actually starting to look like a comic, right? Right!
In the Step 1, we reviewed how to plan a story idea for an 8-Page Story. In Step 2, we looked at how to break down your pages and plot. In Step 3, we worked on revisions to the plot. In Step 4, we created character sheets. In Step 5, we scripted our comic book story. In Step 6 we built our thumbnails.
In Step 7, we will be roughing out our pages. This is the last time to make the necessary changes to your panels, your angles, and your page breakdown. Many experienced pros will skip over thumbnails and go directly into these roughs. They are called many things, including breakdowns.
Post your page roughs in the Step 7 folder in the forums.
Tips for Creating Page Roughs for Your Comic Book
You need to remember a few things in this stage.
Leave Room for Balloons
The dialogue needs to go somewhere. If you fill the entire panel with detail, some of it will get covered by the word balloons. At this point, you should look at the amount of dialogue to determine how much space you need to leave for the letterer to place balloons.
We read left to right. It is helpful to put the character that speaks first on the left, if there are multiple characters in the panel. That’s because the tails (or pointers) on word balloons look better when they are not crossing over.
This is helpful, but certainly not required. Sketch the panel to have the maximum impact. Sometimes, you can work with the writer and letterer to adjust portions of the story. As the artist, you may be able to find a better or more impactful way of telling the story visually. Share your ideas in your sketches and get feedback.
Roughs Now, Tight Pencils Later
Like the thumbnails, the roughs should not take you a long time. This is your opportunity to hone your story. This is not the time to render tight pencils. Keep it loose.
Roughs By Ron
In this example, we are working from a script that I wrote for Avengers Assemble. It was illustrated by comic artist Ron Lim, a highly experienced and respected penciler. Ron provided these roughs to show how he worked through the script, which you can find here in Step 3: Writing the Plot.
Okay, so now it’s your turn. If you are participating in the 8 Page Challenge, you should post your rough comic book pages in the Step #7 forum in the Create@ComicBookSchool forums. Also, you should feel free to leave comments for the participants to help them improve their work.
Step 1: How to Create a Story Idea for an 8-Page Comic | #8PgChallenge
Step 2: How to Plot Your 8-Page Comic | #8PgChallenge
Step 3: How to Revise Your Plot | #8PgChallenge
Step 4: How to Create Character Sheets for Your 8-Page Comic Story | #8PgChallenge – Step 4
Step 5: How to Write the Script for Your 8-Page Comic Story | #8PgChallenge – Step 5
Step 6: How to Create Thumbnails for Your 8-Page Comic Story | #8PgChallenge – Step 6
Step 8: How to Create Pencils for your 8-Page Comic Story | #8PgChallenge – Step 8
In the meantime, here is the Announcement of the 8-Page Challenge.